“Shoo~! Fuck off! Ow-ow-ow~! Stop it!” That magical illusory ‘Thunder Spirit’ was cackling madly, as crimson arcs of electricity kept zapping me nonstop. However, it didn’t do any significant damage and only hurt really badly. It tried to bite me a few times, but it didn’t seem to have a physical form. Honestly, there was a time when I was shocked by a taser. The sensation wasn’t nearly that powerful, yet it was still a lot stronger than a bit of static from rubbing socks against a carpet.
“Ow, what the hell?! Dude, no! Stop it! No means no! Grand Di, hurry up and help me! Gah~! It’s trying to tooth-rape me!” I was being skull-fucked in the ass by a weird bodiless ghost of indeterminate gender. It was basically just chomping down on my left butt-cheek, but still, it was rather traumatic for my vanilla heart to handle. No one had ever tried to eat my ass before then and I was technically only nine years old. I wonder if that would be considered pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia or all of the above?
“Calm down ya vulgar Brat! Look, it’s attached ta ya! That’s a good thing! Now hurry up and get down here! It draws its power from that tree-house up there! Ya need ta get away from there fast or the little bugger will escape!” I immediately started climbing down as quickly as possible, using both my arms and feet to keep from falling to my death. It was just really hard to use my legs when I was being constantly zapped near the base of my spine. On a sidenote, I had a really weird boner and was imagining doing all sorts of ‘experiments’ with that strange ethereal creature.
When I was about halfway down, it randomly started screeching in terror and flew back up into its creepy ‘nest’. I was panting heavily and felt like I was going to pass out from overexertion, but I still managed to make it back into the white sand without falling.
“Sorry, ugh, I just… gotta go take care of something. Plus I’m super worn-out, so maybe we should take a break from this insanity? If I end up tearing apart all my muscles, then it’s going to take me a lot longer to get in shape… Also, can you please warn me if there’s gonna be motherfucking ghosts next time?! It ain’t even noon yet and you’re making me do this kinda crazy shit! I could’ve died!” Even though I was cursing at him, it didn’t seem like the old bastard even heard me. He just kept frowning and gazing longingly up at that ominous metallic treehouse.
As I was feeling totally exhausted, a warm and comfortable sensation welled up inside of me. I wasn’t actively trying to condense Qi, so all that random mana I was unintentionally inhaling, was coursing through my body. In fact, even the salad and iced tea that I had eaten earlier was rapidly transforming into usable energy and revitalizing my scrawny muscles.
I was surprised, but Long Di just casually explained “As long as yer Dantian is full, then ya can suck-up the Qi pretty easily. If its empty though and yer fightin somethin… yer screwed. Well, yer still just a Novice, so it don’t matter yet. Course, cause uh yer ungodly Innate Talent, yer basically cheating. A normal brat that was just startin out… They’d need ta spend at least twenty minutes, maybe thirty, tryin ta calm themselves down first. After another half-hour, they’d be full uh energy again… But yer different, so I ain’t gonna go easy on trainin ya!”
In my last life, I had a pretty troubled history with ‘running’. As a kid I had asthma, so I just couldn’t do it. When I got older and started weight training, I still sucked at anything that required too much cardiovascular endurance. I could bulk up really easily, but I wasn’t very good when it came to long bouts of physical activity.
My new body was totally different though. Aside from the fact that I was super-skinny and probably weighed less than seventy pounds, there was that whole magical rejuvenation thing. As long as I was just jogging, it seemed like I never got tired. Push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, weird frog-jumps… Di made me do all kinds of monotonous exercises for hours on end.
Only when I started getting hungry did I finally feel too exhausted to move anymore. Noon was lunchtime and he made omelets for the both of us. They were packed with everything from diced onions to green peppers. He seasoned it with an herb called ‘Lighting Vine’, claiming that it had the ability to build up my body’s resistance to electrical attacks. I asked him about that ghost a few times, but he refused to give me any information other than “Don’t worry bout catchin it right away… Ya got plenty uh time. It’s been hauntin that place for centuries, so it ain’t goin nowhere. Just don’t ever go inside uh that treehouse and you’ll be fine. If yer able ta rip it away from that spot, ya should be able ta absorb it into yer Dantian… eventually. I just wanted ya ta have a short-term goal ta aim for!”
