Rise of the Midnight King – Chapter 2

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Near a certain dilapidated shack, a portal started to shimmer. Two women stepped out of this distortion in the air, creating a sudden scurry of the nearby wildlife that had the capacity to notice. Had anyone except animals been able to see it, surely they would have stared in complete amazement. Even to the immortal cultivators of this lower world, portals and teleportation were the things of myths. To the mortals, this was nothing short of complete magic. These women would surely have been worshiped as gods.

This was before even laying eyes on the women themselves, whose beauty was so all-encompassing, that if any mortal woman stood next to her, she would look like a stain in comparison. Cultivation was a complex process, after all, that involved purifying and cleaning the body. These women exuded pureness that lower level mortals couldn’t even try to obtain. In comparison, any mortal man or woman would look unclean and give off a disgusting smell to a cultivator.

It wasn’t simply that the higher immortals looked down on their lowers, it was that the steps that purified them made them unable to tolerate the grime and filth. The lower down someone was in cultivation, the less hygienic they appeared. To a high-level cultivator, a low-level cultivator literally smelled and looked filthy in comparison. In congruence with their exponential growth in strength, one could easily understand why they often looked down on the lower worlds and its people like insects.

That was the exact expression Tigra was wearing. Even though she had been raised up from a lower world, and started her life as a whore, her cultivation had purified her body and given her an otherworldly beauty. This world felt thick, damp, and muggy compared to the midnight palace and those worlds that sat on the higher plane. It was difficult to describe, but the air felt like it contained a thin layer of grease and grime that a cultivator had to breathe in with each gulp of air. Just taking a step in this world made Tigra feel like she needed a bath. This effect was likely more profound for the Midnight Queen, but her expression remained completely unchanged, as always.

“Master… is your new beau seriously going to come from this world? It’s the lowest of the low.”

“It would seem, he is in this hut right here.” She gestured in front of her.

“This?” Tigra grimaced. “This place is trash. These people are completely poor. Even if they were mortals, at least he could have been a noble or some prince. But this… this boy barely even has access to cultivation techniques. If left on his own, he would die by the age of thirty, likely from accumulated diseases.”

“Yes… my disciple, so we must make sure this does not happen.” The woman lifted her beautiful dress that looked far too delicate and clean to drag on the filthy ground that made up this world.

As she walked, any vines, roots, stumps, and leaves that threatened to brush against her form bent away. Even the laws of this world knew their place. This goddess was far beyond this world, and every element in it understood it had no right to be in her presence. That said, the entire environment seemed to sing her praise. The land she walked on was becoming a holy spirit reserve. Some low-end cultivator, if he found this place, would surely build an immortal cave here and it’d likely be strong enough he could use it for the rest of his days, growing a bit stronger than his fellow cultivators. This was the power of the Midnight Queen. Her very presence sanctified the ground she walked on.

She pushed her way into the hut, the door opening several inches in front of her hand so that the door didn’t disgrace her by forcing her to touch it. As soon as she walked through, the door slammed shut in Tigra’s face.

“Hey, asshole!” Tigra cried out as she kicked open the door with enough power that it tore off the hinge, “I’m a god too! Shitty door!”

The door didn’t respond. It’s just a door. Tigra grumbled as she walked in. Immediately, her eyes widened at the sight in front of her.

“Oh, my!” Tigra’s eyes brightened.

There was a naked woman on all fours with her butt in the air. Laying on top of her was a man. However, both of them were very unconscious, and all Tigra could see was his hairy ass sticking in the air, covering the woman, an imperfect woman with various scars and blotchy skin. If these were cultivators, they were not particularly strong ones.

“These… the parents?” Tigra asked.

“I have restrained my aura by 99.999%, yet these mortals still can’t remain conscious in my presence.” The Midnight Queen sighed.

“I’m sure if Master gets it to 99.9999%, that’ll make all the difference,” Tigra reassured her. “But these parents are quite ugly, aren’t they? If they’re this ugly, the baby must be very ugly. My condolences that Master must lose it to an ugly baby.”

“The cradle is right there.” Midnight looked to her side, ignoring her disciple’s words.

“In the same room? What’s with these fucking parents? They’re butt naked and plowing it in front of their baby. Wait, wasn’t their baby just born? Take a freaking break, you sluts!”

