1 Vow

Bai Hu looked at the carnage before him.

Houses were on fire and resources were plundered. The only thing missing here was the corpses. Blood was spilled but the owners of the blood were nowhere to be seen.

He fell to his knees and his eyes welled up.

"H-how? Why me?"

He was in the forest playing and thus was not harmed. He knew who was behind this once he saw that the dead bodies of his family, friends, and neighbors were gone.

Demonic cultivators. Cultivators who perform cruel deeds and cultivate sinister techniques that often require blood, corpses, and souls. They are the nightmares of the common people and the scourge of the cultivation world.

"Damn it!"

He punched the wall next to him, blaming himself for not being here, blaming himself for being useless, blaming the demonic cultivators for existing, blaming the sect cultivators for not showing up. He cried and kept crying, because that was all he could do.

And then he fainted, partly from exhaustion, partly from anger. Even in his sleep he saw fire and heard the screams of his parents, but was unable to do anything, rooted in place and unable to see, only hear.

A soft voice was heard after an unknown amount of time.



"Hey, wake up"

Bai Hu opened his eyes. Sitting next to the bed he was on was a woman who looked to be in her mid 20s. She had a gentle look on her face, almost like a doting mother, and held a warm towel in her hands.

She smiled "You're awake"

Bai Hu sat up on the bed and touched his face. His tear stained face was now clean and his dirt covered clothes were replaced with a set of gray robes. He relaxed seeing that he was not restrained and was taken care of. He turned to the woman.

"You are...?"

She took out a badge made out of jade. On it were the words "Spirit Sect, Jade Peak, Inner Disciple"

Bai Hu temporarily forgot what happened as excitement filled him "You're a sect cultivator!"

And then what happened to his family came crashing down on him. He wanted to ask where she, a righteous path cultivator, was when the demonic cultivators attacked. They were supposed to protect the secular world from the evils of the cultivation world.

The woman seemed to understand his thoughts as her expression became sad.

"I'm sorry"

She bowed her head "I wasn't able to get there in time due to being attacked by a separate group of demonic cultivators"

Bai Hu now understood what happened. The demonic cultivators had split into groups, one group attacking the innocent while the other held off anyone that tried to help.

"Don't be too sad. You kept your life"

"But I was useless, I wasn't there," he interjected.

The woman had a guilty expression and Bai Hu couldn't help but think that he was being too harsh. Then the woman said something that was out of his expectations.

"Fret not. I discovered when I brought you here that you have spirit roots, meaning you can cultivate. Even the lowest quality spirit root can allow you to cultivate"

He perked up when he heard that.

"I-I have spirit roots? Do I really!"

She smiled "Yes. I can bring you back to my sect and measure what kind of spirit root you have"

He took a deep breath and calmed down. This was an opportunity! Not only can he get the opportunity to cultivate but he can also join a sect, getting countless times more resources than others.

He held up 3 fingers "I, Bai Hu, vow to the Heavens, for as long as I live I will keep killing as many demonic cultivators as possible"

Thunder rumbled outside the small house they were in, meaning that his vow had been accepted by the Heavens. The woman looked at him with surprise and then smiled. Such resolve is rarely seen in kids his age. If he stays true to his vow, then no matter what his talent is, he will make steady progress in his cultivation. If not, then most likely he will never advance past a certain stage.

"lets go"

She brought him outside and gestured for him to step onto a small boat floating a foot up in the air. It seems that her status in her sect was descent as she had a flying treasure.

Bai Hu sat down and a formless energy flowed from the woman's palms into the boat and they instantly turned into a streak of light. Surprisingly, he didn't feel motion sickness nor wind pressure despite the speeds they were flying at.

He looked out and saw mountains, forests, rivers, and cities quickly disappear behind them.

3 days later...

"Remember, my name is Rue Ming and you have my support in the sect"

She said this as she slowed down. Bai Hu can make out a huge mountain range and a gate with the words "Spirit Sect"

She turned the boat and flew over to a smaller mountain. There were several houses there arranged in a circular shape and a large platform at the center. A middle aged man stood before a bunch of youths that seemed to be around Bai Hu's age. They sat in a meditative position without a sound.

The man saw Rue Ming and flew towards her, making sure not to disturb the youths below.

He bowed slightly and cupped his hands "Inner disciple Rue, what brings you here?"

He turned to Bai Hu and examined him.

"This fellow has my support. I already deduced that he has spirit roots and I need you to register it"

She then handed Bai Hu a pouch and left. The man looked at Bai Hu with undisguised admiration and envy. Bai Hu didn't know this but Rue Ming has high status and authority in the sect due to her young age and talent. For someone like him to receive her support is unprecedented.

"Let's go young man. Tell me your name"

Bai Hu introduced himself and they arrived in front of a huge stone with runic inscriptions on it.

"This is the Spirit Stele. It is capable of determining your attributes and age along with special constitutions you may have"

Bai Hu looked at the stele with some nervousness. The elder had seen numerous people hesitate and waited patiently.

"Put your hand on it"

Bai Hu did as he was told. A blinding white light shone before the runic inscriptions started moving around and rearranging itself.

"This was it" he thought, this would pretty much determine his future and how far he would go on the cultivation path.

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