"We're heading out!"
It was a clear day with no clouds with two suns shining brightly in the sky. This was a good omen as two suns represented the protection and advancement of humanity . The group consisted of 14 people: 6 children including Luo Bao and Xin Fan, and 8 men including Xin Mu.
"Luo Bao, What sort of spirit item do you want?"
Xin Fan Took out the scroll from the previous night and opened it up to show Luo Bao.
"My father was a beast type so I believe I would also be a beast type. However I personally want an object spirit. I want to walk in the path of the sword and go on great adventures."
Luo Bao spun his iconic bat around his hand as if it were a pen and swung down twice in succession.
"That's if we actually actually awaken."
"Hahaha... With my talent, I am bound to awaken early. The one who should be worrying is you. However it doesn't matter. When I become strong, I can just protect you."
Luo Bao gave off a rare laugh and once again swung his bat down displaying his prowess. It was early in the morning and so many beasts were still asleep in the mountains. Demonic beasts are rare around the mountains as most live off far in the wastelands where human civilization is simply not possible. Occasionally a few would wonder in, however the nation's army would take it out quickly.
"Careful Starlight Boar ahead!"
Uncle Feng shouted to the rest of the adults escorting the children. These men are the strongest in the village and would bring in the meat everyday. Uncle Feng took off the bow from his back and drew the string back. Images of scales seemed to appear around his neck as his pupils slowly dilated. The boar's thick hide glistened like the night sky and on its back marked a star pattern.
"Watch carefully children. This is how a cultivator battles."
Xin Mu activated his spirit ability and turned his body completely into steel. He seemed to be integrated with the world and kept a lookout for other beasts.
"Mortal Chain Shot"
Uncle Feng let go of the string and a arrow condensed midair and landed on the thigh of the boar. Runes appeared on the thigh and started to spread up along the leg, seemingly restricting any movement. The runes moved beyond the legs and eventually the whole body collapsed while slightly twitching.
"Hmph... A mere grade 2 beast."
Uncle Feng slowly put back his bow and took out his hunting dagger while walking to the boar. He edged the knife to the neck and made a quick slash before re-sheathing it. The Boar let out a brief squeal before letting the blood drain out of it.
"Father... What did Uncle Feng do?"
"That was a qi based technique. Uncle Feng's spirit is a snake and as you can see he has integrated that into his Mortal Chain Shot. Normally the runes would only restrict the legs however he has trained the techinique to the utmost degree. If he were to be in the Manifestation Realm an actual snake would appear."
Xin Mu deactivated his spirit ability and his skin returned to a healthy color.
"What is the Manifistation Realm?"
"It is the third ream of qi training. Once you awaken, it is possible to defy the heavens. All cultivators start at the Condensation Realm. You will have to slowly build up the core foundation of the soul and train your spirit. At this realm only you can sense your spirit item and it is important to slowly nourish it to become strong through cultivation. The next realm is the Refinement Realm. This is the realm that Uncle Feng is currently at. Do you remember seeing the images of scales appearing on his body? That is because at the pinnacle of the Condensation Realm, the spirit item can be brought out and begin refinement outside as an image, slowly tempering to perfection. When refinement reaches the pinnacle the item can physically manifest and integrate with the realm. That is where I am currently at."
Luo Bao slowly crept up to the boar and observed the fading runes on the carcass. The runes now lacked the aura it had a couple of minutes ago and the contracted muscles started to loosen up.
"Lets go, the smell of blood will attract more beasts, It will be gone before the sun sets."
The group continued to travel until they finally reached a small town just as the sun was setting.
"Halt, name and identity!"
A guard stationed at the gates stood tall and proud while demanding personal identification.
"We come from Silver Lark Village. Here's our scroll of identification."
Xin Mu handed a small scroll to the guards and patiently waited.
"Xin Mu...Feng Tian...Mo Yi ...Mo Er... This seems good. Welcome to Wood Cutter town. Enjoy your stay."
The guard handed the scroll back to Xin Mu and preceded to open the gates. The group headed towards the middle of the town where there was a small shrine.
"Luo Bao, Xin Mu. You two are the youngest here and have not experienced it. Tonight, the month of dragons will start. You will feel a strong pressure weighing upon you. No matter what, do not give in to the pressure. Once you give in, you will fail the awakening."
