No one was in the wheat fields when I went there to hide so I didn't need to be sneaky when I entered the field. After finding a comfortable place to sit, I began to focus my consciousness on the information the info broker was giving. On my way here I asked it what kinds of cultivation methods I could get with the number of funds I just received, but to my demise the answer was.
Broker - [None, the funds you provided might be enough for probably one-tenth of a basic cultivation method, but considering that it's not a complete method the cultivation rate will be less than your current rate.]
Tian Qi - [Then what can I get?]
Finding out I couldn't get a cultivation method my spirits had hit rock bottom. The only thing that could make me feel even worse was being told I couldn't afford anything. Fortunately, that wasn't the case.
Broker - [Rather than cultivation method you can still choose from a range of low-grade martial skills.]
Tian Qi - [Martial Skills?]
From what I could remember there were no martial skills mentioned in the web novel all that was mentioned was cultivation methods. Thinking this for a moment I believed I had nothing to lose so I asked the broker to show me a list of skills I could afford. Within seconds a lot of information slowly entered my mind with names of skills and small descriptions of what those skills could do.
Tian Qi - [!!!...T-there's so many! What the- there's even a skill on whistling, snapping, and even blinking. Now I know why these skills are bottom rank.]
Releasing an exasperated sigh I began to scroll through all my options for around three hours. At the end of the three hours, I had chosen four skills. [Pulse], [Whirl-palm], [Hide], and [Breath] they had simple names but when I read the descriptions of these skills I had already begun to plan how these skills would help me out in the future.
[Pulse] was a skill that allowed me to release a small pulse of energy from either my palms or feet at the cost of some of my spirit energy that can give me a small push of sorts. When I saw this I thought that it could build a foundation that would help my movement in the future, or add some extra damage to my kicks or punches. These were the thoughts I had about this skill since it took up fifty-seven percent of my current capital.
[Whirl-palm] was a simple palm strike skill that made use of the turning points of my waist and wrist to deal some internal damage to my opponent. Apparently, if I can train this to its peak I'd be able to create whirlpools with a simple strike but I need a strong body for that. However, this rose the question it doesn't say that I need spirit energy to use this skill what if I use it? Will I be able to create typhoons instead of whirlpools? Anyway, this skill took up thirty-one percent of my capital.
[Hide] was a stealth skill, or something close to one at least. It gave me a lot of knowledge on how to control my heart rate, and it also gave tips on how to walk silently. Although these tips may have been useless against a cultivators sense to normal people this was pretty useful information. Ten percent of my capital went into buying this info.
And as for [breath] it was a small guide on breathing methods that could be used in cultivation. I didn't really know if this was something I needed right now but it was the only other thing I could by with my last bit of capital.
Honestly, when I processed the information of these skills I couldn't believe that they were considered bottom rank. Besides the last two skills [Pulse], and [Whirl-palm] had a lot of potential from my perspective. If I could master them I could probably make a who new skill set both movement and attack skills. The only drawback is I'd have to experiment thoroughly in making these skills and I might cause permeate damage towards my body with [Pulse] since it uses my meridians as a median. If I make one mistake I could damage them, and that would not only affect my body but also affect my future cultivation.
Tian Qi - [I'm going to have to be very careful when I experiment with [Pulse]]
Grace - [Tian Qi!! Where are you?!?!]
Tian Qi - [Oh! Looks like I've been out here too long.]
Coming out of the field I exposed myself to Grace and returned to the orphanage while planning out a new training regiment for my new skills.
-- two years later --
To sum everything I've been doing these past two years it would be training, eating, sleeping, cultivating, and pickpocketing. Besides daily necessities, I spent most of my mornings' training body movements and flexibility with yoga and tai chi. While in the afternoons I tried my two skills [Pulse] and [Whirl-palm]. Then at night, I'd meditate while also using tips from the [breath] skill I had. Surprisingly after a couple trial and errors, I was able to obtain a lot more spirit energy than if I continued to use my old breathing method now my spirit energy if at 83!
I'd try to push for a breakthrough towards bronze rank but I currently didn't have the right physic yet. My body control training may have allowed me to control every bit of my movements but that didn't mean it strengthened my body. I may have gained a few muscles but I was still four years old and my bones weren't very strong.
As for the progress of my skills [Whirl-palm] hit a bottleneck due to my current body limit, but [Pulse] made major breakthroughs. Now rather than being a small pulse through my palms and feet I could now push myself a few feet whenever I created a pulse through my feet. There were still some corners I needed to cut in order to perfect it but I was getting there one step at a time.
