The borders of Mount Calming Sea were surrounded by a company of troops. Hong Mian had been told to stand guard, but she felt uneasy about the situation. In the end, she called upon a couple of guards to accompany her and went down the mountain. She confronted the troops and asked, "Are you here to invade Mount Calming Sea?"
Tu Sanliang and the others gazed at one another without uttering a single word. They saw Miao Yi and Luo Shuangfei who had escaped from East Arrival Cave standing beside Hong Mian, but no one dared to make a move!
Most importantly, even if they were able to make a move, they still couldn’t find the person to collect their reward from because Xiong Xiao was nowhere to be found. They could neither leave nor stay. All of them whined in their hearts, ‘What the hell is Mountain Chieftain Xiong Xiao doing? Such an important matter is not to be trifled with!’
"Elder Auntie. Please allow me to approach them and ascertain their intentions." One of the disciples from the Sword Deviate Sect residing at Mount Calming Sea requested of Hong Mian.
After Hong Mian gave a nod as consent, he swiftly mounted his dragon steed and darted down to face Tu Sanliang. He frowned and said, "Senior Brother Tu. Are you all crazy? Perhaps you are unaware of who currently commands Mount Calming Sea? How dare you come here and act rashly!"
Tu Sanliang didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. He went on to explain his problem to the disciple.
‘Xiong Xiao has gone missing?’ The disciple felt a bit strange when he heard this piece of information. However, he decided that he should give his advice to Tu Sanliang, "There is nothing difficult about this matter. He will indefinitely return to where he came from, that being Mount Shaotai. However, you guys are not at Mount Shaotai waiting for Xiong Xiao’s return, instead you came to Mount Calming Sea to wait for him. Where is the logic in that? Are you trying to alert the troops from two manors and encircle us here?"
Tu Sanliang thought about it and the disciple’s words made sense. After discussing with Lan Ye and the rest, they decided it was wise to return back to Mount Shaotai without caring whether they would be receiving orders from Xiong Xiao for the time being.
"Xiong Xiao is missing?" Hong Mian became suspicious after receiving that bit of information from the disciple.
Listening off to the side, Miao Yi felt it was a little odd. He wondered what kind of trick Xiong Xiao was trying to play this time.
Half a day later, Qin Weiwei rushed back with several men from the South Edict Manor. When she saw Miao Yi unharmed—she let out a sigh of relief. When Hong Mian sent the other message to South Edict Manor, she was already en route here, so she was unaware of the current situation.
For now, she would naturally ask Miao Yi about his situation. At the same time, she also informed him that the Manor Head had already decided to reinstate his position as the Cave Master of the East Arrival Cave.
"Then what about Yan Xiu?" asked Miao Yi in astonishment.
Qin Weiwei said in all seriousness, "East Arrival Cave has lost many of its troops. You still want me to reward him?"
Yan Xiu had followed Miao Yi for many years. Where there was contribution, there was also hard work. He had been loyal to him, especially during the time he had to go against the Mountain Chieftain. He also took the blame on behalf of Miao Yi. To dismiss him from the position as though it was nothing, that was a little overboard. Even though everyone knew that the real Cave Master of East Arrival Cave was Miao Yi, he still fought for the sake of Yan Xiu. In that regard, he turned towards Hong Mian and Lu Liu and smiled, "Elder Auntie, Little Auntie. I would like to present my report to Mountain Chieftain privately."
He didn’t have the power to make them go away, so they glanced at Qin Weiwei for her reply. She gave them a nod, and they both stifled a smile as they went down.
It was only then that Miao Yi got up and stood before Qin Weiwei. Acting love-struck, he said, "Well, uhm. Weiwei, aren’t we friends?"
Qin Weiwei felt goosebumps rise on her body when she heard those words. However, she couldn’t deny hearing it made her feel good. She nodded and replied, "Of course we are friends."
"Since we’re friends, could you do me a favor privately, please?" Miao Yi jovially asked.
Qin Weiwei almost lost her patience, ‘What kind of person is he? When he needs something, he’ll treat you as a friend, but when he doesn’t need anything, he will stay far away from you.’ She grit her teeth and asked, "What is it?"
