Half a day after Miao Yi had left Mount Calming Sea, Qin Weiwei rushed to chase him down without a break, yet she was unable to catch sight of him.
Miao Yi knew she would be coming for him, so he slipped away ahead of time.
After learning of Miao Yi’s promotion to Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea, Hong Mian and Lu Liu glanced at each other. While the relocation of their own Mountain Chieftain to Mount Shaotai was a good thing, they couldn’t say a word of congratulations to Qin Weiwei, even when they were well-aware of her relationship with Miao Yi. This was because they could tell something was wrong when they saw the desolate expression on Qin Weiwei’s face.
The one who was most shocked by the news was Gongsun Yu, who had been waiting for Qin Weiwei at Mount Calming Sea. ‘Miao Yi has become Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea. Doesn’t that mean I have become Miao Yi’s subordinate?’
At that moment, he began to panic. He finally understood why Miao Yi and Luo Shuangfei had made strange faces at him. He gestured towards Qin Weiwei by clasping his fists together and said in an urgent tone, "Mountain Chieftain, you are well-aware of the grudges between Miao Yi and me. If I become his subordinate, he will definitely crush me. I beg of you, please bring your humble servant with you to Mount Shaotai for your new post. I am willing to give you my loyal service."
Qin Weiwei looked at him with mixed feelings. They had definitely known each other for a long time, but they had never worked together before her arrival at Mount Calming Sea. With that said, neither had a deep understanding of the other. She had actually regarded Gongsun Yu as a decent person before the conflict between him and Miao Yi. However, her opinion of him changed after she had gone through several ordeals with him.
Regardless of whether the slander accusing Miao Yi of foul play was true, the news that Hong Mian had brought back from Long Viridescent Cave at least proved that Gongsun Yu was more of a fool than he’d seemed. He’d been easily fooled by Miao Yi just because he thought he could take advantage of the situation due to having a larger number of troops. Wouldn’t that make him a snob? Hong Mian had already concluded the matter by giving him the verdict of ‘idiot’.
Back at the South Edict Manor, Qin Weiwei had also heard that Yang Qing had given him the verdict of ‘loyal, but not to be put in an important position’.
That was how relationships between people worked. One would not be able to discern the true character of a person without experiencing ordeals with them.
However, this man had been loyal to her and had even risked his life for her as well. She said placatingly, "I am prepared to bring some of my loyal men with me to Mount Shaotai this time, but only after the transferal is completed."
She was no longer the Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea, so she couldn’t take her troops with her as she pleased. That would be bad for Miao Yi. She would need to acquire his consent during the transferal before she could take them with her.
Gongsun Yu naturally understood this logic, but he was still afraid. He cupped his fists together and said, "What if Miao Yi doesn’t want to let me go?"
Qin Weiwei wrinkled her face slightly. ‘Since you are afraid of Miao Yi, then why did you even provoke him in the first place?’
Hong Mian, who’d been standing on the sidelines, came to his rescue with a smile by saying, "Cave Master Gongsun, the two manors are still under the control of Manor Head. If Miao Yi won’t consider this and chooses not to show respect to Mountain Chieftain—to put it simply—if Miao Yi refuses to comply, you can still ask Manor Head for help."
East Arrival Cave.
"My Lord has been promoted to Mountain Chieftain?" Qian’Er exclaimed.
Yan Xiu smiled as he nodded. He couldn’t believe it either. Despite East Arrival Cave having experienced a huge loss, Miao Yi was able to get a promotion.
"I knew it, nothing can stop our lord." Xue’Er and Qian’Er hugged each other and let out a cheer.
Their status would always align with Miao Yi’s. If Miao Yi had become a Mountain Chieftain, then it meant that they’d be the Elder Auntie and Little Auntie of Mount Calming Sea.
The empty East Arrival Cave had sunk into the depths of depression these past few days. Three of them went out to collect the troops who’d died for East Arrival Cave for a proper burial, but by then some of the corpses had already been badly mauled by wild beasts.
To Yan Xiu, he was already accustomed to matters of life and death in the world of cultivation. There was no sadness, but only a sigh. It was a lucky thing to be alive since those who died would quickly be forgotten in everyone’s mind. And ordinary mortals would still be offered incense sticks after they died, unlike these men.
Qian’Er and Xue’Er had been shedding buckets of tears these past few days. Today, they’d received some pleasant news for once.
