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A note from KrazeKode

Recap of Book 1:

MC wakes up after a spar where he got injured on the head with memories of his past world, thinking he got transmigrated. Starts learning Alchemy, gains spirt animals and some friend. He realises there's another spirit inside of him that can use Gu and it's his other half before. He is then pulled into a spirit herb hunt tournament where he finds a hidden trial that fuses his soul, completing the first law of cultivation. 

As that happens, Labby is almost crippled by the twins and the enraged MC lashes out, fighting them with his new found strength as he cripples one of the twins, and hurts the other severely.

He's then expelled from the sect and taken under the Lord's protection.

The cart rattled beneath me, jumping and clattering as it moved through the dirt paths. The Ox pulling the cart grunted in effort, as Cao Chen steered the cart. “We’re almost there. I think I can barely see it in the distance.”

The sunlight warmed the back of my eyelids, making me open them. The sun was high up in the sky, approaching close to noon. Turning my sight ahead, beyond the rising and flowing grassland I saw the little river cutting through the landscape, near which lay the town of Taizhou, bustling with people.

I took a moment to appreciate my newly enhanced eyesight as I noted the village head walking around in a rush. It was an odd sensation to be able to recognize faces, still far off in the distance.

“How much longer?” I asked, glancing at Cao Chen.

“About an hour or so,” Cao Chen replied, and I nodded.

Labby rustled in my lap, turning over in her sleep as she pursed her lips, a frown on her face. I brushed a hand through her grey hair, looking at her child-like form sleeping peacefully as I wondered just what kind of dream she may be seeing.

My hand drifted from her head, down to her abdomen briefly. I gently pressed my hand, feeling the little spirit root in her dantian, keeping the cracked pieces of her dantian together as she healed. Despite knowing she was not in pain any longer, the thought made my chest tighten with pain.

“I’m… sorry,” Yan Yun said, noticing my lingering gaze on Labby. “I never should’ve involved the two of you in this.”

I felt a bit surprised when Yan Yun spoke up. She’d been silent throughout the way. I'd noticed the tears that glistened her eyes. Seeing how I failed to even sense the base of her cultivation, it was not terribly difficult to imagine what may have happened with her grandfather.

I sat in silence for a moment at Yan Yun’s words. “Li and Lei’s actions are not your fault. I went of my own will. It was my fault to put even Labby at risk,” I said, clenching my fist. A hollow feeling lingered in my chest. I had taken my revenge, given in to anger, to the thing I had been trying not to become. What had it truly done? I had put Labby at risk, put myself at risk, letting her get injured and then lashed out because I was angry. It was childish. It was… like me from before my spar with Li and Lei. The actions of an arrogant cultivator.

I looked up to see words that yet lingered on Yan Yun’s face, but neither of us spoke any further.

We sat in silence, rocking along with the cart as the grasslands flew past us.

“Ah, here we go,” Cao Chen said, squinting into the distance. “I see Taizhou. We’ll arrive soon.”

Yan Yun stirred in her seat, turning to look at the town in the distance. I noticed her eyes squinting as she looked towards the distance in confusion, before they widened a sliver as a realisation settled onto them. I followed soon after, realising what surprised her.

She couldn’t see the town. Her eyes were unable to see that far anymore.

I turned my gaze away from Yan Yun before she noticed that I was watching her. Words hung in my chest, curiosity and concern jumbling together. She has lost her Path, that much I knew. And I knew her grandfather had something to do. Just what did her grandfather do to have something like this happen?

Anger rose in me at the man, but I breathed the emotion back down. Actions and memories from Lu Jie still felt like a tangled mess within me. So much of me was vague now, unprocessed emotions bursting out at whim. I suspected it would take months before I could feel complete, but that didn’t mean that I would allow my past self’s faults to linger.

With my breakthrough, my spirit had been forged anew. I would not squander it.

“Chii~” I hear Twilight chime, twirling as she climbs onto Su Lin’s back, to stand atop his head. The sleeping boy’s head bobbed, as he jerked and startled awake.

“Wha- what’s happening?” Su Lin said, glancing around, arms raised up to his face. He glanced around, slowly taking in everything, before his eyes met mine.

Laughter burst out of me, at his stupid expression, and I felt the swirl of emotions in my chest become lighter. Cao Chen joined me as well, and I noticed even Yan Yun had a small smile on her lips.

Silverlight watched the laughing faces, before looking at Twilight standing on Su Lin’s face. Following Twilight’s lead, she jumped onto the boy’s head chiming loudly as well. “Sii!” the lilly plant said, raising her finger, looking around at everyone else for a reaction.

“Get off, you stupid plants,” Su Lin said, brushing off the two of them. Though the smile on his face betrayed his amusement.

Labby stirred next to me. “Master?” she murmured, rubbing her eyes as she got up.

