Sep 22, 2021 4:05 PM
Hailey in Cultivation Chat Room
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Can be more true then you'd think, with the right filters.

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Yeah - though the whole concept of... luck and fate and dharma all being seperate things has always been a bit of a headache, especially through these sorts of techniques.

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Okay. Dharma, luck, fate, all separately taken seriously. And that definitely sounded like her luck. Huh. Well, open mind?

I think she said it's the sort of luck one might get from a curse of 'may you live in interesting times'. 

I'm glad to hear it sounds like good luck, but that old curse feels very familiar to me. And does starting cultivating make it more dramatic or less? I'll stick it out either way, but forewarned is forearmed and all.

Could you tell me a bit more about what you'd like to know? I've practiced the technique and should be able to tell you most everything.

Good to see someone who has specific experience with this one, thanks for the offer. I think my main question is about... practice rates and how many threads I should aim for how often? I'm starting from a point of decent fitness — a lot of parkour and running every day — but don't have as much experience with spiritual matters.

Also, just generally, would you recommend it as a starting technique?

("don't have as much experience"... understatement of the week, that.)

Yeah - though the whole concept of... luck and fate and dharma all being seperate things has always been a bit of a headache, especially through these sorts of techniques.

Honestly I can see their being a headache all on their own, on top of keeping them untangled in my head. Not a lot I can do about it other than try to learn, though. Fate's ever a fickle bitch, in my experience, and I'm along for the ride.

Well, she was definitely looking down a rabbit hole at this point, and hopefully she'd find out a bit more about what the passage looked like, and maybe how far down it really went. (She couldn't let herself not leap even if the only answer she got to the latter was "far enough", though...)

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I'm glad to hear it sounds like good luck, but that old curse feels very familiar to me. And does starting cultivating make it more dramatic or less? I'll stick it out either way, but forewarned is forearmed and all.

It depends. It's not too uncommon for the luck of someone upon beginning cultivation to shift, and that can change in either direction - but in general more dramatic is probable.

Honestly I can see their being a headache all on their own, on top of keeping them untangled in my head. Not a lot I can do about it other than try to learn, though. Fate's ever a fickle bitch, in my experience, and I'm along for the ride.

That's a good attitude to have! It's far from impossible to modify your luck, though, and that's something you might want to check out before going into the analytical side. Have you read up on the warnings in the pins? 

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Good to see someone who has specific experience with this one, thanks for the offer. I think my main question is about... practice rates and how many threads I should aim for how often? I'm starting from a point of decent fitness — a lot of parkour and running every day — but don't have as much experience with spiritual matters.

Also, just generally, would you recommend it as a starting technique?

Part of the breathing technique is something that you can use all the time, by the way, so I'm not too sure how to answer that more directly? But in terms of actually cultivating towards strands, it's probably good to start out with the idea that you'll be getting a thread or two a day, with that gradually increasing as the effects get better. Personally, it's been an excellent starting technique for me for how good it is as a generalized foundation and soft style, but the fact that it's balanced can make it a little undesirable for those who are looking for specialization right out of the gate. Hard to get a read more generally without a chance to examine you more, though. 

The technique does include diagnostics for the sort of overstress that it can cause to cultivate too hard, though, and that can be a decent guide, especially if you are going to be doing it without any external factors influencing the process - Rabid Ruby Smelting Savant's formation work really helped me get through the earliest parts, for example. 

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Here's a write-up of it I have lying around - might help with outside perspective?

A high-quality foundation building to True Master Fist technique, derived from a simplified form of the art of Tai Chi relatively recently developed by Fox of the Sylvan Spirit Lake. 

The overall design is exceptionally thorough and gentle, allowing one to get in the door of cultivation relatively smoothly, and the balanced energies naturally refine the foundation excellently.

The fighting style itself is a soft style emphasizing efficient blocking, redirection and fine control, though it includes useful kicking and punching techniques to allow for effective energy projection.

The style is unusually hard to enter with the mentality and mental energy of a child, making it less than desirable for those who can afford something on this level.

If it can be said to have any flaws, it could be said that it lacks specialization and lack of options designed to deal with the strongest of defences and offences, relying on efficiency and control of motion, and movement techniques the user possesses for that use case. 

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That's a good attitude to have! It's far from impossible to modify your luck, though, and that's something you might want to check out before going into the analytical side. Have you read up on the warnings in the pins?

Thanks! I skimmed some of them, but I need to take a closer look.

Part of the breathing technique is something that you can use all the time

This is quite straightforwardly helpful; I haven't done any breathing techniques before, and might not have realized this.

it's probably good to start out with the idea that you'll be getting a thread or two a day, with that gradually increasing as the effects get better.

A set-point I can start with! Thank you!

Here's a write-up of it I have lying around - might help with outside perspective?

Oh, this is excellent. Just what I needed.

Hard to get a read more generally without a chance to examine you more, though. 

Examine me? What's involved in that?

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She took a look around the pins... Now where were those luck-changing warnings? Or any other warnings that she'd missed?

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Thanks! I skimmed some of them, but I need to take a closer look.

This is quite straightforwardly helpful; I haven't done any breathing techniques before, and might not have realized this. 

A set-point I can start with! Thank you!

Oh, this is excellent. Just what I needed.

Happy to help with this all. 

Examine me? What's involved in that?

