Ever since he made an enemy out of Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor, Yang Qing always had his guard up against the other party, even sending hidden guards to monitor them as a precautionary measure.
As a result, he really did catch signs of trouble brewing….
Ever Peace Manor—Yang Qing had been strolling between pavilions when he received Qin Weiwei’s report. After reading through it, he tossed the jade archive to Qing Mei, and Qing Ju with a grave expression on his face.
He was able to rise to a position where he could command two Manors today, because he wasn’t as gullible as Qin Weiwei. One look at the report, and he knew that the problem lay with Miao Yi.
Xiong Xiao had followed him for so many years. How could he not understand him? If the Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea hadn’t been Qin Weiwei, then there was indeed a chance that Xiong Xiao would deploy a large force to attack East Arrival Cave.
With Qin Weiwei reigning over Mount Calming Sea, even if Xiong Xiao wanted Miao Yi dead, he would never create such a huge commotion. At most, he would resort to assassinations. Otherwise, Miao Yi would have been in trouble a long time ago.
Furthermore, Xiong Xiao had just been reprimanded by him, so it was even more unlikely that he would create the huge commotion that Miao Yi had described in the attack on East Arrival Cave. Even if Xiong Xiao was heavily displeased, he would endure it for the moment to give Yang Qing some face. Only if Xiong Xiao was getting tired of living, would he dare to smack Yang Qing in the face so openly.
"After seeing the report, Qing Mei also expressed her doubt and asked, "For Xiong Xiao to be this impudent…., it’s not likely to be true?"
Even Qing Ju shook her head after looking at the report. It seemed she also felt that it wasn’t possible.
When one lived at greater heights, even with an average intelligence, having a more extensive communication network, and a greater volume of information would be enough to help see the bigger picture. This was the greatest difference between a layman, and one who had a higher standing. They would hold an advantage, whether it was in grasping the possible developments of a situation, or in conducting trades. It wasn’t necessarily because someone who stood above others was more capable.
Yang Qing was scornful, "Ever since that brat got his hands on some troops, it seems he has become a little restless. If worst comes to worst, he might even seek out Xiong Xiao of his own accord and cause a ruckus. Qing Mei, send another message to Weiwei to remind her to keep an eye on that brat. Now is not the time to cause any internal strife."
The reason his expression turned sour wasn’t because of Miao Yi. To him, even if Miao Yi had twice the force, he still wouldn’t be able to stir up any waves. He could slap him back down whenever he wanted.
If Miao Yi really got on his bad side, he could immediately issue a decree and forcefully strip Miao Yi of his East Arrival Cave Master status, transfer away all of the troops under Miao Yi’s command by force, and forcefully kick him out of the system, or just have him arrested. He would like to see how Miao Yi would fight back then.
He believed that the incident in East Arrival Cave may just be Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor making its move. Miao Yi would not report an incident if there wasn’t one. Something this big could not be kept under wraps.
As soon as he made his decision, he immediately drew out several jade archives and began writing out a series of decrees. Then, ordered his handmaidens to send them to the respective Mountain Chieftains, and have them begin assembling their forces….
Yang Qing was no clairvoyant after all; he still underestimated the Great Cave Master Miao’s desire to kill Xiong Xiao.
The Great Cave Master Miao had almost died twice because of Xiong Xiao; it was only by luck that he had been fortunate enough to keep his life. The animosity between them had truly grown to epic proportions, and what’s more, he knew that the other party wouldn’t let him go. If it were anyone else—even they wouldn’t continue pretending as if nothing had happened. When the opportunity to turn the tables presented itself, with Miao Yi’s one-track personality, he would not give Xiong Xiao another chance to strike at him a third time.
Before Qing Mei could even send out the reminder to Qin Weiwei from Yang Qing’s side, Miao Yi was already leading his fourteen subordinates from East Arrival Cave, to a mountain forest a few dozen Li away from Mount Shaotai.
After they marched in and were given some basic instructions, Miao Yi threw out a few masks from his storage ring. They were all Madame Wu Hua’s previous belongings. He didn’t know why this Octopus Spirit had so many opera masks—all in all, there was a plethora of colors, and designs for men and women of all ages.
