Her eyes opened shortly after and Ming Yue found herself on a simple bed within a small round home.
"Why do I always end up on a bed?" she thought to herself.
She sat up and looked around, her clothes were neatly folded and her things were organized on a small table at the center of the room. Instead of her blue robes, she wore simple white ones. It was peaceful to say the least, somewhat soothing. However, it would seem that she was by herself.
Getting off of the bed, she felt a weak, struggling to keep herself steady. In the end, she grabbed the sheathed Drifting Sky off of the table and used it as a staff to support her. With several gentle steps, she reached the door and opened it, finding herself on a small island surrounded by water.
Not far from her was a great tree with leaves resembling wisteria.
"Oh, you're awake. It's about time", the voice of an old man surprised her.
He stood next to the tree, looking out into the endless seas.
"Who are you? Where is this?" Ming Yue approached him, still supporting herself with Drifting Sky.
"I am the Spirit Elder, Shen Qi, but you may call me Elder Shen. As for where we are, this is my personal quarters. The Medicinal Elder, Elder Hua, brought you here for me to heal you. Your mind and soul were incredibly weak."
"Then...what about Clear Spring Mountain? What has happened there?"
Ming Yue was worried, she did not know how long she had been unconscious for and wanted to know if Clear Spring Mountain was safe.
Elder Shen turned around and smiled at her.
"You do not need to worry, all is well there."
"And the Tao Feng? What about them?"
"They have been reduced to almost nothing. After offending an elder of Heaven's Gate, the grand elder made an order to suppress them fully. As far as I know, all that is left is to find their main headquarters and detain the sect master."
"I see... Then how much time has passed since I've been unconscious?"
"This makes it almost six months, give or take one to two weeks. But you should rest now, I will go get Bai Ying to inform your two pets about your awakening."
Several days passed after Ming Yue woke up, she found Hei Yue and Xiao Yin different than before. Hei Yue's fur took on another level of softness and Xiao Yin grew to the size of a human head. Furthermore, Elder Hua made her appearance and asked how she was doing.
With her strength returning, she found several differences with her body. The most surprising of which was her cultivation. She had reached the final level of the Human Realm and was even close to breaking past the barrier to reach the Earth Realm!
But how could this be?
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Both Elder Shen and Elder Hua examined her body and explained to her the events that occurred while she was knocked out. From the massacre of Clear Spring Mountain to the Heavenly Tribulation, her body had undergone punishment like no other.
However, undergoing a tribulation was shocking to her.
Then something came to mind when she thought of it.
"Could it be?"
Ming Yue looked at the two elders before telling them.
"When Senior Qing, the sect leader was undergoing her tribulation, I was pulled in by accident. We had been talking to her when it had happened. But it was fortunate that both of us came out unharmed, I did not think that the energy of the tribulation would have stuck with me for so long."
Hearing her thoughts, both elders were slightly speechless and looked at each other helplessly.
"You are either the luckiest girl I've met or the unluckiest", said Elder Shen, "Those in the way of the Heavens usually end up heavily injured or dead. But, it seems that you are one of the few to have survived."
"Not to mention, the benefits you have reaped", Elder Hua added.
"Your body had undergone punishment that many in your generation would find next to impossible of enduring. Thus, your physical body had reached a higher level."
"And your heavenly tribulation did not leave you empty handed. The barrier we trapped you in also stops any sort of energy from entering or leaving. Since that heavenly energy had no way to return to the world, it surrendered to your energy and merged. With it coursing through your body, it purified and concentrated your cultivation base, allowing your the reach the final level before the Earth Realm."
"Yes, while you were recovering, we two took the time to examine your body and make sure that everything was in order."
"You really are an example of strength through adversity. From what we've seen, it doesn't look like you had a teacher either. Your meridians are somewhat damaged and your foundation is well done but there are some cracks. I took the liberty of fixing that," Elder Hua smiled as she said those words.
Ming Yue seemed quite excited after hearing what they had said.
"How can I ever thank you?" she gave a respectful bow, cupping her hands together.
"Please, you don't have to bow. You're still recovering", Elder Shen quickly walked to her and helped her stand.
"Indeed, I brought you here because you were quite interesting and I was correct. This leads to some other matters that we should tell you. Here, this is for you", Elder Hua held out a small badge, shaped with a sun rising from a cloud.
It was slightly different from those of the normal members of the Institution of Heaven's Gate, sporting a darker grayish shine.
Ming Yue took it and began to examine the small piece.
"After a fair bit a deliberation, we are going to admit you into the Heaven's Gate as a Specialized Student", Elder Hua explained, "What this means is that you have a higher position than those of normal students and it is proof that your ability has been acknowledged. Therefore, you did not need to undergo a test of some sort."
"This...I don't understand. I don't believe that I have the ability to enter so easily", Ming Yue answered back, thinking that there must have been a mistake.
"Don't worry", said Elder Shen, "In due time, you will learn much more about the world. Until now, you will be under the guidance of me, Elder Hua, and another named Elder Xiang."
"Yes, Elder Shen will be assisting in your cultivation technique. I will be going to teach you more about medicines and Elder Xiang will be helping you out with your sword training."
"However, all of this can come later. For now, you should focus on recovering. If there is anything you need help with please feel free to ask."
With their conversation reaching an end, Elder Hua left the island while Elder Shen helped Ming Yue to her bed. Meanwhile, Hei Yue and Xiao Yin spent their time clinging to their master. After all, they have been waiting for her to awaken for almost half of a year. From Clear Spring Mountain to now, they only had each other and Bai Ying for company. Six months without Ming Yue was very difficult for the two.
As Ming Yue laid on her bed, she felt somewhat bored. Laying there and unable to really do anything else, though it didn't take long for Elder Shen to notice. A day later, he came back with some books and spent the time talking to her. Elder Hua had evens sent some books on rare plants and strange medicines.
Then, she learned more about the world and there was much that she never knew.
The four great kingdoms, hidden communities, the history of great figures, the differences in medicine, there were all sorts of things that she absorbed.
Mign Yue had always been a curious person so this was perfect for her: satiating her mind and curbing her boredom. There were even books regarding the ancient history of the three continents. She learned of the eras that came before the Sovereign Age, even before the Warlord Age.
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