As she said this, Tigra was carefully observing the naked couple on their bed. As a woman who grew up with a life surrounded in sex, she naturally had a curiosity of such things. As for the Midnight Queen, she deliberately didn’t look at them. She had cut herself off from earthly vices so thoroughly, that it was unlikely she could even recognize what they were doing as sex.

Midnight reached into the cradle, picking up the baby. “This is it. This is the man I foresaw.”

Tigra walked up and grimaced. “A smelly thing isn’t it. Oh, gross, I think it shit itself. Mortals are disgusting.”

Midnight waved a hand, and the poop went back up the baby’s butt, not daring to offend the presence of the Midnight Queen. This caused the baby’s eyes to snap open, the feeling of a recently released load suddenly going in the opposite direction. He might have started crying, but as soon as his eyes landed on the Midnight Queen holding him, he could only stare at her in shock.

“He’s… sort of cute.” Tigra tried once again to comfort Midnight.

“He’s bleeding from the eyes.” Midnight frowned. “Do babies do that?”

“Eh? I-I’m not sure.”

“Now the ears… mouth… the baby is convulsing.”

“M-master… just a thought, but if your aura is so strong it can knock out an adult mortal from a distance, how do you think it’d affect a baby you’re holding right up against you?”

“…”

“Master, you’re killing the baby!” Tigra cried before suddenly getting an idea. “Wait! How about I do this…”

Tigra flicked her wrist. Several ingredients flew out of her Dimensional space and instantly mixed into a cocktail. The entire concoction glowed and disappeared inside the baby a moment later. The baby’s eyes glowed the same color as the concoction, but only briefly. After that, the shaking stopped and so did the blood. Midnight went to wipe the blood off the babies face but terrified of soiling her dress, the blood sucked itself back into the baby’s body.

“…” Midnight sighed, feeling exhausted just being in this filthy world for a few minutes. “Tigra… what did you do?”

“Eh? I just cast a weak spell on him. I engraved an aura suppression formation into his bones.”

“Tigra… this…”

“It’s a very weak one, Master! It’s the absolute weakest aura suppression spell I know that could protect the baby from your aura.”

“This… won’t affect the baby?” Midnight asked.

“It’s so very weak… and it will wear off in a very short period of time. The aura can only block someone up to the level of Supreme and it’ll barely last a few hundred years.”

Midnight relaxed after hearing the rather weak level of this spell. Of course, the planet had only produced a single supreme in the last ten thousand years. Tigra had incidentally handed this baby the capacity to ignore the intensity of all auras from this world and block 50% or more of the aura for beings beyond this realm. It’d also last several mortal lifespans. Of course, neither Tigra nor Midnight thought along those terms anymore. To them, something of this level was truly a trash spell.

The baby’s eyes started to open again upon recovering from its aura shock. Once again, its eyes snapped back to Midnight, who was staring at the little baby carefully. The baby seemed surprisingly lucid, and as Midnight studied the baby, she almost could swear the baby was studying her back. Midnight wondered what thoughts might be going through this future cultivator’s complex mind. The baby reached forward with its hands and then squeezed her boob.

“Master! The baby’s convulsing again!”

“A million years and no man has ever touched me before now! To be violated…”

“Master, your plan! Your plan!” Tigra cried.

“Hmph!” Midnight tossed the baby over to Tigra, who only managed to catch it thanks to godly reflexes. “This miscreant is lucky I have already chosen him to be my dual cultivation partner. Since that is the case, the agreement has already been made!”

Tigra could only make a desperate plea. “Master… he’s just a baby…”

Even as a cold and oppressive aura came off of Midnight in waves, she turned to the baby and pointed straight at his face. The baby looked startled having just been tossed, and his eyes were nearly cross-eyed looking at her finger.

“You have made the first move… now, you must take responsibility as my dao partner. You will cultivate until you can reach the heavenly planes. The next time we will meet, you shall have ascended to the heavens. At that point, I shall harvest your vital yin personally. Only then will our karmic debt be fulfilled!”

The baby burst into tears and started crying.

“Oh… you made him cry…” Tigra started bouncing the baby and snuggling him against her chest.

She didn’t mention this, but he seemed to take particular delight in her breasts. Well, more men had fondled Tigra’s chest that she cared to remember. She knew Midnight was just being melodramatic on account of her life destiny or whatever she called it. Tigra put the baby back down in the crib, and then met her master back outside. Midnight’s icy calm had finally returned. 

“Is… the baby okay?” Midnight asked stiffly.