Yan Xiu did not bother the two from basking in happiness. He was overwhelmed with emotion as well.
The scene of Miao Yi coming to Transient Light Cave to become a steed deputy was still vivid in his mind. For a cultivator, a few dozen years was considered short. But Miao Yi had now become a Mountain Chieftain. He would soon be able to control hundreds of thousands of followers and have beautiful women and riches with extreme ease.
After the two ladies were done being joyous, Yan Xiu then said, "My Lord has asked both Aunties to go get Senior Yao Ruoxian and make the journey immediately. Mount Calming Sea is still waiting for the transferal to proceed."
The ladies nodded. With excitement in their hearts, they swiftly flew to a nearby mountain.
After they managed to locate Yao Ruoxian and relay the good news, Yao Ruoxian could only complain and grumble. He didn’t want to move around as he felt that he had been hiding quite well in this place. The higher the status Miao Yi gained, the more people he would be surrounded with. It would also mean that he could be exposed quite easily.
But there was no choice. He could never change the orders of an authoritative figure no matter how high his cultivation was. The little mantids could not leave Miao Yi for too long either, so he could only leave the mountain to follow them.
After a moment of packing, Yao Ruoxian prepared a dragon steed and covered himself with a black robe before leaving with the others.
When they arrived at Mount Calming Sea, Yao Ruoxian then headed towards the deeper part of the mountain. Yan Xiu brought the two ladies with him as he reported his arrival before entering the mountain gates.
The three of them still greeted Qin Weiwei as ‘Mountain Chieftain’ when they came to her mansion. After all, she was still the Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea as the transferal had yet to be processed.
Qin Weiwei swept her gaze across all three. Most importantly, she looked at Qian’Er and Xue’Er for a while before she asked, "Why is Miao Yi not here for the transferal?"
Yan Xiu took out the authorized jade archive that Miao Yi had sent to him. He handed over the archive with both hands and said, "My Lord has already given me full authority to carry out the transfer regarding Mount Calming Sea."
After Qin Weiwei confirmed that there were no mistakes in the jade archive’s contents, she gritted her teeth. She realized that Miao Yi was intentionally trying to avoid her.
She didn’t blame Miao Yi for revealing the truth. After all, she had nothing to be embarrassed about. Miao Yi wasn’t aware that she wanted the act to become real, and Yang Qing hadn’t revealed the truth to him because he wanted to protect her pride.
Despite Yang Qing telling her that Miao Yi was the one who spilled the truth to him on his own accord, she knew that it was her own father who’d used some sort of trick on Miao Yi after separating them back then. She was well-aware what kind of person her father was.
When she’d rushed to Mount Calming Sea, she had still wanted to unleash her anger on Miao Yi.
If she had really seen Miao Yi after reaching Mount Calming Sea, she definitely would have let loose her fury towards him. However, after resting for a day or two, she eventually calmed down from the whole situation.
When it came down to his power and status, Miao Yi could only comply with her father’s moods. If she herself already had a hard time saying no to her father, then what of Miao Yi?
Despite that, she still felt a slight twinge in her heart.
The moment Miao Yi had spouted a mouthful of blood on her face, his expression filled with pain, was unforgettable. She had tasted the saltiness of his fresh blood with the tip of her tongue, and as she laid above his silver armor, above the pool of blood that he’d shed from saving her, her feelings at the time had been engraved in her heart ever since.
‘Am I really that terrifying in your heart that you can’t be near me? You keep on avoiding me whenever you can. I know I have my faults, but why can’t you see or feel that I am trying my best?"
The transferal involved the relocation of troops as well as the population, and reports on the condition of the followers in Mount Calming Sea. This was to ensure that the new Mountain Chieftain could assume his control over Mount Calming Sea as soon as possible.
After passing items of relevance to Yan Xiu, Qin Weiwei then handed over a piece of jade archive to him and said, "I want to take some people from Mount Calming Sea with me."
Yan Xiu took the archive and examined it, realizing that she wanted to take away less than ten people with her. He had heard that these people were Qin Weiwei’s trusted subordinates, and Miao Yi had already predicted that this situation would arise. However, Miao Yi did remind Yan Xiu to keep an eye out for one of the subordinates, and this person was on the list of people that she wanted to bring with her.
Seeing Yan Xiu’s hesitance, Qin Weiwei scowled, "Is that a no or can you not make a decision on this?"
