Chapter 114:

First Day Under A Master

Mad God


The sun had already passed its highest point when Ariana woke up in a foreign room. She had no recollection of how she got here. After the finals she was dragged along with the others to have a party and it would have been rude to refuse.


“What… happened…” She sat up but her brain refused to adapt as everything was swimming before her eyes, not to mention the crippling headache she felt. “I only drank a glass of juice…”


“Juice?” arrived a different voice, recognizing it as Sylvett’s. She was sitting on a couch, reading a book. After putting it down, she turned towards her with a playful smile. “It wasn’t ‘juice’ girl, it was wine! And you were out! Quick!” She laughed while Ariana squinted her eyes, trying to ignore the loud voice of hers that was amplifying her raging migraine.


“Please… not… that loud… ugh…” She tried to step out of the bed in her underwear but as soon as she stood up, she stumbled forward. “If it was wine… It was… way too strong!”


“Strong? It was the weakest of the available wines! You drank one cup and you were gone from this world! You need to build up some tolerance Ariana, or you are going to be easy pickings for the guys!”


“I don’t really care about… guys.” She mumbled, trying to stay afoot, wobbling like a drunken sailor.


“Then lucky for you that I do! Because there are girls who would also take advantage of you too in that scenario~” Sylvett said as she stood up, walking up to her, slapping onto her back with full force.


“Ugh!” Ariana flinched, almost burping out loudly. “I mean…” She held it back, “I am not in the boyfriend searching scene… and please… don’t do that… I feel awful already!” She groaned, holding back the second burp that wanted to announce itself to the world.


“What if I tell you it’s almost past 4 in the afternoon?” Sylvett asked.


“So what… I work in the ev…e…ning…” Ariana halted her sentence as her eyes snapped wide open and she started to shake. “I… I… I… oh no, nonononono!”


“Relax, relax!” She laughed, supporting her, before Araiana could collapse from the fright. “You are in the clear! Elder Isha came earlier, meeting up with the top 50 and I was told that you can rest until the evening! Elder Ren is going to come for you at 8!”


“Haaah… lucky…!” Ariana let out a deep breath, immediately going limp in Sylvett’s arms.


“Ahahaha, you look like shit!” She laughed again.


“I feel like one…”


“Come, take a bath, I’ll cook up something for your hangover!”


“Thanks… for everything.” Ariana whispered, looking into her eyes.


“No problem, you are already above me~” Sylvett grinned. “It is good to have a friend who is a Core Disciple!”


“You could have been one too!” She replied with a shy expression, collecting herself up from her embrace.


“I could… but look at me! I am a pretty easy going person. I’m not saying that I break the rules every time it's just… I like bending it to my advantage. Under Elder Zern I could not do that. I got the feeling it would have been frustrating in the long run… Even though he is the perfect Master for someone with the affinity of mine.”


“Then why not… try it?” Ariana asked, with an honest expression.


“I could but Elder Ren’s words are right! It wouldn’t lead to any good. Plus, I don’t want to be known as the first to be kicked out from under a Master! That would be… AWFUL!” She moaned, making Ariana chuckle a little. “It is enough to be known as one of the two idiots who refused such an offer… Haaaah, it is going to sting for a while, hearing it from every corner!”


“I admire your courage. I couldn’t say no.” Ariana said.


“Ahaha, you would be fucked in the head like me or Kirch to do something like us! Haaah, maybe some idiocy rubbed off on me from that dick…”


“Ugh…” Ariana gulped, not knowing how to react to her words as she did not know them for long enough. “The bathroom…”


“Oh, yes, yes, second door on the left! I’ll start cooking, take your time!” She sent her on the way as she walked up to his room’s kitchen while Ariana took a relaxing bath.


..A little earlier..

…..


While Ariana was still asleep, at the break of dawn Toobu and Wyland were panting heavily. They were standing on an empty field, wearing only their bottom half of their uniform, barely able to stand.


“I am surprised! You both are at the same stage but build completely differently! Going strictly by your physical attributes… You are a world apart! Yet your inner energy is exactly the same!” Leinor smiled, crossing his arms.


“Thank you for the… praise, Master!” Tobbu grinned as he took a deep breath, straightening his body with a satisfied look. It was so long ago he had to workout this hard in the morning.


