"First of all, I need to know your opinion on something," I asked the sect master.
"Speak," said the Sect master, her tone was commandeering, and not even the ice encasing her was a match the coldness of her words. (Author’s note, is this how you want the dialogues to be?)
"Right, but this is a private matter that I wish only you to hear. If that is alright with you." I asked again rather wryly.
"Matters that you speak in this chamber will remain in this chamber, so is the secret of you treating my injury, still if it is any comfort to your consciousness, Lao Bofan, Xian’er Xue’er please leave us." the Sect Master waved them off.
The three of them bowed to the sect master and left the hall in haste. They didn’t seem to be too keen on making the Master repeat herself.
"Right, then what is it that you wish to speak that you want it to be private from my closest vassals." the woman coldly spoke. Her tone was like a god talking down to a servant of his.
"Right, what is your opinion on poison cultivators?" I asked half expecting to be murdered with her gaze alone.
The woman thought for a few moments before she answered, "They are a scourge upon the land, disgusting and insidious. None wish to make their acquaintance as their company only brings misery, disdain, and the looming threat of betrayal. Poison cultivators are like a viper, and one cannot trust a viper."
"Oh...that’s rather awkward," I said through a wry smile.
"I could understand that from your question, you do not know poison cultivation. Or at least you have encountered methods to go through that path. I would advise you to change your direction of cultivation as you have just started and rebuild your base anew." She advised, rather gently this time.
"Yeah, that would be impossible." I shook my head. Poison Cultivation is literally is in my bone and flesh.
"You will not find friend or companion along your road, not even poison cultivators trust each other." her words were definite and certain.
"To be completely honest, I have never needed friends. I relied on myself to do everything in my prior life, that will not be a problem." Especially since my own children betrayed me. There is no need to trust anyone else.
"The road to cultivation is steep, long, and lonely, it could do to have a few allies. But that is your own matter. If you decide to remain on the poison cultivation road, I shall not stop you, and my advice to you has been given." The woman said.
"Thank you very much. Now, I’ll begin treating this. Hopefully, you’ll bear with the pain." I spoke.
"You may begin." She said. I could even feel her shrug through her voice as if the pain her disciples were in didn’t even enter her scope.
"Right, but this will be rather uncomfortable. Please bear with me." I said once again. it would be really embarrassing if she started screaming like a little girl.
I went behind the sect master, the chair she was on had already frozen to bits.
"Pardon me for what I’m about to do," I said and placed both hands on her shoulders.
There was a rather large piece of ice covering her whole body, and the moment I placed my hands on her should the ice tried to make its way through my arms.
But I let it do as it pleased, I needed the Ice Destruction Poison to seep into my body so I can recycle it into my own energy.
The sect master grunted, and to be honest, she should have been screaming from pain. Her disciple felt as if I was tearing her hand from its socket and she was just afflicted with a side effect of the Ice Destruction poison, while the sect master should be in more pain only grunted. It’s either that her pain tolerance is absurdly high, or that her cultivation is so steep that the pain from this agonizing extraction didn’t feel worth more than her grunt.
Hours went by, and the poison lessened around her shoulders, in less than half a day, my hands had fully sucked in the poison around her and were now firmly touching the clothes on her body.
"Sect master. I’m exhausted. I need to take a break."
"You have well earned your break," said the sect master as she huffed from exertion, not only was I exhausted, but she had been suppressing the urge to shout from pain and withstanding this cruel treatment all day long.
"In three years I should be able to regain my mobility, this is well worth it."
"Euh, no," I said.
The sect master shuddered, "What do you mean?"
"If it’s just about your mobility at this rate at we need a maximum of a week for you to be able to leave this chair and have all mobility. The three-year promise is for me to fully remove the toxin from your body, heal all of the inner wounds and bring you back to your top shape."
"Wait, so you’re saying that you can also treat the damage to my meridians and Dantian?"
"Well, of course, isn’t that what we signed up for?" I tilted my head.
"HA! And here I thought I was going to need at least a few hundred years to get rid of all of the ice Poison by myself. Brat, you brought me joy that I will reward handsomely once I am back on my feet." the woman for the first time smiled and it was... beautiful.
"Don’t worry about it, I didn’t do this just for you sect master." I smiled back.
"What do you mean?" asked the sect master.
"You must have guessed it." I grinned.
"You’re taking in the poison and using it as your cultivation Qi." she deduced immediately.
"Spot on, I’m surprised that you figured it out." I nodded to her.
"That means that you consume poisons to cultivate," She explained further.
"I would also like for you to keep that a secret. I cannot feel the world’s Qi, but I can assimilate the Qi from poisons and make it my own." I told her, after all, she already figured it out.
"Hmm, that’s the same as cultivators who use pills to raise their cultivation level. That’s a fast way to cultivate yet it will not be good for your overall progress. You’ll have a lot of impurities within your body..." the sect master trailed off.