"Lets hope that this time, at least two will succeed in awakening," said Uncle Feng grimly as he tightened the bowstring on his bow.
The kids gave offerings of the monthly harvests and prayed to the gods. The nine moons shined brightly in the sky. As the hours passed by the moons started to align and formed the shape of a dragon. The month of dragons has begun.
This...This pressure...So strong. Xin Mu started to sweat. This was unlike anything he had ever experienced. He looked towards the other children to see how they were faring. Luo Bao was sweating profusely while gritting his teeth and holding on. The other children did the same. The only person that did not seem as affected is Man Qiu. She was the oldest of the children at 7 years of age and had experienced this twice already. Gradually they slowly adapted to the pressure that was upon them.
The second hour has started and the pressure doubled. This time, Mo Liu broke out of concentration and collapsed. He was the first child to fail the awakening this year and was about to tear up. However, he was too tired and simply fell asleep. The rest held on and once again quickly adapted to the new pressure.
It was the fifth hour and once again someone had fainted. This time it was Han Di, a six year old boy. The pressure that had accumulated over the five hours was too much. Every hour, the pressure would double and breathing felt restricted. It was no wonder he had fainted. Xin Fan too was having trouble breathing but he still held on. Luo Bao on the other hand, seemed to adapt well and has no trouble resisting the pressure. Man Qiu also had no trouble with the pressure and silently meditated entering a mindless state.
The Eighth hour had started and the pressure had reached the peak. Xin Fan could not help but shut his eyes. This was the climax of the awakening trial. Most children up to 7 years of age would have collapsed under its extreme pressure. However Xin Fan held on and continued to persist. Time slowly passed.10 minutes...20 minutes...50 minutes. Every second felt like years of torture and Xin Fan Slowly felt his mind slip.
No...This cannot be happening. I have lasted so long. I cannot fail now.
[Installation of Ultimate Rice System Complete]
In the depths of his soul Xin Fan saw a small seed. The seed sprouted and became a grass of rice and then became a rice field. The pressure seemed to have stopped and now, Xin Fan could open his eyes. He looked around to see Luo Bao and Man Qiu looking back at him.
"Yes....I finally did it! Thank the gods!"
Man Qui cried tears of happiness as kowtowed to the shrine. She had a faint blue aura emanating from her body. Xin Fan realized that he too also emanated a similar greenish-blue aura.
"Looks like you passed. I can see your aura now."
Luo Bao smiled at Xin Fan and brushed off the dust from his clothes. He was emanating a red aura that resembled embers.
"Looks like Wang Dong failed. I saw him collapse near the end of the hour. He was so close."
"You could keep your eyes open?"
Xin Fan looked at Luo Bao in shock. Luo Bao is truly a genius. A 5 year old able who did not only pass but have spacial awareness during the last hour is unheard of even in the capital.
"I had my means."
"Ha ha ha... Brother Mu, 3 awakened Looks like I win the bet."
Uncle Feng gave Xin Mu a soft punch to the shoulder before helping Man Qiu and Xin Fan off the ground.
"Xin Fan, looks like genius runs in the family. Your father also awakened on his first try."
Uncle Feng chuckled loudly before giving a meat bun to the kids.
"So what spirits did you kids awaken."
Luo Bao was first to answer and pumped his chest with pride.
Both Uncle Feng and Xin Mu gasped. Although rare, there are indeed people who awaken to legendary creatures. Who would have known that Luo Bao would awaken one.
"Looks like our village is blessed for hundreds of years,"muttered Xin Mu
"What about you two."
"I awakened caltrops."
Although Man Qiu was the oldest, she was in no way untalented. Most people only awaken at the age of 10 as they had accumulated multiple years of experience.
"Good for you. How about you Xin Fan?"
Lin Fan took a deep breath and softly spoke.
"Umm...That's nice. At least you awakened on the first try. You can cultivate now."
Uncle Feng was short on words as he did not expect the son of the strongest man in the village to awaken to rice.
"Well you kids probably are tired now. I rented some carriages and horses so we don't have walk back. Have a sleep then."
Xin Mu carried all the children on board and took the position of the driver. Xin Fan like all the other kids started to doze off.
[Welcome to the Ultimate Rice System]
Cultivation State: Condensation Realm 1st Stage (0/100)
Spirit: Rice Field (Domain Type)
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