Based on his own capabilities and Wu Menglan’s support, he could definitely take full control of Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor, provided that he had a bit more time to do so.
He had also made the assumption that Yang Qing wouldn’t dare to openly attack the Suppressing Third Hall. But before he knew it, an unforeseen situation had arisen. Miao Yi really gave him no time to prepare and had come in for the assault. Xiong Xiao hadn’t even warmed up to his seat as Manor Head yet!
If he still hadn’t realized that he’d just fallen into a trap, it would be safe to call him a fool. Once he saw several of the Blue Lotus experts heading his way, Xiong Xiao couldn’t risk staying a moment longer, so he immediately turned the opposite way and ran.
Before the fight broke out, Miao Yi felt somewhat certain that he would succeed. But when he saw the ten Mountain Chieftains appearing from behind Xiong Xiao, his chances seemed slim. The opposition had a few dozen Blue Lotus Cultivators and hundreds of troops, and that had already placed him and his own troops at a disadvantage. He had done his best to prepare for this battle. If all else failed, then they would break out from the siege and withdraw from the battle while there was still hope.
Initially, Xiong Xiao thought that this would be a bloody battle where he would live and Miao Yi would die. However, none of the Mountain Chieftains were lifting a hand to help him. Instead, they were cheering with enough volume to frighten the enemy away. Was everyone just putting up a facade?
How could this be? When Miao Yi saw Xiong Xiao running away alone without a single guard, he immediately realized what had happened. Miao Yi was also a man who was familiar with the organization’s inner structure. He almost burst into laughter when he witnessed the scene—Xiong Xiao’s relationship with the others was merely a false front. Instantly, his spirits were restored.
After throwing back their enemies, twenty-two cultivators on mounted steeds managed to break away from the siege. They disregarded everything as they immediately pursued Xiong Xiao, who was fleeing for his life. They had a very clear target—kill Xiong Xiao and disengage with the others.
Miao Yi wanted to kill Xiong Xiao for revenge and to give himself peace of mind. The School of Blue Jade wanted to kill Xiong Xiao too as a way to avenge their fallen disciples. Because of that, Miao Yi and the cultivators would chase after Xiong Xiao to the bitter end.
"Xiong Xiao, you dog scum, don’t try to run away!"
Miao Yi roared furiously. Charcoal began to unleash a formidable leg strength and slowly made its way ahead of the twenty-two steeds.
Miao Yi was determined not to let Xiong Xiao run away this time, otherwise Xiong Xiao—with his status as Manor Head—would be able to employ greater resources against him. That would pose a great threat to Miao Yi later on.
Tian Qingfeng and the others accelerated their speed even more and frantically chased after Miao Yi.
The ten Mountain Chieftains ceased their incessant running and shouting. One of them revealed a sly smile on their lips, and in a sudden rage, he waved his hands and yelled, "Quickly, save the Manor Head!"
This person led the pursuit with his men. The other Mountain Chieftains gazed at each other for a while. They then immediately raised their fists and roared as they directed their men to give chase as well.
They didn’t have to put in so much effort, but they also couldn’t just stand idly by and do nothing. Otherwise, no one would be able to endure the rage of their Hall Master when they returned to give their report. No matter how unwilling they were to save Xiong Xiao, they still needed to make it seem like they had tried their best to do so.
However, no one was particularly exerting themselves to catch up to them. Even as they gave chase, they moved at a considerably slower speed. While chasing from afar, one of them yelled, "Don't panic, Manor Head, we are coming!"
Xiong Xiao almost vomited blood from frustration. ‘It will be weirder if I don't panic. If I wait for you lot to come save me, I’ll be dead before I know it.’
Inside the mountain forest, the sounds of murderous yelling echoed without stopping. The galloping of the dragon steeds rumbled through the forest like a flash of lightning, which frightened the flying beasts nesting inside.
Xiong Xiao looked panicked as he escaped into the forest. He kept twisting his head to look behind him, and he could see Miao Yi getting closer. A flash of grief and resentment passed through his eyes.
Back when he was still the Mountain Chieftain of Mount Shaotai, he had subordinates forming a blockade to protect him from being pursued by Miao Yi. Now that he had become the Manor Head of Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor, he was well-equipped with excellent and powerful troops. And yet despite all of that, he was now reduced to being an isolated man, running away for his life.
"Xiong Xiao, you dog scum, today will be the day you die. Where are you running off to?"
Miao Yi had already caught up to him and swiftly thrust his spear at Xiong Xiao.
Xiong Xiao adjusted his body and swung his long blade in retaliation. Two streaks of cold sparks clashed together, and a ‘clang’ rang out, nearly knocking away the Inversed-Scales Spear from Miao Yi’s hands.
