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"Very well!" Miao Yi nodded, and accepted the terms. Tightening his grip on the Inversed-Scales Spear, he placed it back into his storage ring. Then with a flick of his wrist, a chained morningstar appeared in his hands. He erased the art source within this transcendent artifact and imbued it with his own.

Luo Shuangfei was still wondering what Miao Yi was trying to do, when he abruptly raised his arm and flung the shining morningstar at him.

Luo Shuangfei was taken by surprise. ‘BANG!’ With a sweep of his spear, he knocked the morningstar away. However, the instant they clashed, he realized that the amount of force within the morning star didn’t seem like it was intended as an attack.  

"Since you’re going to be a hostage, you’ll have to look like one. You better surrender easily, otherwise…" as he spoke, he raised the hand gripping onto the purple marten.  

"Don’t! I’ll do as you want, alright?" Luo Shuangfei immediately withdrew his spear artifact and held both his arms out, allowing himself to be restrained.

Miao Yi twirled the morningstar around once more as he invoked his arts to control it. The morningstar began to emit a radiant glow, and nimbly danced in mid-air like a snake. Dragging its long chain along, it bound Luo Shuangfei’s hands to his back.

Against a cultivator at Luo Shuangfei’s level, normal chains were no longer enough to keep him bound, unless he was tied up by having his limbs pierced through the same way Pi Junzi was back in the Sea of Constellations. 

However, it was obvious that Luo Shuangfei definitely wouldn’t allow him to do that.

Which was why Miao Yi had instead taken out a first grade transcendent artifact—the chained morningstar. Erasing the remnant art source inside, he imbued the morningstar with his own art source and had it acknowledge him as its master

If he didn’t have the recognition of ownership from the transcendent artifact and used it to directly tie up the other person, then it would have been even more useless than a normal chain. The other person could easily invoke his arts to control the morningstar. Only by gaining the morningstar’s recognition, could he use it to tie up the other party.  

A single chain hung between the two of them under the moonlit sky, giving out a radiant glow.

With both his arms tied behind his back, Luo Shuangfei secretly tried to invoke his arts and free himself from the restraint. Not only was he unable to struggle free, Miao Yi threw a piercing glare at him. Evidently, his attempts had been discovered.

"Shouldn’t you release Zi’Er now?" Luo Shuangfei grumbled.

His tone sounded like he had been wronged. Miao Yi had no idea if it was because his robbery attempt had failed and instead ended with his capture, or, because he had never been subjected to such humiliation.

Miao Yi gave a cold snort. Suddenly, he raised his arm and pulled at the chain.

Luo Shuangfei gasped in surprise. He couldn’t stop his body from falling off the dragon steed. ‘BFFTT!’—clouds of dust were kicked up as Miao Yi dragged him several metres away. Immediately after, he hopped up and shouted, "What the heck are you doing!?"  

"I’m warning you. You better not try anything funny!" Miao Yi said, attaching the other end of the chain to Charcoal, as though warning Luo Shuangfei—‘If you dare try anything funny, then it won’t be like what I did just now. Instead, I’ll have my steed drag you around a few laps.’

Luo Shuangfei ground his teeth and growled, "Let go of Zi’Er."

Miao Yi jumped off his steed. His wolven greaves creating sharp, crunching noises as he trodd on the pebbles. With a flick of his wrist, the Inversed-Scales Spear reappeared in his hands.

‘FSSHH!’ The razor-sharp tip of the spear was now resting on Luo Shuangfei’s shoulder, its triple-edged blades practically hugging his entire neck. If he dared to make any sudden moves, Miao Yi could have that slender crane-like neck of his spurting blood with a single pull of the spear.  

Raising the purple marten in his grasp, Miao Yi asked, "How do you cure the poison?"

"First let it go!" After saying this, Luo Shuangfei saw that Miao Yi didn’t respond. Instead, he saw a gleam in his eye that told him Miao Yi was still suspicious. He ground his teeth and said, "I’m already in such a state. What are you afraid of?"

Miao Yi acted decisively then. With a swing of his arm, the purple marten escaped its captor and landed on the ground. Then, it quickly scuttled off towards Luo Shuangfei, climbing onto his shoulders and began squeaking beside his ear. Miao Yi didn’t know what it was saying, but its green eyes seemed filled with fear when it looked at him. He had no idea what part of him was so frightening. 

