Miao Yi was surprised. Then he realized Luo Shuangfei’s storage ring was still in his hands. He took a few clothes out of his storage ring and tossed them over.
On catching his clothes, Luo Shuangfei turned and ran off to hide behind a giant boulder by the river. Rustling noises were immediately audible.
By the time he came out from behind the boulder, he had completely recovered from his previously scruffy appearance. The wound on his fair neck was already healed, and only a scab remained.
With only the items he had in hand and his storage ring already taken away, Miao Yi had no idea how he managed to heal his wound so quickly.
As though thinking of something, Luo Shuangfei was repeatedly biting his lips, when he heard a sudden commotion. He lifted his head to look.
He watched as Miao Yi swung his arm around, and dropped the branches from the river bank onto the smoldering bonfire. The flames then slowly grew larger again.
‘Thud!’ Standing in his silver armor, Miao Yi stuck his Inversed-Scales Spear into the ground and straightened it. His armor gave off a silver sheen as he stood against the gradually flaring flames of the bonfire.
Charcoal also hadn’t had his battle armor removed yet. He would occasionally sneeze, his four hooves stamping in boredom by Miao Yi’s side.
Noticing how quiet it was behind him, Miao Yi turned around to find Luo Shuangfei had already climbed on top of the giant boulder. He sat there hugging his legs with his knees drawn up, lifting his head to gaze at the starry night sky. Miao Yi had no idea what he was thinking of, but he slowly buried his head into his knees. He was oddly quiet. A whole different person from the previously energetic, despicable and shameless renegade cultivator Boss. Within the valley, he gave the others a feeling of fragility...
After the silence persisted for a while, Miao Yi slowly opened his shut eyes as though coming to some kind of decision. He suddenly broke the silence in the valley, "You’re a Loose Cultivator, right?"
With his head buried into his knees, Luo Shuangfei was startled. He raised his head and looked around, but all he saw was Miao Yi standing there with his back facing him, and reflexively asked, "Are you asking me?"
"Is there another person here besides you who could respond to me?"
"So what if I am?" said Luo Shuangfei in that hostile tone of his again.
Miao Yi pulled his spear out and turned around. The light of the flame lent his wolf greaves a silvery glow as he walked over, creating sharp crunching noises as he stepped on the pebbles.
Luo Shuangfei’s body scrunched up subconsciously, his arms hugging his chest.
Miao Yi stopped and stuck his spear in the ground where he was standing. He raised his head to stare at Luo Shuangfei on the giant boulder and said, "You don’t seem like a Loose Cultivator to me. How can a mere Loose Cultivator have so many treasures on him?"
Immediately, Luo Shuangfei retorted with an indignant tone, "How do I not seem like a Loose Cultivator? So what if I have many treasures? Why don’t you think about what exactly it is that I do? This Lord has merely failed in doing something absolutely simple today. Otherwise, all the treasures you have right now would have been mine."
"Are you really a Loose Cultivator?" Miao Yi asked again.
"So what if I am?" Luo Shuangfei gave off an air, as though he was proud of the fact that he was a Loose Cultivator.
‘It would be best if he really is a Loose Cultivator!’ thought Miao Yi. Then, his tone was serious as he said, "What good is there in being a Loose Cultivator? Not only do you not have a place to call home within the Six Sages’ domain, for someone like you who goes around robbing day after day, even if you’re able to make a small profit right now, it isn’t capable of sustaining you for long. Eventually, you’ll be caught by the system—just like how I caught you today. Fortunately, your luck is pretty good to have come across me, of all people. I am a person who appreciates people of talent, and I can’t bear to watch you fall like this. I am willing to put aside our grievances and offer you a future. What say you?"
Luo Shuangfei disbelievingly said, "Offer me a future?"—he pointed at his own nose—"You’re saying you want to give me a future?"
Miao Yi nodded, "That’s right. I want to offer you a future."
Luo Shuangfei’s large eyes were blinking in disbelief, as he inquired a little more, "You wish to recruit me?"
Of course! Miao Yi was intending to recruit him.
Originally, Miao Yi wanted to wait until Tian Qingfeng and the rest woke up before putting an end to him, then taking the artifact armor he had on away as well.
