Money or absolute strength?

When I was young, I was but a simple villager.
A full meal, and a proper roof over my head were my greatest desires, thus I always envied the baker, the blacksmith and the village chief.
They were “rich” in my eyes.
Thus, I worked hard and finally got an apprenticeship under our blacksmith, finally thinking that “I made it!”
Then a noble came to our village, and my worldview got broader.
They came to search for herbs in the woods nearby our village.
A single horse of theirs that pulled the carriage was worth more than our entire village, or at least, that’s what my master, the blacksmith said.
For a reason or another, the young master that came by choose me as a “bodyguard” when he saw me.
“You have talent to become a cultivator, your body is already being tempered, come with me!”
He said to me.
I didn’t know what he was talking about, but when he told me I will get free food and a room, I quickly agreed.
That’s when I started to realise that maybe money wasn’t everything in the world.
The young master’s single meal was worth as much as a house in the village, while even my meal was almost worth half a house there.
I got a book about breathing that would help me sense “spiritual energy” and a “monkey king art” that would further strengthen my body.
But, here came the part where I was surprised.
I enjoyed “meditating”, and I was quick to learn both the breathing and monkey king art.
It was so surprising that even young master’s father, the Master came to visit me, and gave me some plus resources.
I was starting to learn more about the world, and it was fascinating.
This world was just one of many, and if one cultivated long enough, they could even become immortals!
“Young master! You changed my life and saved me from living an ordinary life! I am forever indebted to you!”
I said to young master while kowtowing.
He smiled, and laughed it off, but afterwards, my resources were tripled.
After reading more and more, I started hiding my progress, and talent.
One book wrote: “The tallest tree will always fall first” as I wanted to live long enough to become an immortal, I started to hide myself.
I went on mission for the family, and still was the best amongst the guards, but my achievements were as outlandish, as finishing learning the art in one day.
After 5 years, I’ve been promoted to become the family’s guardian, and I accepted.
With the new position, my resources seemed endless, same with my responsibilities.
I’ve been travelling across countries, empires and continents, and one time, even to the moon of our planet.
During my travels, I’ve had some fortunate encounters and my cultivation was getting quicker and quicker.
When a decade hasn’t even passed yet, I’ve already became stronger than the Old Ancestor, that was the pillar and the hidden piece of the family.
Then, a bit over two decades after I joined the family, a war broke out in the Empire we were in, which swept everyone along with it.
In order for the family to survive the ordeal, I had to reveal almost 70% of my power, which was already stronger than the Emperor’s.
After surviving the war, the family warmly terminated my contract with them.
“I hope when you reach the peak, you will remember us!”
The young master, who now was the family head told me, while hugging me and giving me countless weird treasures, that aren’t useful for those of their levels.
After leaving the family I wandered the world for centuries, and what I saw just confused me more and more.
Some experts eradicated dynasties, while some experts were killed by assassins due to the high bounty they had.
Money against absolute strength, but what was absolute strength?
I thought that after becoming an immortal in under 5000 years, I will know what absolute strength is…but nothing changed.
I wandered the galaxies instead of continents now, but the same scenes played out, just on a different scale.
An expert swallowed a star to further their cultivation destroying thus any chance for the planets in the system to have a balanced civilisation.
Later I heard a rumour that any blood relative of said expert was hunted down, either by those who’ve fled from that system or by bounty hunters.
Money, and wealth was constantly fighting against strength, and it was hard to see who the winner is.
I slowly but steadily cultivated, until I actually got accepted into one of the top-tier sects.
Then my powers skyrocketed, and in less than 10000 years I’ve become one of the top 10 experts in the entire universe.
And now, being at the peak, I realise how stupid I was.
Without money, wealth and resources one can’t attain absolute strength…and without absolute strength one can’t protect their riches.
It’s a stupid problem to try to see which is more important: to be strong or to have endless riches.
As if one is lacking in any of the two departments, the other will weaken significantly.

Published by omnithenerva

Wannabe fiction writer. In love with mythology, and fantasy themes.

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