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Jun 14, 2021 3:10 PM
a very tired werewolf falls on the Burial Mounds
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Chris is running.

 

This is not unusual for them lately, but running for their life rather than because it's the simplest way to get somewhere kind of is, and so is running while actively losing blood because they're not healing because of some asshole-

 

Breathe.  Focus.  Hard part's over, just gotta not die.  Chris bumps their bloodier side against a rock to make absolutely sure there's a tempting enough trail no one will follow Soul Seeker, shifts to two legs to scramble up something that probably reflects a chainlink fence in the mortal world, drops and rolls and dodges into a twisty warren of alleyways.  Their lungs are burning but they're not quite at their limit, not yet, if they can stay far enough ahead to lose the hunters and cross over and double back-

 

And then a last gust of the umbral storm sweeps up out of nowhere and throws pursuers and pursued away from each other and away from everything else as well.

 

*****

 

Somewhere very far away, a person falls out of midair.

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Wen Ning is trying to plant turnips while thinking to himself optimistically that dead bodies contain lots of nutrients and are probably great fertilizer, when a person falls onto his turnip patch. 

It... doesn't seem like they're in good condition, even for a cultivator. The number of injuries looks very worrying. Wen Ning would feed them some spiritual energy but, well. 

Fortunately he's still very strong. Wen Ning picks them up and carries them to Wen Qing.

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The person in his turnip patch sure is injured!  They seem to have gotten in a fight with something large and toothy and then fallen down a mountain, or possibly vice versa.  Aside from the blood they're pretty weird and foreign-looking, about his age, tall and lanky with short green hair, wearing a heavy pack in some odd scratchy fabric. 

 

They stir a little and mumble something incomprehensible when he lifts them, curling around their worse side.  Then their eyes close and they go quiet, still breathing hard and fast but otherwise lost to the world.

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Wen Ning has not heard of any monsters or demons or gods that have green hair. On the other hand, he also hasn't heard of any humans that have green hair, and green hair is more likely to be a trait of monsters or demons or gods than of humans.

On the other hand, this person is definitely hurt, and Wei-gongzi can kill anything. 

Wen Ning carries her to Wen Qing. 

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"...a-Ning, what do you have?"

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"A... person? Demon? She fell from the sky. She's hurt."

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"She's dangerous! Random people falling from the sky onto the Burial Mounds are dangerous! We'd be lucky if the Lanling Jin clan sent her instead of something worse."

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"All right, a-Ning, I'll treat her, but when she kills us all you know who's going to take responsibility for this? Not me."

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When she takes a look at her patient's chi, what does she see?

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This is... probably not a human.

 

There's a lot of internal force there, more than anyone not a cultivator would have, but it hasn't formed into a proper golden core.  There's a nasty blockage around the heart, slowing the circulation- that combined with blood loss from half a dozen gashes and a couple of crush injuries should have killed a normal human once or twice over.  (Most of the injuries also seem to have only affected living flesh and not clothes- they're a little scuffed up, but blood is soaking through undamaged fabric.)  But despite that, and despite physical symptoms that would indicate a chi deficiency born of exhaustion, her patient is... stable?  Gasping for breath and semiconscious but not actively attempting to die on her, at least not yet.

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Not human, but their systems look human enough that Wen Qing thinks she'll be able to help. Not a cultivator, but it seems like they're doing something similar. Wen Qing has heard that people outside China don't cultivate. Perhaps this is how the barbarians use their chi. 

Wen Qing feeds them some chi while she prioritizes the situation. Not dying on her is not that strange, if they're some kind of barbarian cultivator. Their injuries will need to be cleaned and dressed and have dit da jow applied, of course. They have a deficiency of blood because of their wounds, and a deficiency of yin in the heart organ, which in combination have left them unconscious; she should inspect the heart meridian more carefully to make sure it's in order. She'll need to set the bones, but with her patient so weak that's likely to do more harm than good. Ideally, she'd apply moxibustion to strengthen her patient's yang chi so it can heal the injuries, but that risks a critical imbalance with the patient's heart yin chi so low.   

How does her patient respond to the chi?

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Her patient's eyes flicker open when she starts the chi flow, don't quite manage to focus, and slide closed again.  Gradually their breathing gets steadier and their color a little better; they stir a fraction and make a small pained noise.

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"Get Uncle Four, I'll need him to feed her chi while I work."

Once Uncle Four is set up to feed them chi, Wen Qing cleans and dresses their wounds and applies the dit da jow. When a person is injured, chi is blocked in their meridians, which causes pain and swelling. The da dit jow allows the chi to flow freely, which speeds up healing. 

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(They're wearing tight trousers in a sturdy workmanlike fabric and four layers of shirts- two open in front and one that pulls over the head in shades of blue and purple, and a very tight sparkly inner layer that would be a pain to get off without cutting.)

 

The peripheral meridians respond if anything faster than expected, but the blockage at the heart eases only a tiny bit, letting the barest trickle of chi through.  Looking closely, it's at exactly the spot where minimum effort produces maximum disruption of the healing process, and it's stubborn, rather as though it was set there deliberately. 

 

The donated chi is doing a quick job at clearing up the exhaustion side of the problem, at least- their limbs stop trembling, their breathing settles to the rhythm of a laborer at a steady pace rather than a man saved from drowning, their eyes open more often and focus better.  Inconveniently, they're also stirring and mumbling nonsense and trying to sit up and get off the table well before this is actually a good idea.

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No, they aren't, because they have an acupuncture needle to several key meridians now.

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That sure does stop them from getting off the table!  Also their breathing and heart are getting a bit faster.

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"Uncle Four, please feed them only yin chi, thank you." Wen Qing keeps one eye on her patient and begins to prepare a herbal formulation. She's not sure precisely what's going on with this barbarian cultivator, so she'll start with a basic warm/bitter herbal formulation that gently strengthens the heart meridian.

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They calm back down some after nothing more alarming happens for a bit, although they'd be pretty tense if they had voluntary muscle control.

 

The blockage is maybe loosening up a little?  Not enough to make an immediate difference, barely enough to detect, but it might clear out if that trend continued long enough.

 

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"Hello," she says to the barbarian cultivator in her most soothing voice, "can you understand me? I'm a doctor and I'm trying to help. I need you to drink this." 

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Her patient doesn't seem to recognize the words, but her tone comes across, and it's not hard to guess what a cup held up to one's face is for; they hesitate, then drink, watching her warily and grimacing at the taste. 

 

A somewhat stronger flow of chi seeps its way past the blockage as the drug takes effect, a substantial fraction of what a healthy adult should have instead of the bare minimum survivable.

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"That's good," she says, "that's good, you're doing really well." More confident in her approach, she places some acupuncture needles where she suspects they'll loosen up the chi blockage.

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It does loosen: slowly at first, then faster, then bursting like a broken dam at the last needle.  That is a lot of pent-up yang chi, going very fast- they gasp, head jerking back and stiffening as much as possible.  The visible scrapes and bruises start healing fast enough to see.

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She's going to keep an eye on that for now. She prepares an herbal remedy that will lower the amount of yang chi if necessary. 

"A-Ning, please go get me Wei Wuxian and tell him I need a languages talisman."

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Whatever kind of demon or cultivator this is, it's apparently a kind that heals fast.  The cracked bones and claw marks mend in less time than it takes to drink a cup of tea, all except the deepest and angriest of the gashes- running from the right side of the neck down the back to the left hip, torn and ragged rather than a clean slice.

 

They flop back to bonelessness, taking slow deliberate breaths, and say something that might from the tone be 'thank you'.

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"Hello! I heard that someone fell out of the sky! Do I need to commit murder?"

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