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Jun 23, 2021 7:54 PM
a very tired werewolf falls on the Burial Mounds
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"No, a languages talisman would be fine."

Once it's applied, she says: "Hello, I'm Wen Qing. I'm your doctor. Can you tell me your name?"

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"Chris- uh, Wrong Mountain?  Where... am I?"

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"You're on the Burial Mounds, in Yiling, in China. I think you're from very far away." She's trying to see how lucid her patient looks.  

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"Oh.  Yeah, I'm from the United States.  Uh, I wasn't trying to get here, sorry."  They're glancing around at everyone (and occasionally at random points in the room), looking confused but alert, if still rather tired.  "Thank you for- whatever it was you did. And finding me."

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They're from... a set of unified countries?

She can't, obviously, determine Chris's level of awareness by figuring out if Chris knows where and when they are; they obviously don't know where they are, and the barbarian cultivators likely have a different time system even if Chris wasn't thrown forward from the past. "Can you tell me where you are and why you're here right now?"

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"Uh, a doctor's house in... did you say Yi Ling?"  They hesitate a while longer than is polite, glancing around the room again, then offer her a crooked smile.  "Why I'm here, like, philosophically, I could give you some wild guesses, but if you mean why am I here instead of where I was going, a storm blew me off course- I think I hit my head at some point, 's kinda blurry after that.  I remember that guy, though."  They angle their head slightly toward Wen Ning.

 

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"I've put needles into your meridians to keep you still. If I remove them, will you promise to stay still so you don't make your injuries worse?"

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"A storm? What kind of storm? Were you flying on your sword? There weren't any storms around here. Why are you from Unified Countries? Where are the Unified Countries? Should I get a map and have you point to them?"

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"I can stay put- I'm fine though, mostly, can I sit up at least?"  They blink at Wei Wuxian for a moment.  "I don't... have a sword?  I would say I could show you on a world map but if you haven't heard of the United States I think I got thrown a lot farther than I thought I did... how does the translation thingy work, it told me 'China' but if it's picking the closest match for proper nouns why would it do that in one direction and not the other?  Unless it's just being too literal, if I said 'America' does that translate?"

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She removes the acupuncture needles. "You can sit up but if I tell you to lie down you have to do what I say."

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"'America' translates as, uh, that place we got potatoes and corn from originally, the one with all the forests. It picks the closest concept but it's pretty literal most of the time, I wouldn't recommend reading poetry with a languages talisman. --Okay, so, you're from America, I guess cultivators in America don't fly on swords? What do you fly on?"

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"Following directions, yes ma'am."  They nod and sit up, grimacing and trying to find the way that uses their back the least.  "Personally I just run really fast but- 'cultivators' is translating as, like, 'people who farm', but farmers mostly ride around on tractors, and it doesn't sound like that's what you mean anyway..." 

Chris takes another look around the room from a less horizontal and more lucid vantage point.  "So uh.  Potatoes and corn checks out but 'forests' isn't the first thing I'd think of- I maybe am from the future.  Or I guess a different world?  I have no idea how to tell which."

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"Cultivators meditate and train to build up a core of spiritual energy which they can use to be stronger and tougher and more agile, and fly on swords, and use talismans, and perform musical cultivation, and battle fierce corpses, and do cool jump things."

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"Huh, okay.  I can do- some of those things.  Are fierce corpses what they sound like?  No idea about the spiritual energy part, though.  There are probably some people where I'm from who do all that as a batch but I don't know any to talk to."  They rub absently at an owl pendant on a bracelet and take a slow breath.  "Is the acupuncture a cultivation thing too?"

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"No, that's just medicine. It's easier if you can sense spiritual energy but you can do it either way."

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Chris nods.  "This is, uh, kind of a weird question but are there rules about who can go to China?"

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"Uh. No? How would that even work? I guess we don't get many barbarians except near the border."

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"There are where I'm from, I was worried I might've accidentally broken them... uh, there's a couple ways it works, I can ask Owl to help me pick the best route but most people can't, and it gets easier to keep an eye on the most likely places somebody might cross the border once travel gets faster.  And then also I think the foxes set a ward or something that tells them when people enter an area?  I dunno, I never tried myself yet, I just know people say don't try it unless you're- with... somebody.  Fuck."  They press a hand to their mouth and squeeze their eyes shut.

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"Uh, we don't have any of that, and also we don't have owl demons or fox demons."

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" 'S not a demon-"  Chris takes another couple of deep breaths and scrubs a hand across their eyes.  "Sorry.  I just- anyway.  Sorry.  Might be- translating weird?  Have you got foxes who turn into people and get- married or whatever and then leave on mysterious fox business, that's the kind I mean."

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"Uh, I haven't heard of that happening but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen, there are kind of a lot of things in the world."

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Chris laughs bitterly.  "A lot more than I thought this morning, which is so much more than I thought two years ago- or uh. However many years from now."  They scratch at the back of their neck.

"Are you keeping your whole thing secret from regular people, actually?  Should I be careful when I go outside?"

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"No, the peasants know we're here, although I wouldn't step off the mountain if I were you unless you have me or Wen Ning as a guard."

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Wave back!  Along with a sincere if slightly shaky smile.

"I can take care of myself in a fight- not great at scaring people off, I guess, and it wouldn't be fair of me to fight random people who're just scared for their sheep or whatever.  Decently sneaky, though, and like I said I'm fast, if someone was trying to hit me with a pitchfork I could just run away."

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