The situation had taken a turn for the worse. Although she had expected this to happen, Ming Yue felt even more desperation. She did not know the current situation of Yu Fengtian and his group but she knew that they were in danger.
Fortunately, Wei Lian had jumped in without a warning to either side causing a brief pause in the fight. Taking this chance, she retreated behind the broken gate and pushed the pieces off the ground, launching them towards the trio. She immediately ran off and rushed towards direction of where the escapees were, following their tracks.
"Dammit, What are you two doing? Chase her! She will lead us to those prisoners," Wei Lian screamed out, he glared at his two lieutenants before the three of them chased after her.
Far from the encampment, Yu Fengtian followed Xiao Yin leading the group further away from the Darksun Marauders. He did not know where they were but the vegetation was extremely dense, he could not look further than a few feet. Using his sister's weapon, Lion's Pride, he cut through the bushes and create a path for everyone else. Xiao Yin paused and stopped above a tree, a sign that it was safe and they chould stop and rest here. Everyone crowded around the tree sitting by it, covered by the foliage. They were still on guard ready to escape at the slightest sound of steps.
Yu Fengtian helped his sister rest by the tree. She crossed her legs and straightened her back, attempting to recover as much as she could before they had to run again. He looked at all of them with concern. They were ragged and barely able to catch their breath. He did not know where they would end up after this. Some had their villages destroyed, their homes gone. Knowing his sister, she probably wanted to take them in and have them join the Yu family.
Yu Yao Xian opened her eyes and spit out a mouthful of some black blood. She stood up grabbing her Lion's Pride and threw a few swings.
"Sister! Are you okay?" Fengtian looked at her in worry, afraid that she would overexert herself.
She looked at him warmly, "I'm fine, Fengtian. Some of the poison that those marauders used to suppress my strength has been expelled from my body. They were able to kidnap because of that and forced me to ingest more of it, leaving me weak. Although it will take time to recover all of my power, I have around 10 percent of it. It is enough to fight them. "
"What about your arm?" he looked at her, unsure of her condition to fight.
She looked at him in confidence, "Don't worry, I only need one arm to wield Lion's Pride."
Fengtian was about to speak in protest before he heard the rustling of leaves. His sister Yao Xian brought her weapon forth, ready to attack. No one thought that they would be found so quickly. As they readied themselves, Ming Yue appeared from the trees with Xiao Yin on her shoulder.
"Are you alright?" she asked, looking at them with a concerned expression.
"Everyone is more or less good. Luckily the forest was able to cover our tracks a bit," Fengtian responded, "I'm so glad you came out alive. How did you find us?"
"You have Xiao Yin with you, I saw her on top of the trees and went straight to your location. Now stay here, I'll be back," Ming Yue left the area by herself, no one knew what she was going to do next.
Minutes later, she came back and lead the group outside. What they saw on their path was nothing more than surprising. There were corpses all throughout their walk. Each and every one of them laid on the floor with their heads severed from their bodies. They saw more than 40 bodies on their way out of the inner regions of the Purple Vine Forest.
"You did all of this?" Fengtian's sister Yao Xian asked.
Ming Yue nodded, acknowledging that she killed them all. She had done so to secure the area and a safe path for the group. The thick vegetation was perfect for her to assassinate them. Furthermore, she had the techniques from the Shadow Blade arts which were made for assassination. She was unable to find Wei Lian and the other two men but that did not matter. The Darksun Marauders were dealt a serious blow, recovering could take them years especially with their reputation. If word got out that they were decimated by only one girl, no one would fear them anymore.
Hours later, they finally reached a stream and stopped by it. Everyone took mouthfuls of water, appreciating the refreshing sensation.
"I haven't had a decent drink in months!" one of the prisoners, a middle aged man, spoke excitedly drinking more and more.
Everyone could agree with his statement, this water was nothing short of a godsend. They were finally able to relax after running away for hours, they were tired. This became their campsite for the night. Ming Yue went out to hunt for food while everyone else collected herbs and edible plants. They had also taken this opportunity to wash themselves. That night, everyone ate in glee, laughter sounded throughout their meal.
"I can't believe we escaped that hellhole," a young woman spoke, sitting by the fire.
Everyone nodded in agreement, even Ming Yue. After all she saw the conditions that they were living in, They slept on dirt and straws with barely any room to breathe. Sleeping here by the stream was several times better than inside that small building. Everyone found their own little spot and slept for the night. The only ones still awake was Ming Yue and the Yu siblings, who sat by the fire, silently watching it.
"I want to thank you for helping me," Yu Fengtian spoke up, "If it weren't for you, I would have never been able to save Yao Xian."
Following his expression of gratitude, Yao Xian also thanked her as well. She resembled Fengtian but compared to him, her eyes were sharp and she had a warrior's disposition with calluses on her hands and a fit body.
Ming Yue looked at them, "You don't have to thank me, this can be considered part of my training."
She grabbed her sword, walking off to practice what she had comprehended from the recent fighting.
"Who is your master?" Yao Xian asked with a curious look. For someone so skilled, their master was definitely a famous cultivator.
"I don't have one," Ming Yue unsheathed her sword and started attacking the empty space in front of her.
Both Fengtian and Yao Xian were taken aback by her response. Especially Yao Xian, Ming Yue had no master but was still able to take down a group of famed criminals on her own. If she was in Ming Yue's shoes, Yao Xian was not sure if she could reach her level of skill without a teacher. Having a newfound respect for her, Yao Xian watched her practice her sword techniques. Each and every strike was swift and powerful. With the inclusion of what she had learned from the Flowing Wind manual, they became fluid and graceful, able to change within a moment's notice. A thrust became a upwards slash, an attack from the right turned into a diagonal cut. Speed altered between fast and slow increasing the complexity of each move. It was like wind, a spring breeze could become roaring wind in seconds.
Yao Xian watched in amazement, only lamenting that she could not fight Ming Yue with her injured body. Fengtian had already fallen asleep, leaning his head on her shoulder.
The moon was bright in the sky and the three of them went to sleep. As the sun rose, everyone was stirred by the sound of horses. Yu Fengtian was the closest to the noise, waking up first and staring at the figure by the stream, recognizing him.
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