“You took a risk today,” Elder Liu said. “The evil spirit is gone, but it doesn’t mean the effects of the Yin have been completely negated. Next time wait three days to digest it all.”
“I can’t leave my son like that by himself,” Risless said. “I can’t just leave him that way, he’ll grow sad. I can’t see him suffer.”
“He’s going to suffer anyway if you bring him out and kill beautiful girls in front of him. Those girls will grow to hate him if you continue this way. The disciples of the sect adore you, don’t ruin your image because of that.”
Risless walked away back to her private chamber, not wanting to hear any of it. She sat near her bed and quietly meditated, looking at the soon to be night sky.
“No one can have my son but me…”
Elder Liu took out a letter from one of the smaller sects that are now requesting her help. A sect that pays them tribute every year.
“The Red Wood Sect is requesting your help with subduing a demon beast in the forest mountains around their sect,” Elder Liu said. “You will need to help them as part of the agreement of looking after them.”
Risless looked at the request. “Very well, this will be hard on my son, but it is something I cannot refuse. He will have to go with me.”
“Wouldn’t it be better if he stayed in the room? The servants will look after him.”
“No! I will not go without my son.”
Elder Liu noticed her behavior. There were too many clouded emotions Risless seemed to have over her son.
“Perhaps it’s better that way.” Elder Liu sighed.
I just don’t know what to think anymore. There was so much that happened today, so many extremes that I’m exhausted. Mom went from loving to crazy, then back to loving again. It seemed as though mom had swinging emotions that went back and forth depending on whatever the subject was if it had to do with someone making contact with me. I couldn’t understand any of it. The room got dark, so I blew out the candle and slept.
The morning came, and the door opened with mom standing there, not with a smile but with a nervous look.
“Son, mommy has to help the Red Wood Sect deal with a monster as part of our agreement for them being a vassal to us,” she said. “You have to come with mommy as you cannot be left alone without mommy for too long. You are mommy’s child so we will leave tomorrow.”
This again? I don’t have a choice. It’s not like I could fight, right? Even if I’m a grown man, there is nothing I could do. She could easily overpower me with just a thought. Also, her mask coming off yesterday had horrifying effects. I’m not sure if the beauty is a spell or an actual look that drives someone insane.
“Okay,” I answer.
There was nothing else I could answer with. If I said no I’d just argue with her…
“No, I don’t want to go,” I blurted. “Are you going to force me mom? I mean, it’s not like I have a choice. You could easily force me. I haven’t been able to make any decisions since coming here because you just treat me like a child. I’m going to bed, take me with you if you have to. I don’t care.”
I shut the door in her face and go back to bed. The door of course opens and is closed behind her.
“Son, why must you be this way towards mommy?”
“Mom, why must you be this way towards me? You don’t tell me anything, you just tell me there is a curse and there is this evil spirit after me. You don’t give me any information about anything. You’re telling me I have to go with you and I’m a child, so I’m going to be like a child and throw a tantrum. Make me go, it’s very easy for you force me, so just do it.”
Mom stared at me for a moment. It seemed like she was crying. She opened the door and left. I don’t like making mom cry, but what else can I do? I’m an adult and they’re not even giving me a chance to understand anything.
A few minutes later Elder Liu comes. Yes, it’s basically my mom’s advisor. The older looking woman who is a powerful cultivator that will try to talk to me whenever I have difficulty with mom. She’s easier to talk to because she doesn’t treat me like a child.
At least I think she’s easier to reason with.
“Why do you cause your mother so much heartache?” Elder Liu has a stern tone to reprimand me.
“Why doesn’t my mother respect me enough to tell me what’s going on and why I can’t know anything about the curse?” I asked back. “She seemed like she would be reasonable and would stop treating me like a child, then when she left and came back all of a sudden she changed the way she treated me. Not only that, but she killed someone for approaching me. Tell me why there is all this bizarre behavior, but no one is willing to give me any information so I can understand it?”
Elder Liu looked at me.
“Do you really need to understand this as a mortal? There are many things cultivators do that mortals will never understand. We have abilities that make mortals nothing more than ants in front of us.”
I just had to shake my head at this.
“Then why not just crush me like an ant and be done with it?” I sighed. “I mean, you’ve told me it’ll just make her sad if I die but at least if I die there won’t be a curse anymore, right?”
It’s not like I’m going to be able to get married and have children like this. At the rate this is going, I can only ask what’s the point in living? I can’t even enjoy myself because I’m stuck in a room and when I come out I have to be with an overprotective mom who won’t let me do anything.
“You are her son, so you should do as she says, honor her as her child,” Elder Liu said.
“Then she should honor me by telling me the truth. I need to know what’s going on so I can at least understand why I can’t have what I want out of life.”
“You wouldn’t be able to understand,” Elder Liu said. “It’s a cultivator’s curse.”
“But I’m cursed now too! I should at least be allowed to know shouldn’t I?”
“No, it doesn’t concern you.”
Elder Liu got up and left and locked me in again. This is pathetic, seriously.
In a room Risless was sitting down troubled as Elder Liu came by again. Elder Liu had a tired face that showed her frustration. Even she had difficulty dealing with Dong Chen.
“My son… is he difficult to deal with?” Risless asked.
“Your son is sharp and intelligent, so of course he’s difficult to deal with,” Elder Liu said. “He has a curious nature and one that defies authority. If he were not born with the fate of a mortal, he would have made a fine cultivator.”
Risless sighed. There was nothing she could do.
“Then about the conference, is my only choice then to force him to come along?”
“Yes,” Elder Liu said. “You can restrain him in a mortal box or put him to sleep to make him docile. You cannot go further than that.”
“I… I understand…” Risless said.
“I don’t know how to handle him,” Elder Liu spoke again. “It might be better to just tell him the truth and let him decide what he wants to do with it.”
“No!” Risless now screamed. “No! He can’t learn of that! What will he think of me if he learns of that? What will he think? He mustn’t learn of that! He must never learn of that!”
“It might be the only way to cure you of this,” Elder Liu spoke again.
“No! Even if I want it… Even if I want… no, I don’t want that! I don’t want that… no, I said nothing!”
Risless disappeared into her own private chamber once more. Elder Liu stared at her door for a few moments, thinking about the fractured family relationship. There wasn’t much she could actually do.
In the chamber, Risless resolved herself.
I’m going to make him go with me. He’s my son, so he has to do what I say.