Miao Yi did a double take. He casted a glance at the corpse on the ground, starting to feel apprehensive deep down. It would seem as though the little ones had somewhat of an effect on Commander Yuan. Otherwise, judging by the earlier situation, this sloppy old man would have been outmatched by Commander Yuan.
Previously, he had only cared about fleeing for his life, so the little ones who remained in the area had not been taken away. They were currently in the surroundings, ready to be utilized.
Should I try it out on this old man? Miao Yi muttered in his heart.
But just now, Yuan Kaishan had decimated fifteen of them at once, which made him feel slightly fearful of blindly acting without thinking things through again. He intended to see how the situation would unfold first. If it really wouldn't do, he could only force himself to sacrifice a few little ones to test the waters. He had to keep an ounce of hope to take revenge.
For the sake of expressing his sincerity, Miao Yi threw away the halved silver spear in his hand. He gave a bitter smile, pretending to be confused as he said, "Junior would never dare to make a move against him. I barely had time to flee with my life. "
As far as he was concerned, this was his only trump card so he had no intention of exposing it.
The sloppy old man stared at him askance for a while before suddenly dashing towards him. He grabbed onto his clothes with a one-handed grip and laughed coldly as he said, "Brat, you're not being honest..."
His voice came to an abrupt stop. At the exact moment when he'd gripped onto the front of Miao Yi's clothes, a rattling sound came from Miao Yi's chest.
The sloppy old man lowered his eyes, staring straight at the full and bulging chest. He then asked, "What's that?"
Miao Yi slowly lowered his head to look, thinking—crap, these were all obtained after he'd risked his life. He immediately shook his head in response.
Yet, before he had the time to utter any falsehoods, the sloppy old man had already grabbed the front of his top, giving it a tug. His clothes were then torn and suddenly a pile of storage rings came falling down onto the ground.
There was no need to count. A certain someone was well aware of the number deep down. When added together, all seventy-two Fort Masters' storage rings made up a total of two hundred and seven rings.
Grief and indignation filled Miao Yi's heart as he figured it would be difficult to save them now.
On the other hand, the sloppy old man was struck dumb. He stared at the storage rings all over the floor and cried out in astonishment, "Where did a brat like you get this many storage rings from? What are you storing that requires so many storage rings? Say..."
Before he could finish, the old man seemed to have realized something. Staring at Miao Yi with a bewildered look, he stretched his arm forward to absorb one of the storage rings into his hand. After imbuing his transcendence energy to examine it for a while, the token belonging to a mountain fortress' Fort Master fell into his hand.
Flipping it around in examination, sure enough, it confirmed his conjectures. He prodded the token before Miao Yi, then the old man cried out in shock, "So you're Niu Youde? The seventy-two Fort Masters were all murdered by you?"
"This…" Miao Yi was feeling extremely awkward. Having being caught red-handed, he guessed that no matter how he explained it, there wouldn't be any use. He could only ask cautiously, "May I ask if Senior is a Yao or an Immortal?"
"Does it matter if I'm a Yao or an Immortal?" The old man shook the token in his grip. "Don't change the subject."
"I'm not changing the subject. Knowing if Senior is a Yao or an Immortal, only then will I know how to reply to you in an appropriate manner, so that Elder won't be mistaken."
If the other party was a Yao, he would never say he did it even if he was beaten to death. He had killed so many demons. The fox mourns over the death of the hare, and so animals grieve for their kind, therefore one could well imagine the consequences. If he was a human cultivator, then that would be a different story.
"You brat…" The old man was about to speak before the sounds of hooves sounded from behind. Glancing backwards, he was once again struck dumb at the sight of a dragon steed leaping through the air towards them.
Charcoal dropped by Miao Yi's side. Seeing that Miao Yi was unharmed, he seemed to breathe out a sigh of relief. He snorted loudly with a 'harrumph!' before nudging his head against Miao Yi.
"This is your mount… your dragon steed?" The old man swallowed his saliva before asking, giving signs of being slightly stunned.
It seemed like everyone meeting Charcoal for the first time would behave this way. But this couldn't be helped. He was born this way! Miao Yi laughed dryly as he replied, "He's been pampered and spoiled from a young age so he's a bit chubby. He's not too bad and can still be used."
