The Last Piece
Chu Shen just walked past the wagons, looking at the kids. Most of them had tear stained faces with snot running down their faces. A couple of them were curled up into a ball.
Chu Shen shook his head. He understood exactly why they were so traumatized now. Such a tragic past, watching those you cared for die one after another. He was sure that he himself would be in such a state. To a normal kid, watching even a stranger die like that would be tragic.
Of course, Chu Shen had lived by the edge of the woodlands. Often the town would be attacked by Primordial Beasts and the townsmen would fight back. Unfortunately, Chu Shen had seen quite a few disciples die at the claws of the beasts.
As a result, Chu Shen had already seen just how brutal the world could be. This was the reason he had not hesitated to kill before, because he had already experienced death. Though it was a bit different killing a person than a beast, it made it easier that those people were brutal killers and deserved to die.
While Chu Shen was walking around at the kids, a pair of them stood out from the rest. The reason why was that these two were teenagers, around fourteen, but the others were around eight or nine with a few being younger. They seemed to be having a much harder time and most of the kids around them kept as much room as possible between them and the two teenagers.
Maybe Chu Shen would have gone up to talk to them, but they wagons were about to move out. He walked up towards one of the wagons. Suddenly he felt his hair stand on end and his arm grew ice cold. Startled, his hammer appeared in his hand while Chu Shen took up a defensive posture.
‘Calm down brat. It’s just me.’
Chu Shen relaxed and put away his hammer. The kids around him became frightened when he drew his hammer. It wasn’t too surprising since they had watched him kill someone with it not even half an hour ago. Trying to appease them, he smiled at them and walked a little farther away.
‘What did you do Master? Why did I feel that sensation in my arm?”
‘Well brat, its simple. I used the Voids Hand to channel my soul. Then I used my soul to scan those kids. Something didn’t sit right with me. Everyone having an element already, pre-opened meridians, or them not unblocking any meridians. All of it puzzled me.’
‘What did you find out master?’ Chu Shen immediately inquired excitedly.
‘Hmmph.’ Chu Shen could practically see Master Ti Wu grinning smugly at him. ‘Wouldn’t you like to know.’
‘Please master, please!’
‘Fine. Just remember to perfect that martial art you picked up from the library, okay brat! Otherwise you won’t get a single word from me.’
‘Alright master. Just tell me what you found out.’
‘All artificers are curious and I guess you are no exception. Anyways, I scanned their souls to find out what exactly made them so different than those other martial artists I have encountered. What I found is pretty shocking. They have mutated souls.’
‘Mutated souls is exactly what it sounds like. A soul that is abnormal. An innate constitution is just like that, but a positive mutation. A negative mutation would be not being able to absorb any Qi. As for these people….. I can say they are blessed but their curses far outweigh their blessings.’
‘What is the mutation exactly?’ Chu Shen asked.
‘As people cultivate, their souls slowly refine themselves to become more attuned to the world around them. Thus, they will gain an element. However, animals and those with innate constitutions are already in tune with their element and are therefore born with one already.’
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‘These people have a great affinity with the natural elements. As a result they are born with their own element and can mix it with the world’s elements, thus creating mages. However, they do not have Soul Sense. They cannot use their soul to sense things including their own meridians. ‘
‘Okay, what does that mean exactly?’ Chu Shen asked
‘The reason those men did not react when you scanned them with your soul sense was because they could not detect you. Of course, they may feel some uneasiness like someone is watching them if the person scanning them is weaker than themselves. That is probably the reason one of them turned towards you.’
‘Anyways, they don’t unblock their meridians because they cannot see their own meridians! They can sense things to some extent, which is why they can still feel the major meridians and call it mana rivers.’
‘If I had to associate it with something, it would be like having nearsighted vision and looking at a piece of paper with large and small print. Obviously you can see the paper and if your vision isn’t too bad you can perceive the large print. But obviously seeing small print could be considered impossible.’
‘In this case, the paper is the worlds energy. The large print is the opened mana channels and the small print is the closed meridians. For warriors though… It is a bit different. They can barely perceive the medium size print and make it bigger by using ink. The medium print is obviously the opened minor meridians and the ink is of course their mana.’
With this new information, Chu Shen sunk into deep thought. According to what he had seen so far, this made perfect sense. Obviously, if there was a way to grow stronger, especially something so obvious, someone would have found it by now.
The only explanation would be that it was an impossibility. Just like how the people from Lucas’ dimension didn’t cultivate at all because of this impossibility. Because they couldn’t absorb Qi.
‘But wait master. I learned martial arts is used by channeling Qi through the meridians. So how come these people still use martial arts?’
‘That? Martial Arts? Oh please. They only know how to cover their sword in Qi and lash it out at you. If that was a true martial art being used, especially with such powerful elemental Qi, you would have been slightly injured even with your null Qi. That could only be called crude usage of power, a parlor trick compared to a real martial art.’
‘Also, those mages only have powerful attacks because it is supplemented with world Qi. In raw power, their spells can compare to a martial art. However, they can’t control them as well, plus it takes time to charge. It is true a powerful martial art can take time to charge, but it is half that of those spells of equal power.’
‘Hehe. Brat you might just be lucky though. By using your own soul sense and manipulating your Qi, you can guide these younglings mana into their own meridians. With that, they should be able to cultivate like we normally do. I would say, gathering an army from these people would be easy. Plus, by changing awful talents to limitless ones, they should be grateful enough to never betray us.’
Chu Shen shook his head at the thought. ‘No. I don’t want that kind of responsibility. All I want is to become strong enough to protect my mom and dad when I go back to my realm.’
‘Either way, I say you should let these kids cultivate. Use them to found the Void Sect again in this strange world.’
‘I did promise you master to let the Void Sect rise again. I guess letting them cultivate here would be the start. I can always visit them later using the bracelets.’
‘I like the way you think. And after we can trust them, I think I could change one of their souls to have soul sense. It’ll take some effort but it may be possible. I will have to study their souls extensively to do it. It should take a year to get all the data I need. Then I should be able to change it right away, or make a technique that allows them to gain soul sense themselves.’
‘Are you sure this is a good idea master? Letting them gain techniques from us like this?’
‘What are you worried about? This is common knowledge, though I admit it would change their life a lot. Just like sharing how to make fire. It’s so simple, but can bring a lot of changes to those who didn’t know how to before. Besides, we can use the Voids Hand to bind their souls to agree not to share information on the cultivation techniques without them dying.’
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‘Alright master. I guess you do know more then me after all.’
‘Of course, that’s why I’m the master. Wait. Do you mean you actually doubted me for a second?!’
‘Uhh. Master, of course not. I, i, i just…. Goodbye master!’ Chu Shen promptly started running back to the wagons.
‘Goodbye?! I’m attached to your hand! I’m not going anywhere. Come Here!’
‘Stop it master! STOP IT!’
‘Suffer for doubting your master, you unfilial disciple!’