Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 18
18 Dont Know Why She Never Came
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Lineir did his best to drive the events of the last day out of his mind. However, he had learned useful lessons, and was harder than ever before. His resolve had toughened, and he knew that if he was threatened again, he would hardly hesitate to use force. The cost of hesitating... was innocent lives and Lineir's own life! The world is full of both the hungry living which must eat each other to survive, and the hungry dead which hope to consume everything and regain their humanity. In such a cruel world, the only thing to do is to fight! Grow strong...fight...grow stronger...eat...consume...and survive! This philosophy which Lineir would previously have not been able to aspire to, was now his key.
Through following this path, he would find his own power and those he cared about would never have to leave his side, never be hungry. This was his Third Heart! The first was his own physical undead heart. The second was the center of his cultivation and the nexus of the lines of power in his body, the Qi paths and meridians. The third however, could be said to be the most important. It was the center of his willpower and drive. Upon realizing these things, Lineir, seated in a grassy grove under an uprooted tree, immediately felt a sense of purpose and peace.
While his path was one of warring, in knowing that he walked a path, he did not feel lost anymore. There was solidarity in this, and immediately his countenance changed. If there was anyone to witness this, it would have looked strange.
His bearing straightened, and if before he could have been said to be a rat, now he was hardly that. His confidence in the restrained power in him, his path, and his teacher were now shown in him. Instead of a rat, it would be more accurate to say that he was a feral cat now, lean, savage, and willing to kill to survive. While it was still obvious he didn't have the bearing of nobility, no one who looked closely could deny that his aura was an ordinary one. This was a man who did not just hide, he waited, he was no longer simply prey. Mei, sensing these changes, clapped in his head,
"You found your path! Congratulations disciple, this forms the Third Heart of cultivation. Now that you know your way, you will not hesitate to act. Furthermore, the spin in your second heart will naturally increase as the elements recognize your drive and seek to appease your will. This will define who you are for the rest of your time, be it a day or eternity! Might I ask disciple, Lineir, what is your path?" Lineir answered concisely, his path was part of him and with this understanding he only felt the need to speak a few words,
"I walk the path of consumption, growth, and survival! I am as the cat, untamed and unrestrained." Mei was very satisfied with this,
"Excellent, an excellent path to follow. As master to disciple, I wish you to walk long and hard until you reach the end, whether it be to follow another path, or the grave, satiated by your steps." With that, Lineir got up and simply continued walking. The sun was down, and it was time to go. One of the first changes which Lineir had to grow accustomed to before entering the wilderness, was that he was to travel at night now. While normally, near villages, people feared the night, in the wilderness, the night was shelter from the larger more dangerous magical beasts. The beasts at night were those specialized at night hunting, and they tended to be smaller and less ferocious, although ambushes could still be deadly to an unwary or unlucky traveler. Additionally, there was an increased danger from undead at night. While magical beasts had no more lost love for undead than humans, there were numerous unburied bodies and unsealed graves. This made the location ripe for undead and at night they were at their strongest and most active.
Another change which Lineir had to get used to, was finding water. In the wilderness, there were no easily marked wells or man made reservoirs. Every time he needed to drink, he had to find a stream or river, and thus he had to stay near water sources at all times. This however, increased the danger significantly. Many magical beasts also congregated near water sources and they were not happy to share. Stealth and a very selective approach were key to survival here in the wilderness. The deeper he went, the more careful he had to be. To eat, drink, or simply rest was a constant challenge.
Mei had extensive knowledge about this. She constantly showed him plants which would assist him, wound cleansers and monster repellents. Without her, he probably would have starved, the number of wild monsters which he could hunt was pitifully few. However, today he was going after something special. It was crucial that this hunt was successful, he had been going after this beast for many days. What was he hunting that was so crucial? Even though he wasn't even in the true wilderness, magical beasts were beginning to appear with startling consistency, what could he hunt in such a savage and wild place with his power? The answer was....a herbivore!
The most important thing is water. However, Lineir had no way to hold it, he could only drink his fill and leave. This kept him bound to the meandering ways of the rivers and streams. In order to truly wander the wilderness, and be able to stay away from the waterways, which were dangerous places deeper in, he needed to have some way to store water. Mei, was well aware of this,
"See that beast over there? That's a baby Salty Three Horned Goat. It's parents shouldn't be far. If you can track them down and slay them, the adults have a hard organ inside which makes for an excellent water container. You'll have to follow the baby however. The adults don't come near the river often, they are capable of going many days without drinking. Luckily for you, the baby does not have this luxury and you get a chance. Go and scare the child. It'll go running to its parents quickly and you'll have a chance at them!"
After hearing Mei, Lineir dived out of the underbrush and immediately the baby Salty Three Horned Goat was running without even looking at its pursuer. Such was its nature as a herbivore. Lineir kept pace, occasionally revealing himself whenever the goat slowed down. Mei, warned him to stop after a while,
"See how it runs faster now? It's almost near its parents. It must be feeling like its almost reached salvation. Be careful now, when you see an adult, you must strike quickly and kill it before it can understand what's going on. If both adults are waiting for you, I fear this hunt will be a waste of time. One, you should be able to handle, but two at the same time will be a bit much. Stay alert, the babies calling out!"
A plaintive huffing grunt came out and from the surroundings came two much louder grunts. However, one was clearly closer than the other.
"Excellent, they're separated. You'll only have a moment. You must take out the first one before the second arrives. The adult will rush you immediately on sight with its great curling horns. Don't try to dodge to the left or right, it will be expecting that. Go above it and go for the throat if you can. Be careful, if you jump too high, you might avoid danger but you'll be unable to deliver a killing blow and the other one will arrive!"
It was exactly as Mei said. The adult arrived, a male by Mei's estimation with great curling horns a meter in length each. The goat took one look at Lineir and rushed him head on. Lineir waited carefully, arms loose, and at the last second relaxed, jumped up and as he sailed over the bony scythes extended from their hidden positions in his arms and sliced deep behind the goat's protective horns. A definite killing blow, the head was almost chopped halfway through. It was interesting to note that Lineir had almost no real form or technique in this blow. It was purely a blow of reflexes and strength aided by the almost psychic killing intent of the bony scythes. They extended so naturally it was as if they were Lineir's own claws.
The baby Salty Three Horned Goat, frozen in fear, bolted towards the sound of the other grunt, terrified of this monstrous creature which had slain its father.
"No time to rest kiddo, the mother will soon be here, and it won't stick around for long. While it poses no threat to you alone, as soon as it sees you took out its mate, it'll make a break for it. You should slay it as well. It will be good to have a spare water sack, and it's a sale-able item." So saying, Lineir crept back behind the tree branches and waited.
And waited.... and waited. The mother never came.
"How odd, the mother should usually at least check to see what's going on. Your luck is already quite good, harvest the skin and meat and grab the water holding organ, I'll guide you.You should leave quickly, there's nothing more to be gained here. Soon bigger wild animals or magical beasts will arrive and it would be best to fill this canteen and get going before they catch on to the scent of a fresh kill. So strange though that the mother never came..." Please go to to read the latest chapters for free