Koz was running out of insights. He had gotten so far, only to reach a slight bottleneck, but he was nowhere near his potential yet, and he had more than enough foundation. Perhaps it was because of his own laziness, but he didn't even know that he was lazy. Hmph! This meant that he had to stop being indolent and work harder. To cultivate diligently... did that not mean that he had to do his best and not be lazy? Even when he got to the level of a 100th Jie saint and encountered the only real bottleneck in his training, he would probably have to latch onto the profound laws of the world and the universe. Doing this might even allow him to break through his bottleneck and become some kind of.... uh, he was not quite sure what came next. Well, regardless, his future would no doubt be bright and without limit if he worked hard at it. But that meant he had to get up and go cultivate! Seeing that there were some people where he usually trained within the village, he decided to go to the safer part of the forest and go train there instead. Little did he know that these people were just worthless NPCs controlled by some asian writer! Wait, what?
At any rate, Koz had recently witnessed a sect member demonstrate the basic mechanics of the soul binding array. It was a basic technique among sect members, and Koz wanted to learn it. After all, to have some of the most powerful creatures on earth to march around and do as he pleased was rather inticing to him as a junior. To be fair, what kid did NOT want to be seen walking around on a giant thing in front of his friends? Koz wanted something like that for a different reason, however. He needed something to stimulate the world qi around him with another body of inner qi. When something like that happened, he knew that his cultivation would get a little bit better. He also knew of saint-level magical beasts that could meditate in a most powerful fashion, creating nodes of dense elemental energy that a person could actually see. Something like this was truly unfathomable to Koz, so he wanted to see it for himself. Also, he was still a young boy... one that still had a sense of wonder within him. As such, the urge to see new things was still strong inside Koz.
What he did not know was that ages ago, there was a cultivator who pierced through the heavens. However, this mythically strong cultivator, despite being a young boy like Koz himself, was not kind. He had the temperament of a dragon, and the powers of one, too. Having pierced through the heavens, this cultivator did not stop until his bloodlust had been sated. His path was one of murder, while Koz's was one of wonder and gentle growth. He had not yet had his white canvas stained by the deep power of loss and resentment. One day, if that were to happen, Koz, too, would no doubt go on a different path. There would be much murder in his future if that were to indeed come to pass. However, there was no telling at the moment, was there? He could also end up like Lin Feng, who had chosen the path of violence, but had reached a gentle enlightenment instead. The ways of the universe, the flow of fate and the throbbing pulse of the world. These were mysteries that even god level cultivators failed to comprehend.
At any rate, there he was, on his way to the forest to try and hunt for a realm to break into, even at his own weak level. To most at this age, it was like asking for death, since one was tired of living. But Koz thought that, with his new gentle fist technique, the palm bottom, he could at least find a small beast to tame and help him grow stronger. Diligent cultivation could grow even the tiniest magical rat into a world devouring beast. Hadn't he heard a legend about that? Some kind of god eating rat... Anyways, as he went, he began to search for said realms. They'd be pockets of elemental energy with some kind of strange property to them. He remembered how the realm that his teacher had taken him to felt. He wasn't looking for anything of the sort, as whole other planes were out of his reach, but at the very least, he wanted to find one on this plane. Every world held peak creatures, magical beasts of great power that could help a cultivator become peak-stage as well. Although it would probably take a while for Koz to reach that peak, since his innate talent was so high, he knew that he would get there someday. He also knew that interactions with magical beasts could be complicated, so he readied himself.
He reviewed what he knew so far about the beasts themselves. Unlike cultivators, they had a different ranking since their meditation worked differently. Human cultivation was relatively complicated, involving breathing in the air, turning the air into spirit, turning the spirit into nothing, then the nothing into Dao, or "the way". However, magical beasts merely took in the world qi from the air, growing from it like a human grew from food. It was nowhere near as complicated as human cultivation, but that didn't mean that magical beasts were any weaker. When he had learned how strong they were, Koz understood why they featured so prominently in human folklore. These things really made an impression with their power levels! It was understandable why some had even been revered as gods, since they were as strong as 10th layer cultivators. Hm, if he were to reach that level, would he be able to commune with such beings?! That would be wonderful, would it not? He set that as yet another of his many long-term goals. To be able to mix in with the gods.... that would be another completion of his "way" and a big step in cultivation.
Speaking of the power level of magical beasts, Koz remembered that their rankings were different from human ones as well. Right, of course. Being that they were not human, how could they be classified the same way? People that tried to do that were obviously not in tune with the throbbing pulse of the world. However, something of note was that they were ordered numerically for the first nine, from one through nine. From that point onward, they went as such: demigod, full god, highgod, and sovereign. Sovereign level magical beasts were something that were unheard of, and were more than a match for even the strongest of cultivators. He knew that the magical turtle that spat out the world in some culture's mythologies was actually a Sovereign level magical beast. Whether or not it had actually created the world in such a vile and unhygienic way was a different matter entirely, and one that he did not need to meditate upon at all. No, it was better to focus on his foundation, and what he could build upon it.
On that point, he came to a spot in the woods that smelled.... different. He tried to place this smell, as he knew it from somewhere before. The zoo, perhaps? But it had been fainter there, and here it was particularly strong. What was it? He racked his memory, but being that he wasn't one of those calculative geniuses that got involved in academics and such, he coulnd't quite remember. He knew that it wasn't a new feeling, though. What was, however, was the aura around this place. It was darker than the normal forest. He held his breath, his rhythms abated. Was this really a magical beast realm...? Already? Why, what luck (even though main characters in this genre of writing get godly good luck all the time). Should he venture in, though? What kind of beast would he be able to find here? It wasn't like he could tell at first glance, but that smell... maybe it would tell him something. Not venturing too far into the woods (T Swift, anyone?), he sat down and adopted a meditation stance. Breathe in..... breathe out.... but the smell pervaded his nostrils, and the aura of the place wormed its way into his dantian. His eyes shot open; he remembered where he had felt this before!
