This time, Luo Shuangfei really pissed Miao Yi off.
After taking his bath, Miao Yi went to the spare courtyard and ordered Luo Shuangfei to get out immediately and move into the place he arranged for him. However, Luo Shuangfei was adamant about staying.
The consequences were severe. Even Yuan Fang and Lai Yuhan had to come. Within the spare courtyard, six of East Arrival Cave’s members with the highest cultivation surrounded Luo Shuangfei armed with weapons.
In the end, Luo Shuangfei could only bite his lip and lower his head, like he was being unfairly treated, as the six men dragged him away. Just before leaving the gate of the courtyard, he shot a gaze at Miao Yi staring at him indifferently.
Miao Yi gently sighed as he met the resentful gaze in his eyes.
Miao Yi didn’t wish to treat Luo Shuangfei so harshly at first. He was the first talent he recruited himself, so he had great hopes for Luo Shuangfei. He wanted to be like how Yang Qing was when he had first recruited Miao Yi, always treating him with kindness. That was why whenever Yang Qing had a problem, he would risk his life to serve him. In light of that, perhaps he himself had been a little too lenient on Luo Shuangfei.
He believed that he was already quite lenient, but never expected that it wouldn’t work on that fellow at all. Now he had actually become so brazen that he would peek on him and his handmaidens while they were in the bath. If he continued allowing such misbehaviour to occur, who knew what that fellow would do next?
Obviously, he had to teach him a lesson. This time, he must make sure that Luo Shuangfei understood that if there was a next time, Miao Yi could very well take his life; and that within East Arrival Cave, he, Miao Yi, had that authority!
Miao Yi breathed a sigh of relief. He never imagined that his first time recruiting a talent would be so disastrous. ‘It seems like I’ll have to settle the issue of this bastard’s Loose Cultivator status as quickly as I can. Maybe that will let him settle down sooner. Once he’s bound by the Immortal Record, surely he wouldn’t dare to fool around anymore!’
He turned back and returned to his silent quarters to cultivate. After such an incident, he already lost his mood to do it with Qian’Er and Xue’Er….
Long Viridescent Cave — Sitting cross-legged in cultivation inside his silent quarters, Gongsun Yu said, "Come in."
A handmaiden slipped in and reported, "Cave Master. There’s someone from East Arrival Cave requesting an audience with you."
"East Arrival Cave?" Gongsun Yu opened his eyes, then curiously asked, "Who wishes to see me?"
The handmaiden replied, "He says that there’s a letter from the Steed Deputy of East Arrival Cave, Miao Yi, that needs to be handed to you in person."
When he heard the words ‘Miao Yi’, Gongsun Yu’s heart thumped. ‘That lunatic can’t really be looking to stir up trouble with me, right?’
However, he dismissed the thought a moment later. ‘If he really wanted to cause trouble for me, he would have come looking for me after the handover of the annual tribute. Why wait until now?’
He stopped his cultivation, then quickly got up and left the silent quarters. As he entered the living room, he waved his hand and said, "Bring him to see me."
After a short while, the handmaiden brought the messenger over. He cupped fists and said, "I respectfully greet Cave Master Gongsun."
Gongsun Yu nodded. "Miao Yi has a letter for me?"
"Indeed!" The messenger took out a jade archive and gave it over to the handmaiden, after which she passed it over to Gongsun Yu.
Gongsun Yu lifted the jade archive and imbued his transcendence energy to read. His eyebrows immediately rose. Miao Yi’s tone was rather polite in the jade archive.
The content was—‘I, Miao Yi, was previously abroad on a mission. When I returned, I was fortunate enough to hear of how generously Cave Master Gongsun had treated East Arrival Cave. As such, I wish to thank you and have specially prepared a banquet. I humbly invite Cave Master Gongsun to visit East Arrival Cave for this feast. I hope Cave Master Gongsun will give me this much face and attend. I, Miao Yi, will be looking forward to it with anticipation.’
How could a mere Cave’s Steed Deputy have the right to invite other Cave Masters to attend a banquet? However, Miao Yi clearly had the ability to do so. Everyone knew that the real person in-charge of East Arrival Cave was actually Miao Yi.
His invitation was polite, but it gave Gongsun Yu goosebumps. Earlier, he thought that Miao Yi had become more tame, but it turned out the bastard hadn’t at all. He wasn’t even in East Arrival Cave to begin with, so he didn’t know about the incident during the handover of the annual tribute at Mount Calming Sea. He probably just found out after returning now, and immediately sent this invitation.
