Yang Qing lifted his gaze to look at him. "Qiu Xian? Are you the subordinate of Su Biao?"
Before Qiu Xian could reply, Miao Yi had already flipped over his hand and drawn out the Inversed-Scales Spear. Jabbing the spear at him, he warned, "Manor Head is asking you a question. If you dare to say even one false word, I will surely kill you with without mercy!"
"Understood!" Qiu Xian was terribly frightened; turning back to Yang Qing, he quickly bowed, and said, "Yes!"
Yang Qing leveled a gaze at Miao Yi. "I don’t need you to cut in while I am questioning him."
"Of course!" Miao Yi nodded to indicate that he understood.
Yang Qing continued to question Qiu Xian, "What level of cultivation are you now? And what position do you hold in Mount Returning Loyalty?"
Qiu Xian invoked his arts slightly, revealing the shadow of a three-petal white lotus between his brows, before replying, "White Lotus Third Grade. Under the command of Morning Storm Cave in Mount Returning Loyalty. No position."
Yang Qing asked again, "Why did you attack East Arrival Cave?"
Qiu Xian answered a little nervously, "I don’t know the exact reason for the attack. I’ve only heard from my superiors that Qin Weiwei, the Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea, was in East Arrival Cave. They said that whoever killed, or caught Qin Weiwei alive would be rewarded generously!"
After these words were spoken aloud, all the Mountain Chieftains glanced at each other in dismay; immediately realizing that the attack on East Arrival Cave was actually targeted at Yang Qing’s adopted daughter. It was obviously an act by Liu Jingtian to get revenge on Yang Qing for the past humiliation!
Qin Weiwei pursed her lips, and glanced at Miao Yi. She had brought trouble down on him once again.
Yang Qing gave a slight nod. A cultivator at White Lotus Third Grade from the low-level Caves would only take orders, and not be privy to details. If Qiu Xian claimed to truly know Liu Jingtian’s intentions like the back of his hand, Yang Qing would have suspected the credibility of his words.
He asked again, "When you fell into Cave Master Miao’s hands, did you confess the truth?"
Qiu Xian’s heartstrings tensed up. He was instructed on this matter some time ago. If he did not repeat what he was told, Miao Yi who was currently standing behind him, would not let him live. He hesitated for a second, then forced himself to answer, "I didn’t confess the truth. When I was caught, I told the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave that I belonged to Mountain Chieftain Xiong Xiao, of Mount Shaotai in South Edict Manor."
Yang Qing’s eyebrows rose slightly. "Why would you say that?"
Qiu Xian replied, "It was all because Cave Master Miao was heavy handed in my capture, and I began holding a grudge against him. I heard that Mountain Chieftain of Mount Shaotai, Xiong Xiao, and the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave, Miao Yi, were at odds; so I wanted to provoke them to get revenge!"
Yang Qing’s glance swept across the faces of Xiong Xiao and Miao Yi, as he sneered, "It looks like the notorious internal power struggle between my subordinates is already known by everyone outside!"
Xiong Xiao and Miao Yi remained silent. Yang Qing continued questioning once more, "Then why did you tell the truth later?"
Qiu Xian replied, "The reason is that later on, Cave Master Miao found that something wasn’t right, and that there were some inconsistencies with what I said. When Cave Master Miao tortured me, I had no choice but to confess."
"So that’s the reason!" Yan Qing humphed, and without expressing an opinion, asked Miao Yi, "Cave Master Miao. Is what he said the truth?"
"To answer Manor Head—yes, this was exactly what happened. He didn’t say anything wrong," said Miao Yi, cupping his fists at Yang Qing with his spear in hand. Then he turned to glower at Qiu Xian, and began angrily shouting, "You despicable little shit! Daring to drive a wedge between us; almost causing Mountain Chieftain Xiong and I, to begin having internal conflict!"
Everyone sneered inside their mind, ‘You two were embroiled in strife since the very beginning. What’s the need for others to instigate?’
But before they could react to it, they heard Miao Yi’s shouting again, "Scum! How can I let you live!"
A cold glimmer flashed in his hands. The sharp spearhead pierced directly into Qiu Xian’s heart from his back, and three streams of blood shot out violently from the groves of the triple-edged spearhead.
"You…" Qiu Xian’s eyes widened. He strove to turned his head back, and pointed at Miao Yi with his hand, as if he wanted to say something.
