Ming Yue looked and listened carefully as Elder Xiang began to speak.
"I know you've been to the east, having entered the Dark Water Kingdom. But now, we'll be entering the Raging Sun Kingdom in the far west. It is the largest of the six kingdoms and values strength greatly. There are two teleportation circles that lead to the Demon Continent. Of the two, one of them are within the Kingdom. The other one is in the Bright Star Kingdom in the northwestern corner of the continent, above the Raging Sun Kingdom."
"Aren't there four in total?"
"Yes, two in the west for the Demon Continent and two in the east for the Beast Continent. However, the latter three have yet activate but there are eyes watching it and guarding it."
Ming Yue nodded, she faintly remembered hearing about these things in her travels. But with Elder Kan telling her more of the inner workings, she realized just how important this was.
Reconnecting with a land after being separated for hundreds of years, such a thing had many implications to consider. From trade routes to alliances as well as the overall situation of its people, all of these things needed to be thought out.
With the reconnection of the Demon Continent, that mean that there was a chance that the Beast Continent may reconnect as well.
"Then the Raging Sun Kingdom?"
She asked, moving back to the original topic.
"Yes, we will be entering that kingdom and heading for the Hundred Fists Plains. That is where you will be entering the Demon Continent."
The Elder then fished something from his pocket and handed it to Ming Yue.
"Here, this is to replace your other badge. It will allow you to gain entry through the armies and enter the Demon Continent on your own."
As Ming Yue recieved it, she looked at the new badge before handing her other one. This one was a bit more ornate, created from a dark golden jade. Upon it was "Heaven's Gate" engraved on both sides. It was also tied with a small gold tassel.
"Thank you, Elder Xiang."
She bowed and wrapped the badge around her wrist like a bracelet.
"Alright good, I'm sure Elder Kan has given you a map of the Demon Continent."
Ming Yue nodded, taking the map out of her spatial ring.
"Okay, in that case, then you are ready for this mission. All that is left is a little lesson from me."
He gave a little grin as he looked at her surprised face.
"Yes, it's time to talk about the "perfect technique" I showed you. Have you figured it out yet?" he asked.
Ming Yue shook her head, showing a bit of helplessness on her face.
"No, I haven't had much time to comprehend it. At best, I can only describe it as "perfect" but I'm too inexperienced to understand it fully."
That much was true. When the Elder had shown her this strike, it felt as if she could not escape it. No matter what she did, it felt as if that attack would make its mark. She could not even detect it. In the end it was truly a "perfect" attack, going where it needed to be and with no way tp avoid or counter.
"Hah, if you did understand it, I would have nothing to teach you. In any case, this strike is related to the next stage of the Sword Sage Path, Return to Simplicity. You have reached a proficient level in Sharpness of One's Soul, having good control over your soul energy and merging it with your sword. Now we must focus on the next stage, it is the hardest stage to reach as the principles are easy to say but hard to achieve."
Elder Xiang then formed a sword from his own energy before empowering it with his soul energy. Ming Yue felt her body tremble and her mind and soul shake under this power.
"That strike encompassed the main concept, "harmony". With that said, you must merge all of your differing energies into the sword, keeping them balanced."
The blade hummed as it grew even stronger and more chaotic. Several different powers entered this illusory blade, making it even more terrifying.
"As said in the Sword Sage Path, to Return to Simplicity is to simplify your attacks. To merge your energy and make it more efficient."
As Elder Xiang spoke, the sword suddenly stopped humming and gradually became still, as if it was an ordinary blade. However as Ming Yue studied the sword, it made her feel uneasy.
"If balanced, it becomes like this, a plain sword with no real discernible features. But if I strike..."
Under his control, the sword swung and on instinct she dodged. It felt unescapable to her but she jumped back and attempted to strike back. Even then, the sword found itself touching her neck, then it vanished.
"By merging your energies, all of their properties are combined and become interconnected, supporting and strengthening each other. From there, it is a matter of balancing it. Through balance, it ends up in the state of Halcyon as you see here. Of course, it gets difficult when you have more different energies but that is the essence of this stage."
Elder Xiang looked at her before facing the view ahead of them.
"That is the lesson I shall give you. The path to reaching it will be difficult and that is somehting I cannot help you with."
Ming Yue looked at him, his expression was calm and tranquil.
"Thank you, elder."
She bowed and gave a heartfelt thanks. In her mind, he had given her a gift to prepare her for this, a personal teaching.
"Heh, okay. We're nearly there. Gather your things and prepare to leave. Remember, the Demon Continent is about to enter its most bloodiest battles as of yet. Keep your mind strong and your heart steady."
Ming Yue nodded and the ship made its way to the Hundred Fists Plains.
As the name said, it was a massive set of flatlands which contained a very special aspect, a temple known as the Hundred Asura Pagoda from which is guarded by the Ten Fiends. Every year, hundreds of thousands enter in hoped of learning the Path of a Hundred Fists, however, less than twenty are accepted.
These disciples would come out as experts and masters of fist techniques and many of them answered the call to enter the Demon Continent.
As the ship made its way throught the plains, Ming Yue spotted the teleportation circle that connected the two continents.
That was all she could say for what she saw. A massive stone platform riased up several feel over the plains. It glowed with an ethereal blue light and pulsed with a strange power. The formation on it was unlike anything she had seen in size and complexity. It was ancient and no matter how she looked at it, this formation was simply amazing to look at. It was large enough to fit the entire ship ten times over.
Surrounding it was a military camp filled with hundreds of tents and such. There were soldiers marching, men and women tending to their equipment, supplied being moved and stored. Some of those tents were uniquely colored, representing different factions and powers but they all had a singular purpose.
To enter the circle and join the war.
The Blue Skies ship slowly descended down in front of the military camp and Ming Yue stepped out. She turned back and waved a hand towards the ship as it floated up and left. Hei Yue and XIao Yin were by her side, looking at the departing ship.
Looking at the military camp, she approached the front entrance, a wood gate supported by a stone wall that encircled the camp.
At the top was a signboard with something engraved on it, she looked up and read it before going forward.
"Five Armies Camp."
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