Yan Xiu smiled bitterly and said, "My Lord has a specific order; if Gongsun Yu desires to leave as well, he will have to leave something behind before he’s allowed to go."
"Go fetch Gongsun Yu," Qin Weiwei gave the order, cocking her head slightly.
Lu Liu complied with the order and went away. After a while, she brought back an anxious Gongsun Yu with her.
Gongsun Yu had already heard the details from Lu Liu on his way to meet Yan Xiu. He gestured to Yan Xiu politely by cupping his fists together and said, "Brother Yan, what do I need to leave behind?"
Yan Xiu was a bit embarrassed to say it, especially in front of Qin Weiwei. However, Miao Yi wanted to do it this way no matter what, so Yan Xiu had no choice. He could only force a smile as he said, "My Lord Miao Yi has mentioned before that Cave Master Gongsun still owes him two hundred low-grade Orbs of Will. You can’t just leave with Mountain Chieftain Qin whenever you like. Of course, he also said that he doesn’t think you can cough out those orbs so he will not chase you down for them. With that said, one cannot move an inch further without being credible. A signed document acknowledging a debt must be left behind. If you don’t want to hand over the signed document, then don’t expect to leave and abandon the terrible mess of Long Viridescent Cave without an explanation."
Hearing those words, Qian’Er and Xue’Er could only think that their liege was quite cool in handling this matter.
On the other hand, Hong Mian and Lu Liu gazed at each other. Qin Weiwei could only frown wordlessly.
Gongsun Yu did not trust Miao Yi’s character. If he were to leave behind a signed document of debt, he could never be sure whether Miao Yi would let him off in the future. He immediately looked at Qin Weiwei with an awkward expression, hoping that she could mediate the situation on his behalf.
Two hundred Orbs of Will wasn’t a small amount. Gongsun Yu may not be able to fork out those orbs, but Qin Weiwei could.
She had already received more than a hundred orbs from the ten caves under her command during the annual tribute. Even though she had used those orbs to tend to her troops, she would still receive more than a hundred additional Orbs of Will that were harvested annually from the vassal city. Those orbs counted as her personal income as a Mountain Chieftain. And because she had Yang Qing to shield her, no one dared to ask her for money. That income went entirely into her own pockets.
And based on her current cultivation, she wasn’t able to refine so many orbs within the year. She’d saved a large amount in Mount Calming Sea after all these years.
If it were for anyone else, Qin Weiwei might not have offered the Orbs of Will to them. But Gongsun Yu had risked himself to save her life before. After thinking about it for a moment, she made up her mind to treat it as a way to repay his kindness. Qin Weiwei then took out two hundred low-grade Orbs of Will from her storage ring and said to Yan Xiu, "I will help him pay for it."
Gongsun Yu was instantly overcome with gratitude when he looked at her. A glint of sincerity flashed in his eyes when he felt how kindly Qin Weiwei still treated him.
Yan Xiu did not take the orbs, however. Instead, he waved his hand and said, "My Lord has also mentioned that if Mountain Chieftain Qin decides to pay these Orbs of Will on behalf of Cave Master Gongsun, he will not accept them. He said that he owes these orbs to you. Even if you could get a Blue Lotus First Grade Cultivator with two hundred Orbs of Will, it will be enough for that cultivator to serve you for many years instead. He also predicted that this amount will be enough to make Cave Master Gongsun Yu serve you for a hundred years, and it is also enough to help you repay Gongsun Yu’s kindness for saving you. With that said, he still wants you to take back these two hundred Orbs of Will. Just take it as a small compensation for what my lord owes you."
No one knew what Miao Yi owed to Qin Weiwei, including Yan Xiu.
Qin Weiwei was the only one who knew what Miao Yi meant when he said he owed her: he’d promised to clear up the rumors about her and Gongsun Yu, and at Yang Qing’s insistence that she be wed, he’d agreed to ask Yang Qing for her hand in marriage.
However, Miao Yi had backed out and run away in the midst of it. She didn’t think that he would make arrangements here and take the opportunity to make Gongsun Yu understand that she had repaid his kindness for saving her. As a result, she no longer owed Gongsun Yu anything. Miao Yi had utilized another way to resolve the rumors, but it would be up to her on how the rumors would hold up. He had already used another method to help her as much as he could.
In an instant, Qin Weiwei froze when she finally understood Miao Yi’s intention behind the orders. It was just a small gesture of loving concern, yet it was enough to almost make her cry.