The first time that Bào b? attempted to cultivate, he sat down and crossed his legs on a second stump, created when his father punched down the tree. He sat for about ten minutes before his nose started to itch. Then his butt started to get sore. Then he had to go pee. Thirty minutes later, he left and got a snack. As he walked away, Xaoi Yun raised an eyebrow.
“My son, you’ll need to develop more patience than that…”
Of course, Bào b?’s failure also made him feel a bit of relief. If Bào b? really had started cultivating instantly and did so better than his father, Xaoi Yun didn’t know how his pride could take it. It’d be feasible that Bào b? could surpass his own father before he was a grown man. Thus, his son’s failure reassured Yun that his son really was just a toddler.
In fact, for the month following that, Bào b? came out every day to sit by his father, and every day he not only felt nothing, but he also quickly grew bored and went back inside. When he wasn’t cultivating with his father, he was helping his mother with her duties. She took care of pretty much everything else in the house. It sure was tough being a woman. Dad lazed in the sun all day, while mom had to cook, clean, shop, and sew. Helping his mother with her activities started to change Bào b?’s thoughts on homemakers. However, housework really wasn’t his cup of tea either, so he evetually found himself returning to sitting by his father.
Another month passed, and Bào b? gave up on the idea of cultivating. Instead, he sat cross-legged and sunbathed. The heat of the sun was refreshing, and Bào b? was no stranger to tanning. He created a bit of a nest, allowing him to lean back and enjoy the sun. It wasn’t just the sun he basked in, but also the energy of this place. The energy was thicker there, and it felt cold and refreshing to Bào b?. He liked to examine it, watching it swirl around him. Occassionally, he felt like he could move the energy himself if he willed it.
While idly laying with his eyes closed one day, he was tracking the energy with his mind. He didn’t even know it himself, but he was inadvertently training his spiritual perception. It was the reason Xaoi Yun had never called him out on his frequent sunbathing, as even this idle activity was good for cultivation. Simply by basking and familiarizing yourself with spiritual energy, you would grow more and more able to manipulate it.
That was when Bào b? noticed something deep inside him. It was a strange bundle of energy unlike the cloud of energy floating all around. It felt very compressed and seemed to be floating weightlessly in the void of his veins. In fact, he only became aware of his veins because he started to feel this energy source. Curiously, he started trying to poke and prod it, to pull apart the energy and see what was inside. A tiny sliver of power was shaved off. A moment later, Bào b? bent over to the side. Unimaginable nausea hit him, and he found himself vomiting something up. What that something was seemed to be black and greasy.
Xaoi Yun nodded his head with praise. “You’re making progress, good. That’s a toxin. You are still young, so your guts can remove toxins easier than my own. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to eject toxins from my mouth.”
Bào b?’s eyes widened as he examined the dirty gunk on the floor, but it gave him an idea. If his father couldn’t eject the toxins from his mouth, that meant there was another direction! Xaoi Yun meant through his skin, but Bào b? didn’t bother to clarify. He left the yard and headed back into the house. Xaoi Yun didn’t see him for the rest of the day. When he finally finished cultivating, he felt like he was really close to finally pushing through to the 4th tier. He was just missing one final push. Getting his hand on a few spiritual stones would do it, but to a loose cultivator like him, that might as well be like wishing for a million dollars.
When he sat at the table where his wife left a prepared meal, Bào b? slammed a large mug in front of him. It was frothy on top, and the liquid had a yellow muggy appearance. It didn’t look appetizing in the slightest. Bào b? was smiling happily. When Xaoi Yun looked up at Xaoi Lan, she could only give him a smirk and a shrug.
“He’s been using ingredients in the kitchen all day experimenting. He says he made this for you two to cultivate.”
Xaoi Yun looked down at the strange liquid that wafted a rank smell, “Um… Bào b?, exactly what is this?”
Bào b? shrugged. “Since the first level of cultivation is detox, this is the best detox I know. It’s got lemon, apple, salt, cayenne pepper, raw egg, fish oil… to name a few. You drink this… and it’ll clear you out… it’s homeopathic medicine. Trust me, it works.”
Xaoi Yun gulped when he heard the ingredients, but then Bào b? said that was only some of them. That meant there were many more things in this unmentionable concoction! He said it was medicine… did that make it a medicinal tonic? Xaoi Yun never had the money to afford a tonic himself. He sniffed the thing and fought from gagging. Was there a slight whiff of medicinal properties? Maybe…
He shot his wife an pitiful look. She had her mouth covered, but her shoulders were shaking. She was clearly laughing at the situation. Even Xaoi Yun had heard stories of kids attempting to make their parents food, only for them to mix bizarre ingredients into them, like a ketchup pancake. In those situations, the parent needed to man up and taste the abominable concoction, or risk forever destroying their child’s fragile self-esteem. As Bào b? watched him expectantly, Xaoi Yun realized he was trapped. Xaoi Lan bit her lip to keep herself from bursting out laughing, mostly glad it wasn’t her.