In the mountain forest, the fifteen men sat atop their dragon steeds, and loosened their bound hair; leaving it to drape over their shoulders as masks were placed over their faces.
Seeing the lord Cave Master once again donning the two-set armor for both man and steed, before untying his hair, and putting on his mark; everyone was at a loss for words. They could not keep up with this.
Yuan Fang threw a glance at the Cave Master’s fat dragon steed; that imposing full-body battle armor; as well as the Inversed-Scales Spear in his hand. He couldn’t help thinking, ‘Donning these arms—who in South Edict Manor won’t be able to recognize it? Is there even a need to wear a mask? You’re clearly doing this to purposely tick everyone off.’
In the end, he couldn’t help himself from saying, "Cave Master, you can just leave this to us. It would be too easy to recognise us if you join the assault."
Miao Yi was sweeping his hair back with an enchantingly feminine mask on his face, and reaching around to feel his mask; checking to see if he had put it on properly.
His eyes blinked from behind the sockets of the mask as he chuckled, "It does not matter! So what if we are recognized? Did you not just say that we won’t be able to hide this incident from the Manor Head? We’ll eliminate them all if we can, but even if we can’t—we’ve already prepared a countermeasure anyway. That filthy bastard Xiong Xiao almost killed me twice. Since I’ve already made it all this way to his front door, I would be letting him off too easily if I do not kill him myself!"
Swinging the Inversed-Scales Spear in his hand, he gave the signal to begin the attack. He took the lead by charging ahead, while his party of masked men could only follow his trail...
There was just one thing that Miao Yi wasn’t aware of—his information channels within the two Manors was limited after all—so he did not know that Yang Qing had already caught wind of the odd movements by Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor.
When Qin Weiwei’s group received Yang Qing’s first reminder, Xiong Xiao’s side had received it as well. Following orders, Xiong Xiao already sent word to the respective Cave Masters, and ordered them to gather towards him. Once the Manor Head gave the word, their side would immediately sortie.
Yang Qing’s second decree, for the troops of the two Manors to assemble, had yet to arrive.
The two Mountain forces on Xiong Xiao’s side had yet to completely assemble. If the forces of all the twenty subordinate Abode of Immortals, and his own direct subordinates had completely assembled—the Great Cave Master Miao would probably find this trip rather irritable. Fortunately, he arrived in the nick of time.
The scenery of Mount Shaotai resembled that of a painting; the afterglow from the sunset lent everything an orange cast, with the hills and rivers placed side by side, and the distant mountain peaks a hazy blur.
A few Cave Masters were trailing behind Mountain Chieftain Xiong Xiao. Everyone was extremely respectful towards Xiong Xiao as they reported the current spread of their forces in their respective abodes of Immortals.
They had to be as courteous as possible. After the battle with Zhang Decheng, Mount Shaotai lost a significant chunk of its forces. It hadn’t been easy to use the captured men to fill the gap. However, with Xiong Xiao’s territory being doubled, it was equal to the number of subordinates getting halved as a consequence.
These four Cave Masters who handled eight abode of Immortals knew deep down, that once the number of subordinates were fully replenished—not everyone would become become the Cave Master of two Caves. When that time comes, Mountain Chieftain Xiong Xiao would definitely reorganise. So naturally, they had to get on the Mountain Chieftain’s good books.
As expected, after listening to the reports, Xiong Xiao gave them advanced notice. He wanted the subordinates to mentally prepare themselves, and to not keep a grudge in their hearts because they could not accept when it happened.
"All of you need not worry about the lack of manpower. I have already received news from the Manor Head’s side that a Commandment of Conformity has already been signed with the Sword Deviate Sect, Jade Lady Sect and the School of Imperial Beasts. These three major schools will soon send eight hundred of their disciples to enlist in the two Manors. When that happens, I will first replenish each and every person’s respective subordinate forces. However, there is something that I would like to make clear with all of you first. Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor still holds a grudge over what happened before. The Manor Head is worried that trouble may arise, with the strength of the two Manors being slightly weaker, so he asked for quite a number of Blue Lotus cultivators from the three major schools."
He looked straight at them all and saw that every single one of them were listening with their ears perked. This matter concerned everyone’s benefits, so it was only natural.
