Aug 03, 2021 4:34 AM
Bys in modern earth joins a cultivator chatroom
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"RIght. Sorry for the delay, and thank you. I could push through, but sleepiness makes people stupid. Scientific fact."

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"It's no problem. I'll DM you when I wake up in the morning. See you!" 

She waves and heads off down the street, pulling out her phone to get directions to the nearest hotel.

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She sets her alarm for 8. And checks her phone at 8. And then gets dressed and paces in her room a lot.

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At 8:45:

Hey, you up? Do they have Smittys in the UK? This feels like a giant waffle occasion.

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Not a lot of chain stores in this little village but Aberystwyth has a good waffle place. Half hour by bus. Or the local cafe, but it's really more a fish and chips place.

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I can't believe I'm seriously considering delaying this another half hour just for waffles. 

You know what, you decide. I'll pay for whatever you decide to get and I can manage fish and chips for breakfast if need be.

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Nah they've got breakfast stuff. Just not giant waffles, regular ones maybe. And pancakes and french toast?

Address

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French toast is better than a half hour drive by a long shot. Deal. See you there!

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She takes a lightning-quick shower and is there in ten minutes.

"Hey again. I'm starving. For food and information both."

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Nix waves from her place at the table. "I've already ordered french toast for both of us, hope you don't mind. So - ask away."

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"Nah, don't mind."

 

"...Bearing in mind I expect it to be difficult and painful, any reason I should not try to cultivate?"

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"Your potential is probably going to be capped by the fact that you didn't start cultivating when you were very young. If you join a sect you will be expected to cut all ties with the outside world until you become a master - quite possibly for your family's entire natural lifespan - and if you're a loose cultivator you'll be begging for table scraps. Also you could well be killed by a rival cultivator who wants what you have. That's... pretty much it. You have a monster bloodline though, so the first thing applies less to you."

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"The rich get richer." Sigh. "So monsters are a real thing? That's some high fantasy stuff."

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"Yeah, they exist. Some of them are smart and can take human shapes. Hence Fischers. You're probably a little bit related to those fish we caught yesterday."

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"Huh. Not sure I like that. But at least it's useful. We - I, at least, can hold my breath for a long time and handle cold better, and I'm stronger than I should be. Body tempering liquid is the start?"

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"The start is being fit enough to drink body tempering liquid and not die. It, uh... It helps if you're a virgin. Or gay. No intermingling of Yin and Yang essences. I would guess you're fit enough either way from your monster bloodline and from serving on fishing boats, you've got a good build going. It'd help if I sent a photo of you to Snow Rose, they'd be better able to judge it."

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"...Unless just kissing counts I should be good on that front." She blushes deep blue, apparently. "A photo is fine at this point, though. Just please don't share it too wide."

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Nix holds up her phone. "Say cheese." 

Snap. And into DMs with Winter Rose.

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Can a mortal woman with this physique who's never mingled their Yin essence successfully take Body Tempering Fluid?

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Looks A-OK. Found a volunteer, have we?

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Still talking. We'll see.

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"Winter Rose says you should be okay."

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"Good, good... Hm. You said I could get robbed, as a loner. Does the government not know about cultivators? Nobody who'd enforce laws?"

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"The proportion of criminal cultivators is a lot higher than among normal people. It's easy to become powerful in the mortal world with divinations and magical services, and the power goes to a lot of people's heads. There's an informal détente - you're supposed to fight on the Grievance Settling Platform if you have a clash between sects, for example - but a lot of cultivators flaunt the rules. It's good to know and stay on the good side of stronger people. Which is why I let Snow Rose use me as her gopher."

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"It's probably too idealistic of me to think... Doing what's right should be mandatory. But who says what's right? Agh, cut myself off that train of thought or I'll be philosophizing about the nature of power and why state violence is considered legitimate. Um." She nibbles on waffles. "I'm glad to have indirectly helped Snow Rose, then."

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