Gongsun Yu truly understood what it would mean to attend a banquet hosted with bad intents now. That madman had a powerful army at his beck and call. Out of all the Cave Masters in Mount Calming Sea, his forces were the strongest. Gongsun Yu had heard of how men from the three major sects went to East Arrival Cave seeking to take advantage of them had never returned. He was a little doubtful if even he could come back alive if he ever went to East Arrival Cave. There was nothing that madman wouldn’t dare to do. He even dared make an attempt on the life of Xiong Xiao, a Mountain Chieftain. How would he even be bothered by a measly Cave Master like Gongsun Yu then?
Gongsun Yu was filled with regret at that moment. ‘Why did I act so rashly then in Mount Calming Sea? Why couldn’t I just control my own emotions?’
All in all, he definitely didn’t dare to attend this banquet. He placed the jade archive on a side table and smiled at the messenger, "I’ll have to trouble you to report back to Brother Miao and say that I currently have important matters to attend to and thus, will not be able to attend his banquet. I will definitely host one myself and send an invitation to Brother Miao one day."
He wrote a gentle rejection on a jade archive and handed it to the messenger, then brushed him off dismissively just like that. After which, he immediately gathered his forces and discussed how they should go about this.
East Arrival Cave — After Miao Yi heard the response brought back by the messenger, he sat on his throne in the grand hall looking through the jade archive and scoffed, "He wishes to hide? Gongsun Yu. Since you had the balls to lord over my head, do you think you can hide so easily without giving me a proper explanation?"
The men standing below could feel their frustrations being released just from listening to him. They chuckled as Miao Yi wrote another jade archive and tossed it to the messenger. "I’ll have to trouble you to make another trip. I want to see just how long he thinks he can hide. If he doesn’t apologize, he can forget about me letting this matter slide."
As such, the messenger held onto Miao Yi’s jade archive and made another long, tiresome trip back to Long Viridescent Cave.
When he heard the messenger came back, Gongsun Yu knew it couldn’t be anything good and immediately hid himself away, afraid that there would be no turning back once he met him. As soon as his handmaiden received the jade archive, she told the messenger, "The Cave Master is out patrolling his domain. When he returns, I will be sure to pass the message onto him."
Once she dismissed the messenger, she naturally handed the jade archive over to Gongsun Yu.
The letter basically said—‘Gongsun Yu. Do you think that just because I, Miao Yi, am a Steed Deputy, that I don’t have the status to invite a Cave Master like you? Is that why you don’t wish to give me face? If you don’t attend the banquet, then I guess I will just have to bring my men personally over to Long Viridescent Cave and impose on you.’
A threat. This was a blatant threat. It clearly implied—‘If you don’t come, I will just bring my men over and settle things with you.’
‘What arrogance!’ Gongsun Yu ground his teeth in hatred. Yet, he knew he couldn’t win against this opponent. He could only swallow his pride and send word to Mount Calming Sea in the hopes that the Mountain Chieftain could step forth and mediate.
As soon as the news reached Mount Calming Sea, Qin Weiwei gripped the jade archive and paced around her loft, furrowing her brows as she said, "Miao Yi has returned! I’ve never heard of any grievances between Gongsun Yu and Miao Yi before. How did he offend Miao Yi?"
Gongsun Yu obviously wouldn’t mention about how arrogant he was at Mount Calming Sea, only that he had unintentionally offended Yan Xiu and now Miao Yi craved justice for him. Gongsun Yu stated that he did not wish for there to be internal strife in Mount Calming Sea and thus, asked the Mountain Chieftain to step in as a mediator. He was even willing to make amends and apologize.
He really wanted to apologize and get this issue over with, but it would be too shameful to submit that way. How would his subordinates see him then? If Qin Weiwei were to step out, he could still say that he was giving the Mountain Chieftain face, and thus retreat with his dignity intact. At the very least, it was better than being intimidated into submission by Miao Yi’s military might.
Hong Mian and Lu Liu shook their heads. They have also never heard of how Gongsun Yu and Miao Yi developed a grudge.
"That bastard is so hateful. How dare he not come to see me now that he has returned. Did my words fall on deaf ears?" said Qin Weiwei as she slapped the long table. She previously instructed Yan Xiu that if Miao Yi returned, he was to see her immediately. Yet, not only did he not visit her, he was more concerned with Gongsun Yu’s affairs instead. She turned and somberly demanded, "Send an official decree and order Miao Yi to come see me this instant!"