Luo Shuangfei also squeaked back at it a couple times, then pursed his lips towards the river bank.

The purple marten perched on his shoulder immediately scampered off, and hurriedly making its way to the river bank. Then, it jumped onto the bodies of those poisoned, and bit down on the back of their arms. 

Miao Yi’s eyes gleamed as he observed with his transcendence vision. He saw that in those being bitten, the black aura faintly seeping out from the skin of their faces began to quickly receed. Then, a black mist would be sucked out of the bite wound on the back of their arms, and be quickly absorbed into the purple marten’s belly.  

Once the darkness on the back of the victim’s hand completely disappeared, the purple marten would then quickly jump onto another person’s body and do the same.

One after another, as the black mist on the victims’ bodies was absorbed into the purple marten’s belly, its eyes started to regain its green shine and vigor, and the purple glow on its body was appearing once more—a sign that its previously expended vitality was being recovered, as though the poisonous mist was something very nourishing to it.

Soon, the purple marten finished absorbing the poison from both the men and their steeds. Then it quickly scuttled back to Luo Shuangfei’s shoulders; all while continuing to stare at Miao Yi in fear.

"The poison within their bodies has all been absorbed. Now let us go."

Miao Yi asked, "Then why haven’t they woken up?"

"They fell prey to the ‘Black Rakshasa’. The poison has only just been removed. How could you expect them to wake up immediately after? In a couple hours, they will naturally awaken."

"Black Rakshasa?" Miao Yi muttered. He didn’t know what poison it was, but he could afford to wait a couple hours. Staring at the purple marten on Luo Shuangfei’s shoulder, he asked, "Is this marten of yours capable of only curing a single type of poison, or various types of it?"

"That’s of course—" the proud Luo Shuangfei said a few words, before abruptly stopping himself, and eyed Miao Yi cautiously, "What’s it to you? Hurry up and release me."

Miao Yi could tell from his reaction that this purple marten of his could probably cure quite a number of different poisons. He was quite astonished, and secretly praised the marten for being such a valuable asset; it was such a waste for it to be in the hands a mere renegade. Although, come to think of it, this renegade cultivator possessed quite a number of quality goods.

His gaze trailed over the leather armor on Luo Shuangfei. He didn’t ask any other questions, and just blankly said, "There’s no rush. They have yet to awaken."

Luo Shuangfei began shouting angrily, "I’ve told you already, they will naturally wake up in a couple hours."

"Your words have no proof. Why should I trust you? Be obedient and wait!" his words rendered Luo Shuangfei speechless. Then, Miao Yi eyed the purple marten on his shoulder, and said, "Keep this monster that’s been constantly glaring at me away. It just took a bite out of me, yet it still has the gall to glare at me. Does it really think that I won’t kill it?"

When Luo Shuangfei heard that Miao Yi might kill his purple marten, he immediately blew a whistle. The purple marten instantly dashed inside the beast sack around his waist.

He didn’t expect that right at that moment, Miao Yi would suddenly strike out—pulling away the beast sack from around his waist, and quickly tying up the opening. The purple marten could forget about running away now. Such a treasure had fallen into his hands just like that. Miao Yi hung the beast sack around his body.  

Luo Shuangfei’s eyes widened as he bellowed, "Bastard! You’re not keeping your promise! You shitty asshole. Return my Zi’Er!"

Miao Yi pressed his spear over his neck. Blood instantly seeped out from the snow-white skin of his neck, and he no longer dared to move.

However, his worst fears had yet to be realized. With him restrained, Miao Yi suddenly placed his hands on Luo Shuangfei’s body and tried to take off his armor artifact.

This armor artifact was different from Miao Yi’s battle armor, which was rigid and couldn’t be forcefully taken off. On the other hand, Luo Shuangfei’s armor artifact was a leather shirt that was supple to the touch. However, it was able to block Miao Yi’s ferocious attacks. Miao Yi had no idea what kind of treasure it was.

Miao Yi was a little curious whether or not this fellow was hiding some other treasure underneath his leather armor. Else, why would he so willingly surrender and become a hostage? He didn’t even want to take off this artifact armor to give him as insurance—it was very strange. If it were anyone else, they would obviously know that they wouldn’t be able to keep this leather armor once they became a hostage.