Xiong Xiao turned to walk forward as he continued speaking in an indifferent tone, "Miao Yi’s previous assault on my Changfeng Cave was a forewarning. For a mere East Arrival Cave to be so impudent in front of my face, he is really pushing his luck! In increase the forces of both my Mountains, I took the initiative to request for a few Blue Lotus experts from the Manor Head. However, as you all know, even I am but a mere White Lotus Ninth Grade cultivator. To have them heed my orders is already diminishing their pride, it is even more unlikely for them to become subordinates in the various Caves. Hence, I am prepared to secure the Cave Master posts of five Caves to be assigned to them. I hope you all will not disagree…. This is the Manor Head’s idea as well!"
He was not someone that was easy to deal with. His last sentence pushed the responsibility back onto Yang Qing’s head. Even Xiong Xiao himself did not dare second-guess Yang Qing, what more of his subordinates?
Every one of them was speechless. Finally, someone asked, "Forgive me for being overbold, may I ask the Mountain Chieftain when the men from the three major schools will be arriving?"
Xiong Xiao chuckled and replied, "For the opportunity to enter the system designed by the Six Sages, and have a chance to share in the power of will of the world, I’m sure many of those belonging to the schools have been eyeing the opportunity. I believe competition among the disciples of the major schools will be unavoidable. However, it should be soon. At most, it will be about another month before the new members arrive. All of you need not fret, when that happens-"
Before he could finish, the an alarm sounded from afar.
Xiong Xiao’s expression changed as the rest turned to look.
Truth be told, Xiong Xiao was a little fearful of Miao Yi now. To be more specific, after he did some investigating, he was fearful of the two Blue Lotus First Grade subordinates that Miao Yi had.
This whole matter was like a damn setup. Xiong Xiao couldn’t help but secretly criticize Yang Qing as he grumbled to himself. Yang Qing clearly knew that he and Miao Yi had a grudge, yet he still allowed Miao Yi—a mere Cave Master—to possess such a powerful force. Was he intentionally trying to make him sit on pincusihons?
It would have been fine if it was anyone else, but for a Cave Master to have two Blue Lotus realm subordinates, what kind of a joke was this?
He would not believe that Yang Qing did it unintentionally, nor would he believe that Yang Qing had missed the two Blue Lotus realm cultivators on the reported namelist —because the final authority to approve rested in Yang Qing’s hands. Qin Weiwei did not have that kind of authority, much less Miao Yi. If Yang Qing did not agree, it would not be possible for Miao Yi to have his way.
Even though Xiong Xiao didn’t know the specifics, he had followed Yang Qing for many years, and could more or less understand that Yang Qing was not a man who would do something unnecessary. He could vaguely feel that Yang Qing was most likely taking advantage of the conflict between him and Miao Yi, and was secretly raising Miao Yi’s strength to suppress him; and at the same time, raising the strength of Qin Weiwei’s forces.
As for why he had chosen to strengthen Miao Yi and not any other Mountain Chieftain’s forces—it was because Miao Yi’s strength was too weak—he couldn’t stir up any waves under Yang Qing. Thus, Yang Qing could control him easily. If the other Mountain Chieftain’s strengths were raised, they could become a threat to Yang Qing’s position.
Xiong Xiao was secretly a little happy when he first met the Suppressing Second Hall’s Hall Master Huo Lingxiao, but after experiencing the pressure exerted by Yang Qing, he truly felt somewhat regretful.
It was common knowledge that everyone wanted to become successful, it was just a matter of whether the time to openly express it had come or not.
The Hall Master Huo Lingxiao’s actions had clearly brought out the conflict between him and Yang Qing prematurely. Huo Lingxiao could make use of Yang Qing, but at the same time, have an extra pair of eyes to help monitor him. Those above always liked to play these games of inhibiting and balancing out their forces. Xiong Xiao hated these very much—because he was still just a pawn!
It was precisely because of this that he was now a little scared of that crazed bastard Miao Yi, and why he had also arranged for hidden guards to monitor East Arrival Cave in addition to his own Mount Shaotai’s perimeter; much like how Miao Yi was keeping his guard up against him. The both of them were on guard against each other.
Since the signal for an enemy attack had already been sent out, there was no need for hesitation. Starting from Xiong Xiao, each of them left with haste….