Tigra’s eyes widened. Of anyone, she could be said to know her Master the best. For her to show any level of concern was miraculous. She must have truly felt some guilt at having grown angry at the child, or she never would have acted in this manner. It would have been the equivalent of another woman bursting into tears and pleading for an apology.

“He-he’s fine. Your chosen dao partner is strong.” Tigra nodded.

Midnight gave a single curt not and turned away. “While you were putting the baby away, I investigated this place. I have a clearer understanding of what is going on…”

“Investigated? I was gone for fifteen seconds…” Tigra said with a wry smile.

“The baby’s father is part of the Xaoi clan. They are the local cultivators and the closest entangled to the mortals of this world. Most of their number come from local lords hoping to increase their worth. Two generations ago, this child’s great grandfather was the leader of the local Xaoi family chapter. However, one of his sons had an accident, which prevented him from cultivating as fast as his peers. The grandfather fell in rank quickly and ultimately failed to form a qi core. He became a laughing stock of the entire clan. His son fell even further, not even able to reach the qi condensation stage. He was kicked out of the proper clan and ended up marrying a mortal woman because no cultivator would have him.”

“Is the condition serious?” Tigra asked cautiously.

Midnight sighed. “No, all that happened was their cultivation tolerance changed. However, this world has such limited access to cultivation techniques, that none of those offered by their clan work effectively. If the baby is raised here, he too will be as stunted as his father!”

“What will we do, master?”

Midnight nodded and crossed her arms into her sleeves with a nod. “We will watch over this child, and when the time comes, I will provide him a cultivation technique. His body should be strong enough to cultivate techniques by age ten. That’s the normal age people of this world start cultivating.”

“What technique does master have in mind?” Tigra’s eyes flashed eagerly.

“The people of this world cultivate by synchronizing with the environment and passively allowing heavenly energy to collect in their bodies. It is no surprise that this world cultivates in this manner, as the heavenly energy is so lacking, that most other cultivation techniques would wring this world dry. My future dao partner will need something else, as he lacks affinity for synchronization. That is why, at the age of ten, I will hand him the Dark Emperor Tyrant’s Great Plundering cultivation technique. It feeds upon the life energy of everything in a thousand kilometers and wrings all heavenly energy out of it. At the advanced stages, it can even destroy matter and turn it into energy…”

“Dark Emperor!? Tigra cries out. “Wasn’t that the technique banned by the immortal accords for wiping out entire civilizations!”

Midnight nodded. “I predict within six months of starting cultivation, all life on this planet will be destroyed. However, he will become a high enough level I can take him to the heavenly plane. It is the absolute quickest route.”

“M-m-m-master… you’re talking about becoming an enemy of all of the heavens. What about the karmic ramifications!”

“…” Midnight gave a blank look, as if personally battling with the heavens was of no concern of hers.

“Okay… Master… even if you do get him off the planet in six months, he’ll still only be ten! Naturally, a ten-year-old male is not sexually active!”

“This… sounds true…” Midnight admitted with a pout, not even certain about things like the age of sexual maturity for a male.

“We’ll make that a plan B…” Tigra gives a wry smile. “We’ll have ten years to worry about this. I think we’ll need to provide him with a softer touch though. Provide him with a few enhancements to prepare his body over the next ten years, and then develop a cultivation technique suited for him and this world. We want him to stay ahead of the curve, but not too ahead that he stands out and is targeted. After all, the Midnight Queen has many enemies, and if they find out you’re tinkering with this world, it could bring disaster before we can fulfill Master’s plans!”

“I have enemies? I thought you said that everyone forgot I existed.

Tigra coughed. “Ah… hah… um… isn’t a disciple’s enemies also her master’s?”

“…”

Tigra collapsed to the ground and bowed in forgiveness. “I’m sorry, master! I didn’t mean to piss off all of those cultivator clans! They were really just a series of jokes! But no one in the heavenly realm has a sense of humor or can hold their liquor!”

“How many of the heavenly families are we talking about here?” Midnight asked.

“Hmmm… let’s see… there are only four ascended realms which each lead four upper realms. Each upper realm contains about ten sub-families. Each medium family contains about a hundred retainers. I’ve pissed off three of the four ascended realms, so…”

“Twelve thousand heavenly families!” Midnight gave Tigra a look.

“Ah! Well, it’s not like they weren’t asking for it! It’s all Kane’s fault for declaring himself Godlord!”

