Qian’Er and Xue’Er were in cultivating in their own rooms when they heard Yao Ruoxian’s voice. They quickly stopped circulating their transcendence energy, opened the door and walked out.
"Teacher. Is something the matter?" Qian’Er asked curiously.
Yao Ruoxian shook his head, and said, "I’m afraid trouble is coming to this abominable East Arrival Cave. You two should leave with me."
The girls shared a glance and asked, "What kind of trouble?"
Yao Ruoxian pointed about, "A large force is surrounding East Arrival Cave. There is a high chance that they are planning to attack this place. The two of you should follow me into hiding."
"AH!" The girls were shocked. They perked their ears up to listen, but they couldn’t hear anything. However, they knew there was a big gap between theirs and Yao Ruoxian’s cultivation. Additionally, it was much better to believe that something like this was true rather than not.
Still shocked, the two exchanged a glance, then nodded. They began to shout a warning, "ENEMY AMBUSH! ENEMY AMBUSH!"
Yao Ruoxian didn’t stop them. He knew that it was normal for them to sound the alarms. If they didn’t, it would mean that they were leaving the numerous lives of East Arrival Cave to their own demise.
The two girls invoked their arts and shouted a few more times. The cultivators of East Arrival Cave were naturally familiar with their voices and immediately responded. In a short while, the men gathered their dragon steeds and galloped towards the source of the shouts.
Yan Xiu quickly rode his steed over. He didn't concern himself with formalities at a time like this and leapt with his dragon steed, landing directly within the Cave Master’s residential quarters. He was surprised at first to see Yao Ruoxian. He never knew the identity of this mysterious old man, only that Miao Yi was quite afraid of him.
He quickly asked the two girls, "Elder Auntie. Little Auntie. What happened?"
The two girls immediately repeated Yao Ruoxian’s words. Yan Xiu was stunned. He hadn’t heard any sign of movement. He turned to ask Yao Ruoxian, "Sir. Is this true?"
Yao Ruoxian rolled his eyes at him. However, knowing that the situation was grave, he didn’t beat around the bush and immediately gave a warning. "There are at least two hundred steeds. At the moment, they are starting to approach from every corner at a breakneck pace. However, the net they casted was too wide and has yet to fully close. Thus, the gap in the southwest corner is slightly larger than the rest. Take advantage of this and charge out immediately from the there, and you might still have a chance."
Yan Xiu would rather choose to believe in such matters than not. After all, it was better to be prepared beforehand than to lie in wait. Yan Xiu immediately said to the three of them, "Then you must quickly follow us in breaking through the encirclement."
Yao Ruoxian shook his hand and said, "You all should go on your own. Just leave the safety of the two girls to me."
Yan Xiu wasn’t aware of Yao Ruoxian’s abilities, so he hesitated for a moment. The two girls quickly said, "Teacher Yan. We will be fine in the old senior’s hands. You shouldn’t waste anymore time."
Seeing the two say so with such confidence, Yan Xiu realized this mysterious, shabby old man must definitely be extraordinary. Otherwise, he wouldn’t cause Miao Yi to be so fearful of him.
"Alright then. Take care, Elder Auntie. Little Auntie. Don’t forget to send a message if you need help." Yan Xiu nodded. Given the urgency of the situation, it wouldn’t do him good to hesitate any longer. He immediately rode his dragon steed and jumped out the courtyard.
Lai Yuhan was stationed outside when he vaguely heard the commotion, and his expression instantly changed.
"There is a large force coming to assault us. Follow me to break past the encirclement from the southwest corner!" Yan Xiu shouted to the men gathered outside. He swung the broadaxe in his hand and led everyone towards the southwest corner at a gallop.
The speed of the dragon steeds were really too quick. Previously, only Yao Ruoxian could hear them. Then Lai Yuhan could and now, almost everyone could hear them.
Under the night sky, a spirit eagle flapped its wings and flew off. Carrying another caged eagle on their backs, Qian’Er and Xue’Er rushed to the astronomical platform and gazed into the distance. Seeing Yan Xiu quickly leading the men off, the two suddenly leapt outside the courtyard.
Yao Ruoxian was stroking his shaggy beard when he heard them make a move and turned to look. He immediately chased after them and with a flick of his sleeves, stopped them outside. "Where are you two going?"