"What are you trying to do?" Luo Shuangfei was utterly horrified as he watched Miao Yi rapidly unclasped the buttons on his leather armor. His voice couldn’t help but quiver as he said, "I’m warning you. There aren’t many who would dare touch me in this entire realm. You had better—"

He suddenly felt a cold breeze on his body. Miao Yi had already taken off the leather armor. Luo Shuangfei shut his quivering lips and closed his eyes. He wanted to turn his head to the side, but the edges of the Inversed-Scales Spear hung close to his neck and held it in place.

Miao Yi had taken the leather armor off up till the arms, but he then realized that it would be difficult to completely take it off with the other person’s hands tied up. He turned back to look at the men that had yet to awaken by the river bank. Afraid that this bastard still had another hidden card to play, Miao Yi didn’t dare push him too hard.

Truth be told, Miao Yi still suspected that the other person had something up his sleeve. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have surrendered so easily. ‘Surrendering because he didn’t want to take off his leather armor? That didn’t make sense. He definitely had some kind of contingency, else he wouldn’t be so bold.’

Underneath the leather armor was a spotless and fair-skinned body. Miao Yi didn’t discover anything hidden at all.

The leather armor was pulled all the way down to his bound hands. Luo Shuangfei’s upper body was almost completely naked at this point. Under the radiance of the moon, his skin was all the more fair and unblemished like jade; his lily-white waist as slender as can be. His figure was beautifully slim and elegant, giving him the seductive allure of a woman.

The only manly trait on Luo Shuangfei’s body were the two large, sinewy pectoral muscles on his chest.

There was point in his skin being fairer; his figure, nicer; and his chest, bigger. Miao Yi had no interest in men. He closely inspected Luo Shuangfei’s practically naked upper body, but he couldn’t find any hidden treasures.

He even felt all over Luo Shuangfei’s trembling skin; it had a pleasantly smooth and glossy feel to it. Then, he poked at those firm pectoral muscles of Luo Shuangfei with his fingers, making sure that they were truly made of flesh and not hiding anything.

Having his body touched all over by Miao Yi, and even being prodded in his chest, Luo Shuangfei’s face flushed red, looking as though he wanted to bash his head into a wall and die.

The heart-shaped necklace hanging atop of his snow-white chest caught Miao Yi’s attention. It was very intricate and beautiful, but he couldn’t find anything peculiar about it after examining it.

Miao Yi also examined the storage ring on Luo Shuangfei’s fingers, but he didn’t find anything inside. The only noteworthy item was that spear with the serrated edge. Miao Yi wasn’t interested in all the other random bits, so he didn’t take this storage ring away.

Then, he patted about Luo Shuangfei’s thighs over his pants.  

After not finding any treasures, Miao Yi pulled his leather armor back up and helped him clasp the buttons back on, as though to reassuring Luo Shuangfei and implying that—‘I’m only checking you to make sure you can’t play any tricks. I have no intention of stealing your armor artifact.’

Miao Yi didn’t expect Luo Shuangfei to slowly open his eyes and grind his teeth—as if enraged from the shame of it all—before clearly saying, "You will pay for what you’ve done today. Release me!"  

"Of course I can’t let you go yet!" Miao Yi circled around him and took off his storage ring. He waved it in his face, using this gesture to warn him—‘I have to first confiscate the things you can use to resist me before letting you go.’

Miao Yi withdrew the chained morningstar binding Luo Shuangfei, and returned what limited freedom he had. Since he had shown so much anxiety for the purple marten, now that it’s in Miao Yi’s hands, he wasn’t scared that Luo Shuangfei would run away.

Based on Miao Yi’s earlier actions back in the Sea of Constellations, he would have definitely killed Luo Shuangfei first before taking away his last remaining armor artifact. However, he was worried that this fellow had some kind of contingency, so he could only hold back his urge for now, and wait for the others to awaken before acting further.  

"What are you following me for? I’m warning you. Don’t come too close to me!" Miao Yi abruptly turned back and leveled his spear at the approaching Luo Shuangfei.

The corner of Luo Shuangfei’s eyes were slightly reddened as he shouted, "Asshole. I want to change my clothes. Give me my clothes!"

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