“T-t-t-thank y-y-you.” Wyland repeated quickly, copying Toobu. He was also gasping for air but deep inside he was proud as he never imagined he could keep up with what Leinor asked from him.


“Relax, we are family now! You don’t need to thank me for everything I do! My wife’s disciples are also close to me and call me Uncle, so you are going to call her your Aunt!” He chuckled. “I’ll design a complete training regime for you two, based on your performance just now! The thing we are going to focus on with you, Toobu, is controlling your energy conversion. I’ll supervise it very strictly, so be prepared! You are forbidden to use it, without me around you! Do you understand?” turned his voice more serious in an instant.


“Yes Master!” He said as he cupped his hands.


“It isn’t going to be easy Toobu, but we are going to perfect it, so you can completely control the conversion, down to the most minute details. Wyland.” He turned his head towards his other disciple.


“Yy-y-es!” He answered as he stepped forward immediately, nervously shaking.


“We need to reform your body.” Leinor said as he looked at him.


“I…”


“Don’t be ashamed.” Leinor raised his hand with a gentle smile. “But I’ll need to work you extremely hard! You are different, Wyland. There are cultivators who utilize their weight for their cultivation, like Elder Boursat. When he goes all-out, he consumes his fat, converting it to energy. I saw it first hand when I was a child and it is frightening! But you do not use it that way. If you ascend to the Harmony Realm like this, your body will be your prison and even a death sentence!” He explained patiently, putting his hand on Wyland’s shoulder, looking into his eyes. “Are you happy with your body? Are you not jealous of the others?” He asked sincerely, waiting for his reply.


“I…” Wyland gulped before continuing with trembling lips. “I a-a-am… a-a-a-always…. W-w-w-were.” He nodded, looking at Toobu for a moment before averting his eyes, full of shame.


“Look at me, Wyland.” Leinor said. “You don’t need to feel ashamed about yourself. Never. You hear me?”


“Yeah, listen to Master.” Toobu nodded. “If anybody gives you a hard time for that little excess of skin on you, I’ll beat them to a pulp!”


“Ahaha, relax Toobu!” Leinor chuckled. “It won’t be easy, Wyland. But I’ll make you work it off. Okay? I’ll whip you into shape because if you feel dissatisfied with your own body and you advance into the Harmony Realm… you won’t be in harmony. Do you understand? You are going to fail. Die in the tribulation. Or worse, you are going to succeed.”


“That’s… worse?” The two of them asked, clearly confused.


“Yes.” Leinor nodded. “It is in the name. Harmony. Now what is someone who is in harmony yet he is not?”


“A p-p-p-paradoxon.” Wyland answered.


“Exactly. And it would only bring you agony. No chance to advance anymore and even worse, bad alignment after bad alignment would torture you, until you die! You may have advanced, but you are going to live in hell until it catches up to you and you finally give out!”


“I-i-i D-d-d-dont w-w-w-want t-t-t-that!” He panicked, clearly remembering the feelings he went through, just before he decided to commit suicide.


“Good. Me neither! So don’t hate me for what I am going to put you through!” Leinor said, patting his head like a father would. “I’ll be there with you until we finish. Okay?” He smiled at him, encouraging the short, stuttering boy while Toobu also slapped onto his back, making his fat jiggle.


“Me too! I’ll cheer for you like a fangirl! Goooo Wyland, Gooo~”


“T-t-t-thank y-y-you b-b-b-but n-n-no! T-t-that w-w-would b-b-be a-a-a-awful! Tt-t-that… w-w-was… Cre-e-e-e-p-p-py!” He answered as he looked up at Toobu, prompting both him and Leinor to laugh out loudly.


….

…..


“Master!” Ariana said as she bowed deeply towards Ren who just arrived to pick her up.


It was already night when Ren arrived, looking calm and collected. Yet a few hours ago she was in worse shape than Ariana, when she woke up. Luckily, she opened her eyes without a slave collar around her neck this time.


“You don’t need to be so formal around me!” Ren chuckled, helping her raise her head. “You have multiple options.” She continued. “You can stay living with the Inner Disciples or you can have your own home. My other two disciples, Lulu and Yanda both have their own homes. I’m not keeping a strict schedule, you are free to live your life! I am going to notify you in advance about the times when I take you to train. You also get missions from me regularly that you MUST complete. Other than those, you are free to manage your free time as you see fit!”


“Then I’d like to choose to have my own… home. That way I could focus more.” She replied after a brief silence.


