Serialized Science Fiction.

Strange Origins
Tom Haynes

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He kept on focusing on cleaning up the garbage and totally forgot about the background openings process. The Dantian continued to painlessly grow. The purification had healed the stress fractions in it and refined it to be half the starting size. It slowly overcame the initial unhealthy size and grew to be twice that size.

Then he heard a booming "Crack!". The sludge was all gone and he turned his attention to the Dantian - it looked like it was split by the Grand Canyon. He knew the current Qi stream would make it worse and all of the hard work, and pain, he had just gone through was about to be thrown away.

He thought about stopping the background process, but instinctively knew that would freeze the Dantian in the current state. He quickly switched the Qi input back to the waves on the pond. The highly energetic stream calmed down as he sprayed it onto the crack. He shut down the reading of the Comprehensive Transmission of Auric Ether method and brought the openings process into the foreground.

He had to slow it down, not stop it. "renice" was nice and all, but if nothing else was running, it wouldn't do much. And "which cpulimit" was successful, so he limited openings to 30%. It worked, the growth of the Dantian, and the resulting stress, slowed down. He hosed down the crack, with the mild Qi energy pulling the crack shut instead of adding on to it.

Once the crack healed, he carefully watched the Dantian to see signs of growth. His current fear was that the patched over crack was actually a bubble, one that would burst later on him. He still sprayed the Qi stream over the Dantian, looking to keep the healing working. In truth, this became the new background process and the openings was carefully watched in the foreground.

When the Dantian approached back to the twice normal size, it was back to a perfect spheroid. As it slowly started to expand again, we killed the openings process and breathed a quick sigh of relief.

Chapter 4: A Cultivator at last, or I how I learned to fool myself

Once again, he awoke in a daze. Actually, the stench woke him up. The Duck had only given him one set of clothes and the sun would be down soon. He forced himself up and to bathe in the pond. When he finally scraped the gunk off, it was dark. He wasn't able to see many wrinkles had faded away, his hair had gained luster and body, and the gray was darkening.

It had always been hard seeing the old him in the mirror whilst he saw the young him inside. He would gleefully cheer if he could get a mirror now. All of that was yet to be discovered.

What he could sense was an extra large Dantian, floating and bobbing away. Once he was clothed, he tried to draw in some Qi and direct it, but he had lost that ability. He could draw some of the cool Yin Qi in from the moon and star light, but that was it.

Still, it felt refreshing and he was neither tired nor hungry. He spent the night in a still meditation, marveling in wonder the whole time. With the dawn, he could feel the Yang Qi replace the Yin Qi. He let it wake himself up into consciousness.

A quick check showed him a stable Dantian, dry clothes, and a rested body.

He had some serious choices to face - either he could start to try to open his Linking Meridians or he could attempt to do his Spirit Walk. While it was better to try that surrounded by nature, he did not want to rush into that path. Actually, what he wanted to do was have his cultivation technique become second nature.

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