After all, Xiong Xiao had demonstrated how far he’d gone with his cultivation, and in a situation where his cultivation was higher than Miao Yi’s, he’d fight with every ounce of his strength. Compared to Xiong Xiao, Miao Yi was quite inferior to him!
Fortunately, the Inversed-Scales Spear that he’d received from Yao Ruoxian was able to increase twenty percent of his attack power. Otherwise, Miao Yi wouldn’t be able to hold onto his spear while clashing against Xiong Xiao’s power.
Miao Yi was well-aware of his own limitations. He didn’t need to use force to battle it out with Xiong Xiao when he could just attack from behind and assault his mount instead. If he could kill his mount, Xiong Xiao was as good as dead as soon as Tian Qingfeng and the other cultivators managed to catch up to them.
A frenzied shower of cold sparks shot out from Miao Yi’s hand. Xiong Xiao sensed Miao Yi’s plan and hastily blocked his attack.
Clang clang clang… Bang bang bang...
The long blade and long spear were locked violently with one another, cleaving every tree in the proximity of their clashes. Each tree creaked and tumbled in succession.
Xiong Xiao spared no transcendence energy and was constantly swinging back his blade to protect himself. He swung out a few streaks of formless yet substantial transcendence energy, afraid to let Miao Yi close in on him.
It would not do to keep crossing weapons with Xiong Xiao like this. However, Miao Yi was still able to hold off his transcendence energy with the Inversed-Scales Spear.
A few streaks of transcendence energy were released with every swing of Xiong Xiao’s blade. However, Miao Yi did not evade his attacks. Instead, he closed the distance, thrusting his own transcendence energy from the spear to break off Xiong Xiao’s attack.
Xiong Xiao’s blade technique and Miao Yi’s spear technique were on two different levels. Miao Yi’s random spear assault seemed like a phantom unleashing attacks of transcendence energy. At times, he would focus on viciously attacking Xiong Xiao’s mount, forcing Xiong Xiao to become flustered and defend himself.
With each clash between his spear and Xiong Xiao’s blade, Miao Yi could feel his hands almost going numb from the forceful vibrations. But even in that state, Miao Yi refused to give up. There was no way he would let Xiong Xiao get away again after snatching this opportunity to kill him.
Seeing them both struggling to best the other—with Miao Yi using his White Lotus Cultivation against Xiong Xiao’s Blue Lotus Cultivation—Tian Qingfeng and the others were feeling anxious as they looked on from behind.
Sadly, the leg strength of their mounts couldn’t compare to Miao Yi’s steed. They wanted to catch up to them but couldn’t in any case. They had no choice but to feel anxious for Miao Yi.
However, Miao Yi became increasingly faster as he thrust his spear at Xiong Xiao. Xiong Xiao was becoming increasingly disorientated as he twisted his body around to protect himself. Both mounts charged in between the mountain slopes, with Xiong Xiao’s mount in a slightly higher position. This immediately gave Miao Yi the optimal opportunity to strike. He took a moment and stabbed his spear at the hind leg of Xiong Xiao’s dragon steed, then swung the spear sideways. Blood and sinew immediately splattered everywhere.
"Harrumph!" The dragon steed neighed and toppled over. Xiong Xiao was instantly tossed from the steed and flew outwards in a state of panic.
Xiong Xiao was pale with fright when he saw the twenty or so steeds approaching with malevolence, especially when he could clearly see the petals of the Blue Lotus Fourth Grade on Tian Qingfeng's forehead. He took his blade and fled towards a nearby copse of trees like a madman.
Miao Yi did not rush to chase him down. He quickly invoked his transcendence art and healed his numb arms. He had been enduring the unpleasant sensation and struggled not to let Xiong Xiao run away from him. After grappling for the opportunity to strike his spear at Xiong Xiao's dragon steed, he would now let Tian Qingfeng and the others handle the rest.
After losing the leg strength of his dragon steed, Xiong Xiao could no longer run away. Tian Qingfeng and the others were focused on giving chase. They immediately broke their formation and hastened their pursuit of Xiong Xiao.
Once they managed to catch up to Xiong Xiao, he tried to quickly evade their attacks from the top of a tree, with five of the cultivators surging upwards almost simultaneously.
Seeing five spears dashing towards him, Xiong Xiao could only howl hysterically while struggling to swing his blade through the air in frustration.
A distinct ‘clang’ rang out in the air. With the speed of the dragon steeds, as well as a blow from a Blue Lotus Third Grade cultivator, Xiong Xiong was sent flying from the tree, his blood spilling forth. The long blade in his hand was knocked away as well.
At the top of the forest, one mount suddenly made its appearance. Luo Shuangfei thrust his spear through the air in a perfect arc and struck the serrated edge into Xiong Xiao’s heart.
Xiong Xiao, his body covered in blood after being impaled, suddenly felt the world turn silent. His body was in the air, and he could see his troops coming in for ‘reinforcement’ nearby the mountain peak. Seeing this sight, his eyes filled with untold resentment.
