Miao Yi smiled bitterly and said, "That person lives more freely than even the Immortals, and would always traverse the four seas. He might be out on a journey."
"There are a many demons, devils, ghosts and monsters in the world. Would you believe that a mere mortal could leave the secular world far behind and stay on an island? The foliage in front of the cave have grown for at least over a decade. You're trying to tell me that man has gone on a trip for ten years without returning? Lies! You just keep telling lies!"
Yao Ruoxian emitted a chilling laugh as a bar mace dropped into his hand, looking as though he was prepared to kill Miao Yi.
Miao Yi hurriedly pushed out his hand to stop him. "Senior, don't be in such a hurry! You want the small mantids, not my life. Listen, and let me finish first before doing anything. It's not too late by then!"
With a flip of his palm, eighty-five small mantids flew out from the storage ring.
The moment he caught sight of the little ones, Yao Ruoxian's eyes began to gleam.
"How about I give them to you?" Miao Yi said shamelessly.
He really didn't have a choice. Having ventured into the Sea of Constellation, fought with so many demons, and managing to make it through, only to fall into this bastard's grasp really made him feel incredibly depressed.
"I can't even control them. What need do I have for them?" Yao Ruoxian was furious. Miao Yi was deliberately taking out such tantalizing meat that was just out of his reach, and making him crave for it.
"In truth, it's not that there is completely no way for you to control them. It's just that it needs time. You and they need to spend a long time together in each other's company in order to gradually establish the telepathy between the both of you. Junior only fears that you can't wait that long!"
For the sake of surviving, Miao Yi could only spout nonsense in order to repeatedly stall. Whatever possessed him to come here without ensuring that he would be able find a trace of Lao Bai?
"Really?" Yao Ruoxian was stunned that it was seriously possible for a bond to grow over time for them to gradually become familiar with each other. He then suspiciously asked, "Brat, you are not being completely honest and just trying to deliberately stall for time, are you? How much time is needed to establish a telepathic connection with them?"
Miao Yi tried to say, "It probably needs ten years. During this period, Junior will do his best to act as a mediator and help you bond with them."
He was completely in self-preservation mode for his life before anything else. Now at last, he finally managed to understand the feeling of Pi Junzi when he was seeking survival at that time.
"Ten years?" Yao Ruoxian pondered for a moment. To a person who had lived for more than a thousand years, waiting a mere ten years was nothing. "Okay. I just happen to need a person to do menial chores by my side. You'll just stay at my side to do these things carefully, and don't you dare play any sorts of trick or else. Come with me! "
"Ah!" Surprised, Miao Yi exclaimed, "Go with you?"
Yao Ruoxian glared, "If you don't come with me, will these little ones be able to listen to me? What, are you trying to find an opportunity to escape? Brat, I advise you to come with me for your own good. At least I can still supply you with enough Orbs of Will to make your cultivation break through to the Blue Lotus realm. I'm letting you snap up this bargain for free!"
Miao Yi laughed bitterly. "I would like to go with you. If it were a few years earlier, I would have no issues in leaving with you. I would probably have jumped at the chance, except we've met rather late. Even if I wanted to leave with you, I fear that you wouldn't dare to bring me along. Unless Senior kills me now without anyone knowing, or I follow you without revealing myself in public for this entire lifetime, only death will eventually await me. I might even damn Senior to suffer with me."
Yao Ruoxian frowned, "What do you mean?"
Miao Yi coughed dryly. "Senior, Junior won't even try to conceal this from you now. Niu Youde is not Junior's real name. My name is Miao Yi, I'm the from the Celestial Nation's Fifth Earthly Branch domain, the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave under the rule of South Edict Manor. I secretly brought along my subordinates to venture into the Sea of Constellations, resulting in my entire team being decimated. Soon, the time for the harvest of Orbs of Will will be less than a month away. If I don't return to report back in time, once this year passes, I will immediately be placed on the Celestial Nation's Bounty Board. Anyone can well imagine what the consequences will be. Is Senior very sure that you still dare to bring me with you?"
