Advertisement
Remove

The world spun around in circles as I stared at the wooden ceiling with a dimming gaze. A loud droning noise rang in my ears as someone shouted the end of the spar.

“Are you done already, Junior Brother? We still have many pointers to share,” the boy said, smirking. I could barely make out his face, as colors splashed around in my vision, but from the sound of him, he could not have been older than sixteen.

“Peh, that was pathetic. Barely managed to take five blows. Let us leave brother, this scum is not worth our time.”

I heard murmurs all around me, words full of disgust and occasionally some of pity were thrown my way. The other boy walked out of the arena, but I remained where I lay staring at the roof above me.

“Someone take Lu Jie to the Old Man, he seems to have hit his head hard.” A man spoke, as a few people walked over. Two pairs of arms lifted me up, carrying me through my daze. I could barely register their voices as I started to gather my wits.

Two questions burned in my mind.

Where the fuck am I? And who’s this Lu Jie?

***

The smell of herbs and incense touched my nose, and I felt something warm prickle my skin. With a painful groan I opened my blurry eyes, taking a look at where I found myself.

“Keep lying down Lu Jie, your wounds haven’t healed yet. The pill is working but you need to rest.”

An old man stood beside me, wearing a plain white robe. His hair was white, long bushy eyebrows set on a face with more wrinkles than skin and a long beard seen in all those Kung-Fu movies.

A boiling iron cauldron sat at the other end of the chamber, green smoke rising from it as it twirled in the air, floating around the old man’s hand.

“I’ll be making a Qi reinforcement pill, it will heal the damage to your dantian soon. You have nothing to worry about, you won’t be crippled,” the old man said, patting my shoulder gently with a kind smile.

I stared as the old man walked back towards his cauldron and let my head fall back onto the coarse and hard bed underneath me.

Where am I? The last I remember was falling asleep as I was preparing for my Physics test paper and the next instant I was being slammed around by some kids throwing magic bullshit at me.

I didn’t have to wait long, as the answers started to come to me on their own. Lu Jie, a moderately talented kid from the Seven Rivers village who had found out he’d been blessed with Qi. Like every other kid from a village, he decided to strike out his luck in the city, to try and become a cultivator.

The rest went as typical Chinese cultivation stories go. But Lu Jie was no main character. He barely got into the sect on his talents and struggled to keep up with his peers as they moved further through the ranks. Years went by and he was now twenty, and still stuck at the third realm.

He got the short end of the stick when he caught the eyes of the insane twin young masters recently, being dumb enough to accept their proposal to have them give him “pointers”.

Looking through his memories, it was obvious to me that the twins just loved to beat and bully those weaker than them, and used the spar as an opportunity to beat other disciples up. Lu Jie happened to be just exceptionally unlucky, dying from a hit to the head.

And now I’m Lu Jie.

Fuck me.

I tried to move but the pain shooting through my abdomen told me that any movement would make me regret all my choices so far. Stuck on the bed, I decided to go through the guy’s memories. There was little else to do.

There was no family that I could think of for Lu Jie. For all of his childhood he seemed to have been raised by a kind farmer who’d taken him in. He hadn’t left the sect in years. Outer disciples seem to be barely above servants in ranking here, and the only ranks Lu Jie had been rising in was that of age.

The old man here seemed to be the only one who’d ever cared for him, with his frequent beatings and injuries his visits to this place had been far more common than should be normal. I felt a bit bad about the old man, as I remember him telling Lu Jie of how he’d lost his grandchild to a particularly nasty disease. It was clear that he’d seen his grandson in him, and now the kid was dead too.

I had some measures of pity for Lu Jie as well. He had been an arrogant guy, believing himself destined for greatness and the shattering of his dreams had been harsh. He had never said it out loud, or even muttered a word of thanks to the old man, but he had been the only support the boy had had in his life in the sect.

It was a sad story. A death so pointless. Another nameless guy gone in a merciless world. But while I felt sad, I had no intentions of sticking around here. I had read enough cultivation novels to know how these went. Any young master could come in with a ‘You dare??!’ and I’d meet the same fate that Lu Jie had.

“Open your mouth Lu Jie. Swallow the pill and let it mix with your Qi.” The old man said, as he placed a pill near my mouth. I opened my lips, stinging pain coursing through them at the movement.

I ignored the pain as I swallowed the pill, feeling it travel through my chest before it soon began to dissolve. A cool sensation formed in my gut as the Qi from the pill began to spill over, flooding what could only be my pathways. For a moment I panicked, the foreign sensation making me tense, but ingrained memory in my body began to circulate the energy on its own, moving it in circles through my dantian.

A mint like smell tingled my nose as the energy started to dissipate throughout my body, my wounds starting to itch. I felt a surge of Qi pulse through as the pain I’d been feeling began to fade.

“You should be able to walk soon, but don’t channel your Qi or stress your Dantian for a couple of days. I will try and get the sect to let you take a leave for a couple of days,” the old man said with a gentle smile.

I stared at the man, who saved me from death, or a life as a cripple, the only person who’d been there for me. The words that I- Lu Jie had never said out loud, I felt them fill my chest. Perhaps it was his last wish, or whatever remained of him, but I felt compelled to give it voice.

“Thank you.”