There were snakes here. He had heard about mythical snakes, and how they could be powerful blood spirit foundation magical beasts. Some could even gain demigod and full god sparks and ascend to an even greater level... the idea of that power.... it made Koz shudder inside, his very mindset shaken by how that would be. A blood spirit as a god... what kind of capabilities would it have? He had heard of a grand tourney a while ago where cultivators would hunt for profound treasures in a dangerous area, and that there had been a great ba-serpent there that would spew forth clouds of potent and profound gas. This profound gas would easily be able to corrode a person's body solely by its malefic intent, and not even by its own chemical composition. This was something that Koz did not want to fight or make enemies with, but he so wanted one as an ally. Would his teacher not also be proud of him if he were to show her a powerful companion? Then again, she might admonish him to gain more power on his own, but was that not what he was doing here? ... Kind of?
He stood, and walked forward, more confident now. Reaching a cave, he entered. The smell was more intense here, as was the aura. So thick was this aura that he briefly considered incorporating it into another meditation session, but realized that doing that could be left for later. Right now, he had a goal. To not accomplish it might hurt his foundation. So, he reached the end of the cave. Wait, what was this? A snake-y person like thing?
"Little human, what brings you here? Do you wish to die? Are you tired of living...?"
Oh, how sinister. Koz had often heard that people asked other people if they were "tired of living" in the case that they were challenging them to a fight. He honestly hoped that he wouldn't have to participate in a martial combat scene with any of the snakes today... he would most likely lose. Instead, he decided to be straightforward with the deceitful, tricky snakes. That approach might make them think that he was worthy of their respect. He knew that some magical beasts, including blood spirit foundation magical beasts in the forests, could follow by standards like this one.
"I have come to ask if I could take on your race as my companions in cultivation." At this, the snake perked up a bit, despite how cool it was in the back of the cave. You see, even Koz, who wasn't really trained THAT much in academics, knew that snakes and other reptiles were cold blooded creatures. This meant that their body temperatures were not really regulated internally, so their activities were usually dictated by the weather and the movements of the throbbing pulse of the world. However, he knew that there were also giganotherms, like birds and ancient lizards that could actually generate heat of their own. There was no knowing how many mysteries there were in the universe. Even a cultivator or magical beast who reached the level of a 100th Jie saint or a Sovereign could really comprehend every law of every aspect of the universe, or every Edict of every overlaw of the universe. Things like that were impossible to understand, even if a million billion lifetimes were spent trying to study all of them, a single cultivator could not know all of it. This was part of the beauty of the universe, and part of its flows and eddies. As a cultivator, it was his job to immerse himself in this "way" or "Dao".
In this particular case, it was something comparatively small, like trying to persuade this snake entity thing to give him the power of his race. It seemed to be small, but old and grumpy, kind of like some of the apothecaries within the walls of the sect. Mister Huo, for instance, who was also a fire element cultivator. He was so old and grumpy that people tended to avoid him, unless they needed rare ingredients. After all, Mister Huo was one of the people who was able to get almost any ingredient for anyone within the space of a week. Even the famed "blue heart grass" or the "cloud fog fungus" were not beyond his reach, making him probably the best apothecary in the sect, though not the one with the best temperament. Oh well, he had a good heart, Koz knew. But this snake? He knew that snakes' hearts were different from those of humans, but he didn't know quite how. Was this snake good or not?
Little did Koz know that snake hearts were only a little bit different in terms of physiology. You see, the septum between the two sides of the heart in snakes has a little hole in it, whereas humans have no hole. Why the fuck do reptiles have such weird ass hearts? This RPer wishes he knew. At any rate, the snake coughed a grumpy cough, an old dusty cough. Clearly, this old thing had been alive for quite a long time. He was probably one hundred times older than Koz himself! To be fair, Koz didn't have that many years on him, but that mattered little.
"If you are capable of handling our race, we will give you a trial. If you can take care of our littlest one, and ensure that he is not harmed by the birds of the air, or the beasts of the field... or the human beings of this world, then we will pledge our allegience to you whole heartedly." With that, the old snake being produced a scroll. Koz knew what he had to do.
"This is an agreement between us. As for now, it is merely conditional, but if you are successful in keeping our littlest one safe, then it shall go into full effect." With that, Koz would draw a bit of blood from his finger, and sign the contract. Hah, easy. With that, he now felt that he had the ability to summon a very small snake. Sure, it had its uses.... but it was rather weak. Oh well, he knew that he was there to protect it. A bonding of equals with a magical beast race... a blood spirit foundation magical beast race at that. This could only go well from here on out.
With that, Koz left the snake area. He had accomplished what he wanted, and with great success. No sooner had he gotten back to his sect subsidised habitation (for the resources of the Ban Hui sect were great and wide indeed), Koz used some of his blood and the appropriate hand methods to summon the snake that he had been given care over. It wound itself around his finger.
"Ah... so cute!" However small and useless it might be, Koz would take care of it. For the future of his cultivation might depend on power from these reptilian animals.
2000 to Snake Summoning Contract
500 to Esui