As for those watching from the outside, many of them were glued to the events in this stage. However, there were a few of those who were more preoccupied on certain details. Various clan elders and people of power were puzzled by the Grand Elder's actions.
"He has participated not once but twice in this tournament. In all of the previous ones, this has never happened before."
"What is the Grand Elder thinking?"
"Something about this is strange, there must be a reason for his actions."
They could only form theories and guess the intent behind these events. Several have even sent out men to investigate, asking around and collecting information. There was bound to be some clue to this peculiar development.
Yet, during all of this, there was no rhyme or reason that could be found and this left them all stumped.
"Someone of his stature would not do this on a whim."
"If it was once, perhaps, but twice...something is happening."
This may seem overboard for them, paranoid even. However, these various figures were experts, experienced in the ways of the world. All of them knew that someone like the Grand Elder acted with motive. They looked at each other silently, speaking with their eyes. Once this was over, they would request a meeting with him. To their surprise, a small slip of paper was handed to them, an invitation to a meeting with the elders of Heaven's Gate.
But if they were puzzled, the elders of Heaven's Gate were even more so as the Grand Elder seemed to hint at something.
"I wonder what Grand Elder Huang is planning. He wanted a congregation with all of us and even had us send out invitations to the others. It's very strange is it not?"
Elder Hua watched the arena but spoke with the others, wanting to dicuss it.
"Who knows what he is announcing, maybe a declaration of war. Maybe he wants to send these disciples to the Demon Continent."
The one that spoke was a bald man with a small and gray mustache, the ends of which curled upwards. His size and build was equally large, towering two heads above Elder Hua. His limbs were muscular though his belly was quite big. The clothes he wore fit him well, a sleeveless white tunic and pants, tied together with a red sash. His round eyes and sharp nose gave him a friendly and untamed expression.
His voice was the same, light and jokingly though one would fight it hard to tell when he was joking.
"Oh, Elder Lee, don't say such grim things! They're too young and naive for this."
"Hahaha, Elder Hua, something like war may be all that is needed to teach someone about life. Battle is an important experience to one's cultivation."
"Maybe for someone like you who uses their fists, I just make medicine."
"Don't try to make yourself seem so innocent, I may be the Elder of Fists but you seem to like fighting more than me."
He grinned at her, a silly and giant grin that hid no ulterior thoughts. The Elder of Fists was a simple and earnest man who preferred directness. With his words, he poked fun at the Medicinal Elder who did not seem to enjoy that remark.
But she did not refute it, rather she looked back at the arena, searching the thick forest for something.
"I hope Ming Yue is doing fine", she said.
"She'll be alright, if she says she'll reach top ten then she'll reach top ten."
While the various elder stood or sat on chairs to watch, Elder Xiang sat atop the tower, hopping down and jumping inside as Elder Hua worried over Ming Yue.
"Why aren't you worried? You spend more time with her than me!"
Elder Hua turned towards the Sword Elder, scolding him for his behavior. Her eyes were sharp as she stared daggers into him.
"Oh please, I've mentored countless of people, do you think I care about them all as much as you do?"
He brushed off her knife-like gaze before showing a rare look of solemness.
"Rather, I'm a bit more interested in what the Grand Elder is thinking. Whatever will happen in that meeting is bound to make waves, Don't you agree, Elder Shen?"
He called out the Spirit Elder, who had watched in the sidelines with his cat, Bai Ying, nestled in his arms. Taking on hand away, Elder Shen began to stroke his beard slowly as he seemed to be lost in thought for a moment.
"Elder Hua, you don't have to be so worried about her. She had quite a be trump cards that have yet to be shown. As for what the Grand Elder is thinking, this I don't know, it could be a number of things."
"Ah, but Elder Shen, out of all of us, you are the most senior and know the Grand Elder much better than any of us. Only the Disciplinary Elder is comparable to you but you know how she operates, she isn't even here anymore."
Elder Xiang reasoned with the Elder Shen and the other elders looked towards Elder Shen with interest. The Spirit Elder's age was unknown but it is said that he had been here when Heaven's Gate was founded. That put him well over a hundred years, giving him seniority second to the Grand Elder within the Institution.
"I suppose...since you're all so curious as to what the Grand Elder wants to talk about."
Elder Shen stroked his lengthy beard, a river of white hair that had been neatly combed and cared for. His long brows furrowed for a moment before relaxing.
"Therewould only be two things thi smeeting is about. It could about the Demon Continent or the Tao Feng Sect."
Everyone listened carefully and took some time to digest what the Spirit Elder said.
"Hmm, either one is equally likely. The situation within the Demon Continent is beginning to shift against us. That leader of theirs, Kong Zhi, is said to have found some treasure that caused his strength to grow."
"On the other hand, the Tao Feng Sect has yet to be fully destroyed, only suppressed. There has been little information on their plans, not the mention their sect leader is still alive. But there has been no trace of them since then."
Elder Shen then interrupted them, not wanting mislead them in any way.
"This is only my guess. After all, these are the two problems at hand. For all we know, this meeting could be about both these things or it could be about somehting entirely different. For now, we should focus on the tournament first. If anything this is also important to the meeting."
With his words, he released an aura of calmness and clarity, allowing everyone to refocus.
"You're right. There is no reason to speculate now, besides I finally found Ming Yue."
Elder Hua followed up with her own words, staring intently in the northern part of the forest. Both Elder Shen and Elder Xiang looked as well, spotting Ming Yue, who travelled through the trees and found herself in a dire situation for she was not alone.
There were others that chased after her, sending out attack after attack and forcing her to run.
"Damn it, to think I would have been spotted."
Ming Yue was slightly annoyed with herself.
As she traveled through the forest, she tried to be as covert as possible but slipped up. She had paused for a moment to take a breath and gauge her position. Getting further away from the mountain was important as was avoiding any of the Inheritors. Against someone like the Bloody Lances and Wenqin Yan, she had a twenty percent chance at victory and even then she was being optimistic.
But now, her presence was found and a group pursued her. After all, Ming Yue was alone and that for some made for an easy target.
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