Wuxiaworld > Learning To Live As A Cultivator > 3 Chapter Three - I carve charms from my old world in my new one

3 Chapter Three - I carve charms from my old world in my new one

A little more healed, a little less blind, Leon explored his new environment as best he could. The single room contained a bed, a bookshelf, a cabinet with a work surface, a table and shelves. He had also discovered a heavy wooden chest beneath his bed, which his weakened arms could not yet drag out. Potted bowls and plates sat on the shelves and lots of little, empty glass bottles. Of the three potted plants, one had died, but he managed to water the others with rainwater collected in a bucket outside.

His little hut was in the middle of the forest, trees visible in every direction, though there was a large lake and rocky outcropping just two hundred steps from his home. There were no other huts visible from where his stood, so he did not know where those people who beat him came from and could not keep an eye out for them in case they came back. This made him nervous.

When Leon was nervous, he had a tendency to carve doodles upon pieces of old wood. This was obviously an unusual habit for a modern man studying Social Sciences at University, but it was something ingrained since childhood.

His mother had been unmarried, his father had left the moment the word 'pregnant' had slipped from her mouth. She had raised him with love, discipline and money she had earned from working two jobs. And so while she had worked, he had stayed with Grandma. Grandma was a slightly batty old woman who lived two doors down and was very superstitious. To ward off all of the evils of the world, she would carve wooden charms and place them about her neck and her home. She had made him wear them too, his mother had a collection of them over the handful of years she relied on the old woman and as soon as he took an interest, she had taught him to carve them too.

The patterns varied, the size and shapes all differed, but they all had one thing in common; they didn't really do anything. The old woman was burgled one day while she was out at the grocery store and had had a minor heart attack in shock. Social Services decided that she would be better suited to living in sheltered accommodation, seeing as she refused to return home, claiming evil spirits had invaded it. So the eight year old him, with all the knowledge of carving talismans, waved her goodbye and never saw her again.

The knife that appeared to be all purpose, as it was the only one in the room, though there was a grinding stone for it, began to carve wood. Firstly he carved small flat pieces, thick enough to take the carving but smooth enough not to pierce his skin with splinters as he held them.

The first pattern that began to form in scrolling shape and design was meant for protection, the second, a swirling pattern for hiding things in plain sight. Shavings built up about his feet as he worked his nervous energy into the carvings. As he finally calmed, he felt a sudden weariness and rumbling began in his belly.

He took the purple fruit, which he had found plentiful in a barrel beside his house, from the table and began to eat. As delicious as it was, it was a meal that was beginning to lose favour, he had eaten plenty of them as he had recovered, but his body was craving something different. Perhaps he would venture back to the lake and see if he could find any fish.