I patted her head lightly, smiling. “Did you have a good sleep?” I asked Labby, as she looked up to me, still shrugging off the remnants of sleep from her eyes. Silently, the little girl nodded. My eyes drifted to her robes, marked with the sigil of the moon that brimmed with Lunar Qi. She would definitely need some new clothes.

I felt Sheldon slowly wake up from our bond, as the little turtle blinked his eyes. Nyan continued to resist instead, curling even more tightly around the turtle’s shell.

With a crackle of lightning I saw Leiyu flying ahead, making his way to Taizhou before us by himself. In the distance I saw the people starting to gather, familiar faces and unfamiliar ones both mingling together as they saw the flying thunder eagle up in the skies.

With a crackle of the reins, Cao Chen sped up the cart as the cart moved faster, rushing downhill to the entrance of the Taizhou. The village stood, waiting for us to arrive with the village head at the front.

Slowly, we reached in front of the crowd as the cart settled to a stop an I jumped off. Guo Zou, the head, walked up to me. “It is an honour to have you with us, cultivators,” the village head greeted. “Please, allow us.”

A few men, which I recognised to be the miners I’d saved with Liuxiang walked to our cart, and began to pick up all the things we’d carried on the cart.

“I hope we’re not intruding too much. I really appreciate you allowing us to stay with you,” I said to the village head, lightly bowing my head in thanks.

“Nonsense. I would shame my ancestor’s spirits if I could ever be so ungrateful to our benefactor,” the head said, shaking his head.

The others stepped off the cart as well, Cao Chen and Su Lin helping the miners take the things off, while Labby, my spirits and Yan Yun walked up to stand by my side.

Leiyu crackled with lightning, settling on Yan Yun’s shoulders and I saw the villagers staring at all of us. I couldn’t blame them either. We made for quite the crowd. Labby was wearing celestial clothes from the lunar court itself while Yan Yun emanated her Jade beauty aura despite lacking a cultivation base. My spirits on the other hand made for quite the attraction simply due to their nature as spirits.

“What took you so long, boy?” a familiar old woman’s voice reached me.

I turned and saw a familiar wrinkled face heading towards me, a smoking pipe grasped in her other hand. “Made a damn mess at the tournament too, what were you thinking?” Granny Lang said in a gruff voice.

“It’s good to see you too granny Lang,” I said with a smile.

The old woman snorted but did not pursue. “That old bastard wouldn’t have been happy if something had happened to you. I’m glad to see you in one piece boy,” she added in a quieter voice.

“I’m sure there’s a lot to be discussed. So please, come and have some tea. The miners will see to your items, and put them at the place for you to stay at,” the Village head said, and I nodded, following inside.

To my surprise, none of my spirits or friends followed me inside the village head’s place, except Yan Yun, who trailed behind quietly with Leiyu on her shoulders. I turned to see Labby being prodded and pulled at curiously by the young children of the village. Many were fascinated by her sparkling dress that shifted and moved around as if defying gravity. My little spirit turned to me, her eyes confused and slightly scared.

“Go and have some fun with the kids, Labby,” I sent to her, and she nodded, going along with the children. A moment later, I glanced at Sheldon who understood my intention without me having to say anything.

Silently, the turtle followed behind Labby, taking Twilight and Silverlight with him.

Satisfied, I followed into the village head’s home. Walking in, I took a seat in the guest chamber on little cushions set on the floor, next to Yan Yun who sat next to me. A small wooden table was in front of us, on the other side of which the village head sat, eyes narrowed and his portly belly larger than the last time I’d seen him.

“I hope everything is going well?” I asked the village head.

“Oh, more than well. Old lady Lang has been an immense help, teaching many of the women about her craft. We have medicine to sell to the city now if we so wish, and there’s been a lot fewer illnesses. The three brothers have also been immensely helpful, chasing off any stray spirits and pests trying to get into the herb storages. And now to have you here as well. It is truly a blessing.”

I already knew about the little details from the letters from Zhang, but I still smiled regardless when I heard it from the village head’s mouth.

Footsteps moved towards us and I moved towards the door. A girl, roughly around Yan Yun’s age, opened the door, carrying a tray with cups of tea. Walking closer, she gently placed the warm and still steaming tea down, nodding briefly to me once. I quickly recognised her to be the village head’s daughter Yin. I nodded my head once to her in acknowledgement, noticing her gaze linger on me for a moment before she walked out of the chamber.

Silently, I picked up the tea-cups, taking a sip of the warm tea. The taste felt a bit bland to me, given how used I’d gotten to mixing in spirit herbs into food anytime I ate, which in itself was becoming less and less often.

Yan Yun didn’t touch hers, sitting next to me in silence.

“Is there something you wished to discuss, honoured cultivator?” the village head asked, looking at me with his typical nervous expression that made it seem like he was perpetually sweating.