“Sure! You are going to live next to Lulu then! You can ask her for help if I am not available. Being both girls, you should have no problem, even if you have sensitive questions~ Come with me, I’ll show you your new home!” She led her away to a part of the Sect that was off-limits for most and only Elders or Core Disciples could access it.


Ariana’s new home was a small house with its own tiny garden, where she could grow some of her own plants. If she chooses to make some pills she would have her own source. It also had a spacious bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. It was a big upgrade from living with 9 others in a dorm. The quiet and peace was even a bit eerie, after being used to so much noise.


“Lulu is not in now. She holds down the fort for me in the Artifact Department.” Ren explained. “She has a knack for paperwork, the heritage of her being from a ruling family~” She joked happily, while Lulu would say otherwise. “Anyway, since my Mother woke up a few days ago, my father should be back and I can focus on teaching you!”


“Oh… I heard about what happened… a little at least.” Ariana said, a bit nervously.


“Mmm, she regained consciousness not long ago but she is still weak. Even a mortal could hurt her now. She is going to need a long rehabilitation.” Ren nodded with a calm expression but under it Ariana’s sensitive soul could pick up traces of the boiling rage she was hiding. “But this is my problem, not yours.”


“I am your disciple now, Master. If I can help-” Ariana tried to speak up but Ren just turned towards her, placing her index finger on her lips.


“I am your Master. I’ll shelter you from all problems, be it mine or yours! My job is to protect you until you can take care of yourself. So don’t worry about anything, just focus on reaching Harmony! That is your only worry. I do not permit you to worry about anything else. Got it?”


“Y-yes…” She nodded with teary eyes, turning tomato red as her words brought back memories from her lost parents.


“Good!” Ren smiled, gently caressing her face, wiping off her tears. “Come, first things first, I have a gift for you!” She led her away, into the Artifact Hall.


She quickly followed her Master into the storage room that was enormous, filled with rows of completed weapons, armors and other useful knick-knacks that the disciples traded for with their contribution points. Ren led her before a wall that had different weapons hung on it with price tags, reaching the thousands.


“Come, choose one!” She gestured towards the wall. “These were forged by me or my Father and are the top tier weapons for disciples!”


“A-any one? But… these are…!”


“The one you chose is going to accompany you through your journey in the Body Refinement realm. I know you have never used a weapon so far, and that is good! You are a blank slate in this regard. Feel them out and choose one you feel a connection with, whichever it may be.”


Ariana just took a deep breath, looking at the multitude of options. She was carefully going through each of them. Ren never rushed her, just stood back, patiently waiting. It was a choice one needed to make themselves, without interference. She stood there for almost an hour before finally making her decision.


“This spear.” She finally stood before one, looking at it.


“Why?” Ren asked with a smile.


“Because it’s the safest option.” She turned towards her Master. “It can keep enemies at bay. They need to pass it first to reach me. Also, if I want to go for a range, I can use it as a javelin and throw it. Not to mention Master…” She cupped her hands. “You also wield the spear.”


“Ahaha, I see, I see!” Ren laughed softly, picking it off of the wall. Its shaft was made from refined, dark, reddish colored wood, with little to no decoration. It was infused with CC, and its tip was shining softly with a bluish hue. It was simple, yet elegant. “Here. Also, it is made so you can fold it in half. It's easier to carry like that.” She demonstrated it for her. “For now you are forbidden to put it into your holding bag! You must carry it everywhere you go, to familiarize yourself with it!”


“Everywhere?” Ariana asked, taking it into her hands.


“Even if you go to the toilet or sleep. Yes.” Ren nodded with a grin. “When you reach a point where you can’t even notice it's there with you, I’ll teach you how to control it and stand on its shaft to fly.”


“Understood!” She bowed, folding it and putting it on her back.


“Next up is going to be a test! Your affinity has a niche flavor to it… But you are still only scraping the surface. We are going to awaken it fully! It may be a bit… unpleasant. So get ready!”


“I understand, Master.” Ariana nodded but still, she gulped noticeably. She was trying to show calmness and readiness yet inside she was feeling a mix of fear and excitement.


“Relax!” Ren patted her head. “Master will be there with you~” She looked into her eyes making Ariana blush as Ren, holding onto her, flashed away, leaving the Sect with an unbelievable speed, carrying Ariana with her.