Why were members from the Sword Deviate Sect, Jade Lady Sect and School of Imperial Beasts popping up all of a sudden?
He noticed that his information network was terribly weak, as he could only cover the area within East Arrival Cave.
"Brother Miao, stop being in a daze—go quickly! Xiong Xiao should already be on his way with his men after I left to look for you. If you don’t go right now, it will be too late." Chen Fei solemnly reminded Miao Yi of the current situation.
Miao Yi cupped his hands with a grateful expression on his face. "Thank you Brother Chen, for the warning."
Chen Fei quickly cut to the chase, "I can’t stay too long, or they will notice something suspicious is going on. Brother Miao, make your moves carefully. I shall take my leave now."
Chen Fei turned and hastily left, he truly mustn’t stay too long.
Before he could run back to his post, Miao Yi stopped him with a yell, "Wait a moment!"
Chen Fei turned back to look, and saw Miao Yi take out ten low-grade Orbs of Will from his storage ring. He grabbed Chen Fei’s wrist, and shoved them into his palms.
"This…." Chen Fei was a little flustered, but it was no secret that he did desire them.
"Just a small token of my good will. Don’t make it a shoving match between the two of us." Miao Yi quickly spoke first, before Chen Fei could cough out any words of courtesy.
"If you insist. I’m off then!" Chen Fei held onto the Orbs of Will, and cupped his hand once more to bid his farewell.
Miao Yi also knew that it was risky for Chen Fei to come here, and that he should not remain any longer. With that, Miao Yi tried not to delay him any further, and waved, "Farewell!"
Chen Fei left; quickly hurrying his way down the mountain slope, and hopped onto his dragon steed—leaving the site at once.
Meanwhile, Miao Yi paced back and forth near the entrance, finding his current situation ironic. He was elated when he had the chance to torment Xiong Xiao before, but now it was time for Xiong Xiao’s turn to torment him. He didn’t expect the situation to flip around like this so quickly.
"Everyone gather around!"
Miao Yi waited until Chen Fei was gone before calling for his men.
After everyone had assembled a moment later, Miao Yi briefed them on the current situation. They shared the same thoughts as him—never expecting that the situation would end up flipping around so suddenly. Everyone was consumed by an unending fear.
Lai Yuhan cupped his fist and said, "Cave Master, we can’t hold off that many people. We have to shelter ourselves from danger."
‘Shelter from danger’ had a nice sound to it, but it actually meant ‘fleeing’.
"Where can we go? We can run away now, but we can’t do it forever. We can run from today, but we can’t run away from tomorrow," said Miao Yi, as he shook his head.
A small frown creased Yuan Fang’s forehead as she asked, "What does the Cave Master have in mind?"
"We can only take a risk. Let’s see if we can wipe them out."
"How are we going to do that?"
Miao Yi pointed in the direction of Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor, and said, "Liu Jingtian’s troops are assembled near the border. If I don’t use the Manor Head’s previous approach as a lesson for my next move, I would be a fool. It’s best to learn from his experience!"
His men glimmered with hope; this method could actually work. If those men from Mount Returning Loyalty made the first move and raided their territory, then they wouldn’t be held accountable for the consequences of their actions.
After Miao Yi organized his men, he took the lead and hastily departed with them. There was no need to guard this old cave like a treasure for the time being...
Just then, Xiong Xiao was leading a large army to his intended destination, when he was stopped midway by Chen Fei and the two other scouts.
After receiving the report from Chen Fei, Cave Master Wu Zhanglin quickly recounted the situation to his superior Xiong Xiao, "Mountain Chieftain. That scum Miao Yi has indeed returned to East Arrival Cave!"
Xiong Xiao immediately revealed a sinister smile, and withdrew a scrap of black cloth. He covered his face it—preparing to deal Miao Yi the same way he was dealt with.
His men followed suit, and covered their faces as well.
"Crush East Arrival Cave—let no one live! Anyone who can kill Miao Yi will be greatly rewarded. Capture him alive, and you will be granted the seat of a Cave Master regardless of your cultivation level!" ordered Xiong Xiao. Then he gave a signal with his hand, and yelled,"FORWARD!"
Xiong Xiao clearly did not want Miao Yi to experience a quick death. He wanted to capture him alive, so that he could torture him to death, and quell the hatred in his heart.
Once his orders were given out, the eyes of his men shone with zeal. ‘Was it really true that they could be a Cave Master regardless of their cultivation, if they managed to capture Miao Yi alive?’
