As soon as the five of them returned to Mount Calming Sea, Tian Qingfeng and the other three quickly ushered their dragon steeds into the ‘Hidden Dragon Valley’. They needed to contact their martial brothers to come to the Grand Hall of Mount Calming Sea for a meeting. They were feeling a little excited, because they were told on their journey back that Miao Yi already had a solution to the dilemma of how they would become officials. Soon, twenty of them would have backgrounds as officials.
As usual, Miao Yi stayed mounted on Charcoal and rushed inside the manor residence.
After he leapt down, Charcoal trotted back under the loft by itself and laid down. This was an old habit of his.
Qian’Er and Xue’Er welcomed Miao Yi and continued to follow behind him as Miao Yi strode toward the main hall and asked, "Has every single Cave Masters arrived?"
Xue’Er replied, "They have. Master Yan has settled them in the residence behind the mountain to rest."
Miao Yi nodded and seated himself. Qian’Er brewed a cup of tea and served it to him. She whispered to his ears as she did so, "I have already told Master of that matter."
Miao Yi knew that she meant the matter of him heading to the Sea of Constellations. He couldn’t help but asked, "What was Senior Yao’s reaction?"
The two ladies glanced at each other without giving a response. They seemed a bit reluctant to answer.
After seeing their behavior, Miao Yi gestured with his hand. There was no need to give a reply as Yao Ruoxian definitely didn’t have anything good to say about it. He withdrew his inquiry and commanded, "Tell Yan Xiu to come to the grand hall for a meeting."
"Understood!" Xue’Er heeded his order and left.
By the time Yan Xiu arrived in the grand hall for the meeting, Tian Qingfeng and the other disciples of the School of Blue Jade had already arrived.
Miao Yi led his two handmaidens out out from the back of the hall. They then ascended to a high platform, before Miao Yi sat down on the Mountain Chieftain’s seat. Meanwhile, Qian’Er and Xue’Er stood on either side of him.
Down below stood two rows of people cupping their fists together as they greeted in unison, "We have come to pay our respects to Mountain Chieftain!"
Miao Yi signalled with his hand to forego all formalities. He scanned the men below and said, "The position of Cave Master for East Arrival Cave is vacant at the moment. Also, there are two more Cave Masters who will be following the previous Mountain Chieftain to Mount Shaotai. I want to take this opportunity to proceed with the rearranging Mount Calming Sea’s personnel. Yan Xiu!"
"Present!" Yan Xiu took a step forward.
Miao Yi declared to everyone at the scene, "Yan Xiu has followed me for several years, showing how loyal and faithful he is to me. In addition, he was once the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave. Now, I wish to transfer him to be the Cave Master of Long Viridescent Cave. Are there any objections?"
The location of East Arrival Cave was deemed too dangerous. Just like he said before, Yan Xiu had always been loyal to him, but he was truly not suited to stand in the front lines. Now that Miao Yi had great authority in his hands, he would naturally use it to help Yan Xiu change the location. Somewhere more suited for him to stay.
On their journey back, Miao Yi already informed Tian Qingfeng and the others that he would be rewarding the School of Blue Jade in return for their many years of support, as soon as they returned to Mount Calming Sea. The majority of them were set to assume the positions of Cave Master of their respective dwellings. They would soon become figures able to command a hundred thousand followers.
Commanding a hundred thousand followers was nothing compared to the cultivation life in their schools. They could now have all the women, power and extravagance at their disposal; this wasn’t simply a matter of their concern regarding their cultivation resources anymore. They were choked up with emotions just thinking about it.
The ability to control a region after joining the officials was quite the temptation. They felt that it had been worth it all following Miao Yi and laying their lives down for him.
However, Miao Yi had already specified that those with cultivations of Blue Lotus Second Grade and above would forget about getting the posts of Cave Master. Instead, they were told to stay at Mount Calming Sea. Tian Qingfeng and the others had no objections to it. Even though it would be good to oversee a region, they were indeed quite unsuitable to become Cave Masters with their cultivation base.
Yan Xiu was an old subordinate who had been by Miao Yi’s side. How could anyone object to Miao Yi’s arrangement for Yan Xiu to become Cave Master? Tian Qingfeng and the others immediately cupped their fists and declared, "We have no objections."
Qian’Er and Xue'Er glanced at each other with a glint of excitement in their eyes. They were happy for Yan Xiu. After all, Yan Xiu was half a Master to these two. In the past, he was considered a Cave Master, but everyone knew that he was actually Miao Yi's shadow. Now that Master could finally oversee a region as a real Cave Master, they were naturally happy for him.
Miao Yi nodded and was about to put in a final word when Yan Xiu suddenly stepped forward and cupped his fists, "Mountain Chieftain. Your subordinate does not have much ability. I fear that I am not competent enough to become a Cave Master. I am willing to accompany Mountain Chieftain wherever he goes. I humbly request that Mountain Chieftain search for someone more capable to assume the role."
