The reason was to fulfill the promise that Miao Yi had made to the School of Blue Jade.
From Yan Xiu’s perspective, Miao Yi’s method of solving problems would generally start with provocation. Once the situation had been instigated, Miao Yi’s involvement would come next. For example, when he first came to East Arrival Cave to assume his position, the first thing he did as a Cave Master was to secretly destroy the mountain gate. Afterwards, he would proceed with his murderous scheme by blaming someone else.
No matter how he looked at it, Yan Xiu could only see the present situation as Miao Yi’s intentional provocation. Otherwise, based on Miao Yi’s aptitude to lose his temper and then start a war, there was no way that he’d have the patience to watch those people leisurely arguing with one another.
For Yan Xiu, it had been worth following Miao Yi around for so many years. Miao Yi had admitted that he didn’t have Yang Qing’s skill of solving a problem by composedly utilizing tactics. He was quite used to stirring up the situation first before identifying the weak point, and then acting with violence to solve the problem directly!
Yang Qing had a softer way of solving a problem, whereas Miao Yi’s was more violent.
"Everyone stop quarrelling." Miao Yi handed his teacup to Xue’Er, and allowed her to brew another. He turned around and slammed his armrest, subduing the commotion once more before he shook his head and said, "Since we are unable to settle on the assignment of Cave Masters at the moment, then we shall leave it aside for now. There is one vacancy for Advisor and three vacancies for the Deacons. Who do you all think is qualified for these roles?"
The current issue was no different than the previous issue. And as expected of the situation, once Miao Yi had asked that question, the crowd below began to quarrel again, and continued to engage in a heated argument.
Naturally, the members of the Sword Deviate Sect would push for their own people to assume the positions; the Jade Lady Sect would not concede either. The Deacon from the School of Imperial Beasts wanted to become an Advisor, but found it embarrassing to nominate himself. Instead, he discreetly asked his own people to make an uproar while he strived to acquire the three Deacon positions for them in return.
‘Quarrel! Continue your quarreling!’ Miao Yi took the teacup that Xue’Er had served and slowly drank his tea while he listened to their bickering. He continued allowing everyone to remain in a state of dispute.
Since the beginning of dawn, it was believed that these situations would occur during the meetings inside the Grand Hall in Mount Calming Sea. This matter concerned their self-interest, so no one was willing to back down. The argument was so intense that they almost overturned the roofs of the manor.
Arguments were considered a good thing. The disciples from the Sword Deviate Sect, Jade Lady Sect, and School of Imperial Beasts criticized each other, spit flying from one side to another. They argued so much that their faces flushed red with anger, and were almost close to hurling abuse at one another. One yelled that the other was useless, while the other countered back by calling them trash. They fought until their bodies had came in contact with each other. The whole situation almost broke out into a full-blown fight.
The men from the School of Blue Jade did not join in. From time to time, they shifted their gaze towards Miao Yi at his high seat.
Both Qian’Er and Xue’Er did the same as well, occasionally casting glances at Miao Yi. The two ladies also noticed that the three great sects were displaying their disrespect towards Miao Yi, since they felt free to argue without any restraint. The two ladies were undoubtedly a little anxious at what the situation had become.
Yan Xiu understood the reasoning behind this. If Yang Qing had been here instead—or even Qin Weiwei herself—nobody would dare to display their rage with such audacity. However, Miao Yi deliberately allowed them to continue on.
Miao Yi finished drinking his cup of tea, stared at the visible bottom of the cup, and suddenly flung it away from his hand.
—crash!— The teacup shattered below the platform. Miao Yi suddenly stood up with a chilly expression and swept his cold gaze at everyone. Once he decided to turn hostile, he would do it in a moment’s notice.
The sharp noise had frightened everyone, and in an instant, the Grand Hall fell into silence. Everyone focused their attention on Miao Yi. Those who had turned crimson from anger in the midst of a heated argument were caught by surprise, as if they realized that they had gone a bit overboard with their squabbling.
But there was no choice. The Mountain Chieftain was clearly seeking everyone’s opinion to make a decision. If they didn’t fight for the opportunity, would they be able to watch the other sects take their benefits away from them?
Zhou Huan, Liu Qian, and the others discreetly waved at their respective disciples to stand back at their original position. The chaotic scene in the Grand Hall was quickly restored back to order. The shattered teacup under the platform remained a startling sight to see.
"It’s fine to argue, but to actually fight during a meeting in the Grand Hall, does this Mountain Chieftain still exist in your mind?" Miao Yi apathetically inquired, "Is this a challenge issued against me?"
The authority of appointment was still currently under Miao Yi’s control. It wouldn’t be good for everyone to overdo it, so they apologized for their offense, "Please calm down, Mountain Chieftain."
Miao Yi said in a low voice, "I wasn’t here during the first moments of my appointment, and I have dragged on the matters of Mount Calming Sea for a while. East Arrival Cave and Long Viridescent Cave are currently an empty shell. We can’t prolong this any longer."
Some of them below muttered in their hearts: ‘The East Arrival Cave is vacant because of your enmity with Xiong Xiao, which caused Xiong Xiao to execute a bloodbath. You are fortunate for being able to escape. The current state of Long Viridescent Cave is your work too. You nearly killed everyone in there, and now you have the guts to say these things? If you weren’t favored by the Manor Head, what makes you think you can take up the position of Mountain Chieftain of Mount Calming Sea!’
"I suspect that everyone must be thinking in their hearts as to what I did to assume this position. There are certainly many who remain unconvinced of my current status," Miao Yi laughed sardonically, then continued with a stoic expression, "This incident happened a few days ago, so I think the majority of you must have heard of it. Xiong Xiao had defected to Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor and became their Manor Head. These past few days, I have been quite incompetent. I personally went to Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor and took Xiong Xiao’s treacherous life. I even brought his head back and took it to Manor Head. With that said, I have risked my life to obtain this position as Mountain Chieftain for myself. Reward will go to those who deserve it. Manor Head has given it to me, so it is useless to remain unconvinced of my position!"
When he was done speaking, everyone was shocked. ‘Xiong Xiao is dead?’
Everyone was dubious of Miao Yi’s truthfulness. ‘He crossed through Suppressing Third Manor’s territory, went to Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor and killed Xiong Xiao?’
However, they were also aware that Miao Yi would never back down from an embarrassing situation even if he were found out as a liar in front of everyone.
Yan Xiu couldn’t contain his shock either. ‘No wonder Mountain Chieftain was absent these few days—he went to Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor to kill Xiong Xiao!’
Miao Yi only wanted to flaunt his achievement for a while, and there