Death is a curious thing. We all know about it, all experience it eventually, yet no one knows what comes after it. There are many religions, theories and ideas, some with evidence that they say proves what comes after, with others proving that they are wrong. The only thing they all seem to lack, is a first hand account.
I was drifting on what I can only describe as a stream for an uncertain amount of time. Longer than an instant, and due to the fact I still had my sanity it was less than eternity. Eventually I felt something or someone pick me from that stream and carry me, each motion fluid with purpose. Despite my lack of comprehensionor understanding i didn't panick. This wasn't because i was brave or confident, i was just certain at a level that transcended consciousness, this was meant to happen.
Until it sneezed.
Now I know how out of place this sounds, and it’s not like I could actually see it happen. All I know is that I heard something that was reminiscent of a person sneezing, the gender alluded me, before all fluidity ended and I was suddenly falling before losing my consciousness.
That was the last thing I remember. Now I find myself in a new situation, one in which I can’t move.I’ve tried to stretch my body but the strength I previously relied on is nowhere to be found. I’m in a warm place, surrounded on all sides by a strange wall. There is a constant beating whose rythm seems to lull me to sleep. ‘This warmth is similar to when Brutus climbed into mine and Elena’s bed to sleep, surrounded by a body's heat’ I mused.
I struggled for a while longer but then I became tired from the exertion, and fell to sleep once more.
After I woke up again, I started to take account of my situation. First, I am currently trapped with no easy escape route. Second, my qi pathways are empty. After discovering that shocking revelation, I rapidly tried to draw in more qi from the surroundings. It took some time but eventually the barest drop entered my network, and after exerting myself I once more fell to sleep.
‘night night’ I yawned
When I woke, I checked myself once more and found very little change. ‘Bad news, it wasn’t a dream. Good news, that tiny bit of qi I gathered yesterday remained. The situation can only get better from here’ I thought optimistically.
My days soon entered a state of repetition. Wake, gather qi, sleep, wake and repeat. It went like this for what seemed like weeks. Now some of you might be thinking that with such a one-track cultivation mindset I would soon regain my former strength and they would be wrong. A little-known fact about cultivation is that it works best with both inner and outer training. Just like the saying a healthy mind lies in a healthy body, the same applies to the spirit. Without exercising my body, it would likely take me 20 years of this to reach the 1st tier and even then, I would likely be the weakest 1st tier in the world.
‘But anything is better than nothing at this point’ I mused half in despair at my daunting task, half in hope. Though i will not regain my former strength this way, i will at least be stronger than my current state, and that opens new possibilities for escape. At least the goal and the feeling of constant progress helped me to retain my sanity. The lack of stimulus other than the slight change in speed and depth of the beating is not good for my mind.
Alas my days would not continue like planned. I was in the middle of a peaceful sleep filled with dreams of cherry pies, when suddenly the surroundings tightened on me. As I began to panic at my sudden changes, I noticed I appeared to be moving.
Before I could make heads or tails of what was going on... light, sound and cold assaulted my senses for the first time in what seemed like years. I opened my eyes to the flickering of flames brightened the room and wails that reminded me of when someone has had their guts ripped from them (don’t ask) and the smell of blood filling the room. Feels like a war just happened in this room.
Just as I tried to get my bearings, a giant woman with a frown appeared before me. She had short grey hair, wrinkly face and a frown dragging her lips.
Now I've seen overly large people before, the largest was a flesh cultivator who had broken the 3-metre boundary at 3.15. This woman was a true giant cupping my entire body in her hands. I was just about to try and communicate when...
*SLAP* “AAAAHHHHHH” I screamed.
“Oh, good he’s not stupid.” Smiled the giant, who has immediately gone on my list of dislikes.
It has been a week since that day, and I have since assessed my general situation. First, I have not been captured and drugged by a group of giant people to be beaten and abused by them. My first clue was when the first giant, who I call Sadist due to the fact that she slapped my bottom the second we met and then smiled, handed me to another giant woman.
Once the tears stopped and I could see her smiling, I felt almost immediately safe on a subconscious level. When she exposed her breast, instincts overcame me and I started to suckle. As the warm liquid flowed down my throat, sleep overcame me and since then i have not been harmed.
The second revelation is that I am apparently a baby. Due to my lack of strength and movement, the clear disparity in mine and the women's size has led to the conclusion that I have somehow reincarnated into the body of a baby boy (thank god) and that I have retained all of my memories from my past life.
After debating that for a few hours, trying to come up with some other explanation once dreams were ruled out (that slap would have woken me up) and briefly considering that I have gone insane, but with no way to prove otherwise it was dismissed, I started to take stock of my immediate situation.
My mother, and she is definitely my mother the bond I feel in my blood confirms it, spends the most time with me. She is rather comely, about 16 to 18 years old, brunette with straight shoulder length hair with a cheerful voice. No great beauty to be sure but no obvious defects and dimples showing her frequent smile makes her a pleasure to be around.
The Sadist fortunately has only shown up once to give me what I assume to be a check-up, either that or she was seeing how best to hold me before throwing me out the window. Luckily my constant crying brought mother to my rescue. A soldier should always ask for help from one’s allies and when outmatched it is no shame to call for reinforcements. The Sadist is clearly much older than mother, between 35 and 50 depending on how well she has aged. Her hands were callused and bony, more likely to be involved with the brewing of a cauldron than the caring of newborns.
There were other guests but no one notable, half a dozen men and women who came by to see me and hold me for a while before leaving, that is until the 5th day. A young man, half a head taller than mother with hair a lighter brown than hers, with a slim build and lightly broad shoulders. He was dressed in travelling clothes and light leather armour, short sword to the side. He had clearly travelling for many days judging by his smell and the dirt covering his boots that had dried. My mother led him into the room and then handed me to him from my cot. He favoured his left-hand over his right and the slight smell of blood coming from his clothes indicates he had recently done battle.
As he held me with shaking hands and as he looked at me with an awkward smile, I guessed 2 things. First, he was my father, the way he acted around my mother and the bond I felt, though weaker than with mother guaranteed my assessment. And second...
‘He’s quite good looking, future looks profitable in terms of aesthetics if these 2 are where I get my genes from.’ I wryly thought.
Since then father became the second most frequent guest after mother and I have had time to plan my future course of action. From the conversations that I have overheard I have realized that they are speaking a different language to that which I am used to, so learning that will be first on the agenda. Continuing my cultivation along with trying to expand my range of movement and strength is good preparation for the future. Once these 2 have been achieved I can start to collect information about the time, place and status I stand in this world. But first duty calls.
“WAAHHHH” I cried.
“Oh dear, time to clean you, messy thing” mother playfully says while picking me up, wet clothe in hand. *Sigh*, ‘I fucking hate being a baby’ I thought as mother wipes my bottom. Learning to go walk so i can go potty is definitely next on the list.