Watching her remain motionless with her face flushed red and looking immensely uncomfortable, she didn’t seem like a Loose Cultivator who would be so shameless that her child would discriminate against her. He understood her situation after listening to what she had to say. It was little wonder that she found it difficult to return to Flowing Clouds Dune Sea, it turned out she had enemies there. She would only be sending herself to her death should she return with her current cultivation base.
Miao Yi asked, "Is the one downstairs the child you escaped with?"
Lin Pingping noded in response, "Yes. We settled here after escaping from that place. There’s little I can do when my child doesn’t have the aptitude for cultivation. I can only raise her like a normal child. I feel relieved watching her grow up and marry someone but as a mother, I feel sorry for her. I couldn’t prepare any dowry for her and on top of that, I have troubled them both so much. I really feel sorry for them."
Tian Qingfeng hesitated a little before saying, "From your looks, you must have been quite beautiful when you were younger. It would not have been difficult to find someone better to support you."
Lin Pingping understood his meaning. Her face appeared pained as she continued, "As you said, I don’t mean to praise myself, but I was indeed quite attractive in my youth. Because of that, it wasn’t difficult to find work in the city back then and it was considerably easier raising my daughter. Coming from a family of great status, I’m not so shameless that I would sell my body. It’s just that as I became older, the circumstances have become so bad that I have to sacrifice my dignity in order to survive. If I don’t force myself to flaunt my body, no one will even take notice to me anymore."
When she thought about how she had pulled her clothes down to reveal parts of her full bosoms to these men earlier, Lin Pingping’s face flushed red even further. She quickly added, "I’ve only ever flirted to survive. I have never done prostitution before."
It wasn’t important to them whether she sold her body before or not. They could only secretly sigh after listening to her words. They could well imagine how difficult it was for a woman from a great family to pull in customers for a living in this age.
Luo Shuangfei shot an odd look at Lin Pingping, he clearly knew what he had done to her. He let out a dry cough and said, "You’ve worked hard to raise this daughter of yours, yet she doesn’t even respect you. Instead, she wants to send you away. Why do you still want this daughter?"
Fearing that this man would want to destroy the restaurant again, Lin Pingping quickly defended her, "Actually, it was good in the beginning. But as time passed, it was inevitable that we would have a difference in opinions. They still treat me well."
The situation was akin to an ungrateful child standing by the bedside of an ill parent. Cultivators always lived longer than ordinary people. Luo Shuangfei let out a cold sigh as he and the others came to have a little more understanding about her current situation.
The couple continued to provide generous servings of food and drinks to their tables. There wasn’t even a single waiter inside the restaurant to serve them.
Everyone tried the food but did not compliment them. The taste was indeed nothing special. It was of no wonder the business was doing poorly. No one said a word for Lin Pingping’s sake.
Luo Shuangfei was the only one who cocked his head at the couple and spat the food he was chewing onto the floor.
His actions were a little exaggerated. Even though the taste wasn’t great, it wasn’t terrible to the point of vomiting—it just wasn’t appetizing enough. The couple were quite embarrassed because of that.
This slap to their faces was a bit extreme, but the couple could finally understand why their business was doing so poorly.
A few tables were filled with food and wine. Everyone casually took a bite out of the food.
Indeed, they were unappetizing. These men couldn’t sacrifice their tongue for the sake of Lin Pingping anymore. There was no need to force themselves to do so either, so they got up and left.
As they went downstairs to settle the bill—‘BAM!’—Luo Shuangfei slammed the counter, frightening the owners, "How much!"
The owner looked at Lin Pingping in embarrassment before forcing a smile and saying, "Forget about the odd numbers. That will be three thousand White Crystals!"
"The taste was so horrible, yet you dare charge us this much? If it wasn’t for your mother-in-law, I would crush your restaurants into bits," huffed Luo Shuangfei. He began taking money out to pay the bill when Miao Yi casually tossed a piece of Gold Crystal onto the counter.
"Keep the change." Miao Yi left with those words, signalling to Luo Shuangfei that he should not interfere any longer; then led his men off the premises.
One piece of Gold Crystal was equivalent to ten thousand White Crystals. It meant that Miao Yi had given an extra seven thousand. This was obviously done on behalf of Lin Pingping.