"Unless, when you vomited... you’re able to expel the impurities by yourself. Such a fascinating cultivation method. I’m really tempted to understand it." she divulged her curiosity.
"As much as I would like to share it with you, the condition is rather impossible for you. You’ll need to have your meridians broken and shattered, then build a mortal base upon them, than survive in a pool of Bone and Body grinding poison." I said while shrugging.
"Shen Bao, I have a newfound respect for you. I thought that I was in immense pain when you began the treatment, yet the pain from having your meridians broken is far greater than what I suffered, not to mention the impossibility of surviving the Bone and Body grinding poison. You have suffered greatly. But still sought to cultivate against all of this pain. Still, I’ll leave you with another piece of advice." The woman seriously looked at me.
"Please do," I replied.
"I am your sect master, and I owe you my life, this is a debt that I cannot repay no matter how I reward you. So, betraying you would break my Dao Heart and it is an impossibility for me. Thus, I say these words, I shall keep whatever you had said to me a secret that I will take to my grave, but you must promise to never divulge that you are a poison cultivator, nor the way how you cultivate. It would cause a lot of people a great deal of greed to want to know of your ways and want to take them from you. Even if it is impossible for them to use it to cultivate, they would still want to take it and build upon it their own methods of cultivation." Her words were like a cold bucket of water on a cool morning.
"I’ll keep everything I have said to you a secret, but I have some concerns," I said.
"Speak them, and I’ll see if I could help."
"Right, so you’re knowledgeable and figured out that I cultivate poison and need to consume it in order to increase my cultivation, yet the world is big and there could also be people who would figure that out. Is there a way for me to hide that fact?" I asked.
"There are many ways that work for things such as this, but they all require the acute sense of spiritual Qi of the world," She shook her head.
"Meaning normal cultivation," I replied, bummed out. This is rather problematic.
"Yes, because not even poison cultivators use your method. They harness the world’s energy then transform it into poison Qi, while you do something different, you take in poison Qi that has already been transformed and use it. Your way requires less time to transform the energy and is far more potent, yet you’ll require a lot of resources to increase your cultivation base."
"I would say I figured that out," I replied.
"Yes, but fret not, I believe I have a method for you. Go to elder Yun, show him the token I gave you, and ask him to give you the Star Weaver manual." She said.
"It’s a cultivation manual that uses the powers of the stars, it doesn’t require Qi sense, and it is common, but it will help you hide your poison Qi and if any cultivators try to scan you using their Devine Sense, they’ll only see the Star Weaving energy and believe you’re a start cultivator." The Sect Master explained.
"Oh, that will be handy, thank you very much, sect master," I replied.
"Very well then, you’re excused to leave," She nodded towards me as best she could.
"Right then, I’ll take my leave, but I’ll come back tomorrow for the second session," I said.
"I’ll be expecting you," she replied, and I believe I saw a small hopeful smile at the edges of her lips.
I gave a courteous bow to the sect master and left the hall.
Once I was out, Grand Elder Lao was standing at the entrance to the hall.
"How did it go?" he asked, he almost looked like a puppy wagging his tail.
"Well, I removed a good deal of the ice from her body, in one week she should be able to move about," I replied.
"Good, good!" said the elder with a great smile on his face.
"You need me to treat that?" I said as I pointed at his hand.
"That would be handy, pun intended, with the ice in my hands I could no longer practice Alchemy, and my Receptarier status has been removed. So I would be in your debt." The old man gave me a slight bow.
"It’s gonna be painful, you sure you don’t want to use the Spirit Orchid," I advised.
"That’s something I cannot obtain currently and I’ll need to travel to Zhao Country’s grand auction that only happens once every three years."
"Right, auctions," I muttered, I remembered that there were a lot of auction houses for cultivators in those stories they visit them and end up with good treasures.
"Right then, we should probably go somewhere private. We don’t want people to see this." I said as I looked at all the people going in and out of the massive Purple Cloud Palace.
"Right, follow me to my house, we’ll have privacy there." Said the elder and I followed after him.
I made this chapter based on the comments of the last chapter. people thought that I wasn’t putting enough effort into dialogue, I hope I improved upon it. if you like it all s will have the same style and additive dialogue and expressions, this way I’ll be able to show more of a character’s personality through my words.
Alright, second author’s note, HOLY CRAP! 3 new patrons in one day and one of them offered 50$ which is suuuuuuuuper huge.
I’m really glad I have so many people still wishing to support me in my writing and I’m glad. Alright it’s time to reveal our newest Dark Lords, they shall all gain a title.
Lord of the Deep: Ignacio Garrido.
Soul Reaver: Chris Rusian.
Death Bringer Clay Anderson.
And the Great Lord of Damnation: Tony. (Thanks for the 50!)
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