Arthur had just finished pounding out his frustration and pain into the ground when the door opened, revealing a worried-looking Jan.
“Ei. You need something?”
“Nothing. I’m fine. Just fiiiine.” Arthur flopped around, brushing the shards of the core crystal off him. They would disappear soon enough. He lay still and stared at her. “Just cultivating.”
“Okay, whatever,” Jan said. “You look better today. Though your smell got worse.”
He would have thrown something at her, if the only things within close reach were not either a pointed weapon or a core. One was too much. The other too precious. So instead, he chose maturity and ignored her. Anyway, there was something much more interesting floating in his vision.
Simultaneous Flow Technique Understanding Begun. Process Reached – 12%
Arthur hummed. It was a little surprising to get updates on how far he’d managed to learn this. He never got that earlier when he was doing the other methods. Then again, he had been studying from a scroll the last few times or making it up as he went along.
If he had failed to figure it out properly, would he still have learned something? Did the Tower give him this data just because he had that new Multi-tasking Mind trait?
Or was it his new status as Clan Head? After all, he was now connected to the Tower in ways that others had not, could not be.
That almost felt like the answer. But he had learned that feeling was not the same thing as knowing, and so he set it aside for further exploration. A series of questions would give him the answer eventually.
Sometimes, he really wished that documentation about people’s experiences in the Towers was better. It didn’t help, of course, that each Tower was different, even if only marginally. Still, maybe he should have paid more attention to the minor details and not just big-picture knowledge of monsters and levels and how to progress.
Or not. He was still alive, after all.
Yin-Yang Energy Exchange Technique Begun. Process Reached – 25%
Another partial technique. Interesting that it had a name entirely different from the basic Yin Body cultivation technique he had learned previously. Heck, that Yin Body technique had been so simple, the Tower had not even bothered to name it more specifically, even after he had finished learning it.
Nor had the Tower given him a progress percentage then. Which raised the question of whether the technique he was trying now was even a Tower-approved one. He could be doing something the Tower had no idea how to categorise.
That led to questions about the techniques that others had brought in, from martial arts groups and religions that were supposedly working well for cultivators in the Towers. Were they better than Tower techniques but not recognized? Recognized but not spoken about?
Questions, questions, questions. And as usual, no answers.
Even if the process was only partially successful, Arthur found that with his new Mind trait, the process had not been terribly difficult. It wasn't as hard as before to pull and convert Yang chi. Just at the moment, his status sheet appeared unbidden.. Still…
“When did that appear?” Arthur growled, rubbing at his face. What the hell was going on? He had wanted to focus on cultivating, but the changing screen was worrying. Pushing himself to his feet, then marveling as he realized his stomach no longer hurt, he stalked over to the door and yanked it open.
Jan looked over, startled. Then, as he explained the problem, she shoved him back into his room.
“What?” Arthur snapped.
“Don’t talk so loud. You want more enemies, ah?”
“I . . . don’t. Why?”
“’Cause you special.” She waggled her fingers. “You got a better screen, man.”
“I don’t understand, isn’t it the same for everyone?”
Jan shook her head. “Tower sometimes, it chooses people it likes. Gives them better status screens. More info. Sometimes even hints.” She frowned and whispered even more softly. “Mel might have one.”
“How do you know Mel has one?”
“I said might. I don’t know. She never told me.” She shook her head. “Ei. You don’t tell anyone, ah. People with good screens, either they become VVIPs or they die quick, you know.”
“Shit on a stick.”
He rubbed the back of his neck and then nodded. He grabbed her arm and started guiding her out, moving to shoo her when she broke free. “Okay,” he said. “Good enough. I got something cool; I’ll keep it quiet. Hopefully, there’s more cool stuff later.”
Made sense why Jan had hushed him. It was a good way of getting killed. Then again, with tell-all books out there, you’d think someone would have mentioned it. Perhaps they had, and then because no one else had backed them up, their works had sunk into obscurity.
Not his problem. He’d look into that when he reached the outside world. Which, at this rate, would be years away. If not decades. So . . .
“Shoo! I’m going back to cultivate.”
Jan narrowed her eyes then nodded, opening the door to take her post outside once more. Arthur shut it firmly, then walked back to his spot on the floor. No more distractions.
Time to cultivate and get himself another damn point.