It had gotten incredibly busy for Ming Yue as she had appear in multiple meetings with the upper echelon of the Research District regarding the expedition. What had happened was too great a news to just ignore. It had to be noted and carefully analyzed. Along her were the others, those who participated int he expedition as well as Long Wang and Long Wei.
Each time she came, she was questioned intensely and made an oath to reveal none of this.
Despite these constant meetings, Ming Yue had some interest as she learned more about the Dark Water Kingdom.
As a place of research and knowledge, there was no king or any sort of royalty governing this place. Rather, the kingdom was governed by a group of people, all of which were renowned in their own way. Of course, Grand Researcher Ou was one of them. There was a mixture of ages from young to old but they all had a certain amount of merit to their name. They had titles such as Lord Crafter, Prime Architect, High Assayer. The last of which Ming Yue recognized as Elder Shen once held that title.
Though the younger ones did not pay her too much attention, the older generation seemingly sized her up without giving much of a response.
"So this is Shen Zhong's disicple..."
This was something they all said but Ming Yue did not know if this was good or bad. She did not care for it deeply but it was something that bothered her. In the end of it all, these high ranking officials had the information they wanted and released everyone.
None of them knew what would happen but the Long Siblings and the other researchers returned to their department. They all looked tired but excited, as the scales of Xiu Luo Yang and his beloved yielded all sorts of information. Not to mention the jade slip, which had been fully copied down already.
Ming Yue still kept in touch with them, visiting once in a while. Most of the time, she just watched for a moment before leaving. They were all scurrying about in their labs and the last she had seen them, they had ordered a special weapon from the Forge of 81 Fires. Whatever it was, they kept it a secret but Ming Yue believed that it would become a vessel carrying true dragon energy.
She did manage to see the previous item that had been imbued with dragon energy. Their greatest achievement, a glaive that carried half the strength of dragon energy. It was massive with a black, sleek handle and a very special blade that had been carved such that the it emerged from a dragon's mouth.
As enamored as she was, she could barely contain her excitement when it came to her own weapon. Days after the commotion, Zhang Guang sent an attendant ot notify her that the gems had been inserted and was ready.
She quickly ran along with Hei Yue and Xiao Yin following as she reached the workshop below the Treasured Gem Hall. There, she saw the elder sitting down and resting his eyes. On the stone worktable behind him was Difting Sky, fitted with the wind and thunder cores.
"Ah, you're here. Help me carry the sword to the Mei Zhen's forge. This is not the place to test the sword out."
Hearing her steps, the bald man stood up and turned around, covering Drifting Sky in a thick yet soft white cloth. He gave it to her to carry, feeling weary as he began walking up to the first floor. The trio followed him to the Forge of 81 Fires where Mei Zhen, a hulking woman hammering away at the anvil saw them.
"Ah, you're here. Come and follow me."
Rather than walk up, Mei Zhen led them down several flights of stairs where there was a large and spacious room. Along the way, she looked at her friend and gasped out in mocking shock.
"Oh my, you look terrible", she said, sounding worried but trying her hardest not to smirk.
"Oh stop it, you hammer of a woman. Yes, I look terrible not leave it be and let's get this done with."
He turned to Ming Yue, gesturing her to uncover the sword and wield it.
Unwrapping the sword, she grabbed it carefully before giving it a few casual swings. Despite the sligth increase in weight, it was negligible to her as she attacked the air. Finding that nothing had changed, she moved onto the real test, using a technique.
These cores were the physical accumulation of energy and to be used, it had to be activated. Such as the cores used in the Roaring Thunder Cannons and many other tools, certain formations were used to harness them. Without some form of control, these cores would either be comepletely useless or explode.
As with the cores on Drifting Sky, as Ming Yue had not activated them yet, they were no more than stones. She had to awaken the dormant power with her own energy, but there were dangers to these things. Especially with cores such as these which were extremely powerful. If she wasn't careful, Drifting Sky could shatter or worse, she could explode.
Slowly, the gems began to glow ever so slightly as Mign Yue poured her power into the sword. It was a miniscule change, a very weak glow in fact. However, in that change, she felt a torrent of power flowing from the two gems. It coursed through the sword and through her body.
She had barely tapped its power but already, she was barely holding on. But she was determined to see, just how powerful would a sword strike be?
She struck forward, towards the empty space and watched a condensed wave of energy fly forth. It slowly grew and lightning sparked throughout it. It cut through the air, producing sharp and powerful winds. It continued to fly to the other end of the room where it carved into the stone walls.
Ming Yue dropped the sword, drained of her stamina before sitting down to rest. That attack was at least twice, maybe three times stronger than if she did it without the gem's power. Perhaps if her cultivation and her accumulations in the Dao of Wind and Lightning were higher, she could have mustered even greater power.
The other two were surprised by the attack. It was extremely powerful for one but it also highlighted the quality of these gem cores. Just a slight activation and the attack was already several times stronger. Not to mention, Ming Yue was tired after one use.
"This is...too good."
Zhang Guang was the first to speak, though his tone was filled with shock. Internally, he felt relieved that his work was done. He could actually sleep now.
As for Mei Zhen, she looked at Ming Yue before grabbing the sword and examining it.
"Still good, no cracks...." she muttered before handing the sword back.
After that, Ming Yue was let go. Of course, it was not without a bit of consultation and warning from the two elders. While she should get used to activating them, she had to be careful with using the cores.
"Do not forget to polish it all and maintain it."
"Be conscious of the cores, don't let its power leak."
After some stern warnings, Ming Yue left and moved onto the Wildwood Pavilion, where Senior Cheng was. Asking around, she entered his workroom and found him focused on a staff, carefully carving it with a elegant knife.
She stayed for only a few minutes, exchanging pleasantries with him before letting him examine the Eternal Heart Ring, making sure that there were no defects with it which there weren't. On that note, she returned to her room and decided to just relax.
She scratched Xiao Yin's chin while rubbing Hei Yue's belly. The soft and furry sensation was calming to her and the two beasts qite enjoyed this treatment. Enjoying it, she began to think and plan for later.
"Three months left..." she reminded herself.
Three months until she had to return for the tournament.
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