“You keep droning on and on about these Stages, lifespans and age limits, but this is just humanity right? What about other races, like Elves, Orcs, Goblins and Dwarves or whatever else there is out there? Also, there’s probably like magical treasures that can make people live longer than normal or help them break through under circumstances where they normally wouldn’t be able to…”
Long Di stared at me as if I were an idiot for a few moments, before bluntly stating “There are no other races anymore. I don’t know bout them other worlds, but on this one, it’s just humans and beasts. All them other races were wiped out long before I was born… Don’t know the ‘real’ story, but the one that kids learn is just that well… The ‘Heavens’ decided it was too much work havin so many races, so they picked Humans and got rid of the others. They also decided that there needed ta be a longevity limit for Mortals and that it had to be really hard ta become Immortal… I got no clue whether that’s just nonsense or if there’s actual fact in that story, but if ya think about it this way, it does sorta make sense. There’s only so much Qi out there and if there were too many people suckin it all up, then it’d eventually all run out. When ya die, all the Qi ya absorbed throughout yer entire life is released back into the world. Besides, if everybody lived forever, then what fun would that be? Hahahaha~!”
“What?! No! Why?! What’s the point of even living in this world then?! What kinda magical afterlife fantasy doesn’t have monster-girls in it?! Where the hell are my furries?! My Elven beauties?!” Ninety-percent of my aspirations in my new life involved having sex with ‘exotic’ and terrifying women of various non-human races. I hurriedly asked “Wait, you mentioned these so-called ‘Beasts’! Are they anthropomorphic?! Are they even slightly humanoid?!”
He frowned, shook his head a few times and muttered “Beasts are well, ‘Beasts’. They’re just other kinds uh animals that can cultivate. Mortal Beasts have a ranking system that’s a bit different from ours…”
I yelled “Oh God! No more! Too much info-dump for one day-” Of course, he totally ignored my pleas for mercy and continued ‘teaching’ me about fucking magical animals… Not literally having sex with them though. Never mind, the point is that he just kept talking forever regarding something that I only vaguely gave a shit about.
“Beasts don’t really follow the same rules as us Cultivators. I ain’t got no clue why the ‘Heavens’ wanted ta do it that way, but it’s just the way the world works I guess… Maybe it’s cause they ain’t like us? Any random animal can become an ‘Unranked’ Beast, which has a normal lifespan and is only a bit stronger than normal. If they’re lucky enough ta evolve into Rank-G Beasts, then they’re practically ageless already! Course, Rank-G is only about equivalent ta a Novice Stage Human… On the other hand, they might spend decades or centuries stuck at that point. It’s definitely harder for them ta become Immortals than it is for us, though there’s lots more of them Beasts in the world than there are Humans, so they probably have more Immortals too.”
It was then that I had finally finished drinking my glass of iced tea, so I tried to hurry the explanation along a bit faster. “Okay, I’ll just take a wild guess here and say that Rank-F is like an Apprentice, ‘E’ is equivalent to an Adept, ‘D’ is the Expert… Wait a second, that’s only a coincidence right? No, don’t answer that, it doesn’t matter and I really don’t care! Rank-C are Masters, ‘B’ equals Legendary and what, Rank-A should be kinda like an Immortal already…”
He snickered, taking that chance to start talking again. My original guess as to why he was living alone was that he simply outlived all his relatives, but I was beginning to believe that he actually scared them away with his raspy voice and love for violently abusing children.
“Almost… Rank-A is somewhere in between a Human Legendary Mortal and a Novice Immortal. That’s when things get a little tricky though… From what I’ve heard in stories, they can either choose to take a Human form and become real Novice Immortals… or they can keep evolving. Rank-S is equivalent to an Immortal Novice and there’s still about four or five other ranks above that, but it’s all beyond my expertise. Anyway, I’ve talked enough for one day… Since I got plenty uh guest rooms in my home en ya don’t seem ta have a place uh yer own, why don’t ya stay here for a while? Hell, I’ll go a step farther and ask ya ta become my last disciple…”
I immediately frowned, causing the gashes on my lips to start bleeding again. Then I asked “You know I’m not gay, right? I don’t wanna lead you on or anything, but I’m really not interested in having sex with old men-”
I’m not totally sure what happened exactly, but I definitely remember his eyes turning bright-orange, before I lost consciousness. When I woke up the next morning, my face was swollen to the point where I though I was having an allergic reaction to shellfish. It was literally one of the most terrifying experiences in my life. If my new body couldn’t eat seafood, I would have literally killed myself and tried to start over again. Fortunately, it was just the aftermath of being beaten half to death by that crazy bastard.
