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I awoke to a tugging sensation. A set of cold green hands were braiding my beard. They belonged to Hertha the orc I picked up in the grotto. There were times I thought about questioning her about that place. What could she have done to awaken something from that grotto?

She yanked on various strands tightly binding them before capping them with a bead made of bone. It was my fault for not tr.i.m.m.i.n.g my beard. It had grown longer over that past week we've ridden the railway.

I hadn't eaten in a week or drank water. I hadn't taken a dump for three days now. Despite my lack of nutrients, my body continued to function feeding off my cultivation base. My hair grew and now my beard was long enough to be braided.

"Soon we'll hit a spirit well. You should prepare to cultivate while we pa.s.s over it. There won't be many more chances to cultivate until we reach the mountain." Lazarus sternly proclaimed. The minotaur held my bag of spirit stones and fed the furnace powering the mining cart.

Lazarus sealed the cart's furnace and sat beside me. He b.u.mped up against me with his s.h.a.ggy hair getting in my personal s.p.a.ce. He'd done this often over the last week. "You can lean on me if you want. I'll lean right back. That way we won't accidently break the cart's walls."

"Go ahead maybe he'll stay still long enough for me to finish." Hertha grumbled. I leaned back against Lazarus's st.u.r.dy back. His tail moved out of the way as he leaned against me. Despite the disparity between our strength, our weight was similar enough to keep us both leaning without discomfort. As I gained more const.i.tution, I grew heavier. My cultivation base increased that variable further. As we leaned against each other I glared at the cart.

To call our ride a mere cart wasn't correct. This cart was divided into three box cars and the engine. It was a train but here it was called a cart. It was used to transport all manner of supply. The Deep Red Angus were in the back kept in a stall. Zarina was with them.

With multiple milk cows she paced herself and held back from killing them. A few hay bells of spirit gra.s.s were enough to replenish their lost qi. They gave Zarina a constant food source. That was fine by me. A hungry ornery calf wouldn't be fun.

The door to our cart slid open and Zarina pranced out. Stuck out her black tongue and dabbed it in her nose before stopping beside me. In one motion she tipped herself over and fell in my lap. Hertha deftly dodged out of the way while Lazarus let out a chuckle. 900lbs of calf fell on my lap and shook the cart a little.

Zarina had transformed over the week. Her teeth were growing in and she'd started munching on the spirit hay and weening off milk. Her soft golden fur was as fine as silk. Each strand looked as if it were spun from solid gold. Eventually the calf grew tired of the petting and stood up and returned to the other cart. Hertha quickly forced herself on top of me to finish the la

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