The hierarchy under the Six Sages wasn't a restaurant that people could come and go as they pleased. The food that one had eaten in a restaurant have to be paid for; how could they allow you to come and go as you wish? If the rules were really broken, and everyone wished to come and go freely, then wouldn't the rules established by the Six Sages became nothing than child's play? How would they control the world then?
What's more, as the Cave Master, Miao Yi had caused his troops to be completely decimated. He couldn't think of a way to explain himself and still think to run away like it had nothing to do with him? His wanted ranking would definitely be increased by a grade!
And finally, a person who secretly escaped was a criminal. Those who knew but didn't report, or chose to shelter such criminals, would all be sentenced under the same crime as an accomplice. Anyone who was caught would only be faced with death!
No matter how powerful Yao Ruoxian was, he wouldn't dare to confront the Six Sages. However, he instead looked incredulous as he said, "You rascal, who are you kidding? Since when can a cultivation at White Lotus Third Grade become a Cave Master?"
This was easy to prove; Miao Yi simply took out the appointment jade archive from his storage ring and gave it to Yao Ruoxian to examine.
After looking through the appointment jade archive, Yao Ruoxian's expression twitched. "Is there no one else left in the Celestial Nation? They went as far as to let a White Lotus Third Grade cultivator like you be a Cave Master?"
Miao Yi spread his arms out in exasperation as he explained, "Senior, Junior can never leave with you. Of course, you can also forcefully dragged me along and remain hidden for ten years without allowing me to show myself in public. Once you and the small mantids have established a telepathic connection, you can then kill me and nobody would know. Now, you can also kill Junior and nobody will find out you're the culprit. But without Junior's help, you definitely will not be able to exert control over them."
The meaning to his words were obvious. As long as Miao Yi went with him, then only death awaited him. He would die either way, so did Yao Ruoxian really think that he would still go with him?
Yao Ruoxian's expression turned sour. He pointed at the flitting little ones beside them. "You have fooled me for a several months and now you want to settle it this way?"
"That's not what I meant. It would be better if Senior comes with me! Follow me back to East Arrival Cave and join under me, I can help you fix your loose cultivator status — It's true! I have a good relation with our Manor Head. As long as I report it, adding your name into the registry and giving you an official status shouldn't prove much of a problem."
"Oh.. Are you pulling my leg? Letting me become your subordinate?!"
It could be said that Yao Ruoxian was extremely astonished. He realized that this bastard really dared to think that a mere White Lotus Third Grade cultivator could actually keep a Red Lotus Second Grade cultivator like him as his subordinate. He really didn't fear to biting off more than he could chew…
At Ever Peace Manor, inside the Manor Head's silent cultivation quarters — a map was spread open on the stone chair. Manor Head Zhang Decheng and the Deacon from Suppressing Second Hall, Wan Shunchang were sitting cross-legged with the map between them.
Thoroughly inspecting the map of the Suppressing Second Hall realm, Zhang Decheng rubbed the short beard at his chin, faintly shaking his head as he said, "Yang Qing is also a force to be reckoned with. Once we begin to assemble our forces on a larger scale, Yang Qing will most definitely be on his guard. If we were to march straight in, I'm afraid that our men will not be able to break through to South Edict Manor, and Yang Qing would have already organized his own forces to put up resistance. Meeting force with force will only cause us to suffer severe damage and losses on our side. It should be noted that Yang Qing still has the support of the School of Blue Jade behind him."
He certainly did not want to risk his life for the sake of others, without anything to show for it.
Wan Shunchang stared at the map for a while before nodding his head, saying, "That is indeed the case. Although the School of Blue Jade is not on good terms with Yang Qing, in order to protect their mutual interests, they would definitely join their forces to strike. It will be very difficult for us to gain the upperhand if we were to meet brute force with force. We have to seize the chance to attack him and catch him unawares, so he will barely have time to assemble together the troops of his South Edict and the School of Blue Jade. Then, we will definitely succeed in one strike!"
He pointed his finger at Mount Calming Sea, and jabbed at the position of Mount Calming Sea on the map heavily a few times.
"Mount Calming Sea?" Zhang Decheng's words carried some suspicion as he said, "I assume that Brother Wan has already schemed this for a long time, and you have a card up your sleeve. Please explain."