‘I have gone through all sorts of bloody battles, more than hundreds of them. Countless people have fallen before me. I survived not because of sheer luck. But today, I lost not because I was incapable, but by the hands of my own men…’ These were the final thoughts that flashed through Xiong Xiao’s mind.
Luo Shuangfei soared and thrust his spear, piercing through Xiong Xiao. He soared again, swooping down and landing in the forest, taking Xiong Xiao with him. With another strike of his spear, he pinned him against a large tree trunk. Luo Shuangfei spared no strength, and in doing so, he completely destroyed the tree as well.
Xiong Xiao’s clothes were already tattered and drenched in his own blood. Blood was gurgling in his throat, and he only stopped after he was pinned to the second tree. His vision was fading to black as he gazed at Miao Yi wearing a full set of silver armor dashing towards him, his spear readying to strike. After that, he immediately lost all sense of feeling.
Xiong Xiao was beheaded with one strike of the spear. Miao Yi then took Xiong Xiao’s head and stored it inside his storage ring. He sliced off Xiong Xiao's arm and held it in his hands. He quickly took off three storage rings from the severed arm and kept them with him.
Miao Yi tossed the severed arm away before turning around to look at the opposing troops running towards them. He swung his spear and shouted, "Let's go!"
Luo Shuangfei pulled out his spear, releasing Xiong Xiao's headless corpse from the tree which then fell to the ground.
Twenty or so steeds followed an armor-clad Miao Yi from behind and quickly galloped away by turning towards another direction.
When a large number of troops reached the scene and saw Xiong Xiao’s corpse, the ten Mountain Chieftains looked at one another in an unspoken agreement.
One of them murmured, "Miao Yi, that piece of scum has killed our Manor Head. We can’t let him get away. Everyone must quickly dispatch one representative to the Manor Head’s mansion and send a Spirit Eagle to the troops from each mountain to intercept the murderers. The others will pursue them immediately!"
Each respective Mountain Chieftain responded in agreement before following the direction where Miao Yi and the others had fled to resume their pursuit.
This time, it wasn’t a joke. This was no longer a two-faced ploy against Xiong Xiao— this time they were really going to pursue Miao Yi for the kill.
The reason was simple. Because Xiong Xiao was dead, the seat of the Manor Head would naturally be available. Whoever managed to kill Miao Yi would be rewarded with great merit.
If they didn’t put in more effort into their performance this time and continued to deal with the situation half-heartedly, they wouldn’t be able to present their report to Hall Master Wu Menglan. Even though it was just for show, they were going to give a spectacular performance just to remove all suspicion from them.
A large number of troops continued to pursue Miao Yi and the others with vigor. Meanwhile, the remaining smaller group of troops quickly made their way to the Manor Head’s residence. Xia Yu and Qiu He, who were anxiously standing guard by the doors, saw them approaching and asked, "How is Manor Head?"
One of the men replied, "Manor Head has been murdered by that piece of scum, Miao Yi. Auntie, you must quickly retrieve the Spirit Eagle and allow us to contact the Hall Master and assemble the other troops at the same time. We can’t let that scum run away."
"Manor Head is dead?" The ladies looked dazed, as if they had been struck by lightning. Xiong Xiao hadn’t just been their Manor Head, but their man as well.
"Elder Auntie, Little Auntie, don’t falter now. If we keep stalling, and that piece of scum manages to escape from the territory of Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor, we won’t know what to do next!"
The ladies returned to their senses and looked at them with a glint of hatred in their eyes. It wasn’t as if they didn’t notice what had really happened. There was one way Xiong Xiao could have died at the hands of Miao Yi despite the presence of these people—they had pretended to comply without putting in any effort to protect the Manor Head.
However, there was nothing they could do to change the situation anymore. Both of them could only shed tears and bite their lips as they turned around to lead the others to retrieve a Spirit Eagle to transmit their messages.
But as soon as they entered the inner mansion, one of the Mountain Chieftains suddenly unsheathed his sword and ambushed the two ladies from behind. In a lightning speed stance, the man stabbed through their stomachs from behind, leaving gaping wounds on their bodies.
The ladies had expressions of disbelief as they turned around in despair. But their perpetrator immediately kicked them to the ground.
Someone exclaimed, "What are you doing?"
"Didn’t you all see the hatred in their eyes? None of us will be spared from the responsibility of the Manor Head’s death, so naturally, we should cover for one other. His troops will not dare to provoke so many people, but these two are Xiong Xiao’s personal handmaidens. If we let them tip off the situation to the Hall Master’s ears, what do you all think will be the consequences of that?"
Everyone nodded their heads and felt that those words made sense. In an instant, they decided to ignore the deaths of these two ladies and strode over their bodies pooling in blood…