90: Last Minute… Cramming? Cultivating? Before The Duel
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The training facility they had gone to was sleek. Although its exterior blended into the rest of the city’s skyline, the facility itself was quite unique. Not that many stories tall, the facility instead extended deep underground. 

The outside was the classic... metropolitan style. Lin Songmei didn’t know how to describe it, but it was just a normal looking building. The interiors, on the other hand, were a shiny steel in many areas, with potted plants providing color and life while futuristic light bars provided light. 

Using the facility was free too! For normal people, they could use the gym area for working out, or use one of the training fields to host an event or something. Then, for cultivators, it was just a free training area that they could practice their techniques in. 

Funded by the city, Songmei was perplexed with why and how they were doing it when she first found out. However, a quick search on her terminal gave her some... enlightening insight. 

Getting taxed to hell and back, the sects that were adamant in staying in the city instead began to give some “kind words” to the upper administration that ran Westriver, “urging them kindly” to construct this facility using their tax money. 

Very enlightening. Songmei was so glad this training facility was sponsored out of the goodwill and kind hearts of the people who ran Westriver!

“This one works doesn’t it?” Yan Mingqing pointed out with a surprised eyebrow raise, disturbing the silence as they walked down the hall. “It says unoccupied, after all.” 

“Ah... yeah, sounds good.” Freezing up, Songmei didn’t really know what to say, if it said unoccupied then that’s what they were looking for—there wasn’t much more to it. At least they were lucky, this place was more than jam packed usually. 

With the doors sliding closed behind them, Songmei let out a long sight while flopping to the ground. It wasn’t metal (to everyone who had nervous system’s gratitude), but dirt, a sorta hard but pale dirt that could also could be considered dust if it blew up into the air.

Songmei’s description game was really off these past few days. It was about as fluid as a river that had five dams built along it. 

“What do you want to do first?” Songmei leaned back, looking up at Mingqing who was standing behind her looking down. “I lost motivation to stand up sorry...” 

“No worries,” Mingqing laughed, reaching down to boop Songmei on the nose, “I assumed so after seeing your legs practically give out beneath you. Literally half a second after the doors closed too.” 

Pinching Songmei’s nose, Mingqing then shrugged, “Want to just do some silent cultivating, then when you’re close to breaking through we can do our~ little~ duel~?” 

Giving Mingqing a squint for pinching her nose, Songmei tried to suppress a laugh as Mingqing did her little sing-song duel routine. Her attempt at suppression resulting in a half-cough half-giggle, Songmei tried to reach up to pinch Mingqing’s nose. “Sounds good, we can do our~ little~ duel~ after a little cultivating then~. Just before lunch, how~ does~ that~ sound~?” 

Walking off after leaning down to touch her nose to Songmei’s outstretched hand, Mingqing pulled her sword out of her spatial storage ring before sitting on the ground across from Songmei, her sword horizontal across her legs. 

----------

Anxious to get back into the zone she was in earlier, Songmei pushed herself to make progress. The world wouldn’t wait for her to open her meridians, and even though she was blazing fast by all metrics, the world wouldn’t wait—she felt like a person walking through thick goop, she could go so much faster... if there just weren’t this weird stuff holding her back. 

A few hours passed before she knew it and Songmei felt herself getting within reaching distance—or maybe like... five more steps, then bend down, then reach, kinda distance. 

Her eyes fluttering open, Songmei saw that Mingqing was across the medium sized training room... hall... place, doing some sword forms with her eyes closed. 

With a white mist floating around and trailing behind Mingqing’s sword, Songmei could see blue stars of various shades flickering and shining all within the mist. 

It was beautiful. Ephemeral sublimity even. 

Sure it helped that it was Mingqing, who Songmei had an increasing crush on day by day, but still!! Objectively beautiful! Citation? Unbiased source: Lin Songmei. 

Not wanting to disturb Mingqing for the time being, Songmei pushed herself to her feet, doing some stretches and pulling out her bow. 

She had a feeling that it wasn’t going to go well, because, if anyone didn’t know, fighting a sword-wielder one on one in close quarters is what people call a... a bad move. A fatal mistake even. 

But it was still going to be a good learning experience, Songmei felt like there was going to be a fair amount of close quarters fighting in her immediate future. That meant that any practice was welcome practice. Any chance she could spar was a welcome spar. Any ass beatings were welcome ass beatin...gs... 

That last one seemed a little off. 

Shaking her head to shake the bad thoughts away—because that was definitely how that worked—Songmei was gearing up to do some more waiting until Mingqing ended with a flourish, slashing her sword in an incomprehensible pattern and sheathing it with a click. 

Damn that was cool. 

Damn Mingqing was so cool. 

With Mingqing opening her eyes with a satisfied grin, Songmei couldn’t help but give her a double-thumbs up and a nod as her eyebrows raised in respect. 

That was some swordplay she did not want to be on the other side of... 

Awh damn. 

Waving Mingqing over, Songmei offered out her water bottle as Mingqing pulled her shirt up to wipe her sweat. 

Averting her eyes, Songmei cursed Mingqing’s abs with a burning passion as Mingqing took her water bottle to take a drink. 

Those abs were... chiseled? No that wasn’t the word... Maybe well-defined... 

Anyhow, they needed to stay put under Mingqing’s shirt. Songmei didn’t know what was up but these past few days had been mentally stressful... 

She had realized she had a crush and then what?? 

And then she just... she just lived life cuddling Mingqing all day?

That wasn’t good for brain function, or not flustered-ness. 

Damn attractive people!!!

(Well, actually, Songmei didn’t mind, who didn’t appreciate the attractive people? It was just this attractive person was always in close proximity and seemed to just always be too attractive for smooth thinking.)

Clearing her throat as Mingqing returned the water bottle, Songmei put on a great poker face—one of those super stable ones, like those dams built on top of water soluble sediment—while patting her bow. “Duel~ time~? Then lunch~ time~? How does that sound?” 

“Sounds like a great plan,” Mingqing shook her head, unable to keep the grin off her face seeing Songmei copying her little tune. “Want to warm up? Or nah?”

“I’m good, I’m about as warm as I’ll ever be, it’s only cooling down from here.” 

hehe... hehe... hehehe...
insert eeeeevil laugh or smthn idk...
i ~like~ the next chapter a lot for ~no particular reason~
mhm mhm...

life is kinda poo poo though which isn't fun
thanks for reading though~!!
take care reader friends~!! <3<3

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