Chapter 367: The Arrow of Compassion
“I used your blood – one positive, one negative – to empower the arrow. At long last, it was finished. At the same time I fulfilled my promise to the Clairvoyant, and fused your Disciplines together. Qianlin possesses the Queen of Heaven Discipline, a transformative power that is full of empathy and compassion. Altruistic blood is necessary to bear that power. Luckily we had a second who had been touched by her power, and whose blood had absorbed that essence. It was enough to make the arrow.”
“Wait a minute!” Lan Jue interrupted. “Granny Bize, just one second. I feel like I’ve heard that before, Queen of Heaven. And you said she used it on me… but when? I don’t remember anything like that.”
Bize heaved an exasperated sigh. “That’s because you’re an idiot. The Queen of Heaven Discipline is the kindest of them all, marked by a spirit of self-sacrifice. Those who bear the power are limited to using it only three times in the course of their lives. Three lives can be saved. If even the slightest heart beat remains, this power can bring life back where there should be none. It can knit bone and heal muscle. However, using the power reduces the ninth ranked Queen of Heaven back to the very start – like she hadn’t any Discipline at all. The process of saving a life looks like a cocoon, so it’s called the Silkworm’s power. The skill itself, the Mystic Raiment. Think now, puppet, there was a time you very nearly met death yourself, wasn’t there. It was she who saved you. You must have felt stronger, afterward. Cultivation felt easier, yes?. That was the after affects, all thanks to her.”
Gradually, realization crested on Lan Jue’s face. His eyes went wide… Near death? The only time that could have been was on Taihua. He’d passed out, but it had been the Wine Master and the Physician with him then. That experience had pushed him through to seventh level. It was true, since then he had improved faster.
His head whipped around, and he fixed the Wine Master with an inquisitive look.
The Cosmagus sighed under the pressure of the Jewelry Master’s stare. “She told me not to tell you.”
Lan Jue took a deep breath. Were it not for the fact that they were surrounded by people, he’d have brought Qianlin out right then. He had a few burning questions to ask.
Bize went on. “I could sense her power in you, what the arrow needed. In taking some of your altruistic blood, I also bound you together. Her powers are rooted in compassion, but that certainly doesn’t mean they’re weak. The Silkworm Dharma and Mystic Raiment leave a sort of mark, an energy that allows the Queen to use the power for her own. It only works when the two – the Queen and her mark – are in close contact. This also allows you two to merge in to one. The draw-back is a reduction in power. However, the girl did save your life and can strengthen you to much higher levels. You don’t have much of a right to complain.”
“Qianlin wasn’t away of these abilities. I completed the process for her. You’ve borne her mark ever since she saved you with the Raiment. During that time, the two of you were joined, sharing the same blood. That connection is what allows you to combine in to one body. But this presents a problem as well. Before achieving Paragon, neither of you can become… intimate. Once those fluctuations of emotion begin, the connection through blood strengthens and you join. If in the future you should near Paragon status, then it is also required that you break through together. Otherwise, neither of you will ever reach the end of your Path. The two of you must work to remain together, to combine your abilities, your yin and yang. Once the protogenic world opens up to you, you’ll be even stronger than other normal Paragons – as much as a Paragon is normal. You will almost certainly begin at the second tier.”
Lan Jue couldn’t even comprehend second tier Paragon status. He was barely following where he was at now. He had no idea he had such a history with Zhou Qianlin. He had indeed at some point heard of the Silkworm Dharma, but he had no idea that it possessed powers like this… yet, it made sense. That day in her room, when he thought he felt her Discipline awakening, he was wrong. It wasn’t awakening, but recovering.
Three times, that was all. Each time, a peak-level Adept had to start from the very beginning. What an enormous price to pay! And he’d repaid this by trying to get himself murdered non stop. A tumult of feelings swirled inside Lan Jue.
Bize’s voice was hard and cruel. “Do you finally get it now, puppet? Qianlin is a good girl, and if you ever do anything to hurt her, you’ll answer to me. Are you listening?”
Lan Jue grinned sheepishly. “I’m just… a little overwhelmed, Granny Bize. Thank you for telling me this, otherwise I’d never have known who saved my life.”
“You needn’t fear or resent any of the changes your Discipline has undergone,” Bize assured him. “I do suggest that you two remain together when in the process of cultivation. Half the work for twice the result, yes? While you do need to break through to Paragon together, it doesn’t matter if you’re joined or not, so long as it’s in tandem. When you get to this point, you’ll understand.”
Lan Jue nodded. He really was a mess of emotions, and he almost couldn’t wait to find a place where he and Qianlin could talk.
Bize waved, and the arrow that had fallen to ground not far away floated in to her hand. The Arrow of Compassion had since lost it’s white light, and looked like any other normal arrow now. She reached her hand out to Lan Jue and presented it to him.
“The Clairvoyant’s visions were never wrong. He brought us together because he knew you’d lead me to Aubert. I’m giving this to you as recompense and reward. Other than I, only you and Qianlin can use it. Remember, it can only strike evil, and only seals it for a time. No matter how great the darkness, this arrow will banish it. However, it will need your blood before each use. Perhaps twice more, then it will have lost it’s power. Use it with care.”
“Thank you.” Lan Jue carefully accepted the arrow from Granny Bize. The moment he took it in to his hands, he could feel a pulse, that matched his own. There was a flicker, then the arrow melted in to him.
Bize nodded her head. “The arrow came to be because of you and Qianlin’s altruism. Now that it’s returned, it will nourish you and your spirits.”