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“Yes!” Ming Yue spoke with some excitement.
“As for as I know, it is being auctioned in the city”, she said, “However, this auction will not be happening for another year or so. It is the nation-wide General Auction, an event that happens every 10 years. You are quite lucky that you only have to wait one year. After all, this event requires an ample amount of time to obtain various items, common or rare.”
Ming Yue was both disappointed and happy, She knew that the sword was within this city, but it would not be another year before she could obtain it. This did give her time to gather money for the auction. The more she thought about it, the more grateful she was for the extra time. All she had right now were a couple hundred gold, which came from selling all of the items she had gather from her time at the Firelight Ruins and Purple Vine Forest as well as any spoils from the Marauders and other criminals she had come across.
She did not know how much money it would take to get the sword, only understanding that she would need a fair amount. Compared to those from n.o.ble families and sects, her wealth was meager.
She thanked Elder Yin for the information and turned to leave, before elder Yin stopped her.
“Wait”, she said, “I still need to talk to you about the Youth Dragon Tournament.”
Ming Yue listened to her carefully.
“The requirements are for you to be under 20 and to pa.s.s their basic testing. There are almost one thousand partic.i.p.ants including the geniuses of the Five Families. The deadline to register is in a week and the compet.i.tion officially starts in one month”, she explained, “There will be three rounds testing your combat capabilities, those three are the most important and will decide whether you are eliminated or not. Afterwords, the remaining compet.i.tors will go through 100 battles among each other throughout five days. The number of wins they get will determine their ranking. The top one hundred get a peak mortal ranked item of their choice. Those in the top 50 will obtain a lower sage ranked item. Then the top ten will be given a opportunity to pick a technique from the Imperial Archive, the emperor’s personal collection of martial techniques, one even greater than that of the Yu family. Finally, the top three will be able to enter the Lotus Domain and cultivate there for as long as they could endure the pressure. The Lotus Domain is the prized treasure of the country and meant to train only the most demonic of young cultivators. Those who have entered it, came out as legends. However no one knows the mysteries of the Lotus Domain. That’s all I know, do you have any questions?”
Ming Yue thought about the information given to her, Other than her, there were close to a thousand people in the compet.i.tion and if she were to pa.s.s the first three rounds, she would have to go through 100 battles in five days. This was a test of stamina and wit, choosing when to surrender and when to fight. It would not be wise to take on unfavorable fights, for even if one were to win, they still had a number of fights to complete that day. Wasting their energy for just one fight was unwise.
After thinking, she looked at Elder Yin before asking her, “What do you think I am lacking?”
She looked at Ming Yue as if she expected this, “Meng Zhao did tell me you were a training fanatic.”
Ming Yue was embarra.s.sed by her statement but nonetheless wanted to know.
“Show me some of your moves,” Elder Yin said.
Ming Yue then demonstrated in front of her, unsheathing her sword and attacking the empty air. She used all variety of skills from her swordplay to her usage of inner force and wind. Each attack was swift and unpredictable coming from many directions. It was not a wild rush of attacks but polished and calculated strikes.
Several minutes later, Elder Yin asked her to stop and began contemplating on what she should say.
“In terms of your general fighting capability, I believe that you have a good chance at pa.s.sing the testing rounds. However what you currently lack the most if your Dao of the Wind”, she said.
Ming Yue was somewhat confused, asking her to to elaborate.
“You have great control and power of the element of wind, but the way your use it is very basic and easy to see through. You incorporate wind into your weapon to strengthen your attacks, but do you have any techniques that specifically cater to wind?” she asked.
“Just because you focus on the dao of the sword does not mean that you can ignore the dao of wind”, she added, “Only by balancing both will you improve your ability.”
Ming Yue never realized this or rather she had completely forgotten. She was only using the element of wind to power her attacks, none of her techniques actually utilizes it. Furthermore, her understanding of wind was extremely spa.r.s.e. After all, wind is an ever changing force, one that can transform at any given second. Off all the elements, this was one of the most irregular, with so many paths to choose from, so many aspects to think of. From techniques as destructive as typhoons to silent blades hidden behind a summer breeze, there were many choices.
What she lacked was direction.
After understanding where she needed to improve, Ming Yue quickly thanked Elder Yin and excused herself. She wanted to take care of any errands she had before contemplating on her dao of wind.
Elder Yin smiled after she left, “Ah youth, so impatient.”
She sat back down onto her chair and continued her paperwork.
Meanwhile, Ming Yue headed for the registration area for the tournament. She reached a large arena where a table and a man stood in front of the entrance. Next to the table was a stone pillar, probably what they use to administer the test. There was a sign in front of it with the word, “REGISTRATION” and a line of people to go along with it.
She joined the end of the line waiting for the 70+ people to sign up and go through with the registration test.
As time pa.s.sed, she finally reached the table, looking at a unusual white slab of stone.
“Place your hand on the stone slab and it will tell me your age and cultivation”, the tournament official explained.
“Hmm, 15 years old, Human 5th level”, the official read her information, before looking at her.
“If you can damage this pillar, you pa.s.s”, he stated.
Ming Yue approached it and unsheathed her sword, surprising those behind her that the staff she held was really a sword. She built up her energy and took an overhead guard stance*, focusing on it. The stone pillar had all sorts of nicks and cuts from all of the compet.i.tors before her, weathered down by countless strikes but still standing proud.
“Begin!” the official spoke.
She struck fiercely into the pillar before retracting her strike. leaving behind a deep cut. She was disappointed that she could not cut it cleanly. The stone pillar was definitely not normal, it might be made out of a special material or reinforced with formations. However the mark she made was quite visible, in fact, there were not as many marks that could match hers.
The official examined the cut before making his decision.
“Pa.s.s! The compet.i.tion will begin in one month, be here by then or else you will be disqualified”, he said.
Then he gave her a lion-shaped crest, “Keep this crest with you, it is proof that you have pa.s.sed. You will need it to enter the arena.”
Ming Yue promptly, happy that she had made it. She did not think that the test would be so simple and straightforward. After leaving the vicinity, she looked around the market area before entering a store. She wanted to sell off all of the items that she gained from her travels and chose the “Gold Honor Shop”, a fancy three story building. The interior was somewhat ordinary, there were no lavish decorations, different from what the name said. However, all sorts of items were put on display from normal equipment to rare herbs and potions, it was truly a sight to behold.
One of the workers greeted her, “Welcome to our Gold Honor, are you looking to buy something?”
“No”, she replied, “I want to sell some items.”
“I see, let me bring you to the third floor then, that is where our appraisers will a.s.sess the value of your wares.”