"Honored guests. Please take care." This small surprise made the couple escort their guests to the front door as quickly as possible.
Lin Pingping hastened her steps to catch up to Miao Yi’s side. She proceeded to offer her apologies, then suggested bringing Miao Yi and the others somewhere else for a meal.
Miao Yi rejected the proposal with a wave of his hands. They would be fine even without eating anything for ten days or half-a-month. What’s more, they just lost their appetite. He diverted the topic and asked, "Where are the best attractions in the city?"
Lin Pingping replied, "If it’s the best attraction you’re after, should you choose to stay a few more days, the various Palace Lords will be coming to visit the Overlord in a few days for the handover of the annual tribute. Courtesans from the major brothels will be leading the activity held in the ‘Jade Lake’ on the night of the annual festival. It will be an extremely lively event."
Luo Shuangfei cheered up immediately. He liked lively atmospheres. "Great! Then we shall stay a few more days—" Just as he was saying so, his expression abruptly froze as he realized he was making decisions on behalf of Miao Yi again. Luo Shuangfei turned his head meekly around to glance at Miao Yi, then turned his statement into a question by adding, "—if that is alright?"
It seemed he was still a little shaken by Miao Yi chasing him away in the midst of his rage earlier on, and knew that he had to stay humble from now on.
Miao Yi intended to expand his knowledge when he came to the city. Hearing that the Palace Lords of the Fifth Earthly Branch would soon be arriving, he became rather excited.
The highest ranking person he had ever seen was Yang Qing. He wanted to see if he could have the chance to discover how the respective Palace Lords looked like. It was customary for the Hall Masters under the Palace Lords to travel together for the handover of the annual tribute. Perhaps he could even discover how the Hall Master of Second Suppressing Hall looked like. Miao Yi nodded, consenting to stay for a few more days.
Luo Shuangfei immediately cheered and danced for joy.
There was a place that they must absolutely visit when coming to the city, and that was the ‘Heart Island’. A place designed to accommodate cultivators gathering in the city. As the name suggested, it was an island situated in the middle of the river.
They rented a boat and enjoyed the scene of other boats floating by. Eventually, they drifted towards the shore and hopped onto the island.
The cultivators on this island were all in smaller groups, either moving about or sitting on the ground. Their conversations were mainly about cultivations, and the most discussed topic was about the ‘Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade’ that was coming in a few year’s time. It was held once every three hundred years, and the date of the next crusade was nearing. A few years were a mere snap of the fingers in the cultivator’s point of view. When the time for it comes, six countries would dispatch a large amount of troops to participate in a bloody fight of life and death.
"I wonder who South Edict Manor will dispatch then?" Miao Yi couldn’t help asking when he overheard the discussions. He quickly shook his head, guessing that likely no one would wish to participate because he knew many would die in that bloody battle.
Tian Qingfeng assured him, "The Manor Head has always been very kind to you, Milord. I don’t think he will select you for the battle."
Miao Yi chuckled. He wasn’t worried about that. Even though it was said that outstanding cultivators below the Red Lotus cultivation could participate, the Hall Master Huo Lingxiao had great regard for Yang Qing in allowing him to rule over two manors. He definitely would not allow Yang Qing to participate in the coming battle.
Furthermore, the allocation of South Edict Manor’s men was controlled by Yang Qing himself. He continued to treat Miao Yi well even after demoting Miao Yi to a Steed Deputy, by allowing him to stay in East Arrival Cave. Moreover, Miao Yi had saved Qin Weiwei’s life multiple times before, so Yang Qing probably would not send him to his death in the Sea of Constellations.
Just then, another Loose Cultivator approached them. Warily keeping watch of her surroundings, Lin Pingping quickly stepped forward, extending her arms to block the path and firmly said, "These are my guests."
She gave off the impression that she was determined to defend her interests.
She had no choice. Most of the ones coming to the island were cultivators. In addition, Miao Yi had a large group of men behind him and stood out a lot. Those who had even the slightest ability to judge the situation would be able to see that he was a man of status from a foreign land.