Their dragon steeds cried out, as the army charged towards East Arrival Cave with Xiong Xiao in the lead.
Just as they managed to enter the mountain where East Arrival Cave was nestled, Xiong Xiao suddenly caught sight of a squad of men scuttling out of the forest, as if they did not wish to engage his men—hurriedly riding their steeds in the opposite direction to escape.
Xiong Xiao’s eyes quickly narrowed as he caught sight of an armor-clad figure leading the fleeing men. Who could it be, but the man he sought—Miao Yi!
"AFTER THEM!" roared Xiong Xiao, pointing out his adversary. His troops quickly adjusted their formation, and gave chase as fast as they could.
Both South Edict Manor and Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor shared the same piece of land, so Liu Jingtian’s troops were able jump into action, right after they received news of an incoming assault.
Liu Jingtian wasn't a fool either. Since it had come to this, he had to defend himself against Yang Qing’s assault. Naturally, he had sent scouts to investigate, and received word that a large army was storming towards them. In an instant, he ordered his men into battle formation.
From what he had gathered, the number of enemy troops was quite little—only two hundred men in all. This number wasn’t a threat, so he decided to focus on his own defense without any intent of stepping over his border.
Miao Yi would look back once in awhile, as he led his men in their flight from Xiong Xiao’s pursuit—controlling the distance between them. He wanted to lead them towards Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor’s area.
During their retreat, the two scouts dispatched earlier on came back and rejoined their group. They reported the location of Liu Jingtian’s army to Miao Yi, leading him to change course, so that he could lead Xiong Xiao’s army towards Liu Jingtian’s men.
When Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor just entered his sights, he suddenly saw Liu Jingtian and his army standing by in battle formation near the border.
Miao Yi and his men quickly took up arms, and shouted, "CHARGE!"
After which, an awkward situation presented itself to him.
In close pursuit behind Miao Yi, Xiong Xiao was caught by surprise on catching sight of thousands of men ahead of him—especially once he used his transcendence vision, and realized that Liu Jingtian was commanding the army. He immediately called for a halt! His men came to an urgent stop—their steeds churning up mud on the ground.
Xiong Xiao’s eyes flickered brightly despite his face being covered with the scarf-mask. He had taken a great risk back when he tricked Liu Jingtian and used him—because of that, Liu Jingtian would still be harboring a deep hatred in his heart; waiting for the moment when he would be able to break his bones, and turn him into ashes.
The urge to kill Miao Yi was strong, yet he couldn’t afford to throw away his life recklessly by making rash moves.
Miao Yi noticed that there wasn’t any commotion behind him after he called for his men to go forth and kill. He quickly turned to look back almost immediately and broke out in a cold sweat. ‘Why weren’t they moving forward?’
He quickly called for a halt by raising his spear, and seventeen steeds immediately stopped.
He had no choice but to stop—there was about a thousand men ahead of him. These few dozen soldiers would be ground to dust if they rushed into battle!
Miao Yi initially planned to lead Xiong Xiao and his men forward, obviously allowing Liu Jingtian’s army to rush in for the kill as well. He would then lead his men to escape from the side of the battle, and force Xiong Xiao and Liu Jingtian to fight each other to the death.
Unexpectedly, not only did Xiong Xiao’s men stop; Liu Jingtian’s troops didn’t make make a move either. Miao Yi figured that those two would not make a move unless his men moved first.
On one side, a thousand men were ready to go; while on the other, two hundred men would not budge from their position; and lastly, a few dozen men were trapped between these two forces looking a bit helpless and lonely. With all Xiong Xiao’s men concealing their faces, the current situation was more than a little hilarious.
Liu Jingtian sat atop his dragon steed, and surveyed Xiong Xiao and his men. ‘Were these also Yang Qing’s men? If they were what he presumed them to be, was it necessary to cover their faces? What was the meaning of this?’
On the other end, the masked Xiong Xiao was quick to realize the situation. He didn’t expect that Miao Yi would actually think of luring his men to the lion’s den, and use Liu Jingtian to annihilate him. That was close!
Miao Yi was speechless as he watched the scene unfold. He noticed that while his plan was theoretically perfect, the reality of it was far crueler than he had expected.
It was at this moment that he finally realized the meaning of ‘One may know a man's face, but never know his heart’. Yang Qing seemed like he was enjoying himself taking part in war schemes, so Miao Yi thought that he could learn his ploys simply by imitation. What he didn’t know was that Yang Qing had secretly made numerous arrangements in order to fool Liu Jingtian into his scheme. The disparity between a well thought-out plan, and its execution was too great! That was known as experience. Miao Yi failed to achieve what he set out to do.
