Within five to six li of the ocean, individual reefs exploded one after another in quick succession before Charcoal began visibly turning back, returning at a swift pace.
After Charcoal quickly came back to its original spot, he suddenly leaped up into the air. With the aid of an entire set of transcendent artifacts, not only was his speed boosted, his jumping strength was overwhelming as well. He jumped over two hundred meters away, before making a diagonal descent to the ground.
The ground shook heavily as a powerful shockwave kicked up clouds of dust and debris.
Yao Ruoxian swung his sleeves repeatedly, blowing away the dust that had been flying towards him.
Amidst the scattering cloud of dust, Charcoal was feverishly going around in circles. His four hooves stomped about restlessly in his excited state, as though he was almost overwhelmed with the awesome strength of his own destructive power.
Sitting atop of Charcoal, Miao Yi was clad in armor as he wielded the Inversed-Scales Spear. He looked at Yao Ruoxian joyfully, clearly also very satisfied with the armor that Yao Ruoxian had refined for Charcoal.
The sight of this armor-clad man and steed duo was truly imposing. Even Yao Ruoxian found himself staring dazedly at them. He had clearly refined just two sets of first grade transcendent artifacts, but why did it feel like they were more beautiful than all the other transcendent artifacts that he had ever refined before?
Yao Ruoxian was a little depressed; the only dragon steed in the entire cultivation realm that was clad in armor from head to toe, was probably the one in front of him right now. After all, dragon steeds were very commonplace in the cultivation realm. They weren't some high-grade steed. No one would be so wasteful as to blindly refine transcendent artifacts for them.
Initially, he hadn't bothered as much. The materials belonged to the kid after all. He wouldn't feel pained even if he splurged it all. At the same time, he could use them to get a little practice in and test out some of the ideas he had in mind, so that he could use them when refining higher grade transcendent artifacts in future.
For example, the concept he had used in refining the Inversed-Scales Spear was not a tried and tested one. He had only wanted to do an experiment with the concept he had in his mind. Otherwise, if he were to use high-grade materials for the experiment, he would find it difficult to part with them; he wouldn't be able to stand the loss should he happen to fail.
To put it bluntly, he only ever wanted to use Miao Yi's belongings to conduct experiments with as he pleased. Even if he failed, the kid wouldn't be able to do anything to him anyway. What's more, he would still receive a hefty salary. There was no loss either way.
No one would have expected! It really was as the old adage went — 'the untended willow will flourish'. The end result was, he ended up creating the stunning set of armour before his eyes.
Yao Ruoxian grumbled to himself. 'This man-steed set of transcendent artifacts might not be able to garner much profit if I were to have sold them separately, but if I were selling them as a set, that would have surely been able to attract the attention of youths with low cultivation from prestigious households; they would have been able to use it as well. It would probably have cost quite a sum, right? Did I just let this kid come across a steal?'
"How is it? Are you pleased with the transcendent artifacts made by yours truly?" Yao Ruoxian asked smugly.
Miao Yi pretended to be helpless as he said, "They are alright. However, they have a single flaw. These two sets are equal to a total of eighteen transcendent artifacts. If they were used simultaneously, I wouldn't be able to last long given my cultivation. I'm afraid there isn't a way for them to be used over a long period of time. What's more, the necessary cost of replenishing the energy after I've finished using these eighteen transcendent artifacts would be no small amount. I'm afraid I won't be able to afford them when that time comes."
Yao Ruoxian immediately sneered, "Not satisfied, are we?"
Miao Yi just knew he wouldn't have anything nice to say. He coughed dryly as he said, "I'll just have to make do with it. I spent quite a hefty sum after all."
"Cut the crap. I've already fulfilled my end of the bargain. It's time for you to get me my mantis eggs." Yao Ruoxian said. He pointed to the two sets of armor and blatantly threatened, "If you fail to keep your promise, forget about walking away with these two sets of armor, you will have trouble ensuring your own survival!"
Miao Yi had no choice but to obey, so naturally he nodded and accepted the terms. He then jumped down of his steed and tucked the two sets of treasures away….
Night had fallen. The darkness descended upon the lands as the skies reflected the vast galaxies beyond; a crescent moon hung on its starry silhouette.
