"Hmm, no wonder the handiwork is so good. Still, it can be improved upon. You won't mind if we two work on this right? You don't have to worry about the price either", said Mei Zhen.
"Hey wait a moment, that depends on what I'm going to put into that socket."
Zhang Guang glared at his counterpart but did not seem to be against working on the sword.
Ming Yue was confused by their actions.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked.
The two looked at each other before looking at Cheng Wei.
"We three have gone through many challenges together, bonding as lifelong friends. We knew that it was Cheng Wei's goal to create the Evergreen Heart and we three tried to reach it. Even after so many years we tried and failed. That dream had stayed a dream but you revived it. For that, we must repay you for helping our friend and for helping us."
To Ming Yue, the Evergreen Heart was a miraculous thing but to the three seniors, it was so much more than that. It was dozens of years worth of work, thousands of attempts, and thousands more of failures. For her to show them the real thing was more than what they could've wanted. In that, they had to repay her in some way.
"Then, I will have to bother the three seniors", she cupped her hands and bowed.
"Hah, you could just call us elders. There is no need to address us so formally."
The three looked at Ming Yue with gratefulness and glee. Helping her was nothing compared to how much she had helped them.
"Come back in a week for some testing. We have a lot of work to do."
The three seniors guided Ming Yue and the others out of the store and returned to their respective domains. The pair started walking back to the residential area as Hei Yue and Xiao Yin followed along.
As they walked, Zhi Qing smirked at Ming Yue.
"Well, you certainly gave me a shock", she giggled.
"You bring out an item coveted by my seniors. More than that, it is a legendary item as well. I can't help but wonder what you've encountered out in the world."
Ming Yue looked at the young woman. Zhi Qing was a bit older than her, yet she carried a very childish air around her. It didn't necessarily help that she had quite a baby-face as well. She thought back to what Grand Researcher Ou said, how the people of this kingdom have become accustomed to staying within their boundaries. She wondered just how different the world would've been if the kingdom had not shut itself from the world.
"Not to mention that sword! How do you even wield that? I though you used a staff" Zhi Qing words shook her from her thoughts.
Ming Yue smiled.
"It is a memento from my father, I had it reforged after finding its sister blade."
"Oh how curious! The blade is almost as tall as you! Would this mean that you are also planning to go to the Ying Long Sea?"
"The Ying Long Sea? Why do you ask?"
"Oh, you don't know about it? The Ying Long Sea is place of great mysteries and treasures."
"Oh, I thought that it was a place for fishermen. I have heard that there are rare creatures but those are mainly for food."
That was what she had heard from Lao Gan. He traveled there for the cuisine and the rare beasts that are used to cook.
"That is only part of it. The Ying Long Sea is extremely large, bordering one side of the kingdom. The outskirts of the sea are full of fish and other sea creatures thus the fishermen. However, as you go deeper you will find underwater caves that are filled with all sorts of treasures."
Zhi Qing grabbed a small map form her spatial ring and continued talking as they walked through the Market District.
"The Ying Long Sea has another name. It is also known as the Sea of Heroes and Dragons where it was said that many warriors came to battle the dragons that dwelled. But once every ten years, the Ying Long Sea would part at the center revealing a massive grave site that contains the bodies of dragons and their challengers. You are bound to find ancient treasures there."
She pointed at the map, showing the shaded area of the Ying Long Sea where it would part. It was small compared to the rest of the sea, only taking up a tenth of it.
"Though you might not be ready yet at lest not on your own. The energy gathered there is very dense and requires a few tools to disperse it. It is something that cannot be endured through strength as it will seep into your body and dig deep into your bones."
For the Ying Long Sea to have such history was news to her and Ming Yue wasn't sure if she wanted to tackle it just yet.
"Have you gone to the gravesite?" she asked.
From the sound of it, Zhi Qing must have some experience there.
"Oh, we take expeditions there to study the Dragon Energy and take its scales and bones. It's a very powerful energy and it carries a sort of heaviness that dragons have. It has been one of the chief goals to fully repicate that energy. Of course, we can achieve a similar result by using the parts to create armor or weapons but if we can successfully recreate that energy, then it would be easier to just imbue existing items."
"Such a thing is possible?" asked Ming Yue.
"Indeed, we've only been able to produce something that has half the strength but just that can boost the strength of anyone below the Heaven Realm."
"Then, when is the next expedition?"
MIng Yue asked as the dragon corpses piqued her interest. She's never seen a dragon's corpse uch less a real one and thought that it was something that she should experience.
"That should in three months time. Are you thinking about joining?"
"Yes, I want to check out the gravesite and see these dragons for myself."
In three months, a lot could happen, perhaps she could even breakthrough and achieve flight at the Perception Stage.
"Well then, the expedition is in three months and if you want to join, you must ask Grand Researcher Ou for approval. These expeditions are generally in groups of thirty but there are times where we have a few more or a little bit less."
By now, they reached the residential areas and Ming Yue returned to her courtyard. By the time she bathed and cleaned Hei Yue and Xiao Yin, it was midnight. Before going to sleep, she organized her thoughts and planned ahead. In terms of cultivation, she was at a bottleneck, nearing an inch away from the Perception Stage. To take that inch, she had to consolidate her foundation and understand how to read and use different energies.
On that note she had to focus on two things, Mental Force and the Sword Sage Path. Training in the former was underway but she has neglected the latter. She had yet to advance to the next level, "Sharpness of One's Soul", staying at the second level "Blade of the World".
Fortunately, she had read the "Path of the Sword" manual thoroughly and memorized it. This was something she needed to work on and most likely would be practicing in the early morning.
Aside from that, she had two goals in mind, the expedition for the Ying Long Sea and the Heavenly Gate Tournament. The first three months away and the second was six months away now. There was also the matter with Xue Yue and the possiblity of merging their conciousness together.
As she planned and thought, she couldn't help but breathe deeply. There was quite a lot for her to do and even more to achieve. She looked off to the side, spotting her two companions sleeping soundly.
She smiled at them and her mind relaxed. There was no point wracking herself over this and resolved to deal with it one day at a time. Though the next three months would prove to be quite hectic.
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