Thoughts of death, rage, sadness entered her mind. Ming Yue managed to fend off these thoughts but she felt horrified by its power. She was no even the one enduring the tribulation but her mind was almost taken. If she had not fought those thoughts off, she might have lost her mind forever.
"Kill them! All of them are below you! If you cannot even do such a simple task then what are you! Take their treasures, cut off their heads, make them all suffer!"
Whispers drifted into her ears, surrounding her like evil spirits. She was not even the one undertaking the tribulation and yet, she was already affected immensely. If it was like this, then Senior Qing was in a much more perilous situation.
The other elders must have felt the energy of the tribulation, all of them returned to the hall shortly after.
Wen Jing was the first to arrive, followed by Xuan Han, Dong Kuai and the rest of the elders. The vice sect leader arrived last, immediately issuing orders to everyone.
"Wen Jing, Xuan Han, close down the area, make sure no one enters the hall. Everyone else will stay with the Sect Leader and guard her!" she commanded.
Everyone went on their way and Elder Fei emerged from one of the rooms within the hall. He looked around and spotted Ming Yue, her legs crossed and sitting several feet from the sect leader. A dark aura that surrounded the sect leader had attached itself to Ming Yue, small strands of black that stretched across her body.
"Ming Yue!" he shouted with concern.
"Don't get near them!" the vice sect leader stopped Elder Fei from coming even further.
"You should know the dangers of a tribulation, especially a heart tribulation. Getting near those two right now will only get you trapped within it", she said.
"Then what can we do about her?" Dong Kuai asked, pointing her cane at Ming Yue, "If she continues to stay like this, she could lose her mind. If it happens before the sect leader can clear her tribulation, the girl might attack her."
"Yes, she had only just recovered several hours ago", said another elder.
"We can save her", the vice sect leader said, "but in order to do so, we will need to help the sect leader first. Set up the Lotus formation around them, it should weaken the power of the tribulation."
Including Elder Fei, all of them arranged themselves into a circle before shifting their positions into two layers. Along with some formation flags, they covered eight points, forming a lotus where the sect leader and Ming Yue sat in the center of. As the formation activated, a light pinkish energy began to radiate from everyone and was directed towards the center.
As if afraid of it, the black aura receded a bit from the sect leader's body. The black threads on Ming Yue were weaker than before, visibly thinner. Both of their faces relaxed a bit as the pressure lessened.
"We will stay like this until the sect leader awakens. If the girl is unable to hold on, then we will have to subdue her", said the vice sect leader.
While they were all focused on the two figures, Ming Yue and Senior Qing were both continuing with the tribulation.
Sweat dropped down their foreheads as the illusions and emotions continued to pound into their minds. Only a few voices continued to talk within Ming Yue's mind, telling to her to do her heart's desire, to kill without end. But this was nothing compared to Senior Qing's situation. It was not several voices that talked inside her mind, it was a whole sea of whispers, screams, anger, wickedness. A sea of black that left Senior Qing all by herself, surrounded.
Hundreds of voices that flooded her mind, each one asking her, begging her to reach into the darkest crevices of her heart.
This scene continued for hours, the black aura flickered about. Sometimes it grew fiercer and sometimes it would reduce to almost nothing.
Everyone waited and watched.
All of the sudden, Xuan Han burst through the doors, walking quickly towards the formation.
"There's trouble. The Tao Feng Sect is here. They must've known about the Sect Master leaving her closed door training", he spoke with urgency, "What should we do?"
"Delay them, they are trying to humiliate us again. Whatever you do, do not let them in. They will try to cause chaos within", the vice sect leader answered and Xuan Han quickly left.
"Why did they have to come back again? Especially at a time like this", one of the elders said.
"It is indeed strange. A sect like theirs had only emerged several years ago and yet they have been trying to swallow us this whole time", said Dong Kuai.
"The Tao Feng Sect?" Elder Fei said, "I've heard of them before. A recent power that has sprung up in the north and quite aggressive as well. If I recall, they have spent the last several years expanding as much as possible. But I have heard nothing of why they would do such a thing. Rumors say that it is for power and fame, but it doesn't seem like it."
"Who knows, but these bastards have been trying to beat us time and time again. This time will be no different", said the vice sect leader.
Down the mountain, were two groups of people separated by their uniforms. One was a light blue or white color and the other was a deep purple. Meeting at the gateway of Clear Spring Mountain was Xuan Han and facing him were two figures. Both of them looked at the golden haired man, expressions of friendliness were plastered all over their faces.
But everyone could see through the fake smiles, rather than friends these two were more like con men than anything.
"Is it not a good time to come in?" one of them said, a tall and thin man who was quite average looking.
His hair was neatly combed and put together by a jade hair clip. Small, round eyes, a somewhat bulbous nose as well as a scruffy beard formed his face.
Xuan Han smiled, "I apologize for being unable to accommodate you. I know that you are here to meet with our sect leader but she is currently busy with other affairs. She has already instructed us to turn everyone away."
"Oh its quite alright. I understand that Sect Leader Qing is currently occupied right now", the man said, "But we do need a place to rest, is there no other way?"
"These bastards!" Xuan Han thought, "They know that she is under going the tribulation so now they've come to cause trouble. But how is that possible? It has only begun hours ago and they already know? Unless..."
It didn't take long for him to think of an answer.
"They must have someone in our sect, a spy!" he thought.
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Xuan Han was infuriated. As the punishment elder, he had a very decisive heart and a temper that few would dare provoke. He was truly and very angry. This Tao Feng Sect was overbearing and constantly provoked Clear Spring Mountain. Like an annoying bug, they came back despite suffering loss after loss.
The more he thought about it, the angrier he became but as an elder he had to stay calm.
"I really do apologize but the mountain will not be accepting anyone", he repeated.
The thin man did not seem discouraged or even bothered by Xuan Han. In fact, his smile grew any bigger.
"Are you sure?" he asked, "I don't think that sect leader Qing would punish you for letting us in, at least for the night. It's starting to get terribly cold out here."
"...Or is it that she does not want to meet us?"
At this moment, his partner spoke up. An older man whose voice was quite irritable to listen to.
"Could she have failed?" he said.
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