"They left too hurriedly. Those sisters have yet to be placed in a safe location. We have to hide them." Qian’Er anxiously said.
The two girls couldn’t forget the sight of those handmaidens brutally hung, naked on the ruined beams the previous time. They didn’t wish for the current handmaidens to follow in their footsteps.
"Silly girls. There’s no time." Disregarding whether or not they both agreed, Yao Ruoxian swept his large sleeves, and two rays of light enveloped around the two before shooting straight into the sky.
It was none other than Xiong Xiao who had come to surround East Arrival Cave with his forces.
Xiong Xiao, Tu Sanliang of the Sword Deviate Sect, Lan Ye of the Jade Lady Sect, and Ma Hu of the School of Imperial Beasts. These four Blue Lotus First Grade cultivators each led an army of men and quickly enclosed the area from four separate directions.
Since the men of East Arrival Cave were able to hear the commotion outside, the ones surrounding them could naturally hear the movements of the men from East Arrival Cave as well.
The southwest corner that the men of East Arrival Cave were heading towards, was exactly the gap between Tu Sanliang and Lan Ye. As soon as the two noticed their movements, they immediately deduced that East Arrival Cave’s forces were intending to escape. However, they were unsure as to how East Arrival Cave’s forces managed to know of their assault ahead of time. Even they themselves only just received word that Xiong Xiao was planning to attack East Arrival Cave once they reached here. There shouldn’t be any chance for an information leak prior to that.
Even though the two of them were in two separate locations, they both issued a command at almost the same time and led half their troops over to stop East Arrival Cave’s forces.
Under the moonlight, Yan Xiu and his men saw two forces ahead of them, up to about fifty men were approaching from two sides to block their charge. Wielding a pair of broad axes in his hands, Yan Xiu gave an absolutely ferocious bellow, "KILL!"
The men behind him all readied their swords and spears. Every one had a sombre expression—they knew it was time to fight for their lives. They followed behind Yan Xiu in a furious charge.
At the foremost of the right army, Tu Sanliang shouted, "Sword Deviate Sect disciples. Sword Formation!"
As he raised his arms, the six long swords strapped to his back sliced through the air as they shot upwards. Then, six cold glints shot viciously towards Yan Xiu at the forefront.
The chain wrapped around Yan Xiu’s arm suddenly emitted a white glow and loosened up. He released one of the broad axes and spun it around using the chain attached to it. The broad axe spun so quickly that not even wind could get past it.
A crisp clanging rang out—he actually managed to block the assault from Tu Sanliang’s six flying swords!
Even so, Yan Xiu’s arms were a little numb from the impact. Tu Sanliang’s cultivation was higher than his after all. Fortunately, the pair of broad axes gifted by Miao Yi to Yan Xiu was a first grade transcendent artifact. Otherwise, he definitely wouldn’t have been able to block the strikes.
However, even if he managed to block Tu Sanliang’s attack, he couldn’t defend against so many Sword Deviate Sect disciples at the same time. The Sword Deviate Sect disciples from the left and right armies had all already released their flying swords and sent them slicing over.
Over a hundred flying swords rained down upon them like a storm. Even if Yan Xiu could block the front, he couldn’t guard against the sides. East Arrival Cave forces flailed their weapons about in panic as they rushed to block the attacks from the sides.
Dragons steeds neighed and their members screamed in agony. Some had already fallen among the East Arrival Cave’s forces.
Both sides instantly charged into one another and began a bloody brawl. Wearing a silver muslin, Lan Ye snapped her whip—‘Plang!’—wrapping it around Yan Xiu’s chained axes and holding him back.
Lai Yuhan slaughtered his way out from the sides and flicked Lan Ye’s whip away with his spear, returning Yan Xiu his freedom. As long as any of the men from East Arrival Cave were still alive, they immediately followed behind Lai Yuhan; assembling together and risking their all to charge forward and out of the encirclement.
Standing on a gigantic treetop in the distance Yao Ruoxian hid in the canopy along with the two girls he abducted. Keeping his eyes shut, he listened closely to the commotion and slowly shook his head. "It seems they’ve been stopped. I’m afraid their chances of survival are slim now."
