17 Goals? But I Don’t Have Any
Jam had a couple days before his next class meeting, thus he decided on taking a mission. It was about time Jam got some real world experience and left his metaphorical shell of a home. While taking missions, he would be able to earn money, reputation, valuable life skills, and most importantly, he would gain knowledge on how real cultivators acted.
Jam didn't need the money he would get from missions as he could just sell pills or artifacts if he were in a pinch, he had a reputation, and also belonged to the illustrious core disciples class. However, Jam didn't really have any goals; Woody, Jam's foster parent, never really gave Jam a goal to follow, she just told him her stories and to cultivate. Jam himself had no reason, other than the fact that his caretaker told him to cultivate, for becoming a cultivator.
Even though Jam developed a "mature" attitude when dealing with others, he never questioned Woody as she had always taken care of him. If she told Jam to stay with her even after Jam awakened his superpower, Jam would stay by her side even while fully knowing the opportunities he would be missing out on. He thought that Woody would be proud of him if he became a cultivator; and he did become one.
As a Palace Creation stage cultivator Jam was a fully fledged cultivator, at least his cultivation base showed that was the case. But now what? Should he just return to Woody after becoming a cultivator? Is that what she would have wanted? If that were the case, why would she have let him leave her side and pursue cultivation? Jam concluded that she wanted him to become a cultivator and live his life as a cultivator, completely.
However, Jam didn't know where to begin. Cultivators only strived to become stronger and progress to the highest stage of cultivation. But aside from that what else did they do? This was one of a cultivators biggest questions in life and every cultivator had their own answer to this question; if you asked any veteran, they would tell you to find out the answer to this question through experience.
Jam wanted to know more about cultivation culture and what it meant to be a cultivator. Then one day, he might be able to return to Woody as a changed and true cultivator. To embark on this journey, Jam would start to take missions. He knew that cultivators took missions to help their sect, but the main reason cultivators took missions was to earn spirit stones.
Missions, from what Rina had told Jam, where assignments that the academy gave students to either help with their experience, clear obstacles, search for materials, or doing more than one of these things at the same time. Some of the basic missions tasks ran along the lines of: find an herb, support this country in its war, destroy this animal's den, etc...
Jam made his way to the Hall of Affairs, there he would be able to take missions. Once he got to the department responsible for distributing missions, he was confronted, once again, by a receptionist.
"Hi there! What kind of mission would you like to take?" The receptionist was very nice and talked to Jam in an informal manner because of Jam's age. Even though Jam was in the fourth, technically fifth, stage of cultivation, he was still a ten year old.
"I've never taken a mission before. What would you recommend?"
"Oh? A newcomer? There are many types of missions available. If you're a not familiar with missions and don't want to take a dangerous mission, I could assign you a mission to search for Low Tier Mortal Herbs. If you instead like action, I'd recommend a mission to retrieve the Cores of Lesser Mortal Beasts."
Beasts that were able to cultivate were called Demonic Beasts. They also followed the path of cultivation and could be classified as Mortal, Spirit, Saint, or Sage class Beasts. The only difference between a human cultivator and a Demonic Beast, was that Demonic Beasts would immediately develop their core as soon as they activated their Dantian Space.
It was an established rule of nature that Demonic Beasts had much better bodies and would not need to complete meddlesome parts of cultivation like creating a Dao Palace or a Core to progress; they had the ability to directly imprint Dao insights into their bodies without fearing lethal repercussions.
However, while Demonic Beasts had the advantage with regards to bodily constitutions, they were sorely lacking in the soul side of cultivation. A weaker soul meant a less perceptive mind, and would severely hinder the Demonic Beasts capabilities to take in Dao insights.
Now, the Cores of Demonic Beasts would be extremely useful to those who practiced secondary occupations, as most secondary occupations would have a use for Demonic Beast Cores. Alchemist and Cooks could treat these cores as ingredients, to enhance their pills or meals respectively. Inscriptionists, would use Demonic beast Cores to make the ink required for special talismans. Formation Array masters could use Demon Cores like batteries to power their formations. Only Illusionist didn't have a much used for these Demon Cores.