Now, I wasn’t an expert on that kind of supernatural bullshit, but usually if there’s a creepy spirit… Then there’s always some sort of horror story to go along with it. Well, it was only the second day that we knew each other, so I didn’t want to hear about his depressing life quite yet.
When lunch was over, we went back outside; he fed the dogs and cats again. The horses, cows and other typical ‘farm’ animals, were able to graze on their own. Of course, he still gave them special treats like apples and carrots. He also spent at least half an hour talking and playing with most of the critters.
As I followed him into the woods that were a few hundred meters to the north of his house, I grumbled “What are you gonna make me do this time? Wait, are you actually an Exorcist or something? Oh wait, no, maybe you’re some kinda Necromancer?”
He stopped walking, turned around and glared at me for a minute. Then he yelled “Stop bitchin about everything and get movin! Yer such a whiny little brat! Ain’t I told ya this yet? I’m a Shamanic Expert! Well, I do dabble a bit in Druidry too… People call me Gentle Di!”
“Pft~! You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me! No, I don’t even know which way I should retort that! Ugh, stop smacking me all the time! You busted my lip open again! Damn it!” He only slapped me in the mouth lightly, but it was enough to rip open my wounds from the night before. However, once he saw that I was bleeding, he immediately took out a clean cloth from his ring. He sprinkled some water on it, mumbled some words and channeled a bit of his aura into the material. Once it turned from white to green, he rubbed my wound and I felt a sharp stinging sensation.
Then he used it to wipe my entire face. The old man smirked, pulling a hand-mirror out of his ring and bragging “See that Brat? I’m amazing ain’t I? I’m one uh the top ten healers in the country! Er, well, at least I was the last time I checked… Hell, my rank might have gone up since those ancient monsters probably kicked the bucket already! Hahahaha~!”
Both of my black-eyes were gone and it was the first time I saw my face without any swelling, cuts or bruises. I muttered “Holy shit, I’m really feminine… Would it be wrong if I masturbated to myself? I wonder what my asshole looks like-ow~?!”
‘Gentle’ Di snatched the mirror away from me and didn’t forget to smack the top of my head hard enough to make me taste purple for a moment. He screamed “I ain’t never seen such a perverted brat before it my entire life! Who get’s a woody from their own reflection?! Now let’s get goin!”
As we reached a massive dark-green swamp-like lake, I asked “You aren’t going to make me go swimming in that sludge, right? Didn’t you say something about a giant frog-monster before? Plus, I can totally see a bunch of alligators over there…”
He sighed dramatically and reached out with his left hand, causing a small brown canoe to fly out of thin air and land in the shallow ‘water’. Then I felt a giant hand grab my right arm and I became airborne for an instant, before landing on one of the two seats. The shirtless old man sat down across from me and the boat started moving forward on its own.
“Earlier with that Thunder Spirit was a test… There’s lots uh different kinds uh ‘undead’ critters out there. Normal Mortals can’t even see em, regardless of whether they’re a Novice or Legendary. Immortals are a different story… Some people call everything in the Mortal Realm ‘Houtian’, and it’s rare for anybody like that ta even interact with ghosts. They mainly just focus on gettin stronger physically, treating spirits and curses like superstitious bullshit… Most uh the time they don’t even realize why they’re sick or dying, when there’s a giant octopus demon latched onto their damn face!”
While he was talking, we were moving farther way from the shore and wading through the murky waters unhindered by any of the random aquatic Beasts that were lurking all around us. I snickered, wondering “I’m guessing that this little boat ride has something to do with Shamanism?”
He smirked, “Ya mentioned Necromancers earlier… I really hate those evil jackasses! Exorcists ain’t much better, but at least they try ta remove harmful apparitions and help people… The reason why I don’t kill is ‘cause I know what happens after things die! We all got souls inside of us, and when we croak, they tend ta lose their anchors. Sometimes they float off into the void and go to other worlds, it’s also possible for them ta reincarnate… but occasionally, they get trapped. They’ll get stuck in a certain place or attached to someone they loved and linger for a while. Now, a century might seem like a lot to us, but for them it goes by pretty quickly. Once they use up all their Qi, they’ll dissipate and I heard that they fall down into a lower plane of existence, but I’ve also seen some that probably just… disappeared.”