Depends on the process. In practice, it'd probably involve just putting my hand on your shoulder for a few seconds while you relax back and don't resist.

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There's a post about the consequences of breaking oaths with giant bold italicized letters saying at the top of it simply "DON'T.", though there's a longer discussion to read below it, and a longer discussion on normal risks of being a cultivator. There's a handful of general note documents linked which might include that, and an offhanded mention that cultivating Light of Virtue can improve your dharma and luck in another one of them.

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All those concerns looked reasonable, looked like she could handle them as they came up. She nodded firmly to herself.

Depends on the process. In practice, it'd probably involve just putting my hand on your shoulder for a few seconds while you relax back and don't resist.

Well that's a relief~

(Certainly not a disappointment.)

Okay! I'm pretty sure I've got my head around enough things at this point, and English Lit 203 is not nearly as important as the real live supernatural, so I'm skipping and heading off to try my first strand. I'd say wish me luck, but you've already checked and mine is apparently good!

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Have fun!

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Hailey drained the rest of her water, refilled it and her spare, and threw both in her pack. Stripping off the outfit she'd picked for school that day, she switched into leggings and sports bra and tank top and running shoes and threw her pack on her back. Just before departing, she grabbed her phone and checked the chat, typing out a quick "Thanks!" in response.

And then she dashed out the door.

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Leaping diagonally across the alley from the walkway around the edge of her complex, Hailey caught tightly onto the brick face of the far wall, climbing a step and then leaping sideways onto the roof of a low building at the end of the alley. She landed in a roll, sprung to her feet, and she was off.

Along ledges, over railings, and off walls she bounded. Her feet pounded along rooftops and scaffolding. She ricocheted higher between gaps, leapt across alleys, and swung around corners.

And after several minutes she found herself in an apparently-inaccessible rooftop garden, thoroughly warmed up. She drank some water, catching her breath, and stretched.

This was it.

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Steadying her breathing further, Hailey walked through what she recalled about the technique. It started with the breath.

Slow and measured, in and out, out and in, she breathed out the chaos and breathed in balance. And then she dipped lower, bending her knees, and lifted and lowered her arms in the graceful motions of the Flowing Fists, flowing through each step of the kata with intent and care. She shifted her weight, she twisted, she moved through slow-motion strikes and smoothly sweeping blocks, the words of her Senior echoing in her mind all the while. Breathe as one with the world, and follow the steps.

Each sequence of the technique in flowed through her body and mind in turn. She built warmth and strain in her body, focus and intent in her mind, energy in both. Eventually she came to a stop, the motions of the technique complete.

She found her breath coming hard, winded but stable, and a gathered glimmer of energy under her skin, invigorating her.

She sat down, breathing carefully, leaning into the mental motion to dive into that internal spiritual place she remembered from the vision. The interconnected flow of living energy spiraled out before her view, the void of an aperture over her heart ready to receive, and the thrumming layer of energy near the surface ready to be gathered.

Carefully, slowly, she gathered the energy, holding it and shaping it into a thread. When it solidified, she gently pushed it into her heart's aperture, and it stuck.

And her focus returned to the world. She'd just taken her first step of cultivation. Wow.

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A thick black sludge coated her skin alongside her sweat, and she was out of breath like she'd spent hours exercising, her newly invigorating heart pumping hard in her chest. 

Still, she was stronger and better beneath that all, and could feel the energy inside of her flowing smoothly as she started down the road of cultivation. 

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She stood up, briefly wobbly, then steadier. Ick, all this sludge would have to go, but what a feeling! After draining her remaining water and doing some more stretches, she leapt from the rooftop and started the route back. Good thing it was mostly downhill to get home.

As she went, she found herself spotting the familiar handholds just a tiny bit faster, her leaps carrying her just the slightest bit farther. Despite how tired she was, something about the route seemed... easier now.

She finished the route by diving into a rolling landing on the walkway, utterly delighted despite the deeper-than-physical ragged fatigue that hung about her. She unlocked the door, strode inside, tossed her bag down, and grabbed her phone.

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Thread GET.

She started stripping off her tank top, then frowned. A trip to the kitchenette for a garbage bag just in case, and in everything went. Standing naked in the middle of her studio, she pick the phone back up to continue.

Okay, these clothes are just full of this impurity gunk. Should I just write them off? Off to the shower for now.

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Water on, couple minutes of warm-up waited, and then in. Getting under the warm water, she took her time scrubbing away all the grime. Washed her hair, scrubbed her back, noticed that her abs seemed a little tighter. Did Not Notice™ the way her breath wanted to catch as she scrubbed her breasts. Gasped briefly when she started washing her sex and then pointedly moved along, finishing briskly and continuing to her legs.

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Towel-wrapped and fresh, she picked her phone back up to glance into the Discord server...

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Okay, these clothes are just full of this impurity gunk. Should I just write them off? Off to the shower for now.

Honestly, sometimes your entire set of outfits are a write-off, just from the physical changes from body tempering? The gunk is possible to get out, but not quickly, and probably not worth saving it as an alchemical thing.

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Yeah! 

Don't feel super bound by any of that - poke Senior Tourmaline and she'll wire you any funds you need for that or your living arrangements... 

It's really impressive how much of a mess it is - can soak through most anything if you aren't careful, and it can even resist some really basic cleaning spells...

I'm thankful that it's doable enough to work-around that happening after foundation building. 

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