However, Miao Yi didn’t leave him a chance to continue speaking. The spearhead was twisted, and slashed across; cutting him open right from the chest, with blood gushing out to pool below.
As Qiu Xian fell to the ground, looking as though he had died without getting justice—his wide eyes continued staring at Miao Yi. ‘The other person clearly said that as long as he followed instructions…’
Miao Yi shook off traces of blood from his spear, and placed it back into his storage ring; then turned back and said, "Get him out!"
Yuan Fang stepped forward and quickly dragged away Qiu Xian’s corpse. Only the puddle of blood was left on the ground, with the stench of blood gradually filling the air in the room.
All was quiet inside. Everyone glanced at each other.
A shiver ran across Xiong Xiao’s heart, ‘This person was truly merciless. He initially thought that there were quite a few holes in Qiu Xian’s statement and wanted to question him further. But he never expected that Miao Yi wouldn’t even give him a chance to do so!’
Just then, Miao Yi glared at him. Sparks flew between their eyes, and they quickly turned to avoid looking at one another; the hostility was clear even without words.
Yang Qing didn’t yet express his stand on the matter, and glanced at Qin Weiwei’s face before finally asking Miao Yi, "If you were aware later that Qiu Xian lied, why didn’t you quickly report it!"
Miao Yi was caught by surprise. ‘Wasn’t that matter already settled? Why was he still holding on to it?’
While he was busy thinking of a response, Qin Weiwei had already stepped out of line, and cupped her hands towards Yang Qing, "Reporting to Manor Head. Miao Yi did report to me afterwards; it was I who forgot to report it again."
After these words, even though the other Mountain Chieftains did not feel anything, Yang Qing was actually startled. Something flickered in his eyes.
Others might not be able to tell truth from lie, but how could he not know? Even if she forgot to report to him at the time; after she met up with him and he mentioned this matter before—wouldn’t that have been enough to jolt her memory into reporting it?
‘Is she trying to help Miao Yi out?’ Yang Qing muttered in his head. ‘Isn’t she at odds with this guy all this time?’
Miao Yi lowered his head, and pondered over it as well. ‘What is this woman trying to do? Help me out? Is it even possible for her to be this kind?’
Yang Qing quickly stood up, and began shouting, "Whatever the case may be—he didn’t do his due diligence beforehand! He carelessly reported without clearly knowing what happened, and almost made me misjudge the state of the enemy. How can such a serious matter by overlooked as a ‘careless oversight’? If everyone handled their work so carelessly in the future, won’t our two Manors be in imminent danger? This can’t be excused so easily!"
Miao Yi’s eyes widened in surprise as he stared at him. ‘Can’t be excused easily? Does he plan on punishing me?’
Everyone else also raised their head, and stared at him. Only Xiong Xiao’s eyes suddenly brightened.
Qin Weiwei’s red lips were slightly apart, staring at Yang Qing in astonishment as well.
Yuan Fang and Lai Yuhan were waiting for orders outside the room; they looked at each other in dismay, their ears perked.
Yang Qing’s gaze fell onto Miao Yi’s face, then he waved his hand and ordered, "From now on. Miao Yi will be dismissed from the position of Cave Master of East Arrival Cave."
Miao Yi was instantly in a daze, feeling as though he had misheard it, even though he knew that he hadn’t. The Cave Master of East Arrival Cave—a position he had fought so hard for with his life—gone, just like that?
He clearly knew it in his heart, Yang Qing always had the power to do this.
He was not like Yang Qing back then when Lu Yu wanted to dismiss him, and transfer Yang Qing to South Edict Manor. At that time, Yang Qing managed to revolt in anger; but what would happen if he, Miao Yi, dared to revolt?
Watching Miao Yi carry a stunned expression on his face, Xiong Xiao almost failed to hold back his laughter. ‘Who asked you to make up flawed arguments? You thought you could get away just because there was no evidence?’
All Mountain Chieftains were experienced men; they knew very well the difference between a normal cultivator and a Cave Master. Not to mention the abundance of power and wealth one had from having ten thousands followers on hand. One could easily receive at least ten low-grade Orbs of Will each year, if one paid close attention. Even the normal servants of a Manor Head would not receive such treatment—though additional benefits were another matter.
Everyone clearly knew that if it was anyone else here today, this sort of punishment would be difficult to accept. The change in their perceived standing would be more painful than killing them; especially for someone like Miao Yi. After covering all the loose-ends on Xiong Xiao’s side, he was let down by the Manor Head because of a small flaw.
