Yan Xiu asked cautiously, "Cave Master, are you planning to head out to sea?"
Miao Yi nodded. Yan Xiu understood, he turned around and left to get his own steed.
To the side, Xue'Er couldn't help but ask, "When will the Cave Master be returning?"
Miao Yi turned to look at the two girls. After thinking about it for a while, he smiled as he asked, "Do the both of you want to follow me?"
The both of them quickly nodded their heads, and Miao Yi smiled, "Hurry and pack a change of clothes."
"Yes!" The two young ladies didn't say another word, and hastily ran to their own rooms. After a time, they each came out with a fully packed bag.
They were probably afraid of the cold winter air; after all, the both of them had only just started on the path of cultivation. Each of them had put on a furry overcoat, one black and one white, made by the finest materials that East Arrival City had to offer.
Miao Yi kept both their luggages inside his storage ring, then called Charcoal over. He jumped onto his steed, then reached out his hands and pulled the two girls up to sit behind him.
It was their first time riding a dragon steed so they couldn't hide the excitement on their faces. However, it wasn't as if they had never seen how it was ridden before; they learned from example as they stepped on the bones by Charcoal's sides as though they were pedals.
The body of dragon steed is one and a half times larger than that of an average horse, thus seating three people was not a problem.
When Miao Yi heard the thunderous gallop of a dragon steed come to a stop outside, he knew that Yan Xiu had arrived. Turning around, he said, "Hold on tight."
Qian'Er quickly wrapped both arms around Miao Yi's waist and held on tightly. When she had waited on the Cave Master in the bath, there was hardly a place that she had never touched. She was already long used to their physical contact, and wouldn't be bashful from just a hug. Following suit, Xue'Er held onto Qian'Er.
Charcoal charged a few steps forward in the courtyard, then suddenly leapt skywards, flying past roof after roof, and frightening the two young ladies to the point where they couldn't even muster up the voice to scream.
Fortunately, Miao Yi had used his arts to support them, otherwise the two of them would have been promptly blown off by the momentum.
When they landed on the plaza outside the Grand Hall, Yan Xiu, who had been waiting there, was a little shocked. He hadn't expected that the Cave Master would bring along his two handmaidens as well. Watching the Cave Master gallop away on Charcoal at a breakneck speed, he immediately followed behind posthaste.
As it was winter, the fields were covered in a blanket of white, and the temperature was bitterly cold. Under the extraordinary speed of the dragon steed's charge, the two young ladies could only hear the winds billowing in their ears as the surrounding scenery flashed before their eyes.
With Miao Yi's transcendence energy supporting them, the both of them didn't feel cold in the least, and instead, they had expressions of wonder and excitement. They loved this sensation.
"When both of your cultivations are capable enough to handle a dragon steed, I'll get one each for the both of you." Miao Yi turned around and smiled.
"Thank you Cave Master!" The two young ladies giggled, as they eagerly looked forward to the coming of that day.
With the speed of the dragon steed, it didn't take too long for them to reach the great seaside where the waves relentlessly rumbled.
The so-called port was actually a cave that opened within the tall cliffs by the shore.
Leaving the two young ladies outside, Yan Xiu lead Miao Yi down a set of stone stairs and into the cave.
There wasn't much light inside, but with the two of them opening their transcendence vision, everything was clear as day.
The temperature inside the cave was a little cool. A two-storey ship floated quietly in the belly of the mountain. One could tell from a glance that no effort had been spared in its construction.
Miao Yi boarded the ship and took a look around before nodding his head in satisfaction. He then whispered a few words over to Yan Xiu. Yan Xiu was taken back at first, but soon nodded his head and acknowledged the order given to him.
Soon after Yan Xiu painstakingly instructed Miao Yi in great detail on steering the ship, as well as how he should use oil to maintain it.
When the two of them left the cave, Miao Yi left them at the shore, while he rushed to East Arrival City alone on his dragon steed.
Leaving his dragon steed outside the city, Miao Yi went inside alone and brought out a copious amount of items, keeping them inside his storage ring before leaving the city and riding his dragon steed back to the seaside.
This time, he brought Charcoal and the two young ladies into the gigantic cave, and onto the ship. The two ladies stood in place obediently, and didn't dare move around the ship.