Qian'Er and Xue'Er were stunned. Tian Qingfeng and the other stared at him as well. They weren’t sure whether Yan Xiu was telling the truth or not. Was he willing to give up the power to control and oversee a region, just like that?
Yan Xiu more or less understood during his time at East Arrival Cave that he was indeed unsuited to command an entire region. If he assumed his role in Long Viridescent Cave, he would have to face several people from different schools. He admitted that he didn’t have half of the capabilities that Miao Yi had when he first came to East Arrival Cave, fighting and killing his own subordinates the moment he assumed his post. Not only that, Miao Yi had wiped out his own men twice in a row. Yan Xiu felt he wasn't suited to do those things, and he didn't have the ability to control others either.
After he calmly considered everything, Yan Xiu realized that he was actually more suited to executing orders. Moreover, he was more comfortable staying by Miao Yi's side.
Miao Yi could see that he was telling the truth. He had actually known that Yan Xiu was never an ambitious man—he wasn’t suited for such matters like struggling for power and money. Besides, Miao Yi was not a person who could be concerned with either official or trivial matters, so he needed someone like that beside him. He was used to having Yan Xiu for those matters, and Yan Xiu had never shown given cause to doubt his loyalty for Miao Yi as well.
However, Miao Yi still pensively asked, "Are you sure you are unwilling to head to Long Viridescent Cave?"
One must know that many cultivators have dreamt of overseeing a region on their own. Not only could they enjoy the privileges of women and power, they could also obtained experience in serving as an official overseeing a region. With those experiences in hand, they could easily climb their way to the top. If they managed to get promoted in the future, they would have their own worries as well. If they couldn’t even handle the affairs of a cave, how could anyone believe that they had the capability to attend to the matters of one mountain?
"Your subordinate is willing to follow Mountain Chieftain." Yan Xiu expressed his intent once again.
"Alright!" Miao Yi nodded. He would never treat Yan Xiu badly, yet with Yan Xiu’s current cultivation, none of the positions in Mount Calming Sea were suitable for him. Miao Yi pondered for a moment before deciding, "Then you shall become the Supervisor of the Mountain Chieftain’s manor."
"Thank you, Mountain Chieftain, for fulfilling my wish." Yan Xiu expressed his gratitude and returned to his position.
Tian Qingfeng and the others exchanged glances. This wasn't an official position, yet no one dared look down on it. Mountain Chieftain had taken Yan Xiu as his personal trusted subordinate. Everyone would have to build a good relationship with Yan Xiu from now on.
"Hu Tongzhi, Ren Qiong, Wang Yulang, Yang Shutian, Zhang Huixin, Jiang Yunlu, Fang Renyi, Tang Qing, Chang Chaoqun, Liang De." Miao Yi called all ten name of the School of Blue Jade disciples with cultivation base of Blue Lotus First Grade one by one.
Ten people came forward and acknowledged his order.
Miao Yi gazed at them and calmly said, "The position of Cave Master isn’t one you can undertake immediately, and I can’t forcefully appoint ten Cave Masters all at once as that will be unfair to those old subordinates who originally assumed the positions in Mount Calming Sea. Their pillar of support is the Manor Head, which means their response will be collectively directed back to him. I won’t be able to hold it on on my own, which is why I wish to hold a competition later on. Winners will go up and losers will step aside. Are you all willing to participate?"
Ten of them were already advised by Tian Qingfeng and the others that Miao Yi would need an appropriate excuse to appoint them as Cave Masters. He couldn’t afford to incite the entire garrison of Mount Calming Sea into a rebellion against himself. Furthermore, the cultivation base of Blue Lotus First Grade was obviously a huge advantage to the position. If they still couldn’t gain the upper hand, then they shouldn’t kick up a fuss when they told to stand and watch from the sidelines.
"We are willing." The ten of them clearly responded as they clasped their fists together.
Tian Qingfeng stroke his beard and smiled. This was obviously a competition that Miao Yi was setting up in favour of the School of Blue Jade. Miao Yi had finally begun to return the favor after the School of Blue Jade invested several years of their time on him.
Miao Yi nodded. He was determined to help these people. With their support, the rest of the personnel would be easier to handle. He turned his gaze to Yan Xiu and said, "Yan Xiu. Tell the other Cave Masters and all the troops of Mount Calming Sea to come in."
Yan Xiu acknowledged the order and left.
At a signal from Miao Yi, Tian Qingfeng quickly ordered the disciples of the School of Blue Jade to stand in two rows, before withdrawing a few steps to the sides, allowing the middle section to be vacant.
Not long after that, nine Cave Masters and about forty men of Mount Calming Sea poured into the hall one after another. These people included the three Great Advisors, six Great Deacons, and the nine Cave Masters standing at the foremost line.
