Once again, the sun rose and the mirror held in Yao Ruoxian's grip let out a cracking sound; it had been crushed into shards.
Miao Yi pretended he neither heard nor saw it. He rubbed his chin as though he was thinking aloud to himself, "That's not right! It really worked last time! Why isn't it working this time around? Could it be that it has to be done in Changfeng City?"
Trying to be calm on the surface, it would be a lie to say he wasn't terrified deep down. If it were him, he wouldn't be willing to take things lying down after being fooled twice in a row.
Yao Ruoxian really felt like slaughtering him, but at last, his desire towards the small mantids still granted him some measure of self-control. He spoke with hatred, "Where is Changfeng City?"
Miao Yi looked close to tears as he replied, "It's in the realm of the Celestial Nation's Fifth Earthly Branch, right within the domain of South Edict Manor. Last time, I summoned the Hell Mantis out from that place."
"I'll give you one last chance!"
Yao Ruoxian roared, his fists tightly clenched. Two bar maces flashed out from the storage ring, engulfing Miao Yi before it slashed through the air and departed. Even the fat bastard was not left behind, otherwise Miao Yi would not have yielded...
Their location wasn't considered far from the Celestial Nation's Changfeng City. At the very least, it was much closer when compared with the Sea of Constellations.
By the time the blazing sun shone overhead in the sky, the two of them, including one steed, dropped to the city walls of the Ancient City.
Directly in front of the city walls was the vast blood mist that spread across the sky and earth, yet Miao Yi lowered his head to gaze at the old willow tree beneath him. Deep down, he felt considerably rueful that dozens of years had already passed in the blink of an eye. The old willow tree was as lush and green as before. Unfortunately, things might have remained the same, yet people had changed. He didn't know whether he would be able to muddle through this ordeal and meet his siblings again.
A night with a full moon wasn't an astronomical event that one could witness everyday. It only occurred once a month and once you missed it, you would have to wait for the next month to come along.
But for cultivators, a month's worth of time passes by real quickly so it wasn't terribly hard to bear.
However, it was unknown whether Miao Yi was out of luck or whether Yao Ruoxian was the unfortunate one. With great difficulty, they waited for the next full moon and were instead greeted with rainy weather accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Standing on top of the city walls, Yao Ruoxian was at a loss for words. Between his brows glowed the silhouette of a two-petaled red lotus flower. By invoking his arts, the mere beatings of the wind and rain were incapable of affecting him.
Yet his cultivation level had not yet reached the point where with a casual gesture of his hands, he was able to disperse the rain and clouds at his whim.
For several days, the rain poured incessantly. Should they miss their chance this month, evidently they would have to wait for the next.
When Miao Yi was in a leisurely mood, he wouldn't forget to stroll a few rounds within the desolate and uninhabited Ancient City. Occasionally, he would pace about the places his siblings had gone from, and his mood would appear downcast. He had borne so many responsibilities on his own—to be unable to fulfill them left him feeling slightly exhausted.
During the times he roamed around, Yao Ruoxian did not follow him. So it wasn't as though the thought of escaping had never crossed his mind. It was just that he simply did not feel the need to escape.
If he were to run off and then be captured, Yao Ruoxian would definitely think he'd been lying and wouldn't hesitate to slaughter him without a second thought.
Standing before the shabby residence, he stared at the nearly rotten door of the courtyard. Miao Yi's line of thought returned back to the past.
Yao Ruoxian had unknowingly snuck behind him. He scoffed coldly, "These few days you have been frequently coming to these two residences and zoned out in front of them. You don't appear very spirited. Are you scared that I will slaughter you?"
Miao Yi suddenly turned around, thinking of how dangerous a situation he was in. Fortunately he had not fled, since sure enough, this old man had been eyeing his every move in the dark.
"I've done nothing shameful, so why should I feel afraid?" Miao Yi rolled his eyes.
Yao Ruoxian pursed his lips at the residence and said, "A bastard like yourself dared to venture into the Sea of Constellations. You're fearless! I once thought you were just crazy. I seriously didn't think that you had this depressing side to you. Why? Are you familiar with this residence?"
Miao Yi shook his head. He mounted Charcoal and turned around, before trotting off.