“Please, call me Lu Jie. And in truth, I have a lot of things to discuss. Plans for this place, and what I will be doing as well. But seeing as we’ve just arrived here, I’ll leave those talks for later. For now, I just wanted to ask what the arrangements for our stay might be, and how I can pay you for them.”

“You don’t need to do any such thing. We’ve got enough room for all of you to stay comfortably. Please, allow us to do this much at the very least,” the village head said.

“Are you sure? Surely it will be an imposition if we have to stay with the other families, especially if it’s for a longer period of time,” I asked, raising my eyebrow.

“There’s no need to be concerned over that. The young lady can stay with my daughter, who should be more than delighted to have a friend who would stay with her. I’ve also arranged for a place for you,” the village head said.

“Oh, I- is that alright?” Yan Yun asked, looking at the village head.

“What are you saying, young lady? It is a great honour to have the granddaughter of Elder Yan live with us,” the village head said, and I saw Yan Yun’s expression fall. She hid the brief lapse quickly, but not enough for it to go unnoticed by the village head.

“This can be a good experience for you too, Yan Yun. A change of perspective, among other things.”

Yan Yun looked at me, returning a silent nod. Leiyu looked back at me, the eagle’s eyes as critical as ever.

“Where would I be staying then?” I asked, trying to focus the conversation to a different topic.

“Uhh- that. I’ll have to ask the villagers,” the village head replied. I’d been ignoring the various tells for a while now, thinking he had just been more nervous than normal around me, perhaps sensing the change in my cultivation, or hearing some stupid rumour from the sect, but perhaps I was wrong.

The door to the village head’s chambers opened with a clatter, as she walked into the chamber, looking at me. “Su Lin needs you boy. Something of yours that he needs help to move,” the Granny said.

I nodded, getting up. Giving my gratitude to the village head one last time, I made my way out with the granny, as we began to walk to the other end of the village.

We walked a bit further outside the homes that lined the perimeter of Taizhou, and I saw the surprise that the village head and granny Lang had been trying to hide. A section of the land near the western edge of the village, next to the Qi vein had been tilled. Little spirit herbs grew in small patches here and there, at what looked like failed attempts at growing them, yet enough were here to fill the air with Qi. A fence was erected around the perimeter of the garden, going all the way back and behind what was the real surprise, one that made my eyes widen in surprise when I saw it.

A little home sat on the hill, made of cut stone and wood, looking snugly set on the landscape. Yet its features were not something I would expect to see here of all places. It was built with wood, its features a mix of the architecture of this world and mine.

The granny turned towards me, as I stared at her in surprise. “Among the various plans you'd given, Su Lin had taken the blueprints for the school. Using some connections in the city that he had, he’d asked to see if he could get a home-made in the given design. It’s not perfect, and neither did it come cheap, but Tian Feng had been willing to pay for it. The villagers also chipped in however they could. We'll likely need you to take a look around, but this is our gift to you. For saving Zhang, and all the town folks here.”

I didn’t reply, silently walking towards the house. Reaching the door, I pressed my hand against the wood. I found it difficult to think. None of this felt real.

“Oi, he’s here!” I heard a shout from inside, as Su Lin opened the door.

“Whatchu standing for gawking like an idiot? Come take a look!” Su Lin said, pulling me in.

I felt both surprised and more than a little embarrassed by the tears that glistened in my eyes, as I hurriedly wiped them away, taking the place in. Walking through the rooms, I felt the tightness in my chest grow greater and greater.

As I walked to the last room, Zhang greeted me, showing me a room made exactly in the design of the lab I had made. I walked in, feeling more than a little overwhelmed

“Welcome home, brother,” Zhang said, and I found a strange emotion well up in my chest, clamming my throat.

How long has it been since I had a home? Since I belonged somewhere?

I moved in, taking Zhang and Su Lin in a tight hug. With happy tears in my eyes, I whispered. “I’m home.”

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A note from KrazeKode

Happy new year everyone!! The hiatus has ended, and Qi is back!! Once again, I thank you for your patience in waiting for me to return. I have high expectations for this year, and hope I can meet my goals and write this story as much as I can!

I also have a request, the months of being away made me realise how much some of the reviews had gotten in my head, part of the issue being the title which promised a much more scientific breakdown esque story and what I wrote somewhat diverging from that over time. That being said, I realise now that the story's direction had been negatively impacted due to this. As such, I'd just ask everyone who's still here, and has enjoyed the story to maybe take a few seconds to upvote any reviews you may agree with, and downvote those you disagree with. I'd really appreciate if you could.

Oh also, also, I'm very close to 2k ratings, so if anyone wants to help me get that dumb number achievement, feel free to leave a rating!

 

Help me pay for college and read 15 chapters ahead on Patreon! 

And if you want to chat, you can also join my discord server.


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About the author

KrazeKode

  • Far away from humans
  • I have a pet turtle. His name is George. George doesn't like you.

Bio: I took up the keyboard.

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