"It is still about Yan Xiu." Miao Yi became serious and continued, "I think Yan Xiu is more suitable as the Cave Master of Long Viridescent Cave than Gongsun Yu. You should really consider that."
If he didn’t mention anything about Long Viridescent Cave, Qin Weiwei would have forgotten about it due to the invasion at East Arrival Cave. Her expression grew cold as she said, "Miao Yi. I sent Hong Mian to mediate the situation. However, you went on to mercilessly slaughtered the men at Long Viridescent Cave. Do you hold any respect for me at all?"
"Weiwei. You have wrongly accused me. I had no choice. Gongsun Yu wanted to spar with me no matter what. He saw that I had brought a handful of men, so he sent out eight of his own to fight against one of mine, treating my subordinate as a pushover. He really was trying to kill my man. My underling was forced to return the favor."
Qin Weiwei turned around and stood face-to-face with him. She sneered, "Miao Yi. Are you taking me for a fool? I have already seen the report from Hong Mian at South Edict Manor. Clearly you were the one who set up the trap and intentionally aggravated Gongsun Yu."
"Weiwei. Hong Mian only knows about the general stuff but not the details! She doesn’t know that Gongsun Yu is passionately devoted to you-"
"What nonsense. What do you mean ‘passionately devoted’?" interrupted Qin Weiwei with grit teeth. "Miao Yi, let me repeat myself. I am not engaged in a love affair with him!"
"I understand. I really do." Miao Yi quickly continued as he nodded. "But that Gongsun Yu must have taken our relationship the wrong way because he kept on being excessively jealous whenever he saw me. He was well-behaved in front of Hong Mian, however whenever she turned her back, he would provoke me . He even warned me to stay away from you. Don’t you think I am being treated unjustly? If you didn’t explain to me beforehand, I might still think that both of you are in a romantic relationship. I was forced under desperate circumstances to spar with him."
While listening to his explanation, Qin Weiwei’s bountiful chest rosed up and down. Her breathing seemed a bit laboured, and her expression was a sight to behold. She believed in Miao Yi’s words because she assumed Gongsun Yu really would do such things based on her knowledge of him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t take the initiative to provoke Yan Xiu like that during the tribute at Mount Calming Sea.
Miao Yi didn’t really care whether she and Gongsun Yu were engaged in a love affair. He just wanted Qin Weiwei to understand. ‘Didn’t you, Qin Weiwei say that you aren’t in a love affair with him? If you help him, that means you definitely are in one…’ All in all, Miao Yi was just trying to save his own skin.
"Weiwei. I really think that Yan Xiu is more suited than Gongsun Yu as the Cave Master of Long Viridescent Cave." Miao Yi persisted on his suggestion.
Qin Weiwei’s eyes flickered and she came back to her senses. She decided not to delve deeper into the matter of whether Gongsun Yu really had said those words. At the very least, the fellow in front of her was trying to make Gongsun Yu retire and replace him with one of his own for the position.
"Don’t think too much about Gongsun Yu’s matter. Don’t you realize that you already infuriated the Manor Head when you slaughtered those men at Long Viridescent Cave? The first thing he wanted to do was to remove your Immortal Record. If it wasn’t for my begging, you would already have become a Loose Cultivator," said Qin Weiwei.
"Er…" Miao Yi was speechless. He must never lose his Immortal Record. If he didn’t have this layer of tiger skin, he would be swiftly killed and robbed of his precious treasures. He wouldn’t be able to defend himself with his current strength. Before he could even leave Mount Calming Sea, he would have already been killed.
Immediately, he didn’t want to talk about this for now, so he asked, "Did the Manor Head give his consent with regards to Luo Shuangfei being added to the Immortal Record?"
Qin Weiwei remained expressionless and said, "Manor Head rejected it. But I used my close relationship with him and wasted my breath begging him to give his consent."
Miao Yi breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t dare to ask for anything else. As for Yan Xiu, he would have to put the matter aside for the time being. However, there was one other problem he needed to solve. "Currently, I have no men I can use in East Arrival Cave, and because of Xiong Xiao’s watching my every move, you see…"
Qin Weiwei calmly replied, "You still have two underlings with you. I will think of someway to get another eight men from Mount Calming Sea, and then you will have ten men under you. Am I not generous as your friend?" She was violating Yang Qing’s order of not providing Miao Yi with any troops.