However, after giving it some thought, he didn’t know if he had left some kind of hidden card on Tian Qingfeng and the rest. In the event that he would discover some kind of leftover ailment on Tian Qingfeng and the rest after killing him, he would probably have to make the long, arduous trip to Glorious Cloud Sect on his own. He dreaded the thought of what would happen later on if he were to stumble here.
Should this happen, the most he could obtain was only an armor artifact, and a spear artifact.
He had plenty of first grade transcendent artifacts. The spear artifact wasn’t a very important treasure to him.
Even though the armor artifact was good, he had already proven during the clash with Luo Shuangfei previously that it was merely a defensive transcendent artifact. It didn’t possess any offensive capabilities, else Luo Shuangfei would have used it long ago.
The purple marten in the beast sack was a great treasure. He intended on taking it for himself when he took it away, but after giving it some thought, he realized that he couldn’t control it at all, so it was pointless even if he took it.
In a nutshell, out of all those treasures, that armor artifact was the one that was most beneficial to him.
Meanwhile, Luo Shuangfei was different. Not only was he able to control all these treasures, he possessed great skill in the spear. He had the makings of a great fighter in the frontlines.
Should he be able to recruit him to join his banner, then Luo Shuangfei would be his man, so naturally, Miao Yi could use his other treasures for his own use. For example, he could order him to use the purple marten if any of his men were poisoned.
Once he returned, whether it was in attacking Xiong Xiao or something else, with this fellow’s spear skills and his treasures, he could be of great use.
Recruiting him was definitely a great idea of killing two birds with one stone. He should recruit more talented individuals when he had the chance. He couldn’t place all his eggs in a single basket like the School of Blue Jade.
It was because of this decision that the situation has turned out this way.
Miao Yi nodded, affirming that he was indeed trying to recruit him.
However, Luo Shuangfei was still in utter disbelief. He pointed at his own nose again and asked, "I am not mistaken, am I? You wish to recruit me?"
Miao Yi loudly replied, "What’s wrong with serving me? Isn’t it better than you being a renegade cultivator that’s always being chased around and hiding all the time?"
‘Che!’ Luo Shuangfei lifted his head to look at the skies with an amused expression. After which, he jumped down from the giant boulder. Placing his hands behind his back like an esteemed lord, he circled around Miao Yi a couple times and examined him. Then he said, "Pretty big words. You actually wish to recruit me. Who are you? What qualifications do you have to recruit me?"
Miao Yi earnestly replied, "Fifth Earthly Branch, East Arrival Cave Master!"
"Wha… What?" Luo Shuangfei was stunned, his eyes seem like they were almost popping out. "A Cave Master? I didn’t hear wrongly, did I? A mere Cave Master wishes to recruit me?"
Miao Yi coolly said, "What’s wrong with that?"
Luo Shuangfei pointed at himself, then pointed at him. Suddenly, he broke out in laughter. He laughed maniacally, to the point that he could barely stand properly and leaned back on the giant boulder as he held his stomach. It looked like his stomach was cramping from the laughter; even his eyes seemed like they were about to tear up from laughing too much. He shook his hand vigorously at Miao Yi. He couldn’t muster the energy to speak.
"Why?" Miao Yi coldly said, "Don’t tell me this Cave Master position of mine isn’t better than the bleak future you have as a renegade Loose Cultivator?"
‘Whoosh!’ He struck out with the Inversed-Scales Spear and pressed it against the other person’s chest, as though warning him—‘You are nothing but a defeated opponent.’
Luo Shuangfei’s face twitched as he smiled, raising his arms in surrender and said, "Fine! You win. But I want to know, if I join that whatever-Cave-of-yours… What cave was that again?"
Miao Yi’s face darkened, "East Arrival Cave!"
"Oh! East Arrival Cave." With his arms raised in surrender, Luo Shuangfei chuckled, "What sort of benefits would I get if I join this East Arrival Cave of yours? Would I earn more than robbing?"
