One billion years isn’t really as long as it sounds, at least not when you’re a cultivator. You always hear about these amazing ‘geniuses’ who find some ridiculously overpowered ancient treasure or techniques, then use them to defeat enemies that were slightly stronger than themselves.
I mean, sure, those epic tales are usually pretty interesting; hell, when I wasn’t practicing, I would always spend my time ‘reading’ about the crazy exploits of all those lunatics. I’ve actually met quite a few of those legendary figures, back when ‘they’ were little kids.
When I was ten years old, I didn’t go around trying to avenge my parents by massacring entire kingdoms; I was living in a cave, on a mountain, totally alone. I trained my body until I eventually figured out how to do the whole ‘Qi’ thing and then… Yeah, I didn’t really have any ancient diagrams or magical super-legacy crystals to learn some fancy cultivation methods; I just made it up as I went along.
My parents ‘probably’ abandoned me at birth, because I was a bit ‘disappointing’. I never tracked them down and murdered them for being horrible people, because it would have been pointless. Besides that, I was kind of ‘slow’ and maybe a tinsy bit… Okay, I had a learning disability and I was growing up alone, on a mountain, and I was literally raised by a wolf. She wasn’t a magical being, closer to a wild dog really; the point is that, I had absolutely no chance of being a ‘genius’ or even coming anywhere near what would be considered ‘normal’.
I ‘was’ human, but my mental capacity was closer to the other puppies. It’s embarrassing, but I walked with my hands and feet until I was seven. That was when my ‘mother’ died and I started living on my own. To be completely honest, I was a little relieved when I was finally alone and didn’t have to try so hard to impress my overprotective ‘guardian’.
It took me a while before my intelligence reached that of an ape and I learned how to beat animals to death with rocks and sticks. Yeah, life was rough on the mountain, even after I started figuring out how to use ‘Qi’.
Some people call it ‘mana’, others say ‘Chi’ and there’s like, so many different theories and concepts. For me though, I just called it “Grrr~!” because I ‘discovered’ it, when I growled at a bear that was trying to steal my cave.
I may have forgotten to mention this, since appearance becomes irrelevant when you reach a certain point in cultivation, but I was born without genitals. In fact, that was the reason why my parents ‘probably’ abandoned me to die on that random mountain; I was a ‘freak’ and a disgrace to their bloodline or some such nonsense. Maybe I was closer to a male, than a female, but it’s pretty debatable. There was just a urethra, no fancy tubes or holes to procreate or play with; I never gained any secondary sexual characteristics either.
Even after twenty-one years, I just looked like an effeminate human, with slightly tan skin, brown irises and really big muscles. All I did all day was take care of the basic necessities and work out, since I had nothing better to do. I didn’t know how to speak; there was no technology or magical devices to play with, so I just ‘trained’ myself constantly.
When I was thirty-three, I finally figured out a way to effectively incorporate ‘Qi’ into my push-ups, squats, sit-ups and jogging routine. I never did anything ‘too’ outrageous, since if I got a scratch, it might have become infected and killed me; in case you didn’t already know this, wolves don’t teach their children how to create antibiotics or medicinal herbal teas. If it wasn’t so warm all year round, I probably would have frozen to death without knowing how to make a campfire. Plus, I was totally hairless back then: another one of my deformities.
It was ‘interesting’ I guess, but for the most part, any random person would have been able to do some simple exercises and achieve similar results. Humans who didn’t ‘cultivate’ only used to live for about sixty to one-hundred years back then; by that, I mean they ‘potentially’ lived that long. Obviously, most of them died before they hit thirty for various silly reasons: plagues, famines, wars, alcoholism, bad medicine, corrupt governments, sexually transmitted diseases…
Yep, the list is basically endless, because life was truly horrible in the olden days. Of course, I lived on a freaking mountain, alone, with a family of bears, until they died. There were some tigers, more wolves; if mosquitoes count as companions, then my little cave was always super-overcrowded.
When I turned forty-five, I finally decided to climb to the peak of my three-mile high mountain. It wasn’t very steep, but when I made it to the top, I could barely breathe and I saw snow for the first time in my life.
The clouds were actually below me and as I gazed off into the sunset, I reached a bit of ‘enlightenment’. No, I didn’t instantly ascend to immortality or anything ridiculous like that; I just realized that I was an idiot for trying so hard to work out all the time, when I could totally just sit down and meditate.
By the end of the week, I reached the first level of ‘Grrr~!’ power and threw up some nasty black gunk for like, two whole days. I also had awful diarrhea and my urine had a bunch of blood in it; at that point, I was pretty sure that I was dying from old age. However, once that horrendous ordeal was over with, I felt amazing.
Sure, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I am aware that when the ‘Fire God’ Lang Wong managed to do the same thing, before he was even a year old. Actually, I’ve heard of people who were born with divine bodies, but then again, how many trillions or quintillions were never even able to cultivate at all? That was just on my tiny little planet too, so don’t make fun of me just because I was slower than all of those ‘geniuses’; are they even still alive anymore? Exactly, I’m here and they’ve all been dead for eons, so stop complaining.
