Miao Yi rushed to the inner fortress and found Charcoal. He immediately mounted the steed and ignored the rough bloke sending him off. On the surface, he'd put on a front that he was in a hurry to look for his cousin. But in reality, he was in a hurry to make his escape. Riding Charcoal, he speedily dashed out of the mountain fortress, going down the mountain, scuttling into the forest, traveling further away...
The rough bloke casted a glance at the disappearing figure in the night and chuckled, "What an idiot!"
Turning back, he took large strides and returned to stand beneath the high platform, awaiting for his orders.
However, after waiting for a long while, he saw no signs of activity from the top of the high platform. From the start until the end, not a single sound could be heard. He could even smell the stench of blood. The rough bloke really wanted to go up to get to the bottom of the matter.
Regretfully, the Fort Master had made it clear beforehand that no one was allowed to go up unless they were summoned.
The subordinates of the other Fort Masters also felt that something was not right, so they walked over to ask, "What treasure did that kid take out exactly?"
The rough bloke shook his head in reply, "He was very secretive and refused to tell. Otherwise, he wouldn't have chased us all away. "
Everyone could only hold onto their patience and continue to wait. Yet, with the strong stench of blood spreading from top to bottom, they all exchanged looks with each other, still unaware of what was going on up there. What sort of treasure could cause such a heavy stench of blood?
Some of them were even suspicious that some mishap might have happened up there, but they couldn't explain why. If something had truly happened, they would have heard the sounds from a battle, right?
In the night sky, an owl flew over, following the bloody stench. It flapped its wings as it descended onto the top of the high platform.
Everyone who'd lifted their head to watch from the sidelines looked at each other speechlessly once again. Upon seeing that the owl did not leave and hearing the sounds of something pecking at food, the group's complexion slightly changed as they realized that something horrible must have happened.
The rough bloke was the first one to dash up onto the high platform—the scene before his eyes shocked him until he was struck dumb.
The others also flew up in succession, each one of them as stunned as the rest as they stood rooted at their own spot, unable to recover. They even thought their eyes must be playing tricks on them.
"Somebody! Every fortress march out and capture Niu Youde, regardless of whether he's dead or alive!"
A furious roar thundered the sky.
Not only were all of Brass Gong Fort's troops sent out, the respective Fort Masters had also sent out half of their own troops, charging in the direction that Miao Yi had escaped to.
Rushing to the fortress, the rough bloke seized the Bat Spirit with one hand and commanded in a stern voice, "Hurry and report this to Commander Yuan..."
All seventy-two Fort Masters' heads had been lopped off, their skins peeled, and their inner cores scooped out. This time, the situation was extremely dire, so it wouldn't do not to quickly report it, as no one was capable of shouldering this responsibility.
The Bat Spirit took a few steps back, before leaping into the air. With a faint flash of white light from the surface of his body, he immediately turned into a giant bat, hurriedly flapping its wings as it soared under the moonlight...
The perpetrator knew that this matter couldn't be concealed for long, so when Miao Yi went down the mountain, he deliberately ran in the opposite direction to confuse the other party.
After he ran a fair distance, he then quickly changed course and made his escape in the other direction.
Speeding to the boundaries of Pi Junzi's abode, he leapt down and immediately barged inside, only to be greeted by the sight of Pi Junzi still in a comatose state on the ground.
Miao Yi reached out his hand to summon the little ones guarding him back into the storage ring. Initially, he'd wanted to kill off Pi Junzi in passing, but after some thought, he had promised not to kill him once the matter was resolved.
This person, Miao Yi, still considered himself as someone who would stay true to his words and would follow suit with what he'd said. Although he was not an old-fashioned man of honor, he was still a loyal man. As long as he could do it, he would never go back on his word.
Thus in the end, he left with a swing of his hands, magnanimously sparing Pi Junzi's life!
The moment he left the abode, he quickly mounted Charcoal. Both man and dragon steed quickly fled at breakneck speed.
He had to escape. Miao Yi was fully aware that he had gotten himself into huge trouble by slaughtering all seventy-two trusted Fort Masters of Commander Yuan. One could well imagine the consequences of enraging a Third Grade Yao cultivator, so if he didn't escape now, when was the right time to do it?
