That cheery tone caused Miao Yi to realize that the listless fellow behind him seemed to have revived after the predicament. He turned to ask, "So what you’re saying is it seems like I shouldn’t have saved you, is that it?"
"No, no, it’s good that you saved me. All is good. A friend in need is a friend indeed." Luo Shuangfei chuckled as he pressed himself against Miao Yi’s back.
Just then, someone suddenly shouted from the side, "BRAT!"
Miao Yi turned to look in the direction of the voice and saw four people emerging from the forest by the roadside. It was Yao Ruoxian, Yan Xiu, Qian’Er and Xue’Er looking quite overjoyed. Yao Ruoxian would have definitely survived, but he never expected that the other three were alive as well.
He didn’t have high hopes on Yao Ruoxian’s help to begin with. Taking away Qian’Er and Xue’Er with him was possible, but he previously thought that Yan Xiu would have already been left to wallow in disaster.
Charcoal was galloping too fast and flashed past them. Yao Ruoxian then swiftly carried the other three along as he pushed past the woods and onto the highway, and chased after Miao Yi.
It was only now that Yan Xiu realized that East Arrival Cave had been hiding a Red Lotus realm expert all this while.
Miao Yi halted Charcoal immediately. Yao Ruoxian and the others managed to catch up with him. Miao Yi gazed at Yan Xiu covered all in blood and asked, "Why are you guys here?"
"Yan Xiu is useless. I have betrayed Milord’s trust…" Yan Xiu recounted the overall situation with a quivering voice.
After listening to his explanation, Miao Yi understood that after Yao Ruoxian had saved the bunch, he went deep into the forest and hid himself. Afterwards he crept back to East Arrival Cave to investigate whether or not those men had left. As a result, he found that those men were still hiding around East Arrival Cave. Without a second thought, he knew that this trap was set specifically for Miao Yi.
Yao Ruoxian returned and met up with Yan Xiu and the others, not knowing when Miao Yi would return. They all quickly made a decision to head for the routes where Miao Yi would pass to wait for him, but it turned out that they were still a step behind. By the time they managed to camp beside the highway, Miao Yi had already passed by. In the end, he was met with trouble at East Arrival Cave.
Before Miao Yi could explain how he managed to escape from East Arrival Cave, the faint sounds of dragon steeds approaching their way could be heard. He didn't expect that those men would be this persistent. Miao Yi’s voice was sombre as he whispered, "You all should continue to hide. I will head to Mount Calming Sea."
The situation did not allow him to stay any longer. Leaving a few words, he mounted Charcoal and flew away quickly. The rest of them quickly went back into hiding. Not long after, a company of troops came flying pass them in haste….
Once Hong Mian arrived back to Mount Calming Sea from Long Viridescent Cave, she was informed that Mountain Chieftain Qin Weiwei had already brought Lu Liu to South Edict Manor. Before she could get any rest, she received a distress call from the East Arrival Cave—Xiong Xiao had assaulted the East Arrival Cave!
Hong Mian was caught by surprise. She wasn’t sure whether Miao Yi had already returned to East Arrival Cave and got caught in the attack. She alone would not be able to rouse the troops of Mount Calming Sea. All she could do was quickly prepare a jade archive and relay the news to the South Edict Manor at the earliest possible moment…
South Edict Manor, inside a pavilion on the mountain peak — Qin Weiwei climbed up and immediately entered without announcing her arrival. She was the most right to do so within the two manors.
Yang Qing was sitting cross-legged on the couch while he cultivated. Qing Mei and Qing Ju moved forward and gave their greetings, "Miss."
Yang Qing ended his cultivation and opened his eyes as well, revealing a kind smile as he said, "Weiwei. You’ve come."
"Manor Head." Qin Weiwei moved forward for a greeting.
Yang Qing put both his feet down as he stood up and asked, "You didn't tell me that you would be coming before. Why the sudden visit? Did something happen?"
Both father and daughter sat beside each other around the tea table. Qing Mei and Qing Ju served them scented tea as Qin Weiwei gave a rough summary of the matters surrounding Gongsun Yu’s provocation of Miao Yi to Yang Qing.