Once I regained my senses, I reached down and used both hands to feel my asshole. Then I let out a sigh of relief and muttered “Maybe Long Douche isn’t a paedofile afterall? Well, there’s no way to rule that out though… I mean, he could be interested in little girls for all I know? Either that, or maybe he’s planning to wait until I’m an adult before raping me?”
“I ain’t no paedophile or rapist! If I wasn’t such a kind person, I would beat ya ta death for being such a rude, vulgar and ungrateful brat!” It was only after hearing his deep and obnoxiously raspy voice, that I noticed the psychotic grandpa was sitting next to the bed. His rocking chair creaked as he stood up and grabbed my left shoulder, yanking me from under that white sheet. I was still wearing the same clothes as before he knocked me out, but he had changed into what looked like a white karate gi. There was a black belt around his waist, but I think it was more for decoration than to display any sort of status.
Before I had the chance to complain, he scolded “Since I’m yer master now, I won’t allow ya ta waste yer heavenly Innate Talent! Yer already nine years old! Ya got maybe a whole year left if yer lucky, so I ain’t gonna let you sleep when ya should be training!”
By the time he finished talking, we were already in the back yard, which was just a really fucking big field of grass. I grumbled “Ew, there’s shit all over the place! Do you have some kinda scat fetish?” Since the chickens, dogs, cows, horses, pigs, sheep and goats just wandered wherever they wanted to, there really was no ‘safe’ place to walk.
He yelled “Stop being such a pussy!” After throwing me onto the ground, he waited for me to stand up, before instructing “Listen kid, this is for yer own good! If ya don’t manage ta become an Apprentice soon, you’ll never have the chance! For your entire life, you’ll be nothing but a pathetic loser! Everyone will treat ya like garbage and you’ll never be able ta accomplish anything worthwhile!”
“Calm down, I get the point, okay? When did I ever say that I wanted to be a weakling anyway? For your information, I actually enjoy beating people up… It was just always frowned upon. More importantly, if my goal is to have sex with all sorts of inhuman monsters, then I need to get strong enough to at least let them cum!” I was kinda expecting him to start smacking me around again, but he was laughing hysterically instead.
After he finally managed to have a stern expression again, he told me “Well, everybody’s got their own Dao to follow… Normally, from the time a child turns five years old, until they reach eight, they’d have ta focus purely on physical training. With a solid foundation, it’d be a lot safer for them ta start ‘cultivating’ seriously. Yer probably the weakest lookin brat that I’ve ever laid eyes on, and we ain’t got time ta do things the ‘safe’ way. Sides, ya really are different than regular kids… Aside from the fact that yer crazy and nobody cares if ya live or die, there’s also yer Violet Innate Talent. If ya had ten years ta just dick around all day, you’d still easily make it through Novice.”
“Well whatever, as long as you don’t ask me to bear my ass or suck your dick, I’ll follow your teachings sensei…” He let out a long and melodramatic sigh, before breathing in deeply and causing the air around his body to start glowing.
As a dense neon-green fog swirled around him, he explained “Listen Brat, this here’s Nature Qi… The first and most crucial part uh cultivation, is ta figure out what Element ya like the best. Now some folks think that the Elements choose the person, but that’s just a bunch uh horseshit! I told ya earlier bout them other races gettin wiped out… Well, that ain’t necessarily true. There’s lots uh people with ties to them ancient extinct races. Their blood’s so diluted that it’s hard ta tell at first, but it starts ta show a bit more, once they reach the Apprentice Stage.”
His skin suddenly started turning from tan, to dark-brown and it looked like he was gonna turn into a tree for a second there. Then he continued “This is my ‘racial’ ability, ‘Ironbark Flesh’. It ain’t too fancy, but it still saved my life a bunch uh times back in my younger days. For now, just focus on feeling the ambient Qi around you. Arcane, Light, Darkness, Nature, Chaos, Earth, Fire, Water and Wind… They’re already there, but ya gotta figure out which one stands out the most for ya.”