Yu Hua looked at her before giving a small smile.
"It seems that you've made your choice, that is good."
Ming Yue bowed with gratitude.
"Thank you for your guidance, Senior Sister!"
"Please, if you ever need help, you can come find me."
Yua Hua gave a polite smile as she responded with kindness.
This had been their first proper conversation with each other. Befoe that, they had only crossed each other and gave glances. But actually speaking with other had not happened until now. For Yu Hua, she cherished it.
"The elder is a eccentric man, doing only what interests him. In that respect, he only has four students including you and me. I've actually wanted to have a junior and now I do" she said.
"Only four students? Then the other two-"
"They're wandering the continent, honing their swordsmanship against other masters. Those two are senior to me and are also Inheritors though they don't bother with what goes on."
Ming Yue found it surprising that Elder Xiang has only had four students. He seemed to be one of the experienced elders. There was no doubt in her mind that he has been a part of Heaven's Gatte for several decades now.
And Yu Hua seemed to know exactly what she was thinking.
"Yes, I know. He's been an elder for close to forty years but he's only had four students. In truth, he does classes every now and then in the fields. Anyone is welcome to join and it often ends with everyone feeling as if they've improved by strides. Despite hundreds asking for his personal guidance, he has always refused. Though that may be due to his reputation as the Painting Swordsman."
"The Painting Swordsman? Was that what he was known as?"
"What? You never knew about this?"
Yu Hua was quite surprised that Ming Yue didn'y know and the latter paused before speaking.
"I haven't been in Heaven's Gate for very long. Even before, I had come form a small village and knew little of the world. As for the time I spent at the Institution, I never did ask the Elder about his past. We only sparred and spoke about the Sword Dao."
"I see. Well then, Elder Xiang was known is the Painting Swordsman as his particular style was unique. He based many of his techniques on paintings as well as brush strokes. Many describe his battles as if he was painting a scene. However, that was not all. With this unique style, he has incredible control over his aura and energy, morphing it into hundreds of weapons and fantastical beasts. He wandered the continent doing whatever he pleased but always helping others."
Yu Hua's eyes seem to glimmer with awe as she spoke of Elder Xiang's skills.
"It is said that he comes from a family of artists though, there is little known about that. Still his reputation is partly to blame for the amount of people who want to be his disciple. For us to be accepted is a dream to others. I'm very surprised you didn't know any of this."
Ming Yue only shrugged.
"He never spoke of his past nor did I ask. Still, thank you for telling me this."
She found it rather funny that Elder Xiang was known as the Painting Swordsman. It just didn't quite fit the image she saw him as.
"Hm, that's quite alright. In any case, I'm sure you have somewhere to be."
Yu Hua reminded Ming Yue of her original purpose, giving a pleasant smile.
"Yes, thank you, Senior Sister."
Ming Yue cupped her fists and left, leaving her senior sister alone. Yu Hua watched her leave before looking back out into the endless sky. What thoughts and emotions she had were hidden behind her little smile.
Down below, Ming Yue reutned to the door of that massive room and knocked.
From within, the Grand Elder's voice echoed.
She opened and entered the room, finding him along with the other three elders.
"Have you decided, Ming Yue?"
The Grand Elder looked at her as did the others, all of them awaiting her decision.
"Yes, Grand Elder, I will go and search for Dai Mian. If it is in my power, I will kill him."
She answered in a blunt manner but none of them cared for such tone.
"Good, good! If that is the case, then there is much to be done. You must learn about the Demon Continent before you go. Furthermore, the ship will be heading to the continental teleporation circles last, giving us a month or so. Elder Kan will call for you horty to inform of what needs to be done. Until then, please continue to recuperate. You have my gratitude for doing this."
With that Ming Yue bowed and left, leaving the four figures to themselves.
"That girl really decided to do it. Hah!"
Elder Xiang laughed out loud, surprised that Ming Yue would accept. But inwardly, he knew that she would do it.
"Why are you so happy? Just because she decided to accept does not mean that the situation as changed. The Demon Continent is about to have its bloodiest battles soon enough. My men have told me that Kong Zhi's army have fully mobilized. They may be coming to defeat the Five Armies in one fell swoop."
Elder Kan looked at the Blade Elder menacingly. Her watchful eyes seemed to stare down his body.
"Oh, are you gong to bully me? A cripple? How mean!"
He joked while pointing at his lost limbs.
Elder Kan snorted, looking annoyed by his behavior.
"We all know that your strength is still there."
"Heh, and you thought I would choose to retire. Pah!"
The two elders were about to continue bickering before Elder Fang put a stop to it. He walked forward and pushed the two apart.
"Stop it, you two are better than this. Besides, the Grand Elder has something to say."
Grand Elder Huang coughed before looking at them.
"Good, you two are finished. In any case, it is true. Her accepting may not change the overall situation of the Demon Continent. Which is why, we must deal with the issues quickly before moving to aid the Five Armies. Time is our greatest enemy now."
He looked at them, his golden eyes gave off an ethereal glow.
"No, she'll have an effect on the situation. I'm sure she will."
Elder Xiang looked at them, his eyes were clear and confident as he spoke those words.
"Hm, no matter what, we have to prepare her for what may come."
Everyone nodded at these words and now, a second operation had begun, one smaller in scale but with equal importance.
As the days went by, more and more of the passengers left, returning to their lands. Some were met with large responsibilities, others saw only destruction in their homes. In their hearts, they could not call this a victory or a defeat. They were only grateful that the damage was not irreversible.
Soon a month had past and the Blue Skies ship had only two passengers, Ming Yue and Elder Xiang. The Grand Elder and the others returned to Heaven's Gate to survey the damage and focus on recovery.
The teacher and disciple were both on the deck of the ship, looking at the chaotic scenery beneath them. It has been a sight they've seen everyday but even then, it was simply daunting to them.
The only word that could describe it was "fractured". There were rifts scattered everywhere, running deep into the depths. These rifts were even more apparent in the flatlands and mountainous areas where even the mountains themselves were split apart and crumbling.
"Hah, I don't think I'll ever forget this sight."
Elder Xiang looked before turning to Ming Yue.
"All right, we'll be at our destination soon. Before that, there are some thing I should remind you.
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