Wan Shunchang replied, "The Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea, Qin Weiwei is Yang Qing's adopted daughter. According to what I know, Yang Qing and this adopted daughter's relationship is unusual, almost as if they are biological father and daughter. We can start with Qin Weiwei first. If Qin Weiwei were to have an accident, Yang Qing would definitely come forth to save her. If he can't save his own adopted daughter, his subordinates will be bitterly disappointed. Should other matters arise in the future, who would be willing to risk their lives for him? After that, should we make a move on him in the future, it will be much easier then. Yang Qing cannot afford to pay this price."
Zhang Decheng shook his head slightly. "I'm afraid that just won't do. The residence of Mount Calming Sea is not far from South Edict Manor. At least, it is much closer than ours. If anything were to happen, our forces wouldn't be able to reach it before Yang Qing arrives ahead of us."
"So we have to lure Qin Weiwei from her den, and keep her far away from Mount Calming Sea's residence."
"How do you intend to lure her out from her den?"
Wan Shunchang moved his finger and brazenly jabbed at East Arrival Cave. "This place is close to the sea, and located furthest away from the inner realm of Mount Calming Sea. We can lure Qin Weiwei to this place, where Emerald Forest Cave of Mount Heavenly Grace — under Brother Zhang's command — connects with East Arrival Cave of Mount Calming Sea. Then, Brother Zhang can send a deployment in secret. On the surface, you will hold the rest of your troops in place at Mount Heavenly Grace to avoid alerting Yang Qing prematurely. You only require several units from both Mount Heavenly Grace and Emerald Forest Cave to raid East Arrival Cave… Now that the end of the year is fast approaching, the time for gathering Orbs of Will is not far behind. After East Arrival Cave has been ambushed, as long as Qin Weiwei receives the news, she will definitely lead her people to come save them. Then, we would have successfully lured her out."
Zhang Decheng dubiously nodded and asked, "What do we do after luring her out?"
A nasty grin emerged on Wan Shunchang's face as he explained, "After Qin Weiwei arrives, immediately order Emerald Forest Cave to retreat, baiting Qin Weiwei to pursue them; once again dragging the distance between Qin Weiwei and her potential approaching reinforcements further apart. The units of Mount Heavenly Grace can set up an ambush to wait for Qin Weiwei's arrival. To prevent mishaps, we can still order the troops of another mountain to support the units of Mount Heavenly Grace. Trap Qin Weiwei and besiege her to annihilate the reinforcements. Upon receiving the news, Yang Qing will definitely throw aside everything to save her. In that time, Yang Qing will not be able to assemble all his troops in such a short period. Right after Yang Qing makes his move, Brother Zhang must immediately march out. Using Qin Weiwei as bait to lure Yang Qing out, how can we not win if we attack his few with our numbers! "
Zhang Decheng inwardly praised him and couldn't help but raise his head to cast a glance at him. Being able to think of such a method, he surmised that for the sake of eating a delectable meat like South Edict Manor, Brother Wan had expended quite a considerable amount of time, thought, and effort into this.
However, Zhang Decheng was not a saint; he wouldn't do anything to aggrieve others without benefit to himself.
His expression was grave for a moment as he dubiously said, "Brother Wan's scheme is thorough, but Brother Wan shouldn't forget one point. Yang Qing has third grade transcendent artifacts that he borrowed from the School of Blue Jade. This is what Yang Qing relied on to control South Edict. I admit even that I won't be able to withstand him!"
Wan Shunchang laughed, "Brother Zhang can be wholly at ease. How could I let Brother Zhang fight a war we can't win? I won't be able to gain anything from that. I have already ask around discreetly. Those third grade transcendent artifacts have already been returned to the Sect Master of the School of Blue Jade. He just hasn't announced it publicly."
Zhang Decheng let out an 'Oh!' and was immediately at ease. Yet, he remained silent without saying anything.
'All a bunch of bastards who won't do anything without gain!' Wan Shunchang cursed in his heart.
That bastard Zhang was clearly not going to act without some incentive. He knew he had no choice but to reveal the reward. Nobody would do a job without getting anything in return. He Yunye had felt the same when he requested Wan Shunchang to come discuss, so there was no way that he could make He Yunye himself provide the benefits.