"It's far more than just being slightly chubby. You're too modest! This grandpa has lived for more than a thousand years and today, my eyes have been opened. A dragon steed that could actually be as fat as a pig! Tsk! Tsk!" he said as he waved his hands. The old man proceeded to inquire again, "Back to the subject. Did you kill the seventy-two Fort Masters?"
Miao Yi replied with the same question, "Then is Senior actually a Yao or an Immortal?"
"Brat. You're quite bold to argue with me," the old man sneered. He turned to cast a glance at the not collapsing, kneeling corpse of the Azure Ape. He sighed, shaking his head as he said, "So what if I am a Yao or an Immortal? It's alright to call me an Immortal or a Yao, I don't think there's a difference between the two. A demonic and sinister human heart can also be known as a Yao. If a Yao were to show benevolence, then they would be better than humans."
What profound thoughts was he playing at? It wasn't any different than not giving an answer… Miao Yi cursed while asking suspiciously, "Are you actually a Yao or an Immortal?"
"Yao Ruoxian1." The sloppy old man nodded his head decisively.
"What?" Miao Yi was at a loss for words. Was this asking him to guess the riddle?
"I said my name is Yao Ruoxian." The old man glared, giving his reply.
"This…" Miao Yi was speechless. Only idiots would believe a person would have this kind of name. It was more ridiculous than Niu Youde2. He coughed dryly and said, "Senior, I didn't ask for your name. I asked whether you are a Yao or an Immortal?"
"I'm a real man!" The old man was furious. "Does this grandpa look like a demon to you? Do I have the Yao aura on me?"
Miao Yi thought to himself that if he had tried to inhibit his aura, Miao Yi wouldn't be able to tell with his own cultivation base. But on the surface, he still nodded his head repeatedly to imply that he understood, and did not say anything more.
"Hey! I've been asking for a long time and you still haven't told me what's all this about." The old man pointed at the pile of storage rings on the ground as he glared.
"About this…" Miao Yi acted hesitant for a while before weakly replying, "Senior, I have risked my life to get these. It was painstakingly gained through sacrificing myself tortuously. Can you please show me mercy? If you want some, I can give you some. But, please leave some for me. It wasn't easy for me to get here… Being able to meet Senior at the Sea of Constellations can also be considered as fate. As two human cultivators, we must not massacre one another at the Sea of Constellations and let the demons see us as laughingstocks. Senior, am I not right?"
He offered his conditions first. If it really didn't work out, he could only give all of the items away to safeguard his life. Who asked for his strength to be inferior to this man?
"You think you're worthy of being involved in a deadly battle with me? The only one dying will be you if you face me!" The old man scoffed coldly. All of a sudden, he seized his wrist, imbuing his transcendence energy into his body to examine Miao Yi. After examining him, he discovered that Miao Yi had a cultivation at the White Lotus Third Grade.
Verifying that he was right, he let go and cried out in bewilderment, "You killed all seventy-two Fort Masters on your own?"
"You think too highly of me, I don't have that kind of strength. Actually, those demons were holding some sort of Bejeweled Nectar Conclave and were all drunk. So I got lucky..."
"Pui! Drunk, your ass!" The sloppy old man instantly spat out a mouthful of saliva at Miao Yi's face. "You think I'm a dotard and I'm easy to lie to, is that right?!"
Miao Yi wiped away the saliva on his face.
The sloppy old man pointed at the Azure Ape's kneeling corpse. "At the start, I couldn't confirm it in the slightest. Now I know. Those bandits must have fallen for the same method as Yuan Kaishan. What's with the mantids biting into Yuan Kaishan's body earlier on?"
"What mantids?" Miao Yi pretended to be naive, acting surprised.
"Fuck! Treating me like an idiot!"
Whoosh! A treasured bar mace, glowing red, flew out from the sloppy old man's storage ring, smashing right into Miao Yi's face.
妖若仙 (Yao Ruoxian) - Demon-like Immortal
牛有德 (Niu Youde) - Literally means 'an ox with morals / a righteous ox'. Figuratively it means, 'freaking awesome and righteous'.