When the Mountain Chieftain’s official decree reached East Arrival Cave, Miao Yi sneered to the crowd from atop his high seat, "It seems Gongsun Yu has made a complaint to Qin Weiwei. Luo Shuangfei. The chance to resolve the issue of your official status has arrived."
He originally thought that Luo Shuangfei would be very happy to hear this, but unexpectedly, he only replied with an apathetic ‘Oh!’ from where he stood. After that, he went completely quiet, standing there listlessly with hunched shoulders.
Ever since Miao Yi set harsh measures and him kicked out, Luo Shuangfei lost the usual exuberance that hung around his face and seemed listless day after day. If he wasn’t summoned out, he would just coop himself up in his own residence and not come out at all.
Yan Xiu wanted to head to the city to help him arrange for two handmaidens, but Luo Shuangfei didn’t want that either.
For the fellow who was always jumping around, to be suddenly reduced to this and have that pitiful look on his face every day. Even Miao Yi could feel his heart lurch after seeing such a large difference, and even wondered if he had pushed him too far….
Suppressing Second Hall — All the respective Manor Heads were gathered in the grand hall. Yang Qing was naturally among the crowd as well. It was an important day for the entire Suppressing Second Hall.
The ‘Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade’ that came once every three hundred years was just around the corner, so each Manor had to draft two members in to participate. Since Yang Qing managed two Manors, he had to hand over four names.
This was a matter that would antagonize many. Even though one was heavily rewarded if one performed well in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade, the probability of death was too high, so no one was willing to go. At the same time, it offered the Manor Heads a chance to eliminate potential threats to them.
As soon as the meeting was over, each Manor Head handed over the respective name lists they decided upon over to Little Auntie Liu Xing. From his high seat, Huo Lingxiao gestured with his hand and adjourned the meeting. Then, he left with his two handmaidens.
In the meantime, all the Manor Heads waited for their final orders in the holding room. The final authority for the name lists they handed in was still in Huo Lingxiao’s hands. All the Manor Heads couldn’t help feeling a little restless. If Huo Lingxiao were to put their names in, then they would be doomed.
Inside the harem, Huo Lingxiao looked through each of the jade archives handed in by the respective Manor Heads. For the most part, he had no objections and immediately approved of it. Beside him, his handmaidens immediately noted down the names on the name lists, as ultimately, they would have to tally these names together and hand it over to their superiors.
When he reached Yang Qing’s name list, Huo Lingxiao was surprised to see Xiong Xiao’s name among the four he handed in. He furrowed his brows, originally intending to cross off Xiong Xiao’s name, but as he placed his finger on the jade archive—he stopped. In the end, he erased another name and filled a different one in its stead.
This name was none other that Miao Yi’s!
He casually handed the names over to Liu Xing to tally. When she saw Miao Yi’s name, she was slightly taken aback. She shot a glance at Huo Lingxiao, understanding that there must be a reason why he did this.
Once all the name lists for Suppressing Second Hall were confirmed, Liu Xing carried the pile of jade archives over to the holding room, and delivered the Hall Master’s orders down to all the Manor Heads.
When the Manor Heads looked through the list, most of them sighed in relief that the Hall Master did not make things difficult for them.
Yang Qing was the only one startled when he looked through the name list. He handed in four names of cultivators all at Blue Lotus realm. He guessed that the Hall Master might cross off Xiong Xiao’s name, but the Hall Master unexpectedly gave him face. Instead, he added Miao Yi’s name to the list and made Yang Qing utterly confounded as to the reason why.
All the other Manor Heads dispersed and returned to their own domains.Yang Qing instead went to the large gates at the harem and requested an audience with Huo Lingxiao.
However, Huo Lingxiao did not meet with him. Tian Yu stopped him and said, "The Hall Master knows what matter you wish to discuss, and said that you should just follow the order."
Yang Qing was stunned. He cupped his fists and asked, "Miao Yi is only a White Lotus realm cultivator. May I ask why the Hall Master drafted him into the list?"
All he wanted was an explanation—a reason why—but Tian Yu indifferently replied, "The rules don’t state that a White Lotus realm cultivator cannot participate. Please return, Manor Head Yang!"
After dismissing Yang Qing, Tian Yu wanted to know about the reason as well. When she saw Huo Lingxiao later on, she couldn’t help asking, "Hall Master. Why did you add Miao Yi’s name inside?"
"Because he knows too much." Huo Lingxiao only gave a short and perplexing answer in response.