Miao Yi then pulled Charcoal into the inner storeroom of the stern, and used a chain to bolt Charcoal to the side of a capstan. Charcoal was a little unwilling, but when Miao Yi flashed out a small mantis and threatened it, it immediately became obedient and started pulling on the chain as it ran around the capstan. Unfortunately for Charcoal, it had to become the driving force for the entire ship.
At the stern of the ship, the underwater propeller began to spin and pick up speed. Miao Yi personally held onto the rudder as the ship rode the winds, breaking through the waves as it shot out of the seaside cliff.
On the deck, Qian'Er and Xue'Er were stumbling back and forth when they suddenly caught sight of the sun, and saw that they were breaking past the waves of the great sea; both of them were completely thrilled.
As the driving force, the faster Charcoal ran, the faster the ship would sail, but this sensation of running around in circles wasn't at all pleasant. However , these type of ships were only made to fit a dragon steed's physique, as a normal horse did not have as much strength and endurance.
Miao Yi soon came up to the deck, and waved at Yan Xiu who was still on the cliff. Yan Xiu cupped his fists, then jumped back onto his dragon steed and left.
Miao Yi felt that he had just barely escaped with his life on crossing blades with Fan Renfang and Fang Ziyu this time, not to mention the help from the little ones, if it weren't for the fact that his cultivation had recently achieved a breakthrough to White Lotus Second Grade, he would have long been beaten half to death by Fan Renfang's ambush. And even afterwards, he wouldn't have been able to rely on a White Lotus First Grade cultivation to guard against both of their long distance transcendence energy attacks. It was nothing short of scraping by within an inch of his life.
Because of this Miao Yi once again realised the importance of raising his own cultivation, but he didn't feel safe cultivating in East Arrival Cave.
Miao Yi had already discussed everything with Yan Xiu. This trip was as much for cultivating as it was for avoiding misfortune. Because he had already thrown aside all caution to the wind with Xiong Xiao, he was worried that Xiong Xiao would make a move on him in secret. Even though Yang Qing had already stepped up for him, that would only serve as a temporary measure for Xiong Xiao not to lay a finger on him, and he wasn't entirely sure about that either.
Just as he mentioned to Qing Ju, if he had the opportunity, he would never let Xiong Xiao go, yet it was indeed hard for him to find such a window. On the other hand, Xiong Xiao could find one anytime he wanted, so it was much wiser to take the safer route; at least it was better than being unable to avoid it when the time came.
For matters pertaining to East Arrival Cave, Miao Yi temporarily gave Yan Xiu full authority, and had specifically told him that if someone were to ask for him, Yan Xiu was to say that he has gone inside the mountains to cultivate.
As for why he had brought the two young ladies along, it was because he didn't want his own grudges implicating the two of them. The other cultivators could still choose to submit when encountering a strong enemy, but handmaidens and the like would only be treated as playthings. When Transient Light Cave had been taken over, many handmaidens fell to this tragic fate.
Qian'Er and Xue'Er ran around on the ship excitedly, and chattered about as they pointed to the surrounding seascape.
Miao Yi didn't have the mood for that, 'What was so nice about the seascape?' He had spent an entire decade at sea, the reason why he was hiding at sea to cultivate was because it wouldn't be easy to find him.
Pulling out a jade archive, he examined the nautical charts inside. This had been prepared by Yan Xiu for him in advance, a compilation of everything that was gathered from the various sea merchants of East Arrival City.
Examining the countless islands that dotted the sea in the jade archive, he finally decided on a location, then turned to personally steer the rudder.
A day later, the ship slowly stopped by the shore of an uninhabited island. After confirming that the island had a potable supply of spring water, Miao Yi flattened the reefy ground with a sweep, then proceeded to chop some trees into logs, and also cut up some vines to weave into ropes. He then pulled the ship ashore with Charcoal's help, holding it steady and camouflaging it with wood.
The two handmaidens couldn't offer any assistance with such heavy labour, and could only stand by and watch. They were a bit perplexed as to why the Cave Master needed to do such a thing. Weren't ships supposed to be on the ocean? Why did he have to pull it ashore?
The two young girls soon discovered that this outing was not as fun as they had imagined, and they didn't have other handmaidens to order around as well. The Cave Master had actually opened up a cave here and entered closed-door cultivation, becoming true to his title of a Cave Master.