“Thank you… son!” Xaoi Yun grabbed the drink, and in a single swig took the whole thing down.
He slammed the mug down, nodded, gave his son a thumbs up, and then the taste hit him. His mouth puckered and for a solid minute, he couldn’t speak as he desperately gasped for breath.
“Ah… dad’s impressive. It took me nearly an hour to get down an amount 1/3 of that much.” Bào b? clapped, while Xaoi Yun felt like an idiot.
He finally recovered enough and ate a full meal afterward. He’d eat anything to get that nasty taste out of his mouth. He noticed Bào b? was watching him slightly oddly as he ate.
“Bào b?, are you going to eat your meal.” His mother asked.
“Eh… I will wait until after.”
“After?” The two parents looked at each other, but neither understood what their child meant.
“This is your first detox, isn’t it…” Bào b? asked Xaoi Yun.
Xaoi Yun blinked and then slapped his chest, feeling like Bào b? was questioning his fortitude. “What is my son talking about? I’ve been detoxing my entire life! This is nothing!”
“O-Oh… okay…” Bào b? didn’t say any more, while Xaoi Yun continued to devour his large meal.
The unspoken words were that getting it down wasn’t the hard part. It was getting it out that was the most pain. About two in the morning, Xaoi Yun ended up leaping out bed. Xaoi Lan had never seen her husband move so fast in her life. He raced straight to the bathroom and leaped on the toilet. He barely managed to pull down his pants when there was as a giant roar that didn’t come from his mouth. Xaoi Lan eventually needed to use a clothespin and ear muffs before she was able to get to sleep.
The entire night, Xaoi Yun faced an unholy torment. “Ah… god… ah… it’s bleeding!”
Come morning, he crawled out of the bathroom, a shadow of the man he once was. As he climbed into bed, his face gaunt, he suddenly noticed that he had made substantial gains towards breaking through his bottleneck. It couldn’t be… it just couldn’t… the tonic his son made… Did it work?
That evening, Xaoi Yun had his son recreate his tonic. And again, and again. For peace of mind, his wife had moved to the couch downstairs while he destroyed the toilet above. One week later, just as he crawled out of the bathroom, looking his worst yet, his body suddenly started to glow. Dirt spread out from every pore as his body reached a new state of purity. With pure joy, he let out one triumphant cry before collapsing unconscious. His wife ended up dragging him into the bathtub and cleaning his filthy body herself. Women truly did have it the worst.
Did Bào b?’s tonic truly work as a rudimentary medicinal cleanser? Even the Midnight Queen might struggle to be able to answer that question. It was just as likely that the tonic was poisoning Xaoi Yun, and that only by being brought to the brink of death was he finally able to make his breakthrough. This was a well-known technique among cultivators. It was incredibly dangerous to do, but if you truly wanted to break through, only extreme stress and bodily duress could release one’s true potential. When those words were passed on, no one ever considered shitting yourself to death as one of the ways.
As for Bào b?, he was much younger, and he had an extremely high constitution and a capacity to resist and expel poisons that even the heavens would idolize. As it turned out, the tonic didn’t do him much good. However, every time he shaved a bit off that energy in his stomach, he would suddenly expel some filth from his body. This wasn’t cultivation. This was actually refinement.
He didn’t know this, but the energy in Bào b?’s gut was the Heavenly Purification Resonance Pill which had been shoved down his throat by Tigra all those years ago. Midnight’s intention was for the Resonance to passively dissolve in his body. He’d never purify himself, but it would keep him far purer than other children on this toxin-filled planet. That was not the pills original purpose. Rather, it was a pill meant to quickly clear out the toxins. Tigra had been given this pill, and under Midnight’s tutelage, blasted through the Purification realm in only a month.
Like Tigra had done, Bào b? had begun to process the pill. Neither Tigra nor Midnight would ever have predicted that by the age of three, Bào b? would not only be able to sense spiritual energy, but also have a level of spiritual perception high enough that he could process a pill. However, this is exactly what he was doing – each time he shaved off a piece of the pill, he pushed himself one step closer to the first stage of cultivation.
Xaoi Yun had grown a bit arrogant around the house after he finally, after years of struggle, reached the mid-tier of purification. For what it was worth, he did look a bit more handsome, which unfortunately meant that he and mother were more active at night as well. Xaoi Yun passed the time by focusing on that energy inside him. As he grew more comfortable with expelling toxins, he started doing it more and more frequently, slowly processing the pill that had sat inside him for nearly 3 years.
