-( The Host has been struck with a Temporary Blind Debuff (Unnamed) (Not a hidden effect)…..Dexterity down 63% Current Dexterity G(-) Rank)
After having been robbed of my sight, the notification popped up letting me know of my blindness as though the fact that I couldn’t see wasn’t enough of an indication. Although at least I now knew that the windows could display themselves directly within my mind.
The sound of my uncovered flesh being struck echoed sharply throughout the patio, my inability to do anything besides sit and try to interpret the ‘hints’ that Xue was giving me, my failures stacking up at every hit.
Amongst the randomly thrown pebbles or wack from a sturdy stick she had picked up, she gave me advice but keeping focus was getting more difficult as time went by.
“Sight is what we as humans use as our primary sense to interact with the world. We gaze up at the sky and decern the time, we look at our food and presume its potential taste, we notice scents and try to match them with our surroundings, we feel the tremor of the ground and search for its origin, and we hear the crack of a twig and focus in on the direction. But therein lies the problem, our dependency on our vision is dangerous, and can be tampered with much easier than the rest of our senses.”
Cross-legged, I tried to focus once again, a real test of my patience, unlike watching the sunrise. This training of hers involved me forcing my other sense to somehow awaken more of their capabilities by removing my sight, which one would typically believe in above the rest of the senses.
A pebble struck me on my forearm, the sting strong enough to force me out of my thoughts again.
NOW HOW THE FUCK WAS I SUPPOSE TO HEAR A PEBBLE FLY AT ME… My annoyance continued to build, but, I knew that behind all this absurdity, there must be some truth, so I did my best to try and make a mental checklist.
Would my sense of taste help me here?
(X) No, I wasn’t a damn snake so that definitely, wouldn't work since I'm sure my taste buds couldn’t feel the air around me.
Could I somehow catch Xue’s scent and try sense where she stood like that?
(X) Likely not, while Xue’s scent did remind me strongly of a freshly picked sweet Lilac, I had only been able to catch it when she had pulled all the dirty gunk off me with her weird Telekineses. I doubted I could zero in on her if she kept moving around like she was, even if she was less than 3ft away.
“Wack!!” Interrupted once more, my thoughts escaped me, my efforts of keeping things in rein, reminding me of trying to hold water between your fingers. Practically impossible in most circumstances.
“Fuck that hurt! Can’t you be a little more gentle!” I yelled out my lack of vision, leaving me unable to determine from which angle she had just struck me from.
“The gentle hand leads to death, and failure when walking down the path of cultivation disciple. Use this pain to train yourself, for it's likely this is the most tender of lessons you’ll ever receive.” Xue spoke with her voice filled with conviction, she wasn’t going to go easy on me no matter what I said.
Ok, calm down and return the list. Sure you’ll have burning welts for the rest of the day, but you were the one who told her no pain no gains.
Another pebble struck me, yet I forced myself to ignore it.
You have your hearing and sense of touch left. Can either be used to determine the angle of her attacks? (?) Kinda?
Hearing was definitely the second most important sense we possed as humans, but having to filter out the morning songs of the birds or the wind through the tree for the light steps of Xue was almost impossible. And as for my sense of touch, the exposed skin she was hitting wasn’t nearly as sensitive enough to detect the angle at which it was being struck, let alone determine the thrown path of a pebble.
So, once again, I was at a dead end.
“Smack!” The hit this time came right at the back of my neck the hand behind it heavier than before.
“Do not dwell on your failures, a man does not grow through success alone. I was prepared to train for weeks on just this lesson, as your talent is greatly lacking and though you somehow managed to purify part of your bodies impurities that doesn’t change your low starting point.”
“FUCK!” The yell leaving me as I stood up to run towards my back yard and into the woods. I remembered the direction I was facing, and I couldn’t just keep sitting still and letting Xue not have to work for my pain.
Running straight I tried to use my arms to feel out the trees in front of me before I ran face first into them, the pain of glancing against them now joining the burning welts all over my exposed skin. I'm sure I looked like an idiot, but I just couldn’t keep the status quo the way it was.
“Good, at least your not spineless. The pain will come, no matter what, so you must struggle against it, fight with your every breath, resist from the deepest parts of yourself. Only then will you find the barest hints of enlightenment!” Xue’s shout came from behind me, yet a pebble hit me directly on the chest, further throwing me into confusion as to how she was doing it.
I heard her behind me, so how had I been struck from the front? Was she messing with my other senses as well? If so, how exactly was I supposed to improve anything when even the tools she left me with weren’t giving me the right information!
I felt my foot get stuck between a root, and it was only with an instinctive twist of my body that avoided spraining or maybe even breaking my ankle. My balance gave out, and I felt my body fall forward, my momentum still high enough that I ended up sliding across the roots and dirt, as the earthy scent beneath the tree filled my head.
Focus, don’t stop running just get up and be more careful, try to step properly and react to the terrain as you move forward.
I was just in the middle of getting up again when somehow my mind caught something, a soft rustle to my right, like a bush being moved aside.
