"Sorry to make Big Brother and Sister Meng wait."
Miao Yi cupped his fists as a gesture of apology as soon as he came back to the pavilion. Then he flipped his long gown, and took his seat.
The complexions of both Qian’Er and Xue’Er were still pale, it seemed they hadn’t yet regained their composure.
Huo Lingxiao asked, "Has everything been settled?"
"Just a small matter, it’s nothing worth mentioning. Those men were dismissed. Everything is fine now." Miao Yi chuckled, then began suggesting a toast.
‘Dismissed? He really did completely eliminate them!’ The two Hall Masters exchanged a glance, then proceeded to toast one another.
Miao Yi figured the pavilion was far enough from the commotion that the visitors here wouldn’t be able to hear anything. However, he was underestimating both his guests’ cultivation bases. They heard the entire commotion, and knew everything that had occured outside.
Yet neither of them revealed anything to Miao Yi, and kept casually smiling. They knew they didn’t have long to stay now.
They were on completely different levels from one another after all, so they didn’t have much in common to talk about. Staying longer simply wouldn’t be advisable.
While they were taking their leave, Huo Lingxiao took the initiative to remind Miao Yi about the pots of wine. Miao Yi then gifted them both with ten pots of wine each as a token of his regards.
Miao Yi wasn’t being a cheapskate by gifting only twenty pots of wine to his guests, nor was he looking down on this Big Brother whom he had pledged with. It was simply because he wasn’t obligated to be a good friend to begin with.
He more or less understood his own position. No matter how enthusiastically he had treated his guests, their disdainful manner of speech and behaviour showed that they didn’t actually wish to be close to Miao Yi. They kept a certain distance between themselves and Miao Yi, which made it difficult for them to become real acquaintances. In other words, both of them were looking down on Miao Yi.
Miao Yi could not fathom how these two could harbor such an air of superiority around them. Was it because that Xiao Yizhu was the Steed Deputy of Suppressing Second Hall?
If that wasn’t the case, Miao Yi wouldn’t have minded giving away a hundred thousand pots of wine to his guests.
The disguised Hall Masters didn’t consider that Miao Yi was a stingy person; they knew that these bejeweled nectars were hard to come by. Rather, they simply thought that Miao Yi didn’t have a bountiful supply under his belt, and that it wouldn’t be easy for any ordinary person to even receive a pot of these wines. They considered Miao Yi to be quite generous for giving them twenty pots of wine in one go.
Even if the two of them thought that the number of wines was insufficient, they wouldn’t argue over the matter of a few pots of wine due to their true identity and post.
In any case, they were still guests. Miao Yi considered himself to have done his part. Not only had he taken care of his guests with enthusiasm and respect, he personally accompanied them all the way to the mountain gates, and cupped his fists to send them off.
Miao Yi waited until their silhouettes disappeared down the mountain path before turning back and returning to East Arrival Cave.
When he came back to the courtyard and saw Qian’Er and Xue’Er cleaning up the pavilion, he went up to them and ordered, "About Senior Yao’s affairs, just pretend that you never heard it. If you meet Senior Yao later on, do not mention it. Treat him like you always have."
"Yes!" The two ladies replied….
On the mountain path, the two of them were simply riding their mounts when Huo Lingxiao suddenly spoke out, "No wonder this Little Brother was able to remain in East Arrival Cave and turn the tides twice for Yang Qing. He’s good at settling any situation at hand neatly and decisively with deadly resolve! It’s a pity that his perspective and cultivation base are still limited. If he has the chance to grow stronger in future, he won’t be simple to deal with!"
Wu Menglan gave a short ‘Oh’, before asking him, "How did you gather that? Is it because of how he dealt with those two from Mount Calming Sea?"
"That’s only one of the reasons," said Huo Lingxiao, shaking his head. "You weren’t able to retrieve any useful information that you needed. On the other hand, we provided some news that he wanted. We only remembered his enthusiastic welcome, and the food and wine we had. After all that, we were sent off. Don’t you think that was rather brilliantly done?"
Wu Menglan dark brows slowly furrowed. She thought it over carefully, before nodding and said, "It's definitely a waste of talent to station him as a Steed Deputy." She then turned to face him and said, "Great Hall Master Huo, what do you think of promoting your Little Brother?"