He too felt something coming. If he just kept processing that pill, he felt like there was going to be a big change ahead. He could feel a bottleneck, the barrier between a cultivator and a mortal, and he’d started pressing against it. Nearly three months had passed since then. Any day now, he was going to break through as well, and become a 1st tier cultivator. This would set a record in this world for the youngest starting cultivator. Even Liao An didn’t beat that.
As he contemplated his future, he became aware of three people approaching from the woods. Instantly, he could feel how their presence disturbed the spiritual energy around them, thus signaling them as cultivators. His father’s eyes also opened, and he stood up, his eyes furrowed. While Bào b? merely looked curious, his father looked on edge, as if he was getting ready for a fight.
Those three men were just as aware of Bào b? as he was of them. In fact, he thought he could almost feel their spiritual perception checking him out. He realized he’d have to be mindful of that fact in the future. In truth, few cultivators trained their spiritual perception like Bào b? so early in their cultivation process. It wasn’t required until the second great realm, and so most people passed it in exchange for increasing their purification quickly. Bào b?’s perception could be said to be one of the clearest of anyone in the first great realm, and it already showed in ways such as this one.
Despite the two men attempting to read Bào b?, since he wasn’t in the first tier yet, they couldn’t tell he possessed any spiritual energy at all. Still, although the difference between a mortal and a first-tier cultivator was great, Bào b? had closed that gap significantly. As for Xaoi Yun, the three incomers did give looks of surprise when they found that he did indeed have his cultivation level in the mid-tier. They had been of the impression that he was still stuck at the lower tiers. This wasn’t so impressive a feat as to unban him from the Xaoi tribe, but news of this would create ripples throughout the sect, causing some of those that pushed to have him exiled to sweat a bit.
However, as soon as the incomers reached the clearing, they instantly began to understand why he was progressing so well. There was an abundant amount of energy directly in front of his house! This energy almost exceeded that of the immortal cave of the grand elder. It must have been pure luck that upon being exiled, Xaoi would stumble upon a treasure-like location. No! He probably knew about it beforehand, and had kept it intentionally from the Xaoi sect just buying his time until he could claim it all to his own! In that case, the Xaoi sect was clearly in the right for reclaiming this land as their own! Greed immediately started to fill their eyes. Xaoi Yun had already guessed what they were thinking and grew even more anxious.
“Why has the venerable Xaoi sect visited such a low loose cultivator all of a sudden?” Xaoi Yun bit his tongue and lowered his head, assuming the position.
He remembered the words his son had spoken about power. He needed to grow stronger, or he’d be pushed down by his former sect for the rest of his life.
Bào b? didn’t need to ask who they were. He instantly noticed the man on the right. He was Li Jie, the adult who had lecherously sought to bed his mother a half year prior. This guy was a bastard, but he was apparently true to his word. It took almost half a year, but he managed to find some friends and come out here to cause the Xaoi exiles some trouble, all to satisfy his own sense of pride. The Xaoi child wasn’t with him, but he had brought along two other subordinate cultivators. Li Jie was at the 5th. The one on the left was only at the 2nd. The guy in the middle was at the 4th, same as his father.
The gap between them was apparent. These men were all younger than father by at least a decade or more. Two were in their 20s, with the 2nd tier looking to be in his mid-teens. By the time they reached dad’s age, they would already be in the next great realm. However, even if he shared the same tier with one of them, the 5th tier was much greater than the 4th tier, and there was three of them. Suffice it to say, the situation looked bleak.
“Yun!” The guy who spoke out was the man in front. “I just wanted to see how my cousin has been since he left the Xaoi Sect. I heard you got yourself a beautiful wife, a child, and a nice home. I have to say, the rumors appear to be true. Why don’t you bring your wife out here so that she can greet her betters.”
Xaoi Yun already guessed this even tied back to those months before, how could it not? “Xaoi Chen, cousin, I didn’t realize we were so close. Besides my wife is currently out-“
“Husband… what is going on?” A sweet voice came from the doorstep.
Everyone turned to the beautiful Yan, who was standing out on the porch with an apron and a summer dress on. Xaoi Yun’s attempt to lie ended with a click of his teeth. There was no helping it now. The three greedy men gulped, their eyes turning perverted as they saw the beautiful Xaoi Yun. Strictly speaking, any cultivator in the Xaoi sect was protected. It was a crime to push down a female cultivator weaker than you, whether for pleasure or dual cultivation. Only those of enemy clans could be enjoyed, and they usually went to higher tier cultivators that could benefit the most from dual cultivating them. There were also rules that prevented them from capturing mortal women and forcing them to cultivate. Even if they did, the time and resources needed to turn a mortal into a cultivator were better spent elsewhere, so it was rarely worth the aggravation given the end result was a gamble.
