She hit the back of the necks, knocking out Jia Xiang's followers one at a time. While she was skilled in hiding her aura, she could not figure out how to release it as described in the Veiled Death Sword Technique.
"Eh?! It's you!" the girl looked back after noticing the grips of her captors loosen.
Ming Yue did not stop to greet her and continued to knock them all out until only Jia Xiang and Xukun's opponents were left.
"You could've killed them instead you know", Xue Yue's voice whispered in her mind.
"Shut it", Ming Yue bluntly shut down Xue Yue's advice.
"I'm just saying, it would've been easier", Xue Yue's voice trailed off, annoying Ming Yue.
She quickly moved.
Jia Xiang and his three followers were all too busy attacking and ridiculing Xukun to even notice her movements. He was already knocked on the ground, surrounded by the four.
"You know, despite your appearance, I learned some interesting things about you", said Jia Xiang.
"Son of the Venerable Wu Clan that had ceased to exist years ago. Hah! What right do you have to speak to me in that fashion?! You're nothing but the leftovers of a fallen clan!"
Xukun looked up at Jia Xiang with his bruised face, gritting his teeth.
"Am I wrong? Would it have been better to call you trash instead? How you entered Heaven's Gate is beyond me, you would've been better off in some third rate sect!" Jia Xiang was emboldened by Xukun's angered expression.
Before he could utter another word, Xukun lashed out with a burst of strength, smashing his fist into Jia Xiang's jaw. He was quick and none of Jia Xiang's followers could stop it.
It was only then did they notice their unconscious friends.
"What's going on here? Did that girl do this?"
They looked at Xukun's partner with shock and confusion only to receive a strike form Ming Yue and fall. All that was left was Jia Xiang and Xukun, both of whom laid on the ground wrestling each other.
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Just as Ming Yue was about to move, someone quickly approached the two and ripped them apart.
"You two! Both of you are idiots! Members of the Heaven's Gate reduced to fighting a stupid brawl. Do you want me to kick you out right now?!"
It was Elder Xiang!
"Go back and repent!" he yelled at them, holding them by the collar.
He looked back at Ming Yue and Xukun's friend, "Both of you! Help me carry the rest of these idiots!"
They gave each other a dumbfounded look before doing as he said, carrying the unconscious bodies back to the Institution. As for Hei Yue and the others, they helped as Bai Ying grew in size to carry two while Hei Yue and Xiao Yin carried one.
As for the streets of the city, they quickly forgot about what had just transpired and went back to business. Fights like this weren't uncommon but it had been a while since they've seen something so entertaining. It was more like a brawl than a duel, chaotic and messy.
As the group walked back to the Institution, Ming Yue became much more acquainted with the other girl. Her name was Wen Anqing, another student of the Institution, She and Xukun had been out in the city, looking for some medicine. Xukun's demeanor and history had marked him for ridicule but this was the first time she had been implicated as well.
"Why do you stay with him? If he has such issues", Ming Yue asked.
"Because he isn't the type of person you think he is. Although, he is a strong cultivator, it was difficult for him to complete a mission or find a partner because of the way he acts. Brother Xukun just has problems speaking with others. If you knew him, you would know how lonely he's been!" Anqing spoke fiercely, defending Xukun.
It surprised MIng Yue, causing her to re-evaluate Xukun.
"Then... he was looking for me about medicine then?" she asked.
"Yes! On our last mission, he was injured after fighting off bandits. We didn't have many points and could only afford some bandages. As they were a recently added item, not many people chose it but we did because it was all we could afford. Xukun noticed you handing over bandages and wanted to ask if he could get some for a lower price."
In the back of her mind, Xue Yue's voice returned.
"Do you believe them?" she asked
"It doesn't seem like they're lying. Besides, I have no grudges against any of them. Unless this is some elaborate scheme thought up by Elder Xiang, I have no reason to doubt them."
"Really? The Sword Elder? He doesn't seem like the type."
"You never know..."
At the end of their conversation, everyone had entered the gates before Elder Xiang tossed the two on the ground. Immediately after, he turned to grab the other bodies and tossed them along. Smacking them awake, he looked at them with disdain.
"Look at all of you! Princes, nobles, prized geniuses, all of whom are a part of Heaven's Gate, a place many dream of entering! Now, you've all been fell to mere bullying and brawls. This is only a warning but if I see something like this again. You can suffer some hellish training from me!"
Despite these words, Jia Xiang and the others wanted to dispute but restrained themselves. This was the Sword Elder, an eccentric expert who was apathetic to most things but quick to anger. They picked themselves up and left, Jia Xiang stared at Xukun before he glared at Ming Yue.
Anqing dashed to Xukun and helped him up. Ming Yue walked up before pulling out a small package, wrapped neatly.
"Take these. They are more potent than what I have exchanged before, my own creation of sorts. If you need help for something, you can find me in this room", she said.
Anqing held them with surprise, giving a quick thanks before showing Xukun.
Elder Xiang watched the exchange before looking at Ming Yue.
"Girl, come with me. We have something to discuss", he said.
The two left quickly, leaving Anqing and Xukun by themselves.
"Do you think she will join us?" Xukun asked her.
"Maybe, still, it is the Ren Huan Battlefield. I doubt she would be uninterested in it. Let's get you recovered first and take on some missions, there's still three months until the battlefield opens", Anqing replied.
Anqing supported him as he stood up, before walking back into the main tower of the Institution.
As for Elder Xiang and Ming Yue, they quietly walked back to the Blade Hall. The elder lost all of his anger as if it was just an act. He turned his head and smiled at her.
"Didn't think you would get into a brawl so quickly", he said.
Ming Yue paused before replying.
"It wasn't really a fight. They were all too busy to notice me", she said.
"That's like them. Remember, not everyone is as idiotic as them."
"Alright, take this too", Elder Xiang tossed another manual.
Ming Yue caught it and read the title.
"Basics of Assassination?"
"Yes, I saw the whole brawl from the beginning and I realized that you really do know nothing about battle. Assassination is more than just controlling one's aura, there are techniques unique to assassins. What you did was mostly brute force", Elder Xiang explained.
"I see...Wait, you were watching the entire time?"
Elder Xiang's bored expression did not change. In fact, he seemed more disappointed than anything.
"It looked like it might turn into something amusing but all I saw was a group of idiots."
Ming Yue's opinion of him lowered, this elder was more shameless than eccentric. She gave a quick bow and left his hall.
"Don't forget! No sparring until you taste victory, this joke of a fight doesn't count!" he yelled out.
Ming Yue turned back briefly before walking away, staring at the manual in her hands. Weeks passed by quickly as her time with the elders had been reduced to an hour or so. But, she focused on improving herself fully knowing that she could not rely on them for every step.
As she cultivated in her room, filling the ethereal island of her with Quintessence Force, someone knocked softly on her door. She stopped her cultivation and opened up the door, seeing Anqing and Xukun together.
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