Huo Lingxiao smiled without saying a word. He had no comment….
"LITTLE SCUM MIAO YI! HOW DARE HE DEFY AND REBEL AGAINST HIS SUPERIORS!"
Two cultivators had their backs set against each other—their hairs stained in blood as seven cavalry units from East Arrival Cave encircled them. One of them was pointing at Miao Yi and screaming at the top of his lungs; he was unwilling to succumb to defeat without putting up a fight.
This was the second group that had come to get money and sponge off him. Like the first, they were men from the Sword Deviate Sect. It seemed that disciples from the Sword Deviate Sect were especially arrogant and boastful.
Moreover, these two particular men had come here to East Arrival Cave for the third time in the past few years. They managed to scrounge some benefits from their first two visits, but this time, their goal was thwarted. This was a prime example of ‘Receiving retribution for one’s deeds’.
Miao Yi stood on the platform near the doors of the East Arrival Grand Hall. He maintain an expressionless front, as he turned back to enter the hall.
Meanwhile, Qian’Er and Xue’Er finally let out a sigh of relief when they realized they didn’t have to do the dirty work. They quickly turned to follow Miao Yi as he proceeded into the main hall.
The mounted troops surrounding the two men went in for the kill. Even though the two possessed a cultivations base at White Lotus Sixth Grade, they were almost defenseless as they were inevitably killed. They weren’t able to mount their dragon steeds and flee, before the mounted troops came closer. It was easy to imagine what happened next after being surrounded by the ferocious troops of East Arrival Cave.
Unable to flee or evade the troops, the bodies of the two men were pierced by their long spears and sent flying in the blink of an eye. Both their mounts immediately fled, and were followed by a stream of cold glints. Blood rained into the air, leaving only the echoes of anguished screams.
As Yan Xiu watched the corpses being dragged away, he couldn’t help but forced a laugh. Six men from Mount Calming Sea had been killed, yet that person wasn’t afraid of things getting out of hand. He would have them all mercilessly killed, without caring how many would come for him….
Six people were lost in the span of two months from the troops of Mount Calming Sea. Since there was no news, it was only natural that a thorough investigation was launched.
They didn’t need to do much investigations, as one person or other would readily provide them with information. Those six men appeared to have gone to East Arrival Cave. As for what business they had there, many would already know the answer.
Of course, no one could really confirm if they had really gone to the East Arrival Cave. Once Mount Calming Sea asked for their whereabouts, East Arrival Cave would deny ever seeing them, claiming that no one had seen anyone from Mount Calming Sea coming to East Arrival Cave. Instead, they would asked what was the matter.
Six men had gone, and six had failed to return. Those who intended to go East Arrival Cave to fool around immediately had second thoughts. Even though they had no idea what exactly happened to those six, things had escalated to a point that caused them to think twice about making any arrogant moves against East Arrival Cave.
Inside a loft, a few pieces of the puzzle finally fell into Qin Weiwei’s hands. Although she could not confirm that the missing men had gone to East Arrival Cave, the clues all pointed to that very direction.
"East Arrival Cave?" Qin Weiwei stood up and pressed down on the table, furrows creasing her forehead. "What were they doing in the East Arrival Cave?"
Hong Mian replied, "Naturally to get some money and benefits."
"What do you mean?" Qin Weiwei was curious.
Hong Mian and Lu Liu glanced at each other and laughed wryly. This young mistress had been under the eaves of the Manor Head. Everyone knew about her relationship with Yang Qing, so no one had tried to blackmail her before. It was no wonder that she wasn’t familiar with that sort of predicament.
Lu Liu quickly explained the reasoning behind Hong Mian’s answer. Finally, she added, "It is actually quite common for such situations to arise. I’m afraid even Manor Head would need to deal with those sent from the upper echelons."
Qin Weiwei immediately understood the root of the problem. She could guess that none of that had happened to her, because of her relations with her foster father.
Then she asked, "Why did the missing men go to East Arrival Cave in particular?"
Hong Mian sighed, "All the abode of Immortals within Mount Calming Sea are aware that East Arrival Cave has the largest number of troops, which means that East Arrival Cave is the richest among them all. A lot of men were rumoured to possess storage rings and, after knowing that the School of Blue Jade had offended the Manor Head—with the majority of the troops in East Arrival Cave from the School of Blue Jade, the results are as you see before you. The veterans in Mount Calming Sea knew that Miao Yi isn’t one to be messed with, so none of them tried to touch him. However, the disciples from the three largest schools don’t share the same view. I fear the problem lies there."