Slow and steady wins the race… not really. I guess it’s more like, I took so long to come in last, that everyone else had already gotten bored and moved on. Well, most of them murdered each other, so the moral of the story is probably to avoid people as much as possible.
Fifty-nine was when I started getting wrinkles and if I had hair, it would have been greying by then. However, once I reached the second level of ‘Grrr~!’, some really gross black inky stuff started oozing out of my pores. A day or two of terrible agonizing pain passed by and all of my skin fell off and when I looked in the mirror, I looked like a teenager again. I was still bald and like all the other animals in the forest, I never wore any clothing; my scars vanished though, so that was kind of cool.
At the time, I didn’t know how to count, speak, read or do any of that ‘normal’ human nonsense. In retrospect, my strength basically doubled between the two levels, but that was pretty average. My weight was most likely around one-hundred kilograms and my height was roughly two-meters; push-ups stopped working, so I would use the angry tiger who lived in my cave to work-out with. She was about three times as heavy as I was; unfortunately, it was extremely difficult to get her to ‘cooperate’ with my training regimen.
My motivation for growing stronger was always pretty shallow: I simply had nothing better to do. No one ever told me how to practice or forced me to do anything; for so many years, I just didn’t know what else to do with my life. In the day, I would cultivate from the sun’s ‘Yang’ Qi and at night, I’d bathe in the Moon’s ‘Yin’ Qi.
Every week, I would finally rest and enter a deep sleep. Sometimes, in my unconscious state, I could hear people talking and see visions of places, thousands of miles away or even on other planets. It was just some basic astral projection and remote viewing, but I could never really remember much from my dreams back then.
Meditation typically replaced my need to rest, so I spent the majority of my time in a trance, sitting on the peak of the mountain. It was a bit chilly, technically below freezing, and I did catch my fair share of colds. I didn’t know it back then, but I was actually ‘training’ my body to endure the ‘elements’, albeit in a very dangerous and unnecessary manner.
For the first seventy-seven years, the only ‘pleasures’ I ever indulged in, were eating and fighting. My diet mostly consisted of fresh fruit, raw meat, animal blood, and random plants or mushrooms that I found laying around. I wasn’t picky and I nearly died so~ many times because of my reckless hunger. There were no ‘treasured herbs’ in my forest or magical-beasts for me to contend against, so once I reached the third level of ‘Grrr~!’ or rank three of Qi Strengthening, beating up bears and tigers just wasn’t fun anymore.
Since most martial arts ‘Sects’, ‘Clans’ and ‘Schools’ typically taught children from a very young age, to power-up as quickly as possible, they never had any records of a person taking as long as I did to train. In cultivation, building your foundation is really, super-important, but so is efficiently utilizing the time that you have. What people had forgotten though, is that those so-called ‘bottlenecks’ are simply the result of impatience and haste; I never experienced one of those, ever.
I mean, I never stressed out over getting stronger faster, because it was just a ‘hobby’ of mine. I didn’t even realize how amazing I was, since I didn’t exactly have anything or anyone to compare myself to. The reason why I was so ‘impressive’, was because I invented my own cultivation method; it was probably the slowest, most relaxed, and ‘simplest’ technique that had ever existed.
What most people didn’t know, was that every time someone ‘leveled-up’ in ‘Grrr~!’, they would increase their longevity. All of those ‘geniuses’ or even the ‘normal’ kids, typically rushed through Qi Strengthening far too quickly to gain any benefits like that. Whenever I started to see signs of ‘aging’, I would expel my ‘impurities’ and within a few days, my entire body would be totally rejuvenated.
At ninety-nine years old, I finally stopped working out, because it was basically pointless. I had reached rank four and was sixteen times stronger than I had been in my teens. My bones were also harder and even my internal organs were more efficient. The multiplier was exactly the same for everyone, so the fact that I was so huge and beefy when I started cultivating, did give me a pretty outrageous advantage over anyone at the same level; after all, pretty much every single one of them, had started when they were children or even toddlers.
Talent is an illusion which typically makes people conceited, arrogant, and sometimes even evil. That sort of behavior and mindset is what either leads a person to death or ‘worse’, but most of all, it inhibits their future progress dramatically. I never thought that I was invincible just because there was no one who could compete against me; of course, I also wasn’t tricked by human society and their constantly changing rules. I didn’t have to deal with political nonsense, even on the smallest of scales, so perhaps my solitude was actually the reason I was able to remain pure and untainted.
Every time I ‘rejuvenated’ my body, even my mind was enhanced and improved. My comprehensive abilities increased and by my one-hundred and eleventh birthday, when I reached the fifth rank of Qi Strengthening, I was basically just like a ‘normal’ human child. Okay, that’s a lie, I was four meters tall and while I didn’t work out as much anymore, I was still built like a muscle-bound bodybuilder.
I remember this one time, a few years after that, this terrible storm hit. It had been decades since all of my animal companions had passed away or moved on, so I was all alone in my cave. For the first time in my life, I actually met another person.