Cultivation Age

Class Assignment.

Oz half ran – half walked home. He lived a little over half an hour away from Academy in one of the more poorer apartment blocks near the walls of the Eastern fortress city. With his brother being the only one to bring in money at the moment from working at the guild, it was a miracle they managed to continue to live there.

The government had given them a set monthly allowance after their parents died, but once Oz had reached the age to attend the academy, those payments stopped. Jobs that existed in the past still existed within the fortress cities such as hairdressers, food services, office workers etc etc. But to make good money, being a cultivator was the answer. One corpse of a rank 1 beast could bring in at least one hundred credits – that was enough to feed a young family for a few weeks!

Oz entered the empty apartment and made a quick bow to his parents portrait before entering his room and closing the door behind him. His brother was always home late so he didn need to worry about the chores or making dinner yet.

It was finally time.

Sitting in his bed, he lifted the pendant and closed his eyes. He probed the pendant with his mind and found the strange red aura of the book inside.

Now lets take a good look at you. Oz thought to himself as he began reading through the technique.

[Demonic Retribution Breathing]

What kind of technique name was that?! Oz thought to himself, his mouth open in shock as he reread the title. What an ominous title.

Oz had heard tales of gods and demons from some of the more religious kids that used to go to his high school. They believed that God was the one who breathed Ki into the world and allowed us to ascend as humans. They also believed that the beasts were the works of demons, dark beings that possessed them so they could destroy humanity.

Oz wasn sure he believed there was a god or demons, he believed that there was good and that there was bad. One couldn be without the other just as there was light and darkness.

He continued reading more of the technique and with each paragraph, Oz grew more and more dumbfounded.

The book itself was a cultivating technique. Instead of breathing the Ki from the air straight into your dantian, it says that the Ki should first be filtered through the blood, bones and muscles before reaching the dantian. It described a certain breath technique as well as a Ki pathway.

Would this breathing technique be better than the conventional way?

Oz got into the lotus position on his bed and closed his eyes. As he probed with his mind he found small white glowing orbs floating around. He began pulling them into his body and down into his dantian.

”Ugh, ” Oz groaned as the strain on his mind began to make him sweat. It was a lot more difficult when he didn have a Ki stone to use. After an hour of cultivating, Oz had managed to absorb one drop of Ki into his dantian. He now had 2 drops inside and whilst it was a huge improvement, he would need around a hundred or so to reach level one. With ten levels just to reach Rank One Foundation, Oz feared it would take many months.

It was too long.

Oz wanted to eventually reach the fifth rank and beyond. He wanted to surpass the limit of men, to be the most powerful being on earth. He wanted to be the one to bring peace to the world, unite the people and drive back the beasts.

It was what he promised himself that he would do after his parents passing, and the dream still burned brightly within him even today.

He closed his eyes again and read through the demonic breathing technique once more. He repeated the breathing pattern as instructed and after a while he began to notice something strange.

The glowing white orbs that floated around in the air were slowly disappearing and in their place were large shadow filled spheres. He gulped as he brought one closer to him, causing the shadows within began writhing and fighting against his pull.

What type of Ki is this? Oz thought incredulously as he pulled the resisting orb into his chest. As soon as he began pulling the dark Ki through the directed route in his body like instructed, Oz cried out in pain and released the energy.

It felt like tiny needles were piercing his body from within wherever the Ki was being directed.

Was this what was meant to happen? There was nothing that described this pain in the technique.

Oz gritted his teeth as he pulled the dark Ki towards him again and all through his body. Each second seemed like a lifetime as the pain felt like his blood had turned to broken glass, carving its way through his body. Once it finally reached his dantian, he was surprised to see a drop twice the size as normal enter.

He opened his eyes and after the residual ache left his body he couldn believe what he felt.

He felt even stronger than when he absorbed the Ki stone!

What incredible strength! Oz exclaimed internally as he examined his now slightly defined arms. Oz had always been on the skinnier side due to being not able to afford a lot of food, so seeing muscles beginning to appear on his body was a shock.

Seeing the results in his body, Oz couldn help but decide that the painful cultivation technique was worth it. Not only did it strengthen his body that normal cultivating couldn do, it also seemed to deposit double the amount of Ki into his dantian.

Oz flopped down on his bed with a grin on his face. Just when he thought that all hope was lost without his spiritual roots, he managed to find this technique.

Even if every second of using this technique was torturous, he knew it would be worth it. No one reached their goals easily, did they?

He was finally on his way to achieving his dream.

***

Deep in the wild lands outside of the fortress cities, a small abandoned temple lay half-buried in the Forest of Bones. Inside the inner chamber, at the far end of the wall stood an ornate bookshelf. Five cases sat proudly on each shelf, and all but one lay empty.

The remaining book had a domineering red aura that surrounded it.

A sudden ripple shuddered through the temple and the remaining book began to glow brighter.

Finally, The book thought. Someone has learned the first book. The Demonic Heir has finally been born.

***

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