Immediately, Miao Yi rebuked him, "How can robbing sustain you for long!? I, on the other hand, can give you an official status within the system and allow you to free yourself from the current state you’re in, with neither status nor identity. There are many who yearn for such benefits. With the status of an official, when you get promoted in future, you will have an endless supply of power of will year after year. How can the wealth you obtain from a moment of robbing compare to the accumulated power of will over the years? You should know that the amount of Orbs of Will a Hall Master possessed in a year are over ten thousand. How long would you have to risk yourself robbing to get that amount? Furthermore, the former is a wealth obtainable year after year. You can simply sit around and enjoy the riches. Don’t tell me you’re not the least bit tempted!?"
Luo Shuangfei rolled his eyes, and pushed away the spear pressing against his chest. His tone suddenly becoming serious as he asked, "You know as well I, that that’s a Hall Master you’re talking about there. However, you are but a Cave Master yourself. If I accept your offer, don’t tell me I’ll have to be your abode of Immortals’ Horse Deputy, Hall Master? It’s a question of whether you can achieve that yourself. Aren’t you thinking a little too far on my behalf?"
Miao Yi’s lips twitched. His current status was precisely that of a Horse Deputy. He took in a breath of air, "As long as you’re willing to surrender yourself to me and serve me, I can assure you that it won’t be long before you become a Cave Master!"
Luo Shuangfei swept his hand, "I have no interest in being some pitiful Cave Master. I much prefer being a robber."
"I guess you don’t want your marten anymore then." Miao Yi said a single sentence then turned and walked away.
"Hold it!" Luo Shuangfei’s eyes widened as he stepped forward and stood in front of Miao Yi, "Are you trying to play some cheap trick? You want to go back on what you promised?"
Dragon roars thundered as he struck out with the Inversed-Scales Spear and forced Luo Shuangfei to back away, "How would I know if you really cured their poison or if you had some hidden card up your sleeves? I’m taking that marten of yours as hostage for now. Once I confirm that they’re fine, I’ll return it to you."
"You bastard! How dare you set me up! No one has ever dared to set me up!" Luo Shuangfei was mad. He lifted his arm and grabbed the air, when he remembered that his storage ring had already been taken away.
He couldn’t defeat the other party even with his spear artifact, much less without it. After being speechless for a while, he shouted towards Miao Yi, who was walking away, "If I agree to join this whatever-Cave of yours, will you return my Zi’Er to me?"
Miao Yi stopped, then turned around and said, "Yes! So long as you agree to it, I’ll return all your things to you."
"Fine!" Luo Shuangfei extended his arm and said, "I’ve agreed to your terms. Return Zi’Er to me."
"Don’t you know the rules? Only when you’ve formally registered with the Immortal Record would I consider you to have truly consented. I’ll hold on to your things for now. After you’ve received the binding status of the Immortal Record, it wouldn’t be too late to return them to you then."
"You…." Luo Shuangfei laughed in anger, "You want to restrict me using the status of the Immortal Record? What a joke. That useless thing can only restrict idiots like you. You want to restrict me? You’ll have to see if Mu Fanjun has the guts to do so or not!"
Miao Yi assumed he was just talking nonsense out of anger, and provoked, "Hmph. If you’re not afraid of the restriction, then there’s no harm in joining and giving it a try."
"Fine!" Luo Shuangfei gnashed his teeth in hatred and said, "I’ll promise you. When the time comes, if you don’t return Zi’Er to me, I’ll make sure you have something to cry about."
"It’s a promise!" Miao Yi nodded in acknowledgment.
Luo Shuangfei swept his sleeves and turned around, jumping back onto the giant boulder then tucked his knees angrily.
After he calmed himself down somewhat, he seemed to have thought of something. He turned to look at Miao Yi, sweeping his gaze up and down a few times as he mumbled to himself, "If I can be a Cave Master on this side, then I no longer have to hide around whenever I bring my subordinates robbing and instead can do so openly. That seems rather fun as well…."
Suddenly hearing giggling sounds from the other side, Miao Yi turned to look. He wasn’t sure what that fellow was secretly giggling about…
As Luo Shuangfei stated, two hours later, the poisoned dragon steeds lying on the ground started standing back up one by one, shaking their heads as they got to their feet. After which, Tian Qingfeng and the rest also massaged their temples as they got back up. It seemed that dragon steeds were stronger than cultivators in this respect.