"We have come to pay our respects to Mountain Chieftain. Greetings Elder Auntie and Little Auntie." Everyone greeted in unison. Immediately after, they swept their eyes to both sides of the hall. Looking at their stance, they immediately understood that the new Mountain Chieftain had assumed his role, and the the process of rearranging personnel had officially begun.
Each and every Cave Master was overcome with emotions. The person seated at the top was also a Cave Master like them not long ago. Now, he had finally become a superior, a Mountain Chieftain; and gained the respect of his subordinates. The times had indeed changed!
Qian’Er and Xue’Er swept their gaze over the guests below. They were feeling a little excited, as these people coming over to pay their respects to their Master weren’t the ones who visited East Arrival Cave at the beginning. There were even individual Cave Masters amongst these people too!
The two ladies felt honored seeing that their Master was shown respect after managing to stand out from these people. From this point onwards, now that the others had paid their respects, the ladies would be officially known as Elder Auntie and Little Auntie of Mount Calming Sea.
In fact, before Miao Yi returned from South Edict Manor, a lot of people had come forward and gifted the two ladies with a few presents. The new trinkets alone already filled one room. They just couldn’t manage to savor everything in one moment.
The most anxious one of all was Gongsun Yu, standing below the loft. Even though he said he would be going to Mount Shaotai, and that Yan Xiu had given his consent before Qin Weiwei, Miao Yi would still be the one to give his consent in the end. He was worried that Miao Yi would not agree to his transfer and intentionally play him for a fool.
Fortunately, Miao Yi only gave him a few glances and didn’t make things difficult for him as a show of respect to Qin Weiwei. He asked Yan Xiu to get Qin Weiwei’s name list, picked out nine names from the list to begin preparing to release them and permitted their return to Mount Shaotai.
There was one who made a request to bring over two of their subordinates as well.
Miao Yi granted all their requests., Those who were ready to follow Qin Weiwei breathed a sigh of relief. Initially, they were also worried that Miao Yi would be untrustworthy, but now all was well. They could finally leave Mount Calming Sea to join Qin Weiwei at Mount Shaotai.
One must understand that Qin Weiwei was now in command of two mountains. Naturally, her benefits could not be compared with that of Mount Calming Sea. Those who left to follow her would undoubtedly have their situation improve together with her gains.
The nine of them who received approval gave their thanks. With that, one Advisor post, three Deacon posts and two positions as Cave Master were immediately vacant. As nine of them were also taking away twelve subordinates with them, Mount Calming Sea lost twenty-one people in an instant.
But those who could leave, could go ahead and leave first. As for the rest who were still with positions, they would still need to return to their dwellings to do the transferral process before they could leave to Mount Shaotai.
"Mount Calming Sea has lost three Cave Masters, especially East Arrival Cave and Long Viridescent Cave—these two are more or less vacant. We can’t delay this issue any longer. We have to solve this first." Looking around at those down below, Miao Yi asked, "I am not quite acquainted with all of you either. I have no idea who should assume these posts. Do all of you have a choice of person to recommend?"
There was no need for courtesy on these matters. The scene below immediately broke into chaos. Opinions clashed as all of them recommended a person that would benefit their cause, especially the remaining two Advisors and three Deacons—they were all members from the three main schools. They supported their own sides, condemned the others for their terrible suggestions and over-exaggerated in praising their own.
The others who did not have any posts were simple eager to cause trouble. It was a scene of complete chaos down there.
Miao Yi wore a serious expression as he listened to the arguments. He nodded at the words of one side and proceeded to do the same to the other side. He felt that both parties seemed to be making sense, and showed a face of indecisiveness at the end. One would almost suspect that he was intentionally fanning the flames of discord to create a rift between them.
All this while, Tian Qingfeng and the others standing on either sides of the hall watched indifferently without uttering a word.
Those below were at it for so long, that they were just a step away from turning the quarrel into a fight. It was apparent that these people didn’t have any respect for the newly promoted Miao Yi, especially Zhou Huan from the Sword Deviate Sect and Liu Qian from the Jade Lady Sect. These two Advisors of opposite genders were at each other’s throats just because they wanted to push for benefits on behalf of their own respective disciples. Both of them even stood at the forefront to quarrel with each other.
"Everyone stop quarreling," commanded Miao Yi and managed to subdue their bickering. Then he proceeded to ask, "In the end, there was no conclusion from the result of your squabbles. I am almost dizzy with your endless disputes. Why don’t you all just tell me who is more competent to assume the respective positions of Cave Master?"
Those words were clearly meant to bait everyone into continuing their quarrel. In an instant, the scene below was noisy again.
Miao Yi cocked his head to the side, allowing Xue’Er to brew a cup of tea for him. He sat on his high seat and slowly enjoyed his tea, all the while watching the people below continuing their arguments.
Yan Xiu stood below him and bitterly laughed in his heart. This was the exact reason why he didn’t want to oversee a region. However, this wasn’t the first time he was with Miao Yi. Looking at the situation, he believed that Miao Yi was soon going to return things to order.