Just outside of the Boundless Secular World, Miao Yi was holding onto a mirror as he reflected the moonlight into the mysterious blood mist.
To the side, Yao Ruoxian looked at him expectantly. His eyes would shift to the crescent moon in the skies from time to time, before looking at the mirror in Miao Yi's hands again, and finally staring into the blood mist for any movement.
"Kid, are you sure this will really work?" Yao Ruoxian asked in a low voice, as he stood beside him.
"Senior Yao, please bear in mind not falter once the Hell Mantis is out. It cannot stay outside of the Boundless Secular World for too long. The insect eggs are just under its belly. You must retrieve them as quickly as you can. Remember, don't be too greedy. Otherwise if you anger it, neither of us will be able to escape then….."
"Uh huh… uh huh…. uh huh… Okay. Alright. I'll remember that. Okay…."
Miao Yi explained in detail each of the steps that Lao Bai had taught him.
On the other hand, Yao Ruoxian was being obedient like a gutless c*nt. He nodded and agreed to everything Miao Yi said. Ever since the two of them met, it was a first for him to be so acquiescent to Miao Yi.
It couldn't be helped. He knew about the astonishing effects of using the tiny mantids effectively. Just think about it! If this damn brat beside him didn't have the tiny mantids helping him, how could a mere White Lotus Third Grade cultivator have murdered seventy-two Fort Masters and plundered so much loot?
Yao Ruoxian knew very well that if these tiny mantids were to fall into his hands, the advantage would only be so much greater, because the realm that he was able to interact with was much higher. He might even be able to strike at a Purple Lotus cultivator when the time came. The loot he would get from that would be that much more impressive.
"Remember. Once the Hell Mantis is out, I will use the moonlight to restrain it. It won't move around haphazardly. You must retrieve the eggs as fast as you can."
"Alright, uh…" Yao Ruoxian suddenly felt that something was amiss, and asked suspiciously, "Kid, you wouldn't be thinking of using this opportunity to kill me, would you?"
Naturally, the aforementioned opportunity would be that Miao Yi would use the Hell Mantis to murder him.
"How could I do something like that? Would I be so bold as to fool around in front of the Hell Mantis?"
However, Yao Ruoxian still believed that Miao Yi would definitely do something like this. It was because this kid was not some righteous, upstanding man. He would not be honest if he wasn't knocked down a few pegs.
"No, I'm still unconvinced. Let's do it this way. You go get the eggs while I use the mirror to restrain it. You can teach me how to do this."
Miao Yi couldn't get through to him no matter how much he explained. Furthermore, the more he tried to explain, the more the wretched old man suspected he was plotting something.
In the end, there was no other way. The two of them switched with Yao Ruoxian holding the mirror, and Miao Yi skulking around to the side with a hand behind his back, waiting for signs of movement in the blood mist.
Eventually, the two of them waited until the moonlight had fallen away and the skies were beginning to brighten. A night had passed, but there was no sign of movement within the Boundless Secular World.
As he saw the color of the sky, Yao Ruoxian tossed away the mirror. He wasn't able to hold back his anger any longer. He glared at Miao Yi as he closed in and said, "Brat, you dare trick me?"
Backing away an equal number of steps, Miao Yi anxiously waved his hands and stated, "I really haven't lied to you, Senior Yao! Don't be rash. That's right—" He suddenly slapped his thigh and said, "I know what the problem is! A full moon. It needs to be a full moon! The crescent moon last night had no effect!"
Yao Ruoxian stopped in his tracks and declared viciously, "I'll believe you one more time. If it doesn't work, be prepared to face the consequences!"
Over the next few days, the both of them ceased their attempts and found a place to sit down; With their legs crossed, they began to cultivate, just waiting for the night of a full moon.
When the night of a full moon finally came, the bright moon shone in the sky, but Miao Yi was feeling doubtful.
As he held the mirror and reflected the moonlight into the Boundless Secular World, Yao Ruoxian threw a glance at Miao Yi from time to time. His glares carried an undisguised threat, as though he would burst into rage at any moment.
Miao Yi could do naught but feel aggrieved!
He had clearly followed the steps as Lao Bai had instructed. The method was also the same as before. How had Lao Bai managed to attract the Hell Mantis outside so easily then, when there was absolutely no reaction at all when he tried the same thing now? Isn't this just asking him to die?