Forgetting about the Starfruit, Ming Yue examined the statue's pedestal and found some words engraved onto them. It was a mantra of some sort but the meaning of these words, she did not understand it quite well.
"One strike and ten thousand lives are taken, yet when I strike the water, the moon's reflection does not fall, should I cut the moon instead?"
At the bottom, separated from these few phrases was a single question.
"Should I cut down everything?"
She read it several times but did not know what to make of it.
"A clue to his stance perhaps? But cutting the moon, how does it relate this this stance? These last words as well "...cut down everything", what does that mean? The way it's engraved is different, like its been carved with a sword", she pondered what these words meant before her eyes wandered between the statue and these words.
Since both Xiao Yin and Hei Yue could not move, she chose to stay here and wait for them. If worst comes to worst, she would have to rush back to Heaven's Gate.
Ming Yue muttered those words over and over, even going so far as to copy the stance and try it out. It seemed like such a simple stance and despite that notion, the statue's stance seemed infinitely better than hers.
"Hm, this stance is quite awkward to use. It isn't quite suited for me considering my body compared to Drifting Sky. But perhaps I could alter it maybe create something new. One strike and ten thousand lives are taken... one strike, what if I don't focus on the stance but the strike."
It didn't take long for her to give up on reproducing the same stance as the statue. It just did not match her well. Her movement could be described as erratic, quick, ghost-like but this stance was much more straightforward and direct. It was a simple stance on the surface but there were all sorts of intricacies with it. But if it was about one strike, there she had something.
There was one technique that she had, one that she and the Sword Elder had yet to touch. There wasn't a name for it but to Ming Yue, this was the closest thing she had to what this statue showed.
It had no stance and was a strike she could use from any position but difficult to pull off. She had to reach a state of complete concentration, focusing on nothing else but the sword and the enemy. It was one move that carried all of the different energies in her power.
It was powerful but there was much to be improved upon. Perhaps this was her chance to work on it.
At first, Ming Yue had trouble finding a place to begin but as she continued to ponder and test, she grew more and more invested in it. The words engraved on the pedestal echoed in her mind as she tinkered and toyed with the technique, not knowing that Xiao Yin and Hei Yue had both awoken from their slumber.
When she exited out of this trance, Ming Yue made a few advancements with this new technique but she was not satisfied yet. She felt that there was a boundless potential because of the simplicity of the technique. That simplicity made it so much easier to be creative and transform the technique's nature and execution.
As fo her direction, she wanted this technique to follow the words of the statue, "to cut down everything". A single strike that will kill and destroy, that was the sort of technique she wanted, something of an ultimate skill.
As far as she knew, what she had right now was a farcry to what she wanted.
"We should find a way out. Hei Yue and Xiao...Xiao Yin?"
Ming Yue stopped herself from getting sucked back into perfecting her technique. She looked around for an exit as she called her pets. Hei Yue's black furred body was fully heals and the bandages had been removed. The little fox seemed quite cheerful, almost forgetting what he had experienced earlier.
As for Xiao Yin, the Star Owl had grown much larger, bigger than a human head and a wingspan of four feet. The owl was too big to perch onto Ming Yue's sword and instead rested on her shoulder. Its large silvery eyes gained a glowing aura and its gray feathers took on a brighter tinge.
Such a large change in sppearance caused Ming Yue to falter but nevertheless, it was the same owl she had always been with. It looked quite happy, even taking a moment to show off its great wings.
Hei Yue circled the pair, staring at Xiao Yin with confusion. To the little fox, there was something different about Xiao Yin and it took quite a bit of time for him to realize just what. At some point, he wasn't even sure if this was the same owl as before but it wasn't long before Hei Yue finally recognized the Star Owl.
He began to yip and yap at the owl with a questioning and curious tone, wanting to know what he had missed. However, there were much more pressing matters at hand. FOr one thing, they needed to get out of this cave system.
The three of them split apart to explore the large cave room before XIao Yin chirped upon finding another passage, slightly hidden as it resembled closely to the room.
Once again they walked though, going past several rooms and descending even further down. It was an endless pattern of empty rooms and a single passage connecting each one. By the tenth room, the trio finally found their way out into a dense forest. Warm air brushed her face as the sound of crickets and buzzing insects filled the air.
"How strange, we're in the Four Season Forest. The Black Peak Mountains take at least a week to travel though and yet, it felt like only a day since we entered it."
She felt slightly confused, looking behind her to find the Black Peak mountains off in a distance. Did she really travel through all of this underground. She stared at the entrance to the cave system, finding that it was shimmering, the sign of an illusion. Moving away, Min Yue found that the entrance was no longer there and instead, a mass of trees stood where it was.
"An illusion! This cave has too many mysteries, especially that statue. A swordsman...perhaps, Elder Xia might know the identity of such a person."
When she returned to Heaven's Gate, she would definitely ask the Blade Elder about this. Furthermore, she needed his knowledge to help improve on her techniques. There were many things to do once she returned and there was no time to waste. She turned around and faced the Four Season Forest. She commited this location to mind and began marking the sounding trees with a single wind needle.
Should she come back to the forest, Ming Yue would know where to go.
With her business done, she made her way through the dense forest with her pets. She spared no attention to any creatures along the way, though it seemed that one beast in particular noticed her presence.
A pair of supernatural blue eyes fluttered awake, as the scars of Ming Yue's Zephyr Claws began to sting with pain.
Its deer-like head looked up into the sky, sniffing the air. This horrifying beast turned its head towards her general direction and began chasing after her.
Entering the wintry part of the forest, Ming Yue felt the gorund rumbling as a deep and beast-like roar echoed. The gorund shook from this beast's galloping body as it suddenly leaped up, smashing through the trees with its mouth opened wide.
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