The old man stared at me, his brows rising in surprise for a brief moment before he laughed gently. “No need to thank this old man Lu Jie, I am just doing my duties. You have a bright future in front of you, you should be careful not to squander it in quarrels.”

My lips trembled as emotions not completely my own filled me. The grief of loss, the frustration of being insufficient. Anger at my own self. To have died like this. But then… grateful. To be able to say what I had never had the heart to.

I closed my eyes, feeling the Qi swirling in my dantian as the emotions passed by.

May you find peace Lu Jie.

***

“Yeah this is bullshit” I muttered out loud. In whatever language the people spoke here. Azure-Jade script. The thought came to my mind, alongside the context behind why the language was named such. I was too busy marvelling over my body to care though.

“Fucking Qi magic bullshit. I know I had a concussion and at least a couple broken ribs. All healed in a few hours.” I said out loud, this time in English. Glad I hadn’t forgotten how to speak it at least.

The pill had sent me into a strange haze induced state, where my mind had drifted through my thoughts, as the Qi within me had silently cycled itself over and over. I felt my dantian, now healed from the pill’s effect, and I sensed the Qi filling it.

A meagre amount compared to all but the newest of disciples joining the sect. But even the weakest of cultivators were stronger than the average farmer. Super human strength and speed were just the beginning of their abilities.

I was not going to stick around these murderous drug addicted supermen and women. That’s just asking to get killed.

I flexed my fingers, and moved my feet. The lack of pain was surreal. No medicine, no matter how advanced back home could have achieved what this simple low grade healing pill had done in hours.

I shifted my feet back onto the wooden floor and pulled myself up. The small room I was in was filled with book shelves. A small cauldron sat at one corner of the room, the remnants of the contents of the concocted pill sitting in there.

From what I could tell from Lu Jie’s memories, Alchemy wasn’t a noteworthy profession in this world. The alchemists, while respected by the lower end of society, worked mostly in service to some sort of lord or governor, and even the most famous alchemists were under the thumb of powerful cultivators.

They needed to have Qi, yet they didn’t use it to focus on cultivation but instead used it to hone a different set of skills. The very concept was foreign to most cultivators. Why wouldn’t you chase the eternal heavens and immortality through trials and tribulations and be the big dick chad god?

I walked up to the cauldron, picking up the little leather book lying on a table nearby. The script was foreign to me, but as with the language I could speak, I could also read these texts. It seems Lu Jie was an educated man.

The book opened up to show a list of herbs, denoting their names, common locations and their properties. Flipping through the pages I found various texts explaining how to process these herbs, and various mixtures to form balms and salves to help heal wounds.

The texts were somewhat primitive, yet the content within was still valuable. There were many plants that, I noticed, deviated from their natural properties. One plant was straight up made of fire. A Seven-Poison Flame grass that turned to fire when Qi flowed through it. There were several such strange spirit herbs listed in the book and quite quickly, I found myself sucked into the text books, as it guided me through the basics of Alchemy.

Time flew by, as the further I read the more entranced I became by the things I saw. Everything in this book flew right in the face of all that I knew. It broke laws of physics and chemistry for breakfast, and would munch on the laws of Thermodynamics as a snack. Some pills had downright ridiculous procedures like, perform the dance of the Blood Lotus, and channel your spirit. The pill shall take the shape of your desires like what the fuck.

Yet, the ideas sparked something in me. I’d always enjoyed learning, it was one of the things that had stuck with me since my childhood. My desire to better understand the world around me. To discover the mysteries that may have been hidden right in front of our eyes. The harsh droning classes at university may have at times dulled that enthusiasm, but the desire had never really gone away completely.

Now, it seemed to have returned stronger than ever before. I was in a fantasy world. A world with mythical forces and pills that could save hundreds of lives. From every cultivation novel I had read, the setting had been historical, and backward in technology, but there was no need for things to be that way.

They already had medicine so advanced it could heal people in a day or two. If I could understand that, if I could find out what made this world tick, then perhaps I would not have to worry about some random young master being my doom. Afterall, science was just the understanding of the world around us. If the laws of my world did not apply, then I would just have to learn the laws of this one.

Alchemy could also serve as a way to earn money and save enough up to live on my own outside the sect. And possibly find some quiet corner where I could try and break down the magic behind this world.

It was as good a plan as I would have, of leaving behind the politics and cultivators and their squabbles. I did not want to live as a peasant. From what I could see in Lu Jie’s memory, they had extremely simplistic lives, and lived in poverty. Not having the internet is bad enough, but having to work on some farm to survive may just kill me out of boredom. No, I’d much rather get a quiet mansion in a town, and sell alchemical potions and live a comfortable life.

I let out a breath, closing the book on my lap. The door creaked behind me, and I saw the Old Man, standing at the doorway, staring at me.

“W-what are you doing Lu Jie?” the old man said, a look of surprise on his face.

“I- umm. I just…” I murmured but my voice was caught in my throat. I paused for a moment, shuffling. Delaying would do nothing. This would have to be my chance. I took in a deep breath, as I looked up at the Old Man.

“I want to learn Alchemy.”

 

Advertisement

Support "The 3rd Law of Cultivation: Qi = MC^2"

About the author

KrazeKode

  • Far away from humans
  • Floofer

Bio: I decided to take up the keyboard.

Achievements
Comments(91)
Log in to comment
Log In

Log in to comment
Log In