Midnight put her hand up to her nose and squeezed for a moment. “Very well, we will follow your instructions.”

“Good-“

“You will stay here for the next ten years and watch after this child’s development! You will do so in hiding. Create an avatar here on the planet. You can hide in the abyss to keep from being noticed.” Midnight stated.

“What? The abyss? I hate that place! What will Master do?”

“I’ll be going into seclusion to create a new cultivation technique. I’ll also try to soothe things over with the Heavenly Gods.”

“Master… you’re leaving me alone with this… this… child?”

“You are the only person in this universe I could trust with this task.” Midnight sighed, pulling out a pouch from her Dimensional Space and handing it to Tigra. “In there are some starting pills of a particularly low grade. Please feed them to the baby.”

Tigra opened up the bag and pulled out three pills. “What are these?”

“The first is the Heavenly Purification Resonance Pill.” Midnight explained. “This pill is given to babies in many heavenly realms. It keeps them from accumulating the filth and grime of this world. It’ll be necessary for anyone cultivating in this filth if they hope to achieve enlightenment and leave this world.”

“Oh… I think I remember you giving me a pill like this.”

“For you, it was already too late, but it also acts as a good purifying agent.” Midnight shrugged. “This second pill clears and expands the mind. It’ll increase the baby’s capacity to memorize and retain techniques. It was given to babies of the Renika family some 500,000 years ago. I believe their bloodline and their recipe were lost to time. As not all children are born geniuses, it increases brainpower for those who are lacking.”

“Master never gave me this pill…” Tigra frowned.

“That is because I wanted to keep my disciple dumb and easy to contro- ahem… it is because you were already an adult and your brain had developed. Any benefits it provided you would have been minimal.”

“…”

“The final pill improves constitution. He will gain a bit of resistance to poisons and toxins, and be able to keep going longer than normal people. These pills are all low-grade, so he should be able to handle them.”

“Thank you, Master.” Tigra bowed and accepted the pills.

“Goodbye, and good luck, my disciple.” Midnight disappeared in a fold of space with that line.

Ten years in exile could be a light sentence considering. Tigra let out a sigh. She had never been a good disciple. She understood this better than anyone. She was far too crass and improper for the cultivation world. It was exactly this reason that she was so loyal to Midnight. She lacked the finesse and the intelligence to do anything that her Master had pulled off throughout her massively long lifetime. So, Tigra would help her master in any way she could.

She turned and walked through the open door frame into the house, giving it another kick and causing the strangely quiet baby to jump. “Come on, you little shit, let’s get these pills down your throat!”

She went to work shoving the pills down a baby’s gullet. The baby actually had the audacity to resist a bit! Strangely, he didn’t cry at all. He did bite her, despite lacking teeth. However, at some point, he managed to get his hand down her shirt and twisted her nipple! Tigra finished shoving the pills down the baby’s throat, causing him to only turn blue a few times. Finally, she dropped him back in his cradle, panting. If anyone saw the majestic Tigra, the second most powerful ascendant in the known universe, fighting with a baby to the point of panting, they would likely vomit blood in shock.

Tigra straightened her shirt, and gave the baby a triumphant glare, “I’ll be back, baby. You grow up nice and strong for Master, okay?”

As she left, there were a few things that even the powerful Midnight didn’t realize. The first thing was that these low-grade pills were impossible treasures, incredibly rare and composed of recipes from lost civilizations from untold eons prior. Even the Heavenly Gods would have gone to war to claim even one of those three pills that were callously shoved down this baby’s gullet. No one would have believed a mere baby from a lower mortal hunk of dirt would have gained so much so easily. Even a single one of those pills given to any regular cultivator on this planet would have skyrocketed him to shaking continents and reshaping the world as they knew it.

That said, that mind pill was never intended to be fed to a baby. Like the cultivation techniques of this world, it would have been handed to him at puberty, where his brain was strong enough to accept the pill. Given to a mere baby, the effects couldn’t be predicted. However, it could be imagined that it would destroy a baby’s mind and prevent them from developing properly. Had the baby sitting in that crib been a normal child, Midnight would have already destroyed her chances of obtaining godhood. This was not a normal baby.

Shortly after Tigra left, that baby stood up, his eyes narrow as he stared at the entrance from which she left. After a moment, he shook his head in disbelief.

“What the hell is going on?” he spoke out.

He sat back down, scratching his chin as he pondered just how exactly he had ended up waking up there.
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