Beware of Chicken
In which a transmigrator decides the only winning move is to get the hell out of dodge.
Lu Ri stared at the disciple. The boy had his arm in a sling, a black eye, and several other wounds marring his body. A quite pitiful sight, all told.
“You wish to leave the sect?” He asked, repeating the disciples request..
“Yes, Senior Brother,” The disciple said. “This Jin Rou’s abilities are lacking, and I was defeated by others two years my younger. I would leave before I bring greater shame upon this Cloudy Sword Sect."
Lu Ri nearly sighed. In all honesty, him being crushed by one of the inner disciples looking for someone to “practise” with was a forgone conclusion, even with the age difference. The elder disciple considered the brown haired boy. Indeed, Jin Rou was not powerful, but he was diligent, and always willing to tend to the less desirable tasks around the sect. Losing him for his attention to detail in caring for the compound and lowly spirit herbs would be a minor blow… but it was hardly anything that the sect would notice losing. The boy had no real training, or techniques of the sect yet either.
And if this was enough to crush his spirit, and ask to leave… Then he was not meant to be a cultivator in the first place. This was no place for the weak of heart.
At least he was polite enough to formally go through with his leaving, instead of just disappearing. He was the first in over three hundred years to use such courtesies, and had even provided the sum that was his recompense to the sect for taking him in, as outlined in the proper documents. Lu Ri considered attempting to dissuade him from leaving… but he felt no tumult in the boy’s paltry Qi. His conviction was set.
“What is your intent after leaving this place, Disciple?” he asked out of idle curiosity.
“I shall become a farmer, Senior Brother,” The boy replied, “I had some luck in growing the lowly spiritual herbs, so such a thing should be within my minor talents.”
Lu Ri once more nearly spoke against it, at hearing this madness. A mere farmer, from a boy who, though barely, passed the first of their sect’s initiation? The devastating defeat must have completely demoralised him. Unfortunate.
This time he did sigh.
“I see. I shall mark down your leaving. You are no longer a disciple of our sect, Jin Rou.”
Jin Rou bowed his head, and clasped his fist in front of him. “This Jin Rou thanks you for your time and consideration. I shall darken the compound’s halls no longer.”
Lu Ri stood, and inclined his head. “Then go into the world, Jin Rou.... and here.”
He held the pouch containing the severance money back out to him. “I shall mark it down as paid in full. Diligence and proper courtesy deserve some reward, and the sect does not need such a paltry sum.” It was probably all the money the boy had, anyway. He did have some kindness to him, and Jin Rou would need the luck of heaven in the future.
Jin Rou looked shocked, but again bowed his head in supplication.
“May Heaven be kind to you, Lu Ri.”
And then Jin Rou was gone from the sect.
His leaving went unnoticed.
I came to in the middle of dear old Jinny-boy getting his ass beat by a stereotypical “young master” type.
Let me tell you, that was horse shit. Jin was kind of an idiot for not getting out of the way in time when the little shit wanted to fuck somebody up, but at least there was no meridian destroying because “the commoner was so beneath him”.
A few of the other disciples were kind enough to drag my twitching body back to my little room... and then ransacked some of the herbs as "payment".
It only really hit me that I was in magical china land while I was moaning in pain. Apparently one of the bodyshots had hit poor Jin hard enough, and in just the right way to stop his heart and kill him.
And before he even fell over, I got shoved in. At least I got his memories, and how to actually use the remainder of this current batch of herbs to deal with the worst of the damage. Which is some mashing and grinding, which is extremely painful with how many injuries I've got.
Jin himself was fairly respectable, I suppose. He was an orphan, after his gramps disappeared, who managed to join a sect through hard work, kind of. His admittance was because one of the instructors flipped a coin when deciding his fate, because he just barely squeaked past. Said something about heaven favoring him or some shit.
Jin was full of wanting to become a powerful cultivator, a master among masters, and do whatever it is the dickbags who run this place do, which is presumably to be dicks, dickishly. I kinda... didn't care about his motivations. My body now, buddy. Sorry, not sorry. Dear old Jin was essentially a servant right now anyway, and had to do every task that the other people offloaded onto him, while harboring vengeance and hate and angst.
And let me tell you, I wanted none of that shit. I declare any revenge fantasies and ambitions null and void. I wanted none of the little fuckboy who wasted my ass. And most importantly, I wanted nothing to do with the politics of this world, because holy shit. Lots of line extinguishing, and murdering each other for face.
You know, standard xianxia stuff.
So I looked up the methods to leaving the sect when I was mobile the next day, grabbed one of Jin’s pouches of money, and went to the guy in charge of this kind of stuff.
I wasn’t expecting to get the money pouch back, but I was fine with losing that one. Jin was actually fairly good at saving: He had been saving to purchase a few spiritual pills, after picking up so many extra chores.