Yao Ruoxian turned on his heels to watch the receding figure and sensed his loneliness. His gaze flickered—it was a feeling he could empathize with...
The next night of the full moon soon arrived. That night, Yao Ruoxian once again carried the mirror and shone the moonlight into the treacherous blood mist.
This time around, he had refined a large mirror that was one meter in diameter. This moonlight should be enough?
But when daylight arrived, he once again smashed the mirror into pieces on the ground. He stepped on it and was awfully curt with his words, "Brat, how do you want to die?!"
"I don't want to die. I still have one last method. Let's go together to find the person who taught me how to retrieve the eggs. He should know where the problem lies and he can certainly find a way to help us find a solution. If it turns out to be pointless, you can waste no time in killing me since I can't escape anyway."
Miao Yi was being blunt with his words. As matters stood, he had nothing to fear since he would be killed either way.
Now he was gambling on Yao Ruoxian's willingness to try since he couldn't get the eggs. As long as there was still a chance, he would keep him alive. Otherwise, he wouldn't have dawdled with him until now. Everyone had endured this suffering so far, so they shouldn't give up halfway.
After the two of them stared unswervingly at each other for a while, Miao Yi purposely tried to make his expression look innocent.
Yao Ruoxian gradually tightened his fists, and said with gritted teeth, "I originally wanted to deal the blow quickly, so you'd better think carefully before spouting nonsense again. If it doesn't work again, you won't even get to die painlessly! I will slowly torture you to death!"
The other party's tone had softened, and Miao Yi let out a sigh of relief. He'd apparently made the right call.
Soon, two rays of red light once again enclosed the men and steed, before swiftly departing to break through the sky. Yao Ruoxian had given Miao Yi another chance once again.
As to where Miao Yi was taking Yao Ruoxian to, it was only natural that he'd bring him to find Lao Bai on the island he had cultivated on for years.
He couldn't figure out what exactly had gone wrong, and could only find answers with Lao Bai. Why couldn't he draw out the Hell Mantis even after following Lao Bai's method?
As he soared through the air across the vast and boundless sea, Yao Ruoxian speculated over a certain matter. The person who'd taught this brat the method for acquiring the Hell Mantis eggs was most likely not an ordinary person. He shouldn't fall for the brat's trap and be tricked into entering the tiger's den. Thus, he asked on the spot, "This person who taught you how to obtain the dark eggs—what cultivation base does he have?"
This needed to be clarified to avoid landing himself in an inescapable situation if he ended up meeting an expert by chance.
"He's a mortal and does not cultivate… Ouch! What was that for?!" Miao Yi rubbed his head.
Yao Ruoxian, who'd given him a hard knock on his head, laughed coldly as he said, "You're this close to death and you still dare to trick me? How could a mortal know how to get the Hell Mantis's eggs?"
"This mortal is special. I guarantee that you have never seen such a carefree mortal before! He used to be a servant for a Great Immortal, so his knowledge is quite vast…"
Miao Yi explained in detail, yet Yao Ruoxian was hesitant to lower his guard. He reached out and clutched Miao Yi with a single tight grip, exercising control over Miao Yi's lifeline; he was prepared to use this brat as a hostage if by chance he were to meet with misfortune.
Traversing through the air over the boundless blue sea, both of them eventually arrived at the island which Miao Yi had cultivated on for a decade.
Upon returning to this familiar place, Miao Yi surveyed his surroundings and sighed repeatedly. As if they were taking a walk in a park, he brought Yao Ruoxian to the cave which he'd stayed in previously.
But dust filled the cave's interior, with cobwebs hanging everywhere. Even a couple of beasts were scurrying around.
The entrance of the cave was overgrown with trees and grass. Just one glance made it clear that this place had been vacant for countless years, otherwise the trees at the entrance would not have grown so tall.
"Where is he?" Yao Ruoxian smiled coldly.
Miao Yi ran outside, invoking his arts as he yelled, "Lao Bai, I'm back! Lao Bai, I'm back..."
Alas, no one answered. The island seemed to only contain dust-laden memories, unsure of which part of the world the peerless figure was at now.
The two of them searched the entire island and not a sight of a living person could be seen.
"Where is he?" A chilling smile once again formed on Yao Ruoxian's face.