Tucked in the back of her mind was the memory of the strange pond she had come across. Found deep within the cave, it was cold and crystal clear but there was no end to the depths of it. Back then, she had been too weak to fully descend and knew little of the properties it held. She merely cultivated within the shallow parts of pond, using it to temper her body.
But this time it was different.
The trio moved about as Ming Yue searched for the cave.
A single hour passed before she saw wisps of a strange milky colored energy out of the corner of her eyes.
"This energy...could it be from the cave?"
She followed them before standing in front of the same cave years ago. The faint cold aura wafted out, brushing her cheeks as she gazed into the darkness.
"Come on, you two. It might be time to find out the mysteries of this cave."
She entered the cave followed by her companions. The deeper they went, the colder it became. THe darkness of the cave slowly disappeared as the glowing pond illuminated the end of it. The same white light from before had been magnified as she reached the edge of the pond.
"Hmm, this is made from Quintessence Energy but, what sort of Dao is this?"
She peered into the pond but found it to bottomless. Furthermore, the energy that it radiated was something she had never seen before. It was very soft, lacking in power but as she moved to touch it, a cold and restless aura followed. It did not resemble that of the Ice or Snow Dao due to its restlessness and it lacked the intense chill as well. If anything, it resembled more like the Light Dao but there was a sort of mystical aspect to it.
"This energy is too strange... I suppose, I can call it luck that it did not harm me in any way. But the source of it, I might have to dive in. You too stay back, okay?"
Ming Yue looked at Xiao Yin and Hei Yue before turning back to the pond. Her hanfu transformed into armor as she dived into the pond.
"What is at the bottom? Where does this pond lead to?"
These thoughts lingered in her mind as she swam deeper into the depths.
The aura slowly became denser as she went further down and the light grew brighter. The strange mystical feeling stayed light and airy, yet it seemed to be suffocating. But she continued, the difference in strength from when she first entered to now was immense. Ming Yue would not be stopped.
"That light, there's something there."
Descending down, she noticed the light strengthening and spotted a bright light, like a star of sorts at.
"What could it be? Some sort of treasure? A rare vein of ore? Some sort of plant? Perhaps and item?"
Her curiosity spurred her on as she swam even faster. But the closer she came, the harder it was to move about. The feeling of suffocation was hard to ignore. Even as she cycled her energy and activated her armor, it was difficult to continue forward.
The boundless aura surrounded her and it beared a weight upon her body. It was not as if she was shouldering a mountain but rather she was approaching some sort of celestial realm. It was a place someone like her did not belong in yet. There was a feeling of grandness encompassing her and a feeling of smallness growing within her. She was merely dust within this realm.
Even then, she pushed on, ignoring the feeling and steeling herself. She did not waver and swam further down.
Then just a distance away, she was able to make it out, the source of this phenomena.
Her eyes widened as they gazed at the skeleton lying on the ground. It was glowing white, dressed in tattered clothes and carrying it a rusted sword. She did not linger for very long for the pressure here was beginning to overwhelm her.
Quickly, she ascended and jumped out of the pond, surprising the fox and owl, who had been napping close by. She stood there, pondering what she had seen.
"A skeleton corpse is the source of all this. If that is so, then what kind of person was this corpse? How strong could they have been? Perhaps there is something more to this cave."
Without drying herself, Ming Yue began to study the stone walls that had been illuminated by the light of the pond. Looking around, she spooted something strange, a corner of the cave that seemed quite polished compared to the rest of the cave and there was something engraved upon it.
"What is this? A tombstone?" she looked at it, trying to the read the letters.
"Here lies a disciple of the Lunatic Sword, dead after failing to master the Moonlight Guillotine Stance."
That was the only thing that came to mind.
To think that this pond held a dead disciple of the Lunatic Sword, better known as the Lunar Executioner! Just this was enough to shock the continent let alone her.
But outside of these words, there was nothing else. No clue of some sort as to what the Moonlight Guillotine Stance. However, this is solid proof, evidence that the Lunatic Sword was real.
"But this stance... Could it be the stance that the statue took in the Black Peak Mountains?"
She thought back to that place, remembering the simple yet complex stance the statue had taken. Even if the stance refers to something else, these two had to be connected in some way.
"I should leave for Luan City first but before that, I should soak in the pond for a little. Perhaps, If I try to understand this Dao, I may have better luck the next time I return to the Merciless Storm Peak."
Ming Yue undressed and cultivated in the pond for a full day, while Hei Yue and Xiao Yin went off hunting to pass the time.
Her eyes opened as her expression was that of disappointment.
Unfortunately, a day was far from enough and Ming Yue gained little from this. Outside of solidifying her cultivation, she could not make heads or tails with the properties of this energy. The Dao that this disciple practiced was simply beyond her understandings.
"Hmm, perhaps, I may need to be in the Sky Realm or even the Heaven Realm to fully grasp it. But I've already spent too much time here, I need to leave."
Putting on her clothes and calling for her two beasts, she took note of the cave and went on with her journey. But her mind was occupied with nothing but the Lunar Executioner and that disciple. Her mind seemed to run amok as she tried to speculate how the technique worked but even then, she did not understand. At the same time, how did he end up here? Did his failure to master the technique result in his death? Then, what was the Lunar Executioner doing?
In this state, time went by quickly and soon she reached her destination.
In front of her was a bustling city filled with people. It was certainly not as grand as Five Element City nor was it as elegant as Heaven's Gate. Even Rong Lu City had a uniqueness to it. However, this city was like any other one, an ordinary place that held a special significance in her heart.
"I'm back", she thought, feeling numerous emotions within her.
It was Luan City, the place where everything had begun. '
Entering the city, she was met with familiar sights and smells, food stalls and lanterns strung across the street. However, she did not take in the sight and moved straight for the brothel, finding it the same as ever.
A four story building with women looking out of the windows, gazing at the streets. Many of them waved their handkerchiefs at the passerbys, giving seductive looks at the men. Then, one of them noticed a familiar young woman standing outside of the brothel.
"Oh, It's Ming Yue! Everyone! Ming Yue is here!"
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