East Arrival Cave — Xiong Xiao and Ma Hu’s forces had already reached East Arrival Cave and were galloping around the place, searching around. A few dozen handmaidens were trembling in horror as they were brought over and gathered together.
Even though he could hear the sound of battle from the other end, Xiong Xiao still shouted at the girls, "Where is Miao Yi? For those hiding any information, only death awaits!"
How could these frail girls withstand the intimidation? Those that knew immediately stuttered, "I heard from the Master that he has gone to Mount Calming Sea!"
"Mount Calming Sea? Argh!!" Xiong Xiao raised his head and roared. He almost spat out blood. He came here with such a force precisely to eliminate that bastard, but he actually wasn’t here!
He continued to interrogate the girls, but they didn’t provide any different answers. In his fury, Xiong Xiao pointed to the girls and uttered a single word—"KILL!"
The girls begged and wailed but dozens of flying swords swooped in and impaled them. The girls died screaming in agony, their bodies twitching in their own pools of blood. The stench of blood instantly enveloped the area, causing the two handmaidens behind Xiong Xiao to turn pale from the horror.
"Ma Hu! Search the area thoroughly. Don’t miss any clues, not even at the bottom of the rocks. I don’t wish to see anyone alive from East Arrival Cave. Soak everything all in blood!" Xiong Xiao commanded. Then, he signalled with his hand and said, "The rest of you. Follow me and eliminate the retreating enemy!"
He still couldn't believe in such a coincidence. He had attacked with such a great force, but Miao Yi just so happened to have gone to Mount Calming Sea. He quickly led his troops over to the scene of battle, still carrying a trace of hope.
Ma Hu tapped on the beast sack around his waist. About ten pudgy long-nosed rats with red snouts dropped to the ground. After Ma Hu squeaked a couple times, their noses twitched as they began sniffing around and started searching for clues. As long as someone was still hiding, it would be difficult to escape their noses.
The group of men continued to search around the vicinity of East Arrival Cave.
Presently, as they surrounded the enemy, Tu Sanliang and Lan Ye were both astounded and frustrated. They finally understood why a mere East Arrival Cave had been so bold as to assault Mount Shaotai previously and sent Xiong Xiao packing. They were truly too ferocious.
East Arrival Cave’s combat strength was nothing short of savage. Their strength lay in ignoring everything else and banding together to create a sharp charging force that was absolutely terrifying. Their synergy was quite good as well, as though it wasn’t the first time they were using such a knife-like charging formation. What’s more, they were all experts above White Lotus Fifth Grade. If it wasn’t for the overwhelmingly destructive force of the Sword Deviate Sect’s flying swords, even Tu Sanliang and Lan Ye wouldn’t dare to forcefully block the powerful charge of this pack of dragon steeds.
Lai Yuhan charged at the forefront with his spear, while the men behind him provided cover and killed the enemies approaching from the sides. Yan Xiu also blocked many flying swords for him as he spun his chained broad axes around. Everyone knew that Lai Yuhan’s cultivation was the highest, and that they needed to rely on him to break through the encirclement. As such, they all ensured that he wouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Meanwhile, Lai Yuhan imitated Miao Yi in disregarding everything else and only focused on charging forward. He completely did not concern himself with the life and death of the men behind him. Those that could keep up would follow him and kill their way out. Those that couldn’t, would be left to their own fates. He wouldn’t stop for anything.
Tu Sanliang and Lan Ye were not strong enough to kill Lai Yuhan in a single strike. As soon as both parties clashed, they were swept away by the pack of dragon steeds charging from behind him. Lai Yuhan acted like the sharp edge of a knife.
Fifty troops from both sides almost failed to stop them after twenty of their men were killed. They almost allowed these men to break past the encirclement. Fortunately, the remaining forces from the two other divisions quickly rushed over and stopped Lai Yuhan and the rest once more.
The might of the Sword Deviate Sect’s flying sword attacks were truly destructive and was difficult to guard against. The dragon steeds were either killed on the spot, or fell after having their hooves sliced off. Around ten men from East Arrival Cave fell from their dragon steeds in rapid succession and cast the corpses aside immediately. In the end, only four men remained. They could no longer crowd together to form a strong charging force, and were ultimately surrounded. They put up a strong resistance, but their bodies were soaked in blood and not a single one of them did not carry a serious injury. It was truly a horrifying sight to behold.