Fwump. The sound of a book closing can be heard.
“In summary, the main powers in this world are Cultivators and Mages. While there are other paths, they are not in common practice due to various reasons, such as lost inheritances, lack of a formal system, or unrealistic requirements imposed upon the user.”
“Cultivators cultivate the Spirit, Body, and Self, while Mages train the Spirit and Mind while accumulating Knowledge.”
“A Cultivator converts essence into Qi within their Dantian, which they then use to form the constructs within, utilising it in their skills through said constructs.”
“On the other hand, a Mage converts essence into Mana while it’s still in the environment, sometimes drawing it into their Fate Tablet, at others times utilising it directly to cast spells, and on occasion both.”
From what I’ve seen of my master, he doesn’t seem to belong to either of these categories - I’m guessing he trains in an unorthodox way. He seems adamant on not teaching it to me even after all these years, so I suppose if I don’t want to remain powerless, then for the time being I have no options other than taking either the path of a Cultivator or Mage.
“Although that said, it’s not like I can do either at the moment. These books only have general descriptions without any actual training methods.”
The young man sighs, before irritation appears on his face.
“That damn geezer won’t give me any direction either, instead insisting on beating me again and again in the name of ‘practicing the basics’.” Sighing again, he puts the book down beside him, then reaches out, pinching the candle’s wick to extinguish the flame, before settling in to sleep.
From the forest, the sound of blades clashing and trees breaking can be heard, as two figures flash about executing various skills.
A stranger wearing a black robe and a straw hat slashes out at the old man, a sword ray attempting to split him in two. The old man forms a seal with his hands, conjuring a wall of tree roots to attempt to block the strike, avoiding most of the force of the blow before withering and disintegrating, a deep wound appearing on his chest.
Shouting out in an unknown language, he turns to run as the leaves from the surrounding trees fall, spreading everywhere and obstructing the vision of the black robed man. He reaches into one of his many pockets, taking out a small leaf, wiping blood from the gash on it, setting it ablaze, then disappearing with it in a puff of smoke.
A gust of wind blows in from a distance away, as another man, wearing a grey robe with strange runes covering it appears.
Turning to the newcomer, the man in black speaks, “Took you long enough. What the hell were you doing?”
The man in grey laughs. “Hahaha, I figured that you’d want the opportunity to do it by yourself, but who’d have thought that you weren’t even capable of killing an old cripple.” His tone mocking.
The black robed man frowns. “You knew full well that the old man had many ways of escaping up his sleeves, otherwise the sect wouldn’t have sent the both of us to take him down. Don’t pretend you weren’t just looking for an opportunity to slack off.”
Rolling his eyes the grey robed man shrugs, before speaking. “Rather than wasting time arguing, shouldn’t you be going in pursuit?” He points south. “He took a few detours, but he seems to be heading that way.”
After glaring at his companion silently for a moment, the black robed man kicks the ground, launching himself in the direction of the outstretched finger.
Completely unaware of the events just past, the young man is chewing on a piece of bread, mumbling to himself while jiggling his leg up and down.
“Shitty geezer, today’s the day I’ll get my revenge. Ha! You’ll never see it coming. Hahaha!” He throws his head back, laughing maniacally.
After his laughter subsides, he looks around as if searching for something.
“Speaking of the old man, where is he anyway? It’s unlike him to miss a chance to steal breakfast from me.”
As he says this, he lifts the bread to his mouth to take another bite.
The sound of his teeth biting on nothing resounds loudly through the area.
“Ouch! Damn it old man, I swear today I’ll-” he suddenly stops, as his eyes widen in shock at the sight of the old man’s bedraggled appearance.
“Mmm, nothing better than freshly baked bread.” The old man nods in a satisfied manner, completely oblivious to his own state.
After a few seconds pass, the young man regains his composure. “Bastard! To think you’d go that far to distract me!” He shouts, infuriated.
“Distract you? You’re overthinking things, you’re not worth the effort. I was just napping in a tree, dreaming of the little ladies from a sect I raided as a youngun.” He laughs. “Good days! Just as I was about to get to the good part, a small black bird landed on my face, startling me awake and making me fall. I just scraped myself a bit on one of the branches on the way down is all. Anyway, training! Now! I’ll be away ‘til evening, I’ve got something to do.” Walking away while laughing, the old man says dismissively, leaving the speechless young man behind.
“Wait, my bread!”