Yang Qing listened and revealed a slight frown. He understood the crux of the problem after giving it some thought. Shaking his head, he said, "Weiwei, don't you see? Gongsun Yu lost his reason because of you. That is why he provoked Miao Yi. It is because he cares about you. Weiwei, Gongsun Yu may not be excellent but he is good at taking orders. If the both of you live together, he will make you his priority. Moreover, he is serious about you. Are you sure you don't want to reconsider him a little?"
"Father, why do you still talk about this matter? I've mentioned before that you don’t need to worry about these things," Qin Weiwei said unhappily, before continuing, "Gongsun Yu and I are not suitable. Don’t tell me you wish to see me compromise just for the sake of general interest?"
Yang Qing gave a forced smile and said, "What do you mean by ‘not suitable’? Weiwei, a woman has to understand that there are no perfect men in the world. It’s not about whether you would match or not, but whether or not that man is suitable for you. Men and women are different. As one who cultivates, especially as a woman, only a suitable man will be able to help lessen your worries. This is not compromising for the sake of general interest. What’s wrong with being a little humble? If you find an overly ambitious man instead, I would worry for you day in and day out. Isn’t it nice to have a little peace and quiet between husband and wife?"
"Father, I don’t have feelings for Gongsun Yu." Qin Weiwei reiterated her point.
Standing at one end, Qing Mei and Qing Ju exchanged looks, thinking that Yang Qing would only be growing more desperate from now on.
It was to be expected. Yang Qing being both a father and a mother, had become desperate. A few decades ago, he was standing from the viewpoint of a father looking into the matters of his daughter’s affairs, so he wasn’t that worried. A few decades later, his attitude had switched to that of a mother, so he became worried—feeling that he hadn’t fulfilled his duty as a parent, and that he had overlooked his daughter’s marital affairs.
He tapped on the tea table a few times and said in a sombre tone, "Then go find one who you do have feelings for! Tell me who you have your eyes on! Why are you making me anxious about not being able to do anything for you? Why did you have to let the rumors fly in the public? Is it so difficult for you to find a man? What faults could my, Yang Qing’s daughter possibly have? Weiwei, there are many difficulties in the cultivator world, and one can fall at any moment. I just want to take advantage of the fact that I’m still in control, to help you deal with a few matters and find someone who will not wrong you. If something were to happen to me one day, at least I’ll have my peace of mind!"
Qin Weiwei faced away and said, "Why do you always have to impose your experience on me? Do you think the man you find will definitely be good for me?"
"You—!" Yang Qing was furious. He slammed the table and pointed at Qin Weiwei, but when he saw the expression on her eyes as she stared at him, his heart melted again. He owed his daughter too much, so he couldn’t say words that were too harsh on her. He sat back down and waved his hands, saying, "I don’t want to argue with you anymore."
"You’re the one who wants to argue." Qin Weiwei murmured.
Yang Qing instantly grimaced. However, Qin Weiwei pushed a jade archive to him, interrupting what he was about to say.
Yang Qing picked up the jade archive while holding in his anger. After seeing the content of the archive, he frowned and said, "East Arrival Cave again? And a Loose Cultivator at that?" He tossed the jade archive onto the table and continued, "I’m not allowing it! My two manors do not recruit Loose Cultivators. There’s no need to take even that slightest risk."
Qin Weiwei pushed the jade archive back to him and said, "I’ve already promised Yan Xiu."
"Stop talking nonsense. The troops for the East Arrival Cave are already more than sufficient. Why would that Yan Xiu or whatever his name is take such a risk for this person?" Yang Qing narrowed his eyes at her and said, "The one you promised is Miao Yi, right?"
"Regardless of whom I’ve given my promise to, I have already given my consent on this matter as the Mountain Chieftain. You won’t make me go back on my word, would you?"
"Alright, fine. You win, alright?" Yang Qing pointed at the jade archive and continued, "Loose Cultivators with unclear backgrounds are a no. Doesn’t that kid have a good relationship with the School of Blue Jade? Can’t you have him take one from there instead?"