‘Only eight of them?’ Miao Yi froze. He tried to probe a little, "What kind of cultivation do these eight possess?"
Qin Weiwei retained her cold expression and said, "Naturally, in accordance to the usual arrangement of the abode of Immortals."
Miao Yi’s expression twitched, "Weiwei. You are well aware of the situation at the East Arrival Cave. The current situation of the cave isn’t favorable, as that place will always be spilling blood. I don’t want to look for trouble, but trouble will always come after me. For instance, Ever Peace Manor and Thriving Ten-Thousand manor. I had no quarrel with them, yet when something happened, they will always come after East Arrival Cave. With that said, the usual arrangement for the abode of Immortals will not cut it."
Qin Weiwei sighed, "You are also well aware of the situation at Mount Calming Sea. Where in the world can I find so many experts for you?"
Miao Yi explained, "What I meant is, I want to replenish the troops I have lost. If not, I would like to recruit twenty more people from the School of Blue Jade. Can you help me negotiate with the Manor Head?"
Qin Weiwei knew that this man had this sort of intention from the beginning. She sighed again, "When the Manor Head wanted to remove your Immortal Record, it took me a lot of convincing to cover for you. When the Manor Head felt he had no choice but to transfer you to South Edict Manor and suspend you, it was I who covered for you again. I also fought in order to reinstate you as Cave Master. Moreover, when the Manor Head decided not to allow the Loose Cultivator to join the two manors, it was I again, who used my status as his daughter and begged him to give his consent. And now you want to recruit more men from the School of Blue Jade? I don’t know what more I can say to beg the Manor Head for that. Miao Yi. Don’t you think you are a tad too demanding?"
Miao Yi was embarrassed after she said it like that, and said in a meek voice, "Weiwei. Aren’t we friends? A friend in need, is a friend indeed." He felt guilty uttering those words. Even he felt he was being a little too despicable.
Qin Weiwei was silent for a while before she said in a determined voice, "Alright! I can help you, but how will you return the favor?"
Miao Yi wanted to give a frivolous reply but before he could, Qin Weiwei quickly added on, "I don’t want to hear any lip service from you."
Miao Yi was speechless. He could only inquire further, "What kind of favor do you desire from me?"
Qin Weiwei turned to face the long table and sat down. She placed her hands on the table and eyed him, "The last time we met, didn’t you say that you want to devote your heart to me?"
Miao Yi chuckled, "I meant that as a joke."
Qin Weiwei shook her head, "But I took it seriously then."
"Eh..." Miao Yi was stunned for a moment, then he let out a hollow laugh, "Don’t tease me, alright? I know my place very well. How can someone like you take a fancy for someone like myself..."
"I’m not joking around," continued Qin Weiwei with a serious expression. "Weren’t you the one who said that friends should help each other? Now I have something I need you to help me with."
‘Indeed that is what I said. But how can someone like you take a fancy to me? Then again, what sort of problem forced her to talk about devoting myself to her?’ Miao Yi dubiously asked, "What is the problem?"
Qin Weiwei was serious as she said, "You are well aware about the rumors going haywire between Gongsun Yu and myself. I was lectured by Manor Head because of that when I went back to South Edict Manor before. I don’t want to pretend anymore for the sake of these unnecessary rumors. The best way to solve them will be by ending my single status, then those rumors will eventually fade into oblivion. This is why I want you to go to the Manor Head and ask him for my hand in marriage. Just tell him you want to marry me."
"Ah..." Miao Yi swayed and almost fainted from the shock. He was completely flabbergasted by her words with sweat rolling down his back. "Don’t frighten me like that."
Qin Weiwei calmly said, "Don’t worry. I don’t really want you to devote your life to me, I just want you to bear this false reputation."
‘God dammit, why should I bear such a huge reputation? This woman must be nuts!’ Miao Yi was dumbfounded and said, "It's just a small rumor. You don’t have to go so far as to destroy your clean reputation. How about this—I will help you kill Gongsun Yu, and you will help protect me from the aftermath. How about it?"