These same rules didn’t apply to loose cultivators at all. Since they had already stepped into the world of cultivation, their potential could be more easily read, and their bodies were fair game. That meant to any man, Bào b?’s mother was a great temptation. As long as they had the strength to take and keep her, they could do whatever they wanted to her. Higher level cultivators might force her to cultivate a bit so that she’d be more beneficial to them, but any cultivator would want to possess her just like they’d want spirit stones or a rare medicinal pill.
As she saw the three cultivators staring at her with hungry eyes, Xaoi Lan instantly realized she had erred in being curious. She should have stayed inside. One of the men, the youngest and weakest 2nd level, began walking towards Xaoi Lan, ready to grab her. She let out a gasp as she realized his intentions. She didn’t know the cultivating world like Xaoi Yun, so she never would have guessed Yun’s old sect would be so vicious. Xaoi Yun went to block the man approaching his wife, only for the two other guys to get in his way.
“What is the meaning of this?” Xaoi Lan demanded.
“You were kicked out the clan for failure to progress. You were given more resources than any two other cultivators, yet you barely managed to reach the third tier. However, it seems like you think it proper to steal from your old sect.” Ji Lie spoke in a pompous voice.
“I’ve stolen nothing!” Xaoi Lan growled.
“Oh? Was it not the Xaoi Heavenly Punch that your son used on our prized Xaoi Wang some time ago? You’ve stolen several Xaoi cultivation techniques, and now I’ve seen you’ve also taken a spiritually sanctified ground that belongs to the Xaoi sect and tried to make it your own!”
“This is my land! I bought it fair and square! And my son learned that punch from me personally!”
“You…” Li Jie lifted his lip cruelly. “What techniques could you possibly teach. It’s clear you stole our techniques. As for the land… all of this land is of the Xaoi sect. You paid mortals for land that was never theirs to give.”
“Watch it, cousin.” Xaoi Chen stepped forward. “The Xaoi sect claims this land. Be thankful we don’t claim your life!”
Xaoi Yun gritted his teeth. “Fine… take the land. My family and I will go somewhere else.”
Li Jie’s expression turned darker as he looked at Xaoi Yun’s wife. “You have trained her using the cultivation of the Xaoi sect. She’s not even a Xaoi. The punishment for any person learning our techniques without being a member is death.”
“No!” Xaoi Yun tried to move towards his wife, but the two men released their killing intent, causing him to hesitate.
“No worries.” Li Jie continued. “The Xaoi Sect is very magnanimous. We will take this girl in as our personal trainee. No worries, my friends and I will take real nice care of your wife.”
Xaoi Yun’s hands balled into fists as he shot a look desperately to Xaoi Lan. She had backed up all the way she could, yet the teenage cultivator was still advancing on her, a dirty expression in his eyes. Even though he was just a teen, his two elders had promised him a taste of this woman after they finished using her up.
“You bastard!” Xaoi Yun screamed while feeling truly helpless.
“Hey, fuckface. Stay the fuck away from my mom.” A small voice suddenly came out between Xaoi Lan and the teenage cultivator.
Everyone looked down to see a small boy standing between the 2nd level cultivator and his mother.
“Bào’er!” Xaoi Lan shouted out, feeling true fear for her son who would put himself between her and a man far more powerful.
The cultivators all chuckled while the teenager walked up to the little boy. “Well, look at you. You’re quite brave. But I’m afraid you don’t know your true place. I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you a free punch. How does that sound?”
Xaoi Chen laughed at that, but Ji Lie frowned slightly. This situation seemed oddly familiar to one from before. However, he calmed down his worries quickly. This boy was older and a full-blown second tier. Meanwhile, Xaoi Bào b? was not even a cultivator yet. The results from this bout would not be the same as before. Even if it went far outside Ji Lie’s predictions, if Bào b? punched the boy in the stomach, at worst, he’d feel it. A one hit KO was completely out the question.
“Fine!” Bào b? got into position, while the other steeled himself just a bit, a little less cocksure than Xaoi Wang had been after the stories he had heard from Ji Lie. “This is what I do to men who want my mom! No means no!”
