At this moment, about forty steeds came rumbling down from the mountain forest in the night, shattering the pebbles by the riverside with their hooves and completely destroying the tranquility by the mountain stream.
The forty steeds lowered their speed and slowly approached. The men and women atop the dragon steeds took in the scene by the riverside and revealed expressions of glee.
The stacks of wood burning in the fire crackled as sparks flew.
Paying no attention to the forty steeds behind him, Luo Shuangfei caressed the two strands of hair on his mole, and placed his hands on his waist. "HAHAH! You want to guard against this Lord? Do you think you can? Even if you take every precaution, you still have to drink the water that’s used to wash this Lord’s feet!"
He turned to the crowd, "Isn’t it great to follow me? We’ve succeeded again. My words remain the same—‘Cowards afraid of death have no escape, and Loose Cultivators have no future, while we who provide for ourselves will have a bright future!'
"Boss is wise!"
"Boss is brilliant!"
"When Boss strikes, he never misses!"
The group of men and women shouted words of praise and flattery. Even though their compliments were beyond embarrassing, Luo Shuangfei seemed to be enjoying himself as though he was addicted to it. He pinched the two strands of hair on his mole, his shoulders quivering as he chuckled; and his pair of bushy eyebrows shaking, while his bright eyes curved as he laughed. He was being unbelievably haughty.
Still twidling the two black strands of hair, he came up to Miao Yi and lifted his leg to give him a couple kicks. "You’ve been acting all high and mighty this entire time, ignoring this Lord. Let’s see how well you can keep pretending later on, you bastard!"
Even though he was kicked a couple times, Miao Yi didn’t react at all as though he was dead.
With his eyelids getting heavier by the second, Tian Qingfeng tried his hardest to retain his consciousness; befitting of one with the highest cultivation in the party. However, he could no longer move a muscle. He couldn’t do anything as he watched the events before him unfold, thinking that all hope was lost.
Before they embarked on this long journey, he knew that it would be dangerous. However, he never expected that he would bump into such a group. If his guess was correct, these people should be the band of renegade cultivators that had recently been going around committing crimes. What bad luck.
They hadn’t even had a proper fight, before the entire party was already wiped out. These renegades were truly despicable.
Meanwhile, Charcoal let out a harrumph at Luo Shangfei. He was keeping his guard up against him.
Charcoal was the only one unaffected because at the time, he had gone far away to catch his fishes and prawns.
Luo Shuangfei turned to look at his own mount, then took another glance at Charcoal. He snickered, "What a handsome steed. It’s mine now."
He turned to the crowd and motioned, "Get down from your steeds and get moving! We’ll follow the old rules: sweep them clean, and leave no one alive. Once we’re done robbing them, leave immediately!"
"Alright!" The troupe smiled as they dismounted from their dragon steeds. Someone with a sharp eye glanced towards Luo Shuangfei and suddenly exclaimed, "BOSS. WATCH OUT-"
Before they could even react, a silver light flashed in Miao Yi’s hand from his prone position. The Inversed-Scales Spear suddenly appeared in his hand and in a shimmer of cold steel, its dragon roars echoed out as Miao Yi instantly launched an ambush.
Luo Shuangfei didn’t even have time to turn around before the sharp triple-edged spear viciously stabbed into his back with a bang.
However, a dark-red flash appeared at the point struck by the sharp spearhead. The powerful impact immediately sent the defenseless Luo Shuangfei flying over ten meters away.
As he struck out, Miao Yi used the momentum to get up. However, he felt something strange was going on. It seemed like the other party had some kind of armor protecting his body. Even when he launched such a hidden strike, he wasn’t able to kill the other person—almost as if he hadn’t even pierced his body.
On their journey, he already knew that Luo Shuangfei possessed a cultivation higher than his own at White Lotus Ninth Grade. That was why he tried to ambush him, seeking to kill him with a single strike. However, he never expected that even when he succeeded in launching an ambush with his full strength, he still couldn’t kill the other person.
After being blown away, Luo Shuangfei rubbed his back with the back of his hand. He grimaced in pain, "Nice try, brat. You actually dared to ambush this Lord. ALL OF YOU, GO! GET HIM!"