The receptionist judged Jam by his appearance. If she knew he were a Palace Creation Stage cultivator, there was no way she would have behave in such an informal manner. She had no way of knowing Jam's level, as her cultivation base was lower that his. So to her, Jam appeared to be someone in the Meridian Connecting Stage.
This was the reason she recommended these low level missions. With Jam's current power he would have no problem searching for the highest tier Mortal Herbs, or killing the strongest Mortal Beasts. Who knows? Maybe he could even survive confronting a Spirit Realm Demonic Beast.
"Mhmm… show me the missions for killing Mortal Beasts." Even though the missions about searching for herbs were considered missions, Jam concluded they wouldn't give him any experience. With Divinity, Jam could replicate any and all detection and search class superpowers; it would be too easy for him to take those kinds of missions.
"Right away!" The receptionist waved her hands and a screen appeared before Jam. On the screen were all the listed missions available for killing Mortal Beasts. There were thousands of requests, so Jam just told the receptionist to give her a random mission, where he would need to kill the most beasts, in a nearby area.
The receptionist gave Jam a pretty good mission that was less than 100 kilometers from the academy. The mission involved exterminating fifty Night Rangers in the nearby Wolf Range. Night Rangers were demonic beasts of wolf lineage that became top tier predators at night. Even though Night Rangers had a variable value depending on their cultivation, Once Jam successfully completed the mission he would be awarded with 200 spirit stones.
The receptionist told Jam to bring back the wolfs' cores as proof he completed his task, and the academy would buy all valuable parts of the deceased wolf, if Jam managed to bring them back with him. Each wolf body would be worth 5-50 spirit stones, it would depend on what level that wolf was before it was killed. Meridian Connecting stage wolves would be worth 5 spirit stones, Qi Collecting Stage wolves, 7, Palace Foundation, 15, Palace Creation, 33, and Core Formation, 50. Spirit Realm Night Rangers were extremely uncommon, and given that the receptionist though Jam was in the Meridian Connecting Stage, she thought she had said plenty after telling Jam the cost of a Core Formation Stage Night Ranger's corpse.
When a Demonic Beast was said to be at the Palace Creation Stage, or the Core Formation Stage, it was implied that those Demonic Beasts had strength comparable to cultivators at those levels, not that they, the Demonic Beasts, themselves had a Dao Palace or Core; this manner of classification carried on with the rest of the Stages and Realms of Cultivation.
The receptionist told Jam that the wolves could be found on the outer region of the Wolf Range and that he should take extra care when travelling there at night. Most wolves were night-dwelling demons. The Night Rangers, where ironically one of the weakest types of wolves in the Wolf Range.
Jam didn't waste time and directly went towards the mountain range. Now that he reached Palace Creation, he could easily travel at supersonic speeds. Jam had never test his speed after raising his cultivation all this time. So, after the academy was out of his vision, he began to use all his abilities, excluding Divinity, to see how fast he could travel.
When using only stellar energy, Jam could only move at several hundred kilometers per hour. Next he stepped up his speed using thunder energy; while he hadn't dug deep in the Thunderfire Cataclysm technique, Jam could still use thunder energy to significantly boost his speed.
Unlike Stellar energy which had no exaggerated benefits to a cultivators speed, thunder energy, strongly boosted this attribute. Using a thunder manipulation skill, Jam could double his previous max speed and almost reach mach 2.
To further increase his speed, Jam would use his Space Dao insights. While Jam hasn't reach the level of being able to teleport yet, he could use his insights into the Space Dao to shorten local space making him travel a farther distance, while moving at the same speed. By using thunder energy and Space insights, Jam was able to reach a maximum speed of mach 3.
To reach his absolute maximum speed, Jam had to utilize both Space and Time Dao insights. He would use his Space Dao insights like before, but also use his Time Dao insights to accelerate time. This would only be useful in fights as it would neither make him move faster, or shorten the distance he needed to move. Additionally Jam couldn't accelerate time by much, only about half a percent faster. He would need to practice and gain insights into the Time Dao if he wanted to accelerate time at greater rates.
Given that Wolf Range was only 100 kilometers away from the Cultivation Academy's HQ, after testing his speed with his various forms of energy, Jam was already within the mountain range.