His hand started to move forward, and the teen moved to block, taking no chances. If Bào b? used a heavenly punch on him, even a defunct mortal version of one, he’d block it. However, Bào b?’s training was actually from the woman’s self-defense class, and ‘no means no’ was their predominate war cry. It should be noted that approximately 95% percent of the attacks taught did not go for the man’s core, but for his balls. True to form, Bào b?’s leg launched up, feigning a punch as he sent his foot with all of his strength in between the teenage boy’s legs.
A resounding sound of metal against metal echoed out, except one side of that metal was a cultivator’s balls. The boy could feel popping sounds as his manhood was eviscerated. The balls of cultivators were no different than any men, and remained a weakness even in the face of body tempering. While Bào b? was still a mortal, he was only just a mortal, sitting on the edge of the 1st tier. Adding to that his extreme constitution and fortitude which allowed him to fell a 1st tier as a simple mortal, and Bào b?’s kick was no joke.
“Ahhhiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaa…” This was the sound produced by the cultivator.
A moment later, his eyes rolled up in the back of his head, foam came out of his mouth, and he collapsed to the side. Everyone instinctively covered their groins, sympathizing with the agony the teen must have been in before passing out. In a single motion, Bào b? had felled a 2nd tier mortal purification expert. Noone present would have believed it unless they saw it happen and even seeing it, it was still difficult to believe. A mortal child could not possess this kind of power. Ji Lie jumped to the only conclusion he could find possible.
“They’re hiding that kid’s true cultivation level. Xaoi Chen, take him!”
Li Jie blocked his father while Xaoi Chen immediately attacked the small child.
“No!” Xaoi Lan cried out, realizing these men were jumping to improper conclusions and scared for her child’s sake.
Bào b? was already pretty pissed, and despite being a child, he still thought like an adult. The truth was that he really didn’t know his own strength or, as the teen had put it, his true place. Thus, like the adult he still saw himself as he charged the much larger man without hesitation. Seeing Bào b? charge him with a scream, Xaoi Chen thought that perhaps this kid really was some cultivation progeny. He remembered that he was still a direct descendant of grandfather, so it was truly possible. With one 2nd tier cultivator on the ground in a single punch, he was already on edge. Despite the difference between 2nd and 4th being from low tier to mid-tier, a gap as wide as heaven and earth, he decided to not hold back a single bit.
Bào b? leaped up, throwing out his strongest punch, which Xaoi Chen returned in full. His parents could only look on in horror as to the two sides met, and Bào b? was blown away like the small child he really was.
“Eh?” Xaoi Chen only realized as the child disappeared off into the distance how overkill this was.
He had attacked a small mortal child with the full cultivation of a mid-tier. It had seemed like a smart idea at the time, but if this got out, he’d be looked down on and ridiculed by every immortal. No, it was worse than that. He could face strong discipline. The child was undoubtedly dead. What mortal kid could handle a full punch from a cultivator? Plus, this kid was the great-grandson of the sect leader! He had just used his power to kill a family member and direct descendant. A crime this bad could mean death!
“Nooooooooo!” Xaoi Lan let out a wail of absolute horror as her baby boy was turned into mush in front of her.
He flew off too fast to see, but surely he had been turned into nothing but paste by a hit powerful enough to send him flying kilometers. It was, at best, an instant death. She collapsed to her knees, her desperate wails filling the silent courtyard. Xaoi Yun felt like his heart had been grabbed and ripped apart. He felt emptiness, helplessness, and infinite anger. He let out a bellow and attacked Ji Lie.
Ji Lie had been staring at Xaoi Chen with his mouth open, so he hadn’t been watching for Xaoi Yun’s attack. Furthermore, this was no simple attack, but an attack that Xaoi Yun had put all of his despair and hatred into. He hit Ji Lie dead on. Ji Lie only barely managed to bring up his defenses, and despite being a 5th level cultivator, the head was extremely powerful. He flew back, striking a tree before falling to one knee and spitting up blood.
“Xaoi Yun! You go too far!” He said, forcefully suppressing his injury so that he could stand back up.
“I haven’t gone far enough!” Xaoi Yun shot back, his eyes rimmed with red, his hand bones having been shattered by his reckless attack.
Xaoi Chen quickly shook off his shock and turned to go help Ji Lie, but then he heard some sound coming from the forest.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” The sound was coming closer and closer.
Before he could even react, a small form exploded from the forest, moving even faster than the speed he had flung it away. A tiny fist collided with his face at an unimaginable speed.
A sound shook the world as a 4th tier cultivator was punched in the face. He flipped five times in the air before slamming into the ground. Everyone remained quiet, only staring at the body in complete stunned shock. What had just happened? A small form climbed out from behind the body. It was Xaoi Bào b?! He had steam coming from his fist, and also, strangely enough, his ass.
“Who’s next?!” He declared.