Wu Tiantang, formerly Zhao Tiantang, exited the main Wu family’s private meditation room and saw his adopted father waiting for him.
"I see you have made some progress my son."
Wu Jian spoke.
He replied, still uncomfortable with the man who had wiped out his clan. Not that he had much attachment to them, being an orphan from a branch family that was used as a training dummy by the young lords and ladies of the main clan.
"Well, I have secured an opportunity for you to progress on your other path."
The Wu Patriarch informed him.
Wu Tiantang looked incredulously up at his adoptive father, shocked and confused as to why the man was supporting him so. First, he had opened his family's private cultivation chambers to him, a Dao Shrine at that, and now he was utilising his connections to provide him with more opportunities. He wanted to question it, but didn't dare look a gift horse in the mouth lest it run away.
"You are going to the Rong Clan to use the Dao Shrine there."
Wu Jian continued. Wu Tiantang's shock only deepened. He had no idea the Rong Clan possessed such a treasured location and had managed to keep it secret from his former clan. The fact that his old clan had ruled over them for hundreds of years without finding out, whilst his new one had found out in a matter of days, caused him to raise the already high and unreachable pedestal he had put them on after they had not only repelled, but annihilated the Zhao offensive against them.
"Thank you father."
He bowed deeply before thinking better of it and instead kneeling before him.
"There is no need to kneel my son."
The Wu Patriarch smiled down at the boy.
"But one should only kneel to the heavens, the earth, and one's father. You are my father, so I kneel to you."
Wu Tiantang explained.
"Very well then. You may rise."
Wu Jian said and his son did so.
"Go take your pick of martial arts manuals from the repository and be ready to leave by dawn tomorrow. You will depart with the others that are going, we must disguise your special physique by making you seem like one of many."
The Wu Patriarch ordered.
The Wu Clan's repository was large, if nothing else, and contained a staggering number of techniques. In their long history, they had found, written, and traded for numerous manuals and stored them all here. There were so many, in fact, that they were not all properly logged. Wu Tiantang stood in the centre of the repository, looking up. Shelves stretched up towards the sky behind the wooden walkways that cultivators walked across to browse the books. The Wu Clan was very open with its techniques, with only a few being reserved for the elders and main family, but that was more the requirements said manuals had rather than wanting to withhold them, so there were no restrictions upon one's movements within the repository and anyone baring the power of the Wu Clan's Clan Treasure was allowed in.
He had received the power himself when his new father had performed the ceremonial adoption ritual, which imbued someone with the bloodline of a clan. The little power left from the Zhao Clan's Clan Treasure had tried to fight it, but ultimately failed and was dispersed into nothingness. That new bloodline had allowed him access to the repository without having to use his newfound status as part of the main family, and it boiled within him, pulling him towards the far wall. Looking around, he saw no one else experiencing this but decided that it was probably the Patriarch's doing considering how much favouritism he had shown.
Following his instincts, Wu Tiantang ended up in a darkened corner of the repository, where two of the walls met and the walkway overhead cast shadows over the area. There, the bookshelves were covered in dust and cobwebs as if they had not been touched in a long time, and the books were tattered and old. He skimmed over the titles.
Incomplete Windwing Evasion
Incomplete Starseizing Hand
Incomplete Qiankun Arrow
But there was one technique that caught his eye.
Incomplete Adaptive Body
It's title lacked the flowery language that the rest did, instead plainly describing its effect. He picked it up and skimmed through it, becoming amazed by what he saw.
'This technique is perfect for me!'
He thought, and hurried to put the manual away. His own physique allowed him to progress through body cultivation like spiritual beasts did, naturally growing stronger and stronger as he trained and endured hardships. This technique, even incomplete, would boost his tolerance to every kind of environment, element, and attack by an amount based on his natural resistance to it. It would be next to useless to the average body cultivator, who only had a good resistance to one, maybe two elements based on their cultivation technique. It would be even less useful to spiritual beasts because the techniques described within could only be performed by humans.So he, who had the physique of a spiritual beast but the anatomy of a human, was the perfect practitioner for the manual. And who knows, with the aid of the Wu Clan's Calmaligned Dao Shrine, he may even be able to complete the technique himself later down his cultivation path.
He quickly grabbed a few useful martial arts that he would train, including a claw art and a Qi-claw manifestation technique, and exited the hall, eager to begin forging his body according to the Incomplete Adaptive Body manual. A smile lit up his face as for the first time in his life, Wu Tiantang looked forwards to something.