Traveling to the west, their journey was quiet and uneventful, but that was to be expected. The Bloody Plains was a place of misfortune, no beast would want to linger and went into hiding.
The only creatures that they encountered were Blood Fiends.
Ming Yue took this opportunity to learn more about the Bloody Plains from the Six Pillars. Only Fu Shan, Li Gang and Mei Yuan answered her questions. Qing Zhi was too shy and focused on tinkering with his bamboo box. Wu Dao spent most of his time tending to his swords, the last of the six introduced himself as Old Huo and mostly looked at a map, guiding them to the Bloody Plains.
"So you've already seen what a Blood Fiend or a Blood Imp looks like but there are several other things you should know. The strength of a fiend and an imp is determined by its size, the smaller it is the more dangerous. Large ones have a lot of strength but aren't very fast, as they grow stronger, their bodies becomes more condensed. The strength of a wraith is determined by how deep the color of their body is. They are apparitions formed by killing intent and lingering thoughts, as their power continues to accumulate, their hazy bodies would become less transparent", Fu Shan explained.
Following his words, Mei Yuan and Li Gang told her about some of their insights with the Bloody Plains.
"Being a place bathed in war and battle.." said Li Gang, "can have an effect on one's mental state. Lose yourself to the plains and you would become a mindless killer, unable to recognize friend or foe."
"Wraiths are the most dangerous of them all", Mei Yuan added, "Defeating them would release all of the hatred and viciousness. Getting caught in it will not end well, those who fell victim would almost always lose their minds."
"I see", Ming Yue replied, taking all of these factors into account.
Her mental state was not very weak, having broken out of an illusion before, she felt a bit confident. However, this explosive death is quite troublesome, she needed to devise a way of minimizing this problem.
Several days passed before they finally reached the plains. The ground was colored scarlet, similar to the color of blood. The metallic spell of it was somewhat overpowering and invaded their noses. However that was not the most eye-catching part.
It was the air, it was tense, heart-pounding. The pressure that one felt was almost imperceptible but it was enough to bother them, like an itching sensation that never leaves. Staying here for too long would not be a wise choice. With such an environment, Hei Yue and Xuan Yin stayed out and chose to hunt around instead.
"When the day ends, we meet at this spot. Does everyone agree?"
Reaching the outskirts, everyone had made this spot theirs before splitting up. While the Six Pillars were off collecting materials or looking for opponents, Ming Yue and Xuan Yin went off searching for beasts to kill.
Getting closer to the center, the pressure grew stronger and they started to encounter more Blood Imps than Fiends.
Walking on their hind legs, these Imps wandered the plains, occasionally stopping and absorbing the bloody aura. Every time they did so, their bodies would get ever so slightly smaller.
"I'll stay here and hunt around", Xuan Yin blurted out, "They would make great target practice."
She drew her bow and began her hunt. Ming Yue continued to press on. She avoided the Imps and Fiends, wanting to save her energy for the Wraiths.
After half an hour of searching, she finally found a wraith!
It was a cloudy red mist, formed into the silhouette of a warrior, a crimson spear in its hands. It seemed to have noticed her for the wraith turned around and charged.
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It executed a number of techniques, its effects were emulated by the mist. She dodged the first attack and struck at the wraith. But defeating it would not be so simple, using the body of the spear, it deflected the attack, responding with a low sweep. The force from the spear caused a great wind blowing away dust and debris.
Ming Yue lunged forward, jumping over the sweeping spear and sliced off one of the wraith's arms.
However, the wraith was unaffected, made of a bloody mist, such physical attacks would do nothing.
Still above it, she kicked the back of its head, causing it to stumble forward. Taking this opening, she attacked once more, this time infusing her inner force with the blade.
The wraith was not so simple, it twisted its body, barely dodging her second attack. However, it was grazed, the spot where it was hurt began to spew out some sort of steam. It was a different color than his body, a mixture of red and purple.
"Was this the accumulating hatred and resentment?" she thought.
She dared not to confirm and moved around the wraith with caution.
The wraith changed up its stance, the spear now held up to the head, parallel to the ground. It made another sweeping motion, this time sending out a wave of red. Then it followed with a second one, this time it was a vertical sweep. A cross made of red mist quickly flew towards Ming Yue. But its characteristics were unusual, it did not seem like mist at all. Rather, the waves seemed to crackle like lightning!
She slashed eight times, sending off eight blades of wind in succession. As each one collided with the large cross, it began to weaken. On the sixth one, it had lost a quarter of its size and momentum.
Ming Yue jumped back and attacked once more, launching a much larger blade of wind. Clashing with the red cross, it stopped it in its tracks, fighting for supremacy. Soon enough, the wraiths technique broke and the blade of wind passed through, hitting the ground and creating a large gash.
A fair amount of distance was between them. The wraith attacked again, thrusting the spear forward five times. Each time he did so, the mist would emulate its technique, forming five ghostly dragons that chased after Ming Yue. They shouted with a thunderous roar as they soared through the air.
In retaliation, she spun forth, creating a tornado from her blade and sent it at the dragons.
The dragons tried to circle around the tornado but could not avoid its grasp. Unable to break free, they clashed in a furious fight. Ming Yue continued to fuel the tornado with her energy and in seconds, the five dragons were ripped apart by the violent winds.
Under her control, it burst forth towards the wraith who took the technique head on. In its last moments, it was destroyed in the tornado and that accumulated resentment was released from the vessel.
To her surprise, the magenta colored mist was contained by the tornado. But as a mix of lingering hatred, it had a will of its own and fought back against the tornado, attempting to take over it. It struggled for mere moments before dissipating into the air, losing against the tornado.
With the battle ending in her victory, she stopped controlling the tornado and it disappeared in a blink of an eye.
There were a of things that she learned especially with the Sanguine Wraiths. The deeper the color, the more powerful they were but their techniques did not follow the same rules. With this spear-wielding wraith, its power was not very great as it lost to Ming Yue's unfinished technique. However, its skill and techniques was on a higher level, it had combat experience.
In a fight of pure skill, Ming Yue would not have won so easily. In fact, if their strength was similar, she would've lost. This much goes to show the ability of ancient techniques, intricate and strong. Ming Yue's techniques paled in comparison, there was much more that she had to learn before she could improve.
She contemplated for a bit before setting out to find more wraiths. The more techniques she could experience, the more insight she could gain into improving her own techniques.
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