The Loose Cultivators in this island didn’t seem like they wanted to find work like Lin Pingping did. Miao Yi and the others were guests that Lin Pingping managed to secure with effort. Naturally, she didn’t wish for anyone else to steal them away from her. She already blocked a few Loose Cultivators who tried to take away her guests.
That Loose Cultivator who was being blocked off seemed unwilling to give up. However, Miao Yi and the others cooperated with Lin Pingping and didn’t give any of their time to that Loose Cultivator. They continued moving forward, hoping that the Loose Cultivator would give up.
Not long after that, three cultivators wearing the plaque with the word ‘du’ (supervisor) steadily marched up towards them. Lin Pingping seemed to be afraid of them, and quietly hid behind Miao Yi and his men.
However, the old man leading the group had sharp eyes, and was able to spot her immediately. He halted his advance and shouted, "Lin Pingping."
Miao Yi and the others were surprised. Lin Pingping stepped out from the group meekly and greeted him, "Greetings, Lord Xing."
The old man caressed his goatee and chuckled, "The due date for this month's payment is near. Have you prepared your monthly payment? Don't blame me for legally kicking you out of the city if you can’t pay up this month."
"I understand!" Lin Pingping nodded submissively.
The old man suddenly cracked a smile and said, "It's alright even if you can’t pay. Just like I've said before, if you take care of me for a night and service me until I'm satisfied, I will help you pay for this month."
Lin Pingping immediately bit her lips without saying a word. Her face was flushed red, yet she did not dare to respond.
The old man burst out laughing after teasing her a little. He didn't want to overdo it, not while there were other people around. He waved his hand and gestured for the two of his men to continue moving. One of them asked, "Lord Xing. Are you still interested in women of that age?"
"Interested my ass. I'm only interested in beautiful, young women. You guys wouldn’t know about it, but that woman liked to act as if she were noble-born when she was young. I wanted to perform dual-cultivation with her, but she refused. I will not be able to face myself if I don't tease her a little. Sooner or later, she will come to me of her own will like a skinned bitch. Now that's what I call ‘venting out’. Eyyy…."
Suddenly, a piece of rock came flying at the old man. Before he could dodge the incoming projectile, the rock bashed him right on his back, staggering him. A Fourth Grade White Lotus appeared on his forehead as he twisted around and shouted, "WHO DID IT!?"
Who else could have done it but Luo Shuangfei? He stepped forth and pointed to himself, "It was me!"
Lin Pingping was instantly terrified and quickly whispered a warning to him, "They are men of the Martial Manor. We can’t afford to provoke them."
Luo Shuangfei turned to glance at Miao Yi, afraid that Miao Yi would blame him for causing trouble.
However, after Miao Yi quickly scanned his surroundings and noticed that there was nobody around, he whispered to Tian Qingfeng and the others, "Go to the four corners and surround this area. Do not let anyone else approach us."
"This…" Tian Qingfeng and the others were hesitant. They had no idea what he was trying to do. ‘He wouldn't be thinking of going against the men of the Martial Manor, would he?’
Miao Yi swept a cold gaze over his men. Only then did Tian Qingfeng and the others quickly spread themselves to the four corners.
As he watched the old man angrily approaching them, Miao Yi turned to Luo Shuangfei and whispered, "Since you started it, then finish it quickly. Leave no survivors!"
‘No survivors?’ Lin Pingping was dumbfounded.
Luo Shuangfei was equally shocked. He initially thought that Miao Yi wouldn’t want to cause trouble, and was worried that his sudden impulsive act would enrage Miao Yi. Yet it turned out that Miao Yi was even more vicious than he was. Luo Shuangfei only wanted to teach them a lesson, but Miao Yi wanted to murder them!
However, this was more to his liking. He quickly straightened up and pushed Lin Pingping aside. "Milord has spoken. To hell with the Martial Manor. This Lord will boldly set them on fire even if they are from the Realm Beyond Heaven!"
As a matter of fact, Miao Yi had no choice. There are times when men should be able to adapt to the circumstances at hand and not flaunt their superiority blindly. He didn’t wish to cause trouble in the city either—as a Cave Master, he was nothing in this city. However, since things had escalated to this point, there was no possibility of reaching a good end because of the background of these kind of men. Because of that, he decided to put an end to it immediately. He never hesitated whenever he made a decision!