In a short while, after they have cleaned themselves up, Qian’Er and Xue’Er returned and made their way to stand behind Miao Yi.
Miao Yi turned ato throw them a glance. He was a little surprised to realize how different Qian’Er and Xue’Er looked after putting on a new set of dresses.
Previously, even though both the two girls’ cultivation had reached White Lotus First Grade, their faces still carried traces of a delicate femininity and gave off a feeling of daintiness.
Now, their demeanors were serene and composed: their eyes gleamed with a faint sharpness in them, and their beautiful tanned faces carried the air of a warrior’s spirit.
A tightly strapped waist belt made their bosoms look bigger, their waists thinner, and their buttocks more firm. Their limbs were slender and well-proportioned, and it seemed that they had gotten slightly taller than before. As they stood upright with their heads high and their chests out, they looked both elegant and valiant in bearing.
The two girls never expected Miao Yi to stare at them like that. It was still a first for them to keep getting eyed by him so. The previously calm and sharp gaze in their eyes couldn’t help but shy away in embarrassment; hey couldn’t help getting all sorts of ideas.
Yao Ruoxian wasn’t the least bit bothered. Pulling out a few transcendent artifacts, he enveloped both humans and steed together before bringing them skywards; past the skies and into the distance.
As per their agreement, before they reached East Arrival Cave, Yao Ruoxian dropped the lot of them off then departed on his own.
There was no other reason for it, Yao Ruoxian just didn’t wish to meet with anyone else.
Truthfully, after all these years in East Arrival Cave, other than Miao Yi and the two handmaidens, only Yan Xiu had ever seen Yao Ruoxian.
As for the others, if Yao Ruoxian didn’t want to meet them, it would be difficult for them to be aware of his existence as well.
Charcoal was very familiar with these parts. After being away for ten years, he had finally returned to the territory around East Arrival Cave. Realizing that he wasn’t confined to the tiny island any longer, he immediately stomped his four hooves in joy.
Miao Yi jumped up on his back and, with a wave of his hand, invited the two girls to seat behind him.
"The two of you should have a steed to call your own now. Once we return, have Yan Xiu assign one to each of you." said Miao Yi, as he turned to face them.
When Su Biao of Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor last ambushed East Arrival Cave, he left a few perfectly uninjured dragon steeds behind. They had been kept in East Arrival Cave all this time.
"Understood!" replied the two girls excitedly.
Miao Yi brought his hand over to gently tap on Charcoal’s back. Charcoal immediately spread his four hooves, and broke into a gallop.
Charcoal had been a little restless from staying on the island. With his speed, that island was truly much too small, he would reach the end of it with just a casual trot. There was no fun to be had in that at all.
Charcoal made a beeline straight for East Arrival Cave. Then, carrying the three people on his back, directly jumped into the courtyard behind the grand hall.
Right after they dismounted, Charcoal made a dash for the spot he so dearly missed, flicking his small tail as he did. He found that this was the most comfortable place to lay down on—after all, it was clean and there were no bug randomly creeping about.
Yan Xiu quickly came over upon hearing news of their arrival to pay his respects. He was quite surprised to see how different the auras of the two girls were from before.
Miao Yi began walking towards the antehall, and asked, "I trust everything has been fine as of late?"
"Everything is fine. The Mountain Chieftain only came by once for a brief inspection. After she heard that you were out training, she even gave me a good scolding—ordering me to manage East Arrival Cave’s men properly and not get into any trouble." replied Yan Xiu.
‘Qin Weiwei?’ Miao Yi laughed. That woman definitely didn’t have any good intentions in seeking him out. He could not be bothered with her.
Once Yan Xiu reached the doors of the antehall, he noticed a dragon steed sleeping under the eaves. Wondering if Miao Yi had changed his mount, he asked in puzzlement, "What happened to Charcoal?"
Hearing this, Charcoal harrumphed at him, then lowered his head to continue sleeping as he swished his tail around.
"Isn’t this Charcoal. He’s just gotten thinner." Miao Yi casually pointed Charcoal out, before entering his quarters.
The two girls closely followed suit behind, and entered after him.
Yan Xiu stood at the door, stunned. He stared at Charcoal, and kept giving him the once-over. He was a little afraid to believe it. He doubted that the once-fat Charcoal, who never ever lost a little bit of weight even if he wanted to, could become such a handsome steed.