No wonder Manor Head didn’t get to the bottom of the matter earlier; he was actually waiting for Miao Yi to arrive to this point. It seemed like he had long since prepared to drive Miao Yi out of his position.
Yang Qing swept his formidable gaze across, and everyone, including Xiong Xiao, felt a cold shiver in their hearts. They realized that he was using Miao Yi as a warning to everyone! The fact that he could deal with Miao Yi in such a way, meant that he could deal with others the same too. If anyone dared to deceive their superiors like Miao Yi—treating Yang Qing as though he was blind or deaf—this, was the example that they should take heed of.
"East Arrival Cave is the territory of your Mount Calming Sea, therefore, you should select its Cave Master yourself." Yang Qing said to Qin Weiwei.
Qin Weiwei wanted to say something, but hesitated; she did not wishing to make the Manor Head lose face in front of everyone else. She simply cupped her hands and said, "As you command!"
As she stepped back, she shot a glance at the motionless Miao Yi.
"Your subordinate is here." Xiong Xiao stepped out of the crowd and cupped his hands.
"You heard what Qiu Xian just said. The strife between you and Miao Yi has already become infamous to outsiders. End whatever was going on between the two of you. If I discover any more of your underhanded schemes, you should be prepared to give up your Mountain Chieftain position, and surrender it to someone else!" Yang Qing said coldly.
What he was really saying was, ‘Don’t think that I don’t know what you have been doing behind everyone’s back. The fact that I haven’t blamed anyone for it before, does not mean that I won’t ever do it in the future. Forcing the punishment onto Miao Yi was in consideration for you being a senior subordinate of mine. There won’t be such preferential treatment next time.’
"Yes…" the reply was a little forced from Xiong Xiao. He was reluctant to let Miao Yi off like this; it was much easier to deal with Miao Yi now, since he had fallen out of power.
Yet he didn’t dare disobey the order, otherwise, he could lose even more.
"Manor Head!" Miao Yi suddenly spoke, as he cupped his fists, "I’m willing to withdraw from the Immortal Records. I plead that Manor Head can write off Miao Yi’s Immortal Records, and Miao Yi is willing to roam freely in the world as a loose cultivator!"
Everyone shook their heads secretly. Young people truly tended to act on impulse. He was holding a grudge in his mind, and didn’t wish to work under Yang Qing any longer!
It was true that Miao Yi was rather despondent. ‘Damn! I tried to save your daughter with all my might, and this is how you treat me? I would be better off going with Yao Ruoxian! As for this stupid Cave Master post that stresses my mind—I call it quits!’
Qin Weiwei immediately paid attention to both side. She didn’t know if Manor Head will ever agree to this.
"What kind of place do you think this is, that you can come and go as you wish?" Yang Qing said scornfully—‘Being defiant? Then I will add more to it.’—"Continue to listen to orders in East Arrival Cave. Mountain Chieftain Qin, you should make arrangement after you go back and let him be the Horse Deputy of East Arrival Cave!"
"Yes!" Qin Weiwei had no choice but to obey in front of everyone else.
Miao Yi’s eyes widened, until he almost lost himself to the rage. ‘From a Horse Deputy in Transient Light Cave, to a Cave Master of East Arrival Cave; and now he was being degraded from a Cave Master back to a Horse Deputy. While everyone else had progressed as they lived, he ended up living backwards. Caring for the horses of his former subordinates? How embarrassing that would be…’
Yang Qing waved his hand, "Only Mountain Chieftain Qin shall stay. The rest of you may leave!"
Under the order of the Manor Head, everyone cupped their hands, and excused themselves.
Under the eyes of all the Mountain Chieftains, Miao Yi left the shack with a long face, and strode down the mountain; not even sparing Xiong Xiao a second glance, as he stared coldly at Miao Yi from the side.
Yan Xiu had just come back then with Qian’Er and Xue’Er. They returned after the Cave Master Miao had sent men to inform them, and were waiting at the foot of the mountain just then.
Seeing Miao Yi coming down, the three of them cupped their hands together, "Cave Master!"
Miao Yi waved his hand and said sourly, "I dare not! The Cave Master of East Arrival Cave has switched hands. Call whoever you wish in the future!"
He strode off, leaving the three of them aghast...