Luo Shuangfei quickly jumped up onto his own mount. With a flick of his hand, a long spear with a wide serrated edge appeared. Its serrated edge was like a hangnail.
The people who just jumped down from their mounts quickly got back up. They all flashed their weapons and hurriedly charged towards Miao Yi.
Miao Yi leapt up and landed on Charcoal’s back. Clouds of silver mist burst out of his storage ring, enveloping his entire body together with Charcoal.
Soon after mounting his steed, a heavy suit of armour enveloped them both, lending them a gallant and imposing aura.
The people charging towards him immediately stopped, and stared at him in wide-eyed disbelief. They were completely dumbstruck by Miao Yi’s appearance. It was a first for them to see a dragon steed equipped with battle armor. They were so stupefied that they momentarily lost the courage to take another step forward. Clearly, they were just an unruly bunch.
By the valley’s river, the flames of the bonfire flickered under the lustrous moon illuminating the mountain.
Charcoal was clearly quite excited to be in his new battle armor. Crisp cracking sounds rang as he stomped on the riverside pebbles. The newly-refined and vicious-looking spiked battle armor, along with his current robust figure, made him look all the more imposing and ferocious!
With his beast armor on, even though Miao Yi no longer had a helmet, it did not lessen the aura on both man and steed in their armors.
Ever since that helmet was destroyed by Zhang Decheng in the past, it had never been replaced.
Under the cold moonlight, Miao Yi sat on his steed with spear in hand, steady as a rock. Man, steed, and armor combined into one. They were shining under the moonlight, a mercurial radiance enveloping his body as the flickering bonfire blazed behind his back under the night sky, filling the valley with his astonishing aura.
Holding the spear angled in his hands, Miao Yi suddenly raised and thrust it out. As the dragon roars thundered, he thrust the spear towards the astonished Luo Shuangfei, and coldly said, "Do you dare fight me to the death!?"
"A fine fellow. We really bumped into a rich bastard today. Even his dragon steed is equipped with artifact armor. We’ve really struck gold today!" said Luo Shuangfei snickering. He swept his spear across and shouted, "Attack him together, and get rid of him. I only want his mount and his suit of armor. All of you can have the rest. ATTACK!"
Clearly with a great reward before them, there would definitely be folk brave enough to step forward. Members of the band immediately gave a shout, and howled as they charged forth on their dragon steeds.
Miao Yi swept them with a cold gaze, and discovered that there wasn’t a single person among them, whose lotus mark was above White Lotus Fifth Grade. They were truly an unruly bunch. It was no wonder they could only use such despicable means.
He had no idea how these people were gathered, being so bold as to to go about robbing in the Celestial Nation with just this amount of strength. What audacity!
He swept his hand out and leveled the Inversed-Scales Spear at them. Immediately, Charcoal charged towards the first ten people at the forefront like an arrow released from the bow.
A sword came slashing towards him. Miao Yi knocked it away with a swing of his spear. Then used the momentum to land a blow to the opponent’s head, smashing it open like a watermelon.
As he passed by the headless corpse, the spear in Miao Yi’s hands instantly struck out like a dragon, with ray after ray of its cold glint flashing about.
The next instant, screams echoed out, as none of them could receive a single strike from Miao Yi’s spear. Man and steed were as one. The long spear thrust itself straight into the crowd, as though slicing through the waves of an ocean. Miao Yi went on a killing spree, launching people off their steeds with flesh and blood splattered about.
In just a single confrontation, over ten people have fallen already.
As he lay by the riverside with heavy eyes, Tian Qingfeng saw a ray of hope.
Then, Charcoal swiftly swerved back and chased after the rest of them. The remaining twenty to thirty people were crippled by fear from that one confrontation. They couldn’t hold a candle up to the other person, and immediately beat a retreat, abandoning their Boss.
With the help of Charcoal’s speed, Miao Yi quickly let loose a flurry of strikes with his spear. Near-physical, formless blades shot out as explosions echoed out through the air. Another five to six people coughed out blood as they fell from their steeds.
The renegade cultivators that had been retreating together all this while, immediately scattered into the surrounding mountain forest. These renegades could hardly compare to the disciplined forces of the various abode of Immortals that were being governed by a strict administration. They struck in force when they had the upper hand, but when things weren’t going their way, they immediately made a run for it without having the slightest intent of doing battle. They were truly an unruly bunch through and through.