But what was his is now mine. And I’m getting the fuck out of here, and far away from all the sword formations and Grand demonic dick punches or whatever the fuck these chuuni bastards spout.
So I started travelling to the Azure Hills. Which was regarded as the weakest, and therefore safest place on the continent.
Hopefully anyways. Cultivators usually cleared out of “weak” places pretty quick.
I smiled down at my new plot of land. It was a few rolling hills, covered by a forest, and had a lovely little river winding through it. It was fantastically picturesque, as were most places in the Red Phoenix Continent.
The land was considered largely useless by the Magistrate of the town, as there were some minor monsters around, and it needed lots of clearing, but hopefully nothing I couldn’t handle.
It was also extremely cheap. I had got this place for a steal. Man, fuck property prices back home, this is where its at. I had considered the possibility I had been fucked over, and asked the locals about this place, but nope. No sleeping big bad dudes, as far as anyone new. Just out of the way and more trouble than it was worth.
People rarely came down this way too, as far as it was from the town, and the surrounding villages. Nobody to bother me here. Just peace.
I breathed in the fantastically clean and invigorating air, and shook my head. Enough lazing around. I reached into my wagon and grabbed my axe, causing my chickens to cluck irritatedly at me and the young rooster to crow at the sudden jostling.
I gave him a little scratch under his developing wattles, and he calmed.
Well, time to get to work. Operation “No Cultivator Bullshit" is go!
Theres a certain sort of zen you reach when you engage in heavy physical activity for long enough. My axe hewed through trees, My saw made planks, my hammer drove in nails, and my plane made things level, fueled by the supernatural strength of cultivator, even if I was an exceptionally weak one. It was calming and invigorating at the same time, and I must confess I heartily enjoyed the heavy physical labour and the strength of ten men. My breathing was a perfect rhythm, and my qi circulated around me. I felt so invigorated and refreshed!
That, and being able to tear a stump out of the ground with nothing but brute strength would never get old.
My first home was a simple, one room affair, built within the first three days. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it would keep the elements off me, and the bugs at bay, with it's thatch roof and pounded dirt floor. It was right against my chicken coop, so I could hear if there were any predatory interlopers during the night, but the foxes and the wolves had yet to notice my intrusion, and the prey animals that I had.
I was proud of what I had built.
I woke with the call of my rooster, who I had named Big D. An incredibly childish name, I confess, but it amused me greatly. My young lad would follow me around during the day, hopping around, and often sitting on my shoulder, and proclaiming his dominance to the world, the cheeky shit.
“Cock-a-doddle-doo!” He’d screech.
“You tell ‘em Big D.” I’d reply.
My hoe bit the earth and never dulled, reinforced as it was by my qi, tearing into it with more speed than any ox could generate. My chickens eagerly followed behind me, pecking the bugs and plants I unearthed with my efforts, bucking and clucking all the way.
Yes, get good and fat my pretties, and you will be delectable in the future.
Ah, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Up and down went the hoe, up and down went the hoe, until I noticed something. A strange root poked out, and had a faint sense of qi about it. Interested, I picked up the lumpy, and slightly nondescript root.
In xianxia novels, this is where the protagonist would immediately identify the plant, spouting that it was some rare so and so root of six elixirs or something, but quite frankly, I had no fucking clue what it was. I’d have to go to the town Archive at some point, but considering it was here, it probably wasn’t very rare or important.
Shrugging, I put it into my house, and got back to work. After this field, which was going to be my vegetable garden, I’d start on the rice paddy. It sucks that I haven't been able to get any wheat yet, but whatcha gonna do?
That night, I had an absolutely delicious egg fried rice, with Big D sitting on my shoulder. Maybe it was a little morbid, to eat eggs right near your pet chicken, but he didn’t seem to mind. Eggs from my chickens, rice from my reserves, some sesame oil that I had splurged on when I bought my land… and some of the leftover Lowly Spiritual Herbs I had uh, liberated from the Cloudy whatever sect. They tasted pretty damn good. A little spicy, a little sweet, a little savoury-- I’d definitely have to grow more of them. They weren’t that hard to grow from Jin’s memories. I’d just have to baby them for a bit.
Sure, I could convert them into pills, but I was extremely suspect about all the pills these people choked back. I’m half convinced the reason every cultivator is so damn nuts is because of all drugs they did.
I shook myself out of my introspection and tuned to the pleased clucking sounds coming from my “kitchen.” Big D was eagerly pecking at the little nubs of spirit herb I had cut off that looked a bit wilted.
They probably wouldn’t kill him. Never heard of something dying from eating these things before.
Eh, if he likes ‘em, he likes ‘em. Not going to deny the little man his food.
Soon enough, I got into my bed, with Big D jumping up onto the perch I made him by the window.
Man, If I was still in the sect, I'd be doing shitty chores, or sitting in a corner cultivating for months on end, instead of actually making stuff.
I went to sleep happy and content with my life choices.