Shang Yang continued to sit on Xiao Tu as she watched Ye Xiu and Shi Die walk out of the room. She could feel Xiao Tu starting to get restless and it felt like the paralysis was wearing off. Knowing that the break was about to finish, she got off from Xiao Tu and walked a few metres away from him and waited for him to get back on his feet.
Xiao Tu shook his body multiple times to get rid of the numbness in his arms because his blood wasn't able to flow easily due to the position he was in when he was paralysed. It didn't help that Shang Yang had sat on him, making the blood flow become more constricted.
Once he got rid of the numbness, he turned towards Shang Yang who was smiling brightly at him. Scowling, he placed his spear back into the dimensional storage and took out his quarterstaff. He decided that the quarterstaff would at least be less restrictive in what he could do with his attacks.
Xiao Tu felt as if Shang Yang was taunting him by simply standing and smirking at him. He took in a deep breath because he knew that getting angry in a fight would do nothing but restrict his moves and be unable to think clearly. Once he felt that he was calm enough to fight Shang Yang, he thought of what he would first before attacking.
In a single leap, Xiao Tu managed to gain enough speed to make Shang Yang be cautious of what he was going to do with all the momentum on his side. She was right to be cautious because he used that momentum to allow him to grasp his quarterstaff in two hands before swinging it sideways. It was a crude attack but an effective one because it was an attack one would simply not use because it was easy to dodge.
Though the attack was known to be easy to dodge, the speed that Xiao Tu delivered the attack forced Shang Yang to duck and somersaulting backwards. Xiao Tu didn't stop attacking and smoothly moved his quarterstaff downwards so he could strike her whilst she couldn't move from her position easily.
Shang Yang was able to stop the quarterstaff from going any further by having her two soles of her feet on each side of the quarterstaff. She was flexible enough to manoeuvre her legs around her body and pushed the quarterstaff higher into the air before letting it go and getting on her feet afterwards.
As his quarterstaff was knocked up by her legs, Shang Yang took the chance to strike at his joints once again to paralyse him. Xiao Tu immediately moved back to avoid it and grabbed his quarterstaff by the end as he moved. Her glancing blows missed his body and he spun his quarterstaff around his body to confused Shang Yang.
Shang Yang didn't even bat an eyelid at his display and took out her daggers and threw it at him with her Qi threads attached to them once again. She brought back before they reached him as she was charging at him and tried an experimental move that she had adapted from Ye Xiu's technique that he had been teaching her.
She formed some Qi needles though quite a few dispersed as she threw them and some broke when they made contact with his body. She was trying her best to control the Qi needles as best as she can so that it wouldn't break so easily. Her control wasn't as good as Ye Xiu's so she had many errors when it came to a fighting situation. In a calm situation where she didn't have to hurry, it was possible for her to make multiple needles which wouldn't break easily.
Xiao Tu didn't know what exactly she was doing but he saw the throwing motions on her hands and decided to dodge anyway. It was better to be safe than sorry. Shang Yang stopped throwing her needles since it wasn't effective compared to what she thought it would be able to do because her Qi control just wasn't good enough for the technique to be used in battle yet.
She accidentally used illusions as she moved due to her natural affinity for illusions and it confused Xiao TU when she suddenly appeared in front of him, blocking off many of his Qi pathways as she attacked. Xiao Tu frowned and surrendered. "I surrender but why were you using illusions? You never use illusions in your battles."
"I accidentally used illusions." She stuck her tongue out and walked out of the gravity room, leaving Xiao Tu to nurse his own injuries and to unblock his Qi pathways. He watched her as she left and sighed.
'There's no use in complaining anymore. Once Xiao Bai manages to find something for me, I bet I'll be able to catch up. Even if he doesn't, I'll just put more effort into my training!' Xiao Tu smiled before leaving the gravity room as well
- - -
A year had passed since the group had first arrived at the Academy. They were much stronger than they were when they originally got here. They knew that this was the prime years of their life and it was going to be spent in the best ways they possibly could. They had met many people and learnt many things from different people. Their bonds as friends had strengthened as they all lived underneath the same roof.
Even though it was only a single year since they had left the embrace of their parents, they had learnt independence even though they were still helped by their mentors in the Academy. They had discovered more about the world around them and that they were originally just a small frog stuck in a well. Discoveries about their strengths and weaknesses and having others to help them through those weaknesses led to the affirmation that friends always helped.