Qin Weiwei had the same thought when she discussed this matter with Miao Yi in the beginning, but he insisted on recruiting this person no matter what. All she could do now was to persist further, "It’s just one Loose Cultivator, nothing drastic will happen. If something does happen, then Miao Yi will be the one to suffer the consequences. Just give your consent on this."
"..." Yang Qing’s words were stuck in his throat. He narrowed his eyes at Qin Weiwei, then picked up the jade archive to examine it again.
As he read the archive, his eyes flashed with a curious expression.
After considering for a moment, Yang Qing pressed his hand down on the jade archive and subtly asked, "You just came to see me because of this one Loose Cultivator?"
Qin Weiwei appeared a little guilty and tried to hide her expression, but none of that could escape Yang Qing’s observation.
"I only brought this matter up out of convenience. Gongsun Yu was your trusted aide and confidante in the past after all. Some things could not be properly explained in the message, so I personally came to ask you. This is how I settle things. Is that fine with you?" explained Qin Weiwei.
However, this explanation seemed a little far-fetched for Yang Qing. He didn’t show any trace of his suspicions as he smiled and said, "Since he was already transferred to you, then you should deal with this matter as you see fit. Let’s put away official business for the time being. Weiwei. It’s been a long time since you’ve accompanied me for a meal. Since you’re here, don’t leave so hurriedly."
A meal with him wasn’t unusual. Qin Weiwei looked at the jade archive in his hand and pouted, "Then you give your consent on this matter?"
Yang Qing nodded with a smile and said, "You’ve travelled a long distance. Head down and take a rest."
Seeing that he had given his consent, Qin Weiwei then gleefully dismissed herself.
Yang Qing held a jade archive and stood up with one hand clasped behind his back. He walked towards the balcony and watched Qin Weiwei as her silhouette descended the mountain. With his back facing Qing Mei and Qing Ju, he loosened his grip and waved the jade archive in his hand before calmly saying, "Something is odd."
The ladies came closer, and Qing Ju asked, "Is there perhaps a problem with this Loose Cultivator?"
Yang Qing lightly shook his head, "I don’t know if there’s any problem with the Loose Cultivator, but this girl Weiwei is definitely hiding something from me."
Qing Mei asked, "How so?"
Yang Qing turned around, and gently whacked the jade archive onto his palm as he said, "I was thinking about what is wrong with this girl. Since she already solved Miao Yi and Gongsun Yu’s matter, it was enough for me to be informed of the following matters through messages. She did not need to personally come all the way here just for this matter. Don’t tell me she really came here just because Miao Yi recommended a Loose Cultivator? As a Mountain Chieftain, she was willing to make such a trip herself just because a Cave Master decided to recommend a Loose Cultivator?"
After listening to his analysis, the two ladies looked lost in their own thoughts. Qing Ju probed, "Maybe Miss is trying to repay Miao Yi’s kindness for saving her life."
"Don’t you think it’s a bit far-fetched to match this explanation with Weiwei’s actions?" Yang Qing narrowed his eyes and continued, "It’s inconvenient for a lady to be outside. She must have brought either Hong Mian or Lu Liu with her. Since Hong Mian had already left for Long Viridescent Cave before she came here, then that means she must have brought Lu Liu with her. I have already made an excuse to keep Weiwei here. It might be better for you ladies to talk things out between each other. You two should take advantage of this opportunity to go find Weiwei and Lu Liu separately, and see what you can get them to disclose to you. Let’s see what is going on with this girl Weiwei and Miao Yi. I had felt something was slightly off when she appointed Yan Xiu as Cave Master of East Arrival Cave before. She can’t keep using the kindness of saving her life as an excuse to dodge me all the time, can she?"
Qing Mei and Qing Ju exchanged a glance with one another. They sighed in their hearts as they pondered whether it was a good or bad thing for Qin Weiwei to have a father who employed such tactics. She was no match for him. He had already set a trap for her without her knowing.
"Yes!" The two of them complied with the order and left.