In a long hallway in the inner sect, Risless followed Elder Liu to a small narrow path leading deep under ground. The small chambers here had crimson glowing crystals all along the walls bulging out of the ground. The aura left by these crystals seemed to have a replenishing energy as they walked further in, deeper and deeper.
At the very end of the path there were five boxes made of glass. Within those boxes was one small female figure in each, a mask on each one of them. The tallest was six centimeters in height, while the shortest was four. There were five of them there who each had masks and robes representing themselves as sect masters.
“These are the five Sect Leaders who lived before you,” Elder Liu said. “We are a special sect who rotates between six leaders, all of them have previously undergone the same cultivation as you have. They each had a child with a mortal and then reached the known pinnacle of the Fate of Extreme Beauty. None of them were afflicted with the curse that came should the father die before the son consummates.”
“So is this their hibernation?” It puzzled Risless.
“Yes,” Elder Liu says. “One of them is your biological grandmother. Except for the progenitor who is of the dragon race, the other matriarchs were found by the sect, once in a long while. There are only six at a time who can have this fate, the heavens won’t allow a seventh.”
These concepts were new to her, as she had only recently become the Sect Master and was barely close to forty. Risless listened to Elder Liu, who was thousands of years old. There were many things she had seen in her time in the Sect, and she had also seen the previous Sect Leader’s last few thousand years before going into hibernation.
Those with the Fate of Extreme Beauty do not age or die, they simply go to sleep and awaken to rotate leadership. Only when one of them dies will a new one have to be born, the last one who died helped save the world from a powerful demon that jumped dimensions which paved the way for Risless to be born with that fate, though she wasn’t born right away it was her Grandmother who was the last Sect leader.
After her mortal son died, she had a daughter with another cultivator whom she loved as the Sect Leaders were not forbidden to marry or have relations after the ritual was completed and abated the curse. Risless had no cousins or siblings, as each of the successive generations only had one child until she was born.
“Wait quietly as the Progenitor will awaken soon to answer your question,” Elder Liu said. “If anyone knows the solution to this, it would be her who created the technique for the fate.”
Risless listened but had other questions she had never asked before.
“Before there was this cultivation for us with this fate, what did those before us do?”
“They suffered their fates when men lusted after them, cultivator or mortal it didn’t matter,” Elder Liu said. “Those with great beauty have many following them, whether male or female. The Fate of Extreme Beauty is far worse. You will have no place to rest your head without the power to chase off all your suitors.”
Risless acknowledged that was true. Before her beauty settled in as a teenager, she was already getting marriage requests before she was ten years old. As her beauty bloomed into adolescence, if the sect had not protected her she would have been kidnapped and powers would have fought for her.
“Stay still, the Progenitor awakens,” Elder Liu said. “I am not permitted to listen in on this with you because it is a conversation that can only be had for those with the fate and cultivated.”
Elder Liu stepped out, leaving Risless there alone in the dark room with the tiny figures that were only a few centimeters tall. The glass boxes they all were inside glowed several colors before the Dragon Woman awakened.
Even the Dragon Woman who was the first Sect Leader had a mask hiding her beauty. Her scales were only on her back and they glowed in many colors beautifully reflecting the lights on the box. Risless even found her own heart skipping a beat as the Dragon Woman projected herself.
“Greetings successor,” the Dragon Woman said.
“Greetings Grand Sect Master,” Risless responded.
“It seems you haven’t been able to fulfill the ritual required of cultivating our unique Fate,” the Dragon Woman said. “You’re in a dire situation now and your son… you love your son, don’t you?”
“Yes,” Risless said. “I failed to complete the technique, and his father died before he could consummate his marriage. With this I have also failed him as a mother.”
The Dragon Woman watched as Risless prostrated herself on the floor. Some tears fell down off the mask.
“Please, tell me what I can do for my son. If it involves killing myself to lift the curse, I will do so without hesitation.”
“Calm down, child,” the Dragon woman said. “If you kill yourself, the curse will be lifted, but then who would protect your child? Who will take care of your son? When you conceived him, you pushed all the yang energy out of your body into him to purify yourself. With his father as a conduit that Yang energy was locked inside. As long as his father was still alive, if he consummated willingly, the Yang energy would return to the father in spiritual form but dissipate as males produce yang energy, they don’t absorb it.”
The progenitor looked at Risless intently, listening before she continued on.
“The Yang in his body originated from you and the conversion you automatically made when the sun shined as you grew. Within him, that Yang energy continued to manifest over the years and refined itself between you, the conduit, and him. Since his father is dead, there is no conduit and if consummates without one he will die. While he will be fine if he doesn’t consummate, what will happen if other cultivators needing Yang for a break through sense it within him? They’ll kill him and extract Yang from him forcefully.”
Risless shuddered at the thought. Yang energy was indeed useful for female cultivators, since they produced very little of it. Many would cultivate in the sunlight because the Yang from the sun would help with the balance in the bodies, and many males cultivated at night because the moon gave off Yin energy.
“Then what can I do? What do I need to know?” Risless was desperate for information, anything she could use.
“First, my time is limited, child,” the Dragon Woman said. “I’ll tell you what you need to be cautious of first. Whenever there is a full moon, make sure he locks himself on the inside of that room, tell him that an evil spirit will hunt him whenever the Yin energy is at it’s strongest and only that room can protect him. That room was built there by my orders in the event consummation failed. The evil spirit recognizes his Yang energy and will lust after it.”
Risless had already known about this as Elder Liu told her to lock the door from the inside. She had told her that if the spirit caught her son, the consequences could be unimaginable, and if the key was outside the room, the spirit could find it. The room could be locked from either side, though there was only one key.
“Second, you have to make sure to watch yourself,” the Dragon woman warned. “You already had intense feelings for your son even before this happened. Now with the situation your worry might make you irrational at times. If he dies, you will go mad as the Yang energy will morph into something dark and evil before it returns to you. Those are the only two things you must know.”
“What about a solution?” Risless asked. “Is there no solution to this? One that cures this curse?”
“I will get to that.” The Dragon woman sighed. “I just don’t know if you would be willing to accept this solution. If you need support, I do permit you to share this secret with Elder Liu. She has served the Sect loyally for many years.”
Risless listened intently as the Dragon Woman told her the way to resolve it. As she heard it she had mixed emotions. She stared for a few moments as the Dragon Woman told her that she will now disappear and go back into hibernation again.
“Is that… is that really the only way?” Risless had a blush on her face. “Is there really… no other way?”
“That’s the only way, theoretically,” the Dragon Woman said. “According to my calculations on how the Yin and Yang mix, it should solve your problem and may have some other benefits… but I can’t confirm it all because this has never happened. I wish you blessings by the heavens, my child. Such a thing must never be discussed with someone you cannot trust.”
The Dragon woman then disappeared and Elder Liu brought her back leading up the stairs. Risless remained silent the entire time. She didn’t know how to face her son.