Serialized Science Fiction.

Strange Origins
Tom Haynes

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Arthur realized why Hung wanted him to fill up as much as possible, Well, while the Yuan Qi would give a better reading, he dumped out all of his Spiritual Qi into the orb.

It lit up much brighter than the last time. Actually, the white light first turned a sickly yellow, then a throbbing green, and finally settled into a calm cyan. "Not bad, 3 changes, and it finally stabilized in temperament. Kid, you can reach the Ascended Realm, whether you can go past, well, right now I wouldn't waste any resources on you. Especially considering your age."

Hung grew more serious, "What you probably don't know is that Spiritual Fruits and Spiritual Medicines both consume potential. It is easy to use them to level up, but as you refine them, a lot of the impurities are deposited into your body. The pills are easier on you because the Alchemist refines out the impurities. And older fruits are both better in power and lack of impurities. But get too fine of a fruit and you'll probably explode from the power overload."

Arthur only had one data point, "What about the 100 year old dreamy glistening cactus? Did that burn up my potential?"

Hung maintained a serious mien, "No, those are different. You have Spiritual items which open versus boosting. They tend to either allow a breakthrough or reduce the failure rate. You typically only use them once and the impurities get burnt out as you consolidate your gains."

"Your problem is your age. A kid who was this close to being able to realize his potential, they might force their way through with some judicious use of Spiritual items or have their Elders forcibly inject more powerful Spiritual Qi into their bodies. The only time that works is the very first time you open your Dantian. After that, it is almost always a bad idea."

Arthur digested this for a bit, "Why would you recommend Spiritual items for a kid and not me?"

The reply was very straightforward, "As long as you don't burn out all of your potential, you can slowly recover it. Slowly, as in years. I'm not sure you have the time."

He had to accept this analysis, but wanted to probe it further. "And, say I used Spiritual Medicine to quickly level up to win against someone else who outclassed me - perhaps even blew through two levels. Could I then focus on stabilizing my foundations?"

Hung laughed, "If I had a silver for every time this question was asked of me. No, if you burn out your potential, you might die right away. At best you'll never walk the cultivation path again. Some young punk will come along, get mad at you, and eventually advance past you and come back for revenge."

"You don't want to look either for short term gains or use the wrong potential. A lot of kids have a great Martial Disciple potential, an okay Martial Master potential, but no Xiantian potential. When they confuse one for the other is when they get in trouble."

Arthur digested this, "So you are advising me to refine my Meridians and have a comfortable life?"

If Arthur had thought he had heard Tang Hung laugh before, he was mistaken. He couldn't get him to stop. "No, actually, I would advise the opposite. Get out there and have adventures. Go fight over Spiritual Fruit, an inheritance, some beat up note book, etc. Live the life of a cultivator!"

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