However, after seeing that difficult-to-imitate behaviours of his, he slowly started to accept it.
Someone had always maintained the cleanliness of the courtyard. Once Miao YI entered and sat down, Qian’Er and Xue’Er stood by his sides once again.
After Yan Xiu answered a slew of questions from him, Miao Yi gave Yan Xiu a hearty congratulations.
The reason was, Yan Xiu’s cultivation had broken once again through, to White Lotus Fifth Grade.
After Yan Xiu became the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave, Miao Yi would give out the wages of Orbs of Will for everyone else in East Arrival Cave. Of the remaining twenty-four Orbs of Will from the cave’s annual tribute, Miao Yi would take away fourteen and pass the remaining ten to Yan Xiu. Thus, Yan Xiu wasn’t treated too poorly. It was more or less similar for Cave Masters of the other Caves.
From this perspective, Yan Xiu was fulfilling the role of Cave Master perfectly.
After ten years, Yan Xiu had accumulated over a hundred low-grade Orbs of Will. This was something unimaginable for him in the past. It was a pity that Luo Zhen had died prematurely, and couldn’t share in his good fortune.
A White Lotus Fourth Grade cultivator would only need forty low-grade Orbs of Will to break through to White Lotus Fifth Grade. To Yan Xiu, who had an ample supply of Orbs of Will, it was not considered fast to break through to Fifth Grade after spending almost ten years.
He had no idea that Miao Yi had already broken through White Lotus Fourth Grade and beyond in that time, and was already a White Lotus Sixth Grade. Miao Yi was already focusing his efforts towards the Seventh Grade. The gap between the two of them wasn’t considered small at all.
Once he gained the strength of a Fifth Grade, it was no longer too far-fetched for Yan Xiu to play the role of East Arrival Cave Master. However, the troops of East Arrival Cave were truly a little monstrous, even the lowest cultivation was a White Lotus Fifth Grade. They completely overshadowed the Cave Master’s radiance.
The two of them discussed various matters. After Yan Xiu gave a detailed report on the situation in East Arrival Cave to Miao Yi, he had nothing else to add and soon took his leave.
"The conditions on the island were poor, so I never had a proper bath. This time, I’ll have to get a good wash in." Miao Yi softly said, then got up and left.
Upon entering the silent quarters used for cultivation at the rear, Miao Yi made his way to the side of the bath and spread his arms out.
Carrying the bathing amenities with them, Qian’Er and Xue’Er immediately put them down and stepped forward to help him undress.
The two of them had long gotten used to seeing Miao Yi’s naked body, so he had nothing to be shy about. Completely in the nude, he got down into the bath and leaned against the wall of it, soaking in the warm spring waters with a relaxed expression on his face.
At the top, the two girls were also disrobing themselves, their voluptuous figures covered by only a tube top and a short skirt. They gently lowered their legs down into the water.
After ten years of bitter training, not a single ounce of fat could be seen on the two girls’ bodies. They were shapely in places that should be, and thin in places where it mattered. Their limbs were long and slender, and the outline of muscles could even be seen on their abdomens. Together with their beautiful, endearing faces revealing a trace of boldness—the view right then was filled with an exotic charm.
The only flaw was that their skin had become deeply tanned above their collarbones, past their elbows, as well as their calves. It was a stark contrast in color compared to the whiteness of their bodies.
Miao Yi couldn’t help but giggle.
Leaning close to his sides and dousing his body with water as she washed him, Qian’Er couldn’t help but ask, "What are you laughing about, Master?"
Miao Yi laughed, "Do the two of you not realise that your skins have a sharp contrast of black and white?"
The two girls looked at themselves. Xue’Er stuck her tongue out and asked, "Is it very ugly?"
She was clearly implying, ‘Do you not like it?’
"Qian’Er and Xue’Er are the prettiest girls there are. How could you be ugly?" Miao Yi laughed.
Qian’Er lifted one of his arms up and placed it over her own shoulder. Continuing to wash him, she smiled and said, "We know you are just trying to make us happy. Deep down in your heart, you definitely don’t consider us to be beautiful."
Miao Yi then curiously asked, "Why do you think so? Both of you were selected from tens of thousands in East Arrival City. How could you not be beautiful?"
Qian’Er pondered over it for a while. She decided not to hide her thoughts and bluntly said, "When those sisters previously in East Arrival Cave were still alive, they said that after they reached their master’s side, they were quickly bedded by their master. However, you have never touched us, so we were sure that Master did not think that Xue’Er and I were beautiful."
The hand that was resting on Qian’Er shoulders easily pulled on her ear in mock anger as Miao Yi said, "What a shameless girl to even say such a thing."
Qian’Er knew he was joking, so she immediately pretended to beg for his forgiveness. "It is only because I do not dare hide things from you, that I told you the truth as it is."
Miao Yi pinched her cheeks, then relaxed his hand as he shook his head and said, "The two of you are overthinking it. I have two beautiful women who are a feast for the eyes by my side. How could I not be tempted? It’s just that I have other matters plaguing my mind at the moment. Once I have finished doing the things I need to do…." He used his other arm and raised Xue’Er’s chin as he continued, "The two of you are mine from the beginning. You are the feast placed by my side, and I can have you anytime I want. Wouldn’t you say so, Xue’Er?"
The air wasn’t so stiff between the three of them when they were together in private. They could be awkward for a time, but not after about ten years. After all, they were always having skin-to-skin contact. Saying such teasing words were already commonplace.
Xue’Er allowed him to hold on to her chin as he pleased, as she curiously asked, "What do you want to do?"
Miao Yi gave her nose a light pinch. He laid down on her body, resting his head on her buxom chest, and raised one leg up from the water; propping it on Qian’Er’s shoulder. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the moment, then intentionally changed the topic, "The both of you have grown calluses on your hands. If I don’t focus, I might even think I’m being washed by the hands of two men."
The two girls sniggered. They stopped asking anything more, as they knew he didn’t want to mention it…..
Suppressing Second Hall. The mountain peaks towered up high, bathed in the golden radiance of the morning light.
Suddenly, a long cry reverberated forth from the inside the palace hall. It echoed across the mountains and frightened the morning birds away. All eyes in the surrounding mountains focused their gazes on this place. Even the guards of the palace gate turned their heads to see what had happened inside the palace gate.
Tian Yu and Liu Xing quickly rushed out from the Hall Master’s sleeping quarters, to the silent quarters used for cultivation. Just as they reached the door, they bumped into a bright-eyed Huo Lingxiao as he was walking out. They quickly saw that the silhouette of a six-petaled red lotus flower was shining on Huo Lingxiao’s forehead.
It was as they expected! Tian Yu and Liu Xing revealed expressions of joy as they kneeled with one knee, and respectfully said, "Many congratulations to the Hall Master!"
Huo Lingxiao laughed, and laughed his heart out. For a cultivation at his realm, it was truly difficult for him to make a single step forward. It had taken him over a whopping three hundred years to grind through to Red Lotus Sixth Grade from Red Lotus Fifth Grade, and this was still considered fast.
When he had broken through, he couldn’t help releasing the pent-up emotions he held in his heart for the past three hundred years in a long cry. It was absolutely exhilarating! All the tension in his body and mind were shed.
"No need for formalities!" Huo Lingxiao said, and he extended his hand to beckon them to stand. Taking a few large strides forward,he added, "Send an invitation over to Wu Menglan, and have her come over to celebrate with me. I want to present her with a toast of celebration!"
Tian Yu and Liu Xing pursed their lips up in a smile. The knew their Hall Master was trying to anger Wu Menglan, or he just trying to show off to her. They remembered how their Hall Master had pursued Wu Menglan for a very long time in the past, but sadly he had never been able to win her favor.
"Understood!" both of them answered simultaneously.
As he walked into the hall, Huo Lingxiao shook his hands and brushed his robes. Sitting in his rightful place, he flung his hands out and said, "How could I not have any wine on such a joyous day?!"
Liu Xing immediately took out a pot of fine wine from her storage ring and opened it, presenting it to him with both hands.
Huo Lingxiao grabbed it and lifted his head to chug it down. He allowed the wine to trickle down the sides of his cheeks to soak his body. All because he was extremely thrilled.
However, after finishing half the wine pot, he placed it down and he shook his head, saying, "This wine isn’t good enough. After drinking the wine given to me by that cheapskate little brother of mine, my Suppressing Second Hall seems to have run out of fine wine. Have East Arrival Cave gift some fine wine over, and celebrate with me!"
The two girls shared a glance. Then, Tian Yu asked, "Is Hall Master really planning on having East Arrival Cave gift fine wine over?"