Xuan Yin fidgeted with the lock, opening it with a set of strange tools. Most likely, they were lock picks.
"My grandfather taught me more than just hunting", she said, "..and there, it's open."
With a little click, she opened the lock and pulled the cell door away. The two quickly left the prison, silently moving through the sanctuary. Many citizens of Redmist Sanctuary were out drinking, celebrating Ming Yue's capture. Some drank happily on the streets, others spent the night in brothels and restaurants. They were finally able to relieve the stress that she had caused.
With all of this laughter and festivity, none of them noticed that Ming Yue had escaped. The duo slipped past them all, taking empty streets and hiding in the shadows. It was not long before they reached the gate and relaxed.
"What are you going to do now?" Xuan Yin asked.
"Hunt again", she responded without hesitation.
There was less than five months left until the auction. In terms of her gains, she felt that it was not enough. At most, she had several hundred thousand gold saved up. The constant combat and dangerous environment had improved her cultivation but she had not yet reached the bottleneck, still sitting at the sixth level. If she really wanted to rush this, she would have to kill one of the sanctuary lords. However she could not accomplish this, the chances of taking down one of the lords was extremely low. Unless she could increase her strength by leaps and bounds, this was something she could not take on.
"You aren't leaving?" Xuan Yin asked with a bit a disbelief, "You're going to get caught again."
"I won't", she spoke confidently and moved towards the valley.
Xuan Yin stared at her before following along.
"I'd rather not have to save you again", she said.
Walking away from the sanctuary, the both of them conversed or it was mostly Xuan Yin that spoke. Ming Yue really replied with one word or one sentence, she wasn't very used to traveling with other people. However, this was a nice change of pace for her.
The following day, the joy of Redmist Sanctuary was replaced with anger and despair. First thing in the morning, they entered the prison only to find that she had escaped.
"How did she get out of the prison? Didn't we have some guards here!? What the hell happened to them?" the Lord of Torment screamed out in anger.
"M-my lord, we found the guards."
"Show them to me now!"
"What? How could this happen?"
"Tong Ku, calm down. Most likely that girl has an ally otherwise how would you explain their bodies", the Lustful Lord, Daiyu walked up to the seething man.
That much was true. When Tong Ku saw the bodies of the dead guards, even he knew that Ming Yue had a friend. They're were punctured by two arrows, one in the heart and one in the head. Whoever this companion was, they were a skilled archer.
"Hmph, to hell with all this, I'm going to find her myself. Are you going to search for her too?" he looked at Daiyu, who shook her head.
"At this point, it's too annoying to catch her. She's not worth it even if she killed one of my lieutenants", she responded.
To the side, Bai Meng looked at her with surprise and desperation,"But, Miss Daiyu, what will we do about Yao Ci then?"
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Daiyu looked at her before answering.
"From now on, you will take Yao Ci's place as one of my lieutenants. If you still want to avenge her then go for it" she answered nonchalantly before walking away.
Bai Meng paused, did she really want to hunt down Yao Ci's killer or would she just leave it as it? After all the Lord of Torment was going to find her and now that she is a lieutenant, there really was no reason for her to avenge Yao Ci. As heartless as it may seem, she did not choose to pursue this matter anymore. Everyone here were criminals of some sort, their own lives were much more important than those of their comrades. As much as she wanted to avenge Yao Ci, she was joyful of her sudden promotion.
"Have it your way", Tong Ku scoffed at Daiyu before leaving.
"I'm not going to let such a great toy leave so easily", he said.
He left the sanctuary, slinging a cloth bag over his shoulder.
Outside of the sanctuary, two women were busy sparring with each other. After meeting her here, Xuan Yin took this chance to fight Ming Yue again. Their first fight had ignited her determination, being beat by someone several years younger then them was a bit humiliating. She trained much harder under her grandfather's watch. Despite catching her own Blood Edge Swallow, her grandfather sent her to Redmist Sanctuary to train even more.
The both of them used the cover of the mist and trees to their advantage, often trying to attack each other's blind spot. Arrows flew threw the air, some hit close to Ming Yue, others missed completely. As good of a shot she was, Xuan Yin could never get a clean hit on her. She was just too fast for her.
"Okay, okay, we can stop here", she said, lowering her bow.
"My god, why are you so quick? Killing a Blood Edge Swallow wasn't as annoying as this", she complained, trying to catch some of her breath while doing so.
Ming Yue only shrugged, "I have a great affinity for the element of wind, that's probably why."
But Xuan Yin shook her head, "No, that much I could guess. But your movement is so random and disorganized and it somehow works against my archery. Its almost like your swordplay, always changing."
"Almost like my swordplay hmm", Ming Yue thought about her comments. Suddenly, her face changed, Xuan Yin had given her the answer to the caretaker's teachings!
She looked at Xuan Yin before thanking her and began meditating on her newfound insights. Quickly finding a space to sit, she fell into deep meditation. Whatever these insights were, they must've been very important.
Xuan Yin was slightly confused and decided to go do her own training while Ming Yue concentrated. In the midst of all this, she wondered if any of this was her grandfather's plan. After all, it was too good of a coincidence that she would meet Ming Yue at the same place her grandfather sent her. Perhaps her knew that by meeting with her, she would grow stronger. This could also be an opportunity for her to make friends.
She wondered these things whilst collecting her arrows from their spar. All the while Tong Ku, the Lord of Torment, continued to travel through the valley.
"Ugh, I forget how annoying it is to travel through here. I should've just stayed in the sanctuary and sent out some people to look for her instead", he said, having spent most of the day inside his "laboratory".
However, there was an upside to this. It felt much more exciting for him to do the hunting. When he finally catches the Ming Yue, it would be the greatest sensation, to catch his own prey. The thought of hunting her personally excited him, spurning him on to search even harder.
He searched through the bag that he took with him, rummaging through it before taking out three jet-black crows. Despite their normal appearance, an odd feeling came from looking at them. It was like they were unnatural creations born from a twisted mind.
"Find her for me", he spoke to the crows before letting them fly.
They showed no emotion nor did they make a sound, only nodding their heads as though they understood his orders.
Sending them off, he smiled, "Just wait, I'll find you soon."
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