The three factions didn’t make a sound. Liu Jingtian didn’t make any attempt to approach, nor did he retreat. On the other hand, Xiong Xiao didn’t want Miao Yi to slip away—yet he didn’t dare to make a move on Miao Yi. While Miao Yi was stuck between the two forces, and was caught in a dilemma—he could not move forward, nor could he move backwards. He could still retreat through the sides, but he was unwilling to do so at the moment.
After some time had passed, the three factions still didn’t make any moves. Yuang Fang and Lai Yuan already figured out that the Cave Master had made a huge blunder. As they got their brains in gear to try to think of their next move, they noticed that the Cave Master had instead decided to furiously shake his spear at Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor, shouting, "THE CAVE MASTER OF EAST ARRIVAL CAVE MIAO YI IS HERE. WHO DARES CHALLENGE ME!?"
He thought that he could goad Liu Jingtian and his men into moving in for the kill. If he could do that, then he would be able to lead them to Xiong Xiao’s side afterwards.
Whispers could be heard in Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor’s side. ‘So this was the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave that they have been hearing about.’
Liu Jingtian had already made preparations, so that when the Hall Master asked him of the situation, he would be able to push all the responsibility to that dead Su Biao. Even though he didn’t dare try to recklessly cross into Suppressing Second Hall, he would not have his own honor sullied either. He sat straight up and said, "CAVE MASTER OF EAST ARRIVAL CAVE MIAO YI? YOU’VE GOT GUTS! I WILL GRANT YOU YOUR WISH—YOU CAN FIGHT WHOEVER YOU WANT ON MY TERRITORY. COME IF YOU DARE!"
Those words immediately made Miao Yi lose his temper, and he silently thought, ‘If I was brave enough to cross over to your side, I would have done so from the beginning. Do I need you to say it out loud?’
The Great Cave Master Miao then aimed his spear to the other side, and said, "OLD SCUM XIONG XIAO! COME FIGHT ME TO THE DEATH IF YOU DARE!"
Xiong Xiao remained indifferent. He already saw through Miao Yi’s precarious scheme, so there was no way he would not fall for it again. Moreover…., as expected, once Miao Yi called out his name, Liu Jingtian—standing across from Xiong Xiao—immediately began to focus his gaze on him with a gleam in his eyes. Apparently, Liu Jingtian still remembered the Xiong Xiao’s previous manipulation; which was why Xiong Xiao was even more determined not to fall for Miao Yi’s trick again!
The Great Cave Master Miao became furious after yelling at the top of his lungs. ‘So the both of you won’t respond? I’ll see how long you guys can stand before you run out of patience!’
"Liu Jingtian, I didn’t think a Manor Head like you would turn out to be such a coward…; Xiong Xiao, you scum! How dare you gang up with Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor to assault my East Arrival Cave. The Manor Head will never forgive you for this…"
The Great Cave Master Miao began cursing at both parties nonstop. It was truly a first for everyone to see a Cave Master freely cursing both a Mountain Chieftain and a Manor Head at the same time. It seemed as if he was basking in the limelight—such an overbearing attitude!
No one knew that Liu Jingtian was actually wrestling with his thoughts then. ‘What kind of situation is this? Why is he cursing the other person now? Perhaps some kind of internal conflict? It can’t be! He might be attempting to make me fall for his scheme again!’
Miao Yi became parched after cursing the entire day. Even Charcoal couldn’t help but to turn its head to stare at him for time to time. This was his first time seeing Miao Yi blathering so much nonsense.
His subordinate were speechless. ‘Cave Master, don’t you feel tired…’
After uttering a string of curses, Miao Yi was finally getting tired. As he began to get exhausted, his temper also cooled down. ‘Forget it.’ he thought. Since everyone wanted to drag this on, he would play his part. Besides, he wasn’t in any great danger. He would stay put until reinforcements arrived.
Just before midnight, Xiong Xiao’s men came up from the rear on their steeds, and muttered to Xiong Xiao for a good minute.
Xiong Xiao stared coldly at Miao Yi for a moment; he seemed unhappy with what he just heard. Then, he tore off his scarf mask and finally revealed his true face, making Liu Jingtian grit his teeth in anger.
Xiong Xiao must have nothing to fear if he was brave enough to do that.
All of his troops followed him, and took off their masks as well.