As for my [hide] skill I sort of practiced that skill once every five days. Every five days I'd stop training for the day and wander the streets of the town pickpocketing and unlucky rich people, and if I ever got caught I'd use [Pulse] and run away with my spoils. I hid my face so no one knew I who I was and that was only a precaution in case [hide] didn't work. Honestly, it was an okay skill to have since cultivators weren't common in the city so I didn't have to worry much the knowledge I had one using [hide] was already enough to fool normal citizens.
And with the money or other things I 'borrowed' I used it to fund any new skills I desperately needed. They were a sensing skill and an energy concealing skill. The first was a presence sensing skill that I used to train my senses. With this, I was able to train my senses to pick up anything within two meters around me.
The second skill was more of an energy controlling skill rather than a concealing one. It gave me tips on how to control my spirit energy waves from leaving my body helping me seem like a normal mortal. With this, I was able to trick Grace and the others from thinking I had spirit energy.
Lastly, for my seventh day of the week rather than training or pickpocketing, I hung out with the spirit beasts I received from God. I found out a couple of months after I obtained my first three skills that the necklace I always had on my neck was a container for my spirit beasts. They were in a comatose state when I found them and by asking the info broker I learned that I had to constantly feed them spirit energy to help them grow.
So for one whole year, I always spent all my spirit energy reserves before bed into feeding my spirit beast. I'd recover my energy when I woke up anyway so I didn't see the problem with doing this. And thus after a year, I was able to see eight small baby spirit animals.
Of the eight only one seemed to be able to respond to me whenever I tried to play with them. It was a blackish purple snake. It always seemed to be around me whenever I pulled all the animals out of the spirit beast incubating necklace I had one. I even let it loosely coil around my arm whenever I walked around the town.
As for the other seven they were less responsive to my commands like the purple snake. The other animals were a bluish grey turtle, two black cat cubs, one golden baby dear, and threw different colored birds. These birds were colored individually red, white, and blue. Whenever I was them together I could help myself from thinking of the American flag.
It made me kind of sad that they didn't listen to me but whenever I wanted them to return to the necklace they would. This made me think that they probably were still in an infancy stage, and the purple snake was the oldest of the group. Anyway, I always spent a day of the week playing with these guys but it was never in the orphanage, I'd always run off to a cave not far from the orphanage and stay there until sunset.
-- the present --
Tian Qi - Looks like it's time to go.
Just like any other break day I was in my little cave but just like every day the sun was setting and I had to go be home. Giving out a short whistle all the spirit beast came my way and we sucked into my necklace, and the last of the bunch was the snack who was coiled around my arm, but once he saw everyone else enter my necklace so did he.
Tian Qi - I wonder what's for dinner today?
Saying this I walk out of the cave and start making my way towards the orphanage, and within ten minutes I found myself in front of the orphanage.
Tian Qi - Hm? Why is the door open?
Before I stepped foot on the doorstep I saw that the door was slightly opened and the area was eerily quiet. Seeing this alarms went off in my head and I slowly tried to control my rapidly beating heart.
A part of me wanted to go inside and see what was happening, but another part of me wanted to leave. Eventually the urge to leave started to grow stronger, but before I could take one step back I remembered how when I was attacked by that dog in the past all I could think of was running.
But I didn't want to always be running from a problem that was the reason I step onto the path of cultivation so I wouldn't have to run anymore. I knew that I currently was nothing compared to a real cultivator but I at least wanted to have the heart not to back down whenever things looked bad.
This feeling and my feelings of fear continued to fight off against each other and I just stood there on the orphanage doorstep frozen in place thinking of what to do. Sadly the world didn't want to give me the time to choose my answer because while I was thinking I heard a voice whispering into my ear.
??? - Well well well, what do we have here?
My body instinctively tensed when I heard this and I slowing turning my head towards the voice. What I saw was a man in a black cloak and a skull mask, and when I looked into his eyes the alarm bells in my mind started to get loader.
??? - I'm surprised you haven't run away or passed out in shock kid. Most kids do that whenever they get a feel for my killing intent. But don't worry since I for one think you have a strong heart in that chest of yours.
Saying this he poked at my chest with his finger and caused my body to shiver before a sudden force took away my consciousness.
??? - You know I just love to torture those who have a strong heart. I wonder how long you'll be able to entertain me, kid. hahaha
These were the last words I heard before I fell unconscious.
I didn't know it at first but that was my first meeting with members of the dark guild, members that'd try to break my heart and members who would show me the true reality of the world of cultivation. The world where the strong ruled over the weak and the weak could only obey the word of the strong.
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