After fights, they stayed as friends and even made new friends after fights. Many people thought fights were violent but bonds can be strengthened during those fights. You learn to understand how a person thinks and how they feel during a fight. You know that your problems can be solved easily after a fight and when they reconcile afterwards. But they also know that grudges can be formed after fights and that is something to be avoided.
Ye Xiu looked at their room and sighed. "It's been a year. Are we going to stay in the city until the next academic year begins? We still haven't decided whether we wanted to go back to see our parents or not." He was already sure of his own decision but he had no idea what was in the minds of his friends.
Shi Die shrugged as if it didn't matter much to him. Shi Die's stance on the topic was neutral because he didn't mind whether he visited his friend's families or whether he stayed in the same place. He didn't exactly mind because it was truly his friend's decisions on whether they felt homesick. “It's up to the two of you. I don't think Ye Xiu and I mind whether we go back or not."
Shang Yang looked over at Xiao Tu who was lying on his bed, bored out of his mind. "I still want to go back home, but if everyone else decides to stay here then I'll stay as well. There's no point in me going back by my lonesome because our families would just be confused about why we aren't all together. It'd also be a bigger surprise if we returned with a new friend and when we are able to beat them. I theorize that when the proffered date that Ye Xiu suggested to us all, we'd be able to defeat our parents in a battle."
Xiao Tu snorted in amusement when he heard Shang Yang's words. "I really doubt that we'd be able to defeat them. Firstly, they've probably been holding back on his during training because they never look like they've had a workout after a long spar with us and they haven't even used their Qi to fight or enhance their bodies during the fights." Xiao Tu languidly pointed his finger at Ye Xiu. "Ye Xiu would have noticed that."
Shang Yang glared at Xiao Tu even though he had spoken the truth, sniffing slightly she spoke once again. "I guess we don't need to care about Xiao Tu's attitude on the topic. He seems to be very disinterested in what we are talking about anyway. Which means that the decision of the group is to stay in this city probably until we finish our third year."
Ye Xiu nodded when Shang Yang declared the decision. "Then we'll just have to worry about where we're going to be living during the time that the Academy is closed. I sincerely doubt that we'd be allowed to stay here especially without supervision."
Shi Die smiled slightly. "That can be solved easily. We can ask Sir about giving another accommodation in the Academy to use, can't we? You've probably already noticed but he's the Principal of the school and if he isn't the Principal, he has a high position in the Academy. I'm sure he can arrange for us to stay here, I'd think that he would want to continue our training as well."
Xiao Tu perked up when he heard that it would be possible for them to stay in the Academy during the holidays. "Does that mean I'll still be able to eat delicious food?"
Shang Yang walked over to Xiao Tu and pinched him on the cheeks. "Is food the only thing you think about with that brain of yours?"
"I think about Ye Xiu and training too!" Xiao Tu pouted childishly as Shang Yang commented on his train of thought.
Rolling her eyes, she mumbled, "That doesn't make things any better." She was simply tired of hearing Xiao Tu thinking about food constantly because every time that he did think about food, he'd be voicing out those thoughts to everyone around him. At first, she wasn't annoyed at it but the repetitiveness of the situation made her irritable whenever the topic came up.
She didn't mind Ye Xiu or Shi Die mentioning anything about food because when they talk about the food they have many different things to talk about instead of them just being hungry. She loved to listen to Shi Die and Ye Xiu talk about cooking even though she knew that she had absolutely no talent for cooking. They had both tried to help her to improve her skills in cooking but it still ended in disaster.
Shi Die cleared his throat to get his friends' attention that had wandered away from the original topic they were on. "Even if Sir is unable to find us a residence for us to occupy, I believe we can always ask Liu Fan or Jin Yuan to see if they could house us. Sir isn't the only one who would want to continue our training during the holidays so I believe they would agree."
Ye Xiu nodded to the points that Shi Die made. "We'll ask them later if they can't shelter us we'd still need a backup plan. It's always best to be prepared but we can figure that out after we ask them." Ye Xiu hummed as he was thinking of what else they needed to do. "I believe that during the period of the holidays it would be wise for us to explore the city more. We barely saw much of it when we went to the Auction so it should provide us with valuable information about the city we live in."
All the others agreed and they went to find their mentors.
- - -
What the group didn't know was that they were being examined very closely by a secret group that they had no idea about. The group that was observing them kept watching over them. And they would continue to do so until the plan commenced.