But not long after departing from Pi Junzi's abode, a group of birds came flying midair. They were scattered in all directions and circling around, searching everywhere in the night sky. It caused the atmosphere of the silent night to abruptly become tense.
Now to Miao Yi, the biggest issue was how to cross the sea to return home. It was easier with him alone as he could ride the wind and break through the waves with a log. Should anyone give chase, he could just easily dive into the sea to hide.
However, he had brought along Charcoal, and the large ship from before had already been destroyed by Madame Wu Hua. He also didn't know if Charcoal had the ability to travel across the ocean.
Even though he could beat and scold Charcoal, he would never abandon Charcoal for the sake of escaping by himself. This beast had saved his life at crucial moments, and so to say that they should live and die together was too severe and out of the question. At the very least, they should try to share happiness and hardship together, right?
But even if he had a large ship, he was also afraid to use it as it was too conspicuous a target on the sea.
Miao Yi was fully aware that it wouldn't be that easy to run away, hence a greatly harrowing escape would soon begin its course.
There was one thing that wasn't good about running in the mountain forest; there would always be large trees blocking their path. Charcoal would need to turn left and right incessantly to evade them, which extremely affected his speed.
However, right at that moment, Miao Yi suddenly took a backwards glance in horror. The abnormal sounds of flapping wings were suddenly heard in the distance.
Alarmed, Miao Yi quickly turned back, looking left and right to find a place to hide. He caught sight of a pit and quickly leaped into it with Charcoal.
Once they fell into the pit, Miao Yi quickly revolved his arms with grace, as if invoking his art with Tai Chi. The thick, dried leaves on the ground surrounding him immediately rustled as they floated over. Akin to a blanket, they covered the top of the pit, shrouding both his and Charcoal's figures.
Opening his transcendence vision, he watched the scene unfolding outside through the small cracks of the dried leaves. The sight of a group of unknown birds swept past in the air, and there were quite a number of them circling about in midair. Some even shuttled about in the forest, searching in every corner.
Miao Yi was extremely terrified. Without guessing, he knew that they were looking for him. He didn't expect the other party's reaction to be this quick, and could actually command so many birds to make the search.
Now he faintly understood why even the experts of the Blue Lotus realm were afraid to go to the Sea of Constellations so arbitrarily. Because when trouble was brewing, things would become alarming. Cultivators who couldn't soar would face difficulty in evading all the birds searching for them.
Miao Yi currently felt a bit regretful for his rash actions. He had truly poked a hornet's nest. Most likely even if he did escape into the sea, those demons could mobilize the fish kin in the sea as their scouts to search. This was a matter that was completely possible. It would be very difficult for him to escape.
A wave of sharp bird cries suddenly traveled from afar, surprising those people unaware of what had transpired, only to see all the birds which were circling in the sky, shuttling about in the forest, as well as those that had flown past him before, to speedily sweep across the air and make their return, as though they'd been summoned.
In a second, they all left and the surroundings returned to its previously undisturbed state, the moonlight dreary and fuzzy.
"Strange…" Miao Yi muttered. He listened attentively for a while. With a wave of his hands, the dried leaves covering the top floated apart.
Patting Charcoal to signal him to wait in the pit, he quickly dashed to the mountaintop by the side, with the intention to observe the commotion.
Arriving on the mountaintop, he made his way onto the treetop of a large tree, cautiously poking his head out of the peak of the treetop to peer about. He didn't see anything at all.
He couldn't put his finger on what was going on, nor why those birds—which could undoubtedly bring him great trouble in escaping—had suddenly retreated?
Suddenly, while he was pondering over it, he saw two streaks of red light shoot towards his direction at great speed over the horizon. One at the front with the other at the back. Apparently the one behind was giving chase to the one at the front.
"Niu Youde! Where could you even escape to?!" A furious roar thundered in the sky.
Niu Youde? Miao Yi was taken aback. Had this expert that could soar the skies and traverse the earth discovered him already?
"Yuan Kaishan, have you fucking lost it?! I already said that I'm not Niu Youde! Stop chasing me so incessantly!"
A loud, flustered and exasperated voice rumbled in response.