NO! Not like! It was a bush, I’d jumped through plenty of them in early childhood to recognize their sound!
With thrust from my leg, I rushed forward my thoughts filled with excitement of finally being able to dodge one of Xue’s attacks.
Only to have my enthusiasm smothered as I met Xue’s wooden stick as it scored the most painful direct hit on my sternum making my world tilt sideways as I heavily fell on the floor, the sharp thud knocking the wind out of my lungs.
“Excellent job on making use of your hearing, but it wasn't fast enough, as by the time you detected it I had already circled around you, using the fact that you expected me to come from your side and allowing the set up a more devastating blow.”
Still stunned, my thoughts fell to a standstill, the sea of my mind growing quiet as everything slowly faded away.
I think I was passing out.
Suddenly rage filled me, and it wasn’t targetted at Xue, no it was all for me to take.
Eva’s face came to the front of my mind. Her rough tomboyish attitude, her apologetic voice when she jolted me with a stray lightning string, the sweet memories we built together over our childhood and into our teenage years.
All this struggle wasn’t just for myself, no, despite my original apathy towards my personal strength, I couldn’t remain like this anymore. I had to improve, to prove myself worthy, to kick the ass’ of anyone that told me I couldn't be with her! I catapulted forwarded rolling of my back and grasping outwards for the first tree I could get my hand on
FUCK THE PAIN, IF THE CONTINUOUS INTERRUPTION OF IT WAS DISTRACTING THEN LET’S MAKE IT A CONSTANT!
Finally grabbing onto a tree just as I heard Xue yell something out I steeled myself for what had to be done.
Pulling back my fist, I struck the trunk with everything my body had!
Flesh and bone came in contact with course wooden bark, the bark remaining undamaged as blood exploded out from the fist.
A message popped up in the corner mind, but it went unheeded, as the pain grew alive.
The dark world went white as my brain reeled, the broken knuckles, and fingers bringing forth agony far surpassing my shattered knee from the summoning day.
It was often said that the nerves of the hand were of the most sensitive on the body, and today that felt truer than anything to me.
Shouting droned in the background as I felt the world give away, the pain dying everything into one color.
Yet something else came forth, the pain remained, but it was stretched….
The seconds turned sluggish until I could sense my heartbeat, its rhythmic beat slower than the norm.
Time was slowing down, I could feel it behind the piercing agony.
In the pain, I found the clarity I had been looking for.
I could hear it, the rustling tree’s, the individual morning birds singing each their own unique tunes in an effort to find their mate. Even the distant chittering of a squirrels nest above me.
My hearing hadn’t suddenly improved, no far from it. I’d just learn how to harness the ability I’d completely forgotten I’d first acquired when everything had started.
Lost in my newly gained power I let the worlds noise flow over me, the pain dulling away as I became immersed in understanding and sorting all the sounds around me.
Then I heard a footstep, oh so light, and quite, but I could hear it, I could detect it!
“LUCAS!” The clarity shattered immediately as I felt Xue’s hand grab my shoulder.
“Ehh…. What happened….?” I felt disoriented, the sensation only growing worse as a light tap on my forehead brightened the world up once again.
She’d given me back my vision.
“You reckless fool, what in heavens name gave you the idea to strike a tree! Have you gone mad!”
“To eh gain clarity?” I forced out the pain now again back to the forefront of my mind.
“So you gained clarity by almost crippling your hand? I know I told you pain is part of the path, but recklessness will get you killed before you accomplish anything! You must learn to adjust to danger, in a less wild manner; otherwise, you're no better than that beast who was almost killed yesterday.”
I felt insulted being compared to Alsha, but I didn’t really have a response as my method though having worked somewhat, could have just as easily have backfired and knocked me unconscious.
“We’ll ends today's lesson here, but tomorrow I need you once again to show up at the same time. I will get you to properly walk down the path as it is my duty as your master.” Flicking her wrist which was covered by her robes, something flew into my mouth, melting instantly as it touched my tongue.
“That's a low mortal grade pill called Soothing Bell, return to your home and get a meal and rest for a few hours. The food will supplement the pill, which will heal your wound. Though don’t expect this every time you behave like a fool, the summoning only brought with me low-grade magic Items, and very few of them in addition, so I’d rather not waste them.”
Still somewhat dazed as the warmth in my mouth moved down to my bleeding hand, I watch as Xue who’s face was rigid with annoyance disappeared before my eye’s just like a teleporter.
“We’ll converse about these plans you have once the others awaken.” Her voice echoed around me, explaining exactly how she had managed to trick my hearing before. She could project her voice however, she wished.
And this was supposed to be an easy lesson?
With a sigh, I walked back to my mansion, grateful that the pill she had given me was also healing the welts.
- Imagination looking for an outlet.
Bio: About me: I'm a 23-year old that loves reading. Other hobbies include MTG, Gaming, and now writing. I'd consider myself an amateur writer with a vivid, impossible to contain imagination trying to find an outlet through subpar skills. I write when I feel like it but will try for a chapter a once in a while. Comments pertaining to the story motivate me more than you might imagine so please do leave some if you get the chance.