When he thought about how he had almost fallen into their hands, Miao Yi felt that it would have been rather unjust indeed.
It would have been fine if they continued running together, but scattering in all directions made Miao Yi uncertain who he should be chasing. He gave up the pursuit, then swung back around and struck out with his spear. A renegade that had been struggling on the ground was instantly stabbed to death. As he did so, his gaze shifted to Luo Shuangfei on the other end of the field.
After being abandoned by his subordinates, Luo Shuangfei staring in shock at the surrounding mountain forest. ‘All my subordinates are already gone in the blink of an eye?’
"You bastards. Even if you run away, shouldn’t you tell me first?" Luo Shuangfei shouted furiously at his surroundings, implying—‘You guys didn’t even bring me with you when you were running away. Does this Boss still exist in your eyes?’
"I HAVEN’T EVEN RUN AWAY YET. THE VICTOR HASN’T BEEN DECIDED. WHAT ARE YOU ALL RETREATING FOR? GET BACK HERE!"
This bellow seemed to have some effect. A few people reemerged from within the mountain forest, but they simply hid around and watched. Not daring to approach.
Seeing that there were still some brothers who hadn’t abandoned him, Luo Shuangfei immediately perked up. Leveling his spear at Miao Yi, he shouted, "HEY YOU! HALT. YOU DARE MURDER MY SUBORDINATES! I WILL HAVE YOUR LIFE!"
He immediately brought his mount into a charge, and whirled his long, serrated spear. It glowed with a white light—it was evidently a first grade transcendent artifact.
A wail of agony rang out as Miao Yi stabbed towards the ground, and gave a flick. The screaming person impaled by the spear was instantly sent flying at the incoming Luo Shuangfei.
It seemed this Boss cared quite a bit for his subordinates. He quickly swept his spear across, controlling the amount of force he used, wishing to pull his subordinate aside and save his life.
Unfortunately, Miao Yi was still charging forth with the momentum and didn’t give him a chance to do so. The dragon roars thundered out as he quickly closed in, and launched another strike.
‘BANG!’ Blood spurted out as that subordinate’s final screams of agony became one of despair.
Blood and flesh splattered about. A white sheen appeared on the Inversed-Scales Spear as it struck out.
Invoking his arts, Luo Shuangfei knocked the splatter coming towards his face away, and anxiously struck back to deflect the oncoming Inversed-Scales Spear. Realizing that the opponent’s cultivation wasn’t stronger than his own, he instantly perked up.
The two mounts instantly chased after one another as they carried their masters, and spun about in place.
The two atop their steeds crossed spears again and again. Their skills were both extraordinary, kicking up clouds of dust from the ripples of their transcendence energy. Miao Yi wouldn’t have been able to attack with such force if he was still below White Lotus Fifth Grade.
In an instant, the two of them had crossed spears more than ten times. Luo Shuangfei was more astonished, the more he fought. His spear art had been taught to him by someone extremely skilled. However, he could only continue to defend against this nameless person before him. If his cultivation weren't higher than his opponent, he probably wouldn’t have lasted this long. He had never faced such a situation before.
What he found even more astonishing was that even with his higher cultivation, the other party could still go head-to-head with him in a contest of strength. ‘We’re both using first grade transcendent artifacts. There shouldn’t be much of a gap in strength! What’s going on?’
He wouldn’t know the secrets of Miao Yi’s Inversed-Scales Spear—it could reduce the opponent’s attack by twenty percent, and had already leveled out the advantage brought about by his higher cultivation.
As he lay on the ground, Tian Qingfeng saw that Miao Yi managed to gain the upper hand against this White Lotus Ninth Grade cultivator, and relaxed the tension in his body. He couldn’t hold on any longer; he closed his eyes and fainted.
Miao Yi was surprised as well. Ever since he became a cultivator, he had never seen someone who could defend against his spear art for so many turns. It seemed like he truly was a frog in a well. If he hadn’t emerged from his shell, he would never have known that there were so many capable people in the world. Even the random leader of a band of renegade cultivators could be so skilled.