Authors Note: I am a new author and this is my first story so be kind okay? When I first started writing I didn’t realize how short the chapters were so the first 6 chapters will be combined for a total of 3 chapters.
Arc 1: Hopeful Beginnings
Dang! Dang! Dang!
Sparks flew as a hammer repeatedly smashed into a glowing metal lump. Continuous blows struck down on the metal, not letting up for a moment. The ferocity, speed, and accuracy of the hammers blows showed the skill of the blacksmith.
Chu Shen absentmindedly wiped the sweat from his brow as he put the metal down into the water. Steam billowed up before the metal was onto a table by the forge. The metal was now recognizable as a throwing disk used by the nearby Lin sect to train them in the arts of ranged weapons.
Taking the disk along with the others he had already forged Chu Shen took them to the shops inscription master who would reinforce the disk with Qi.
“Chu Shen, you have the throwing disks ready?”
“Yes Master Lang, I have prepared them.”
“How is you’re cultivation coming along, I heard you reached level 8 of the man stage yesterday?”
Without replying Chu Shen set down the disks and quickly left for cup by the well in the corner. Master Lang watched him leave with a pained expression.
As he filled the cup with cool well water he reminisced about his past.
Cultivation was separated into different stages with each stage having 10 levels. There was Man, Tiger, Dragon, Student, Practitioner, Scholar, Warrior, Army, King, Emperor, Earth, Nature, World, Cosmos, Celestial, and Heaven stages. Each stage had a difference in the quality of the Qi until the Student stage.
Upon reaching the student stage you would have to unblock the meridians until the Earth stage upon which the meridians would be used to explore the natural laws of the universe.
All this simply compounded young twelve year old Chu Shens problems. As a kid he had enormous potential, almost to the point of disbelief. When anyone heard that he had almost reached the Tiger stage at 12 they would gasp in awe but then sigh in regret.
With his talent it would have been natural to reach the Nature or even World stage. He could never reach past the dragon stage though, simply because he had no meridians to unblock. It also did not help that his Qi was abnormal and couldn’t be used for martial arts but only for internal and bodily cultivation.
As a young kid he was treated with mixed feelings, everyone knew that one of the most prominent elders son of the Chu branch sect was a genius who had his future cut short.
Knowing he could never have the power he desired at six he threw himself into finding a suitable occupation where he could reach the pinnacle.
Upon looking Chu Shen found himself entranced with blacksmithing, where all of the weapons including the ones the elders used was forged. He knew he could be of some use by making great weapons for the sect so Chu Shen was granted the chance by Master Lang.
Chu Shen always had the heavens gift of abnormal strength, he could as a six year old pick up 80 pounds, which he used to forge. Upon finding his talent for forging Master Lang took him as his direct disciple.
The Pair of Gauntlets
“Junior brother Shen, I have some scrap metal for you.”
“Okay Senior brother Lan, just leave it on the table.” Chu Lan was a disciple of the Chu Sect who often visited the shop. He would bring with him old or useless armor and weapons to be melted down into new items.
On the table was a rusted pair of gauntlets, a sword broke in two, a helm with a dent in it, and a metal dagger in perfect condition. “Was there anything interesting in this batch Senior Lan?”
“No, all this is from that old man that managed the shop down the road. He ran out of all his goods except these so he decided to leave to someplace, no one knows where.”
“I have to go prepare for the sects trials, you should too if you want to become an inner disciple.”
“Oh come on, you cannot keep being depressed like this. A frog in a well does not know the extent of the earth. There may be a treasure that can give you meridians, but unless you are a core disciple the sect wouldn’t give it to you.”
“I thank you for your advice Senior Lan, but I must forge now. Please forgive my rudeness. “ Chu Shen said abruptly as he bowed to him. As he spoke Chu Lan frowned.
“Either way consider my words carefully. Goodbye, junior brother Shen.”
Chu Shen let out a sigh of relief when he left. Grabbing ahold of the sword that was broke he started melting it down, hitting it with his hammer to drive out the impurities that had accumulated on the outside of the blade.
He continuously melted down and forged the sword into ore. Right now Chu Shen had no time to forge weapons so instead he turned the broken items into pure metal ore.
Chu Shen worked his way down the line until he had refined all but the pair of gauntlets. As he reached down to grab it Chu Shen felt his Qi resonate with the pair of gauntlets. Curious he studied the pair of gauntlets but no matter how he looked at it, it was just a rusted pair of gauntlets.
Setting the pair of gauntlets down he stared at it cautiously before a light appeared in his eyes. “Ah yes. Some artifacts you have to supply Qi to them before they work or drip blood on it.”
Doing as he had said gray colored Qi appeared in his hands about the size of a penny. Until he unblocked his meridians this was the most Qi he could use outside his body. The penny sized Qi surged towards the pair of gauntlets in a formless wave.
When it came in contact with the pair of gauntlets it sucked up the Qi and a white circle lit up on the top part of the pair of gauntlets.
“Ah finally, someone with null Qi has gotten ahold of me.” A voice said inside his head. Chu Shen looked at the gauntlets in astonishment.
“You actually have a void constitution brat?” The voice said in astonishment. “I didn’t think such a small sect would have someone like you. Consider yourself lucky then, I have decided to take you as a disciple.”
Chu Shen leaned back on the wall in astonishment. Who would have thought the gauntlets would have a soul trapped inside it and it could absorb his Qi.
Nothing else had ever been able to absorb his Qi, as a matter of fact he destroyed any other type of Qi his came in contact with, frustrating his teachers efforts in teaching Chu Shen about laying formations.
“What brat, don’t want to become a disciple of the great me? Would you rather never be able to pass the King stage? I guarantee that without my instruction you could never pass this stage.”