Qin Weiwei was silent for a moment,, then she asked, "Have there been men going to East Arrival Cave like this in the past?"
"Inevitably, and highly likely!" Hong Mian nodded.
Qin Weiwei flashed her an angry gaze, ‘BAM!’. She slammed the tabled and said in a flat tone, "Those six have already met with disaster. Miao Yi has returned!"
Curious, Lu Liu asked, "How so? Wasn’t Miao Yi always out there?"
"Ah. So that’s how it is," Hong Mian came to a sudden realization.. "It was fine all this while because Yan Xiu didn’t want to cause any trouble. But what about Miao Yi? He is a man who was bold enough to lead a few dozen men to invade Mount Shaotai to pursue Xiong Xiao. This is his style. Those six men who met him wouldn’t have come to a good end. If one or two went missing, that would still be fine—but with all six of them are gone, then it is possible that Miao Yi has returned. Otherwise, Yan Xiu wouldn’t dare! East Arrival Cave will only do such things because of Miao Yi. I fear that those six men may never return!"
Lu Liu clicked her tongue and said, "Ever since Miao Yi was demoted to a Steed Deputy by the Manor Head, I think it’s been a decade since we last saw him?"
"I need to investigate this matter thoroughly!" Qin Weiwei abruptly turned around and commanded, "Issue a decree to East Arrival Cave. Order Miao Yi to come see me!"
Hong Mian and Lu Liu secretly shared a glance behind her back…...
Once East Arrival Cave received the order, Miao Yi began to make preparations for a long journey.
By pushing Yan Xiu to the forefront of responsibilities in East Arrival Cave, Miao wasn’t just a little free—he was absolutely free. He didn’t need to ask permission from anyone to go wherever he desired.
The post of a Steed Deputy was simply too low, so he could go anywhere he wished without asking permission from Mount Calming Sea. All he needed was a word of consent from Yan Xiu, and how could Yan Xiu say no to him?
Which was why he could leave anytime he wanted to. As long as Yan Xiu was still the Cave Master of the East Arrival Cave, he could go as long as he wished.
As for the destination, he was considering the capital city of the Fifth Earthly Branch. He wanted to go to the Chamber of Commerce in the Celestial Nation to exchange some Orbs of Will.
He originally had a hundred and seventy mid-grade Orbs of Will, and four hundred low-grade Orbs of Will. With the additional income yielded by East Arrival Cave, he had accumulated about two thousand low-grade Orbs of Will. However, Miao Yi had high living expenses as well.
Most people would earn their living from their territory to take care of their troops, but he, on the other hand, took care of his troops to protect his territory. In these past 10 years, the expenses he and his subordinates had incurred were quite a large sum.
Even if he still had a little less than eighty mid-grade Orbs of Will, he could still support everyone for a few years. However, he wanted to always keep a little extra with him, just in case something happened.
In fact, the two Manors and the cities under their direct jurisdiction actually had branches of the Chamber of Commerce in the Celestial Nation as well. However, the things he had with him were of a dubious nature.
These were the items that he had gathered from the seventy-two Fort Masters in the Sea of Constellations. If he exchanged a large amount of them in a small place, it would stand out too much.
It was said that the sworn brother of Commander Yuan, Bi Youbu, had a terrifying background. He caused the demise of his sworn brother, and had his concubines killed; so it would be best to be cautious of him. Additionally, members from the two Manors, and from Suppressing Second Hall recognized him; so he needed to consider those factors as well. In the end, he decided to run as far as possible towards the capital city of the Fifth Earthly Branch, and broaden his horizon at the same time.
After crossing into the realm of cultivation, he never really visited the other areas. He realized that he never knew of the world’s top artisan sect, until after conversing with Xiao Yizhu and Menglan—he had never even heard of them before! His perspective on the world was just that narrow and pitiful.
The capital city of the Fifth Earthly Branch domain was a great, and astoundingly flourishing city that had a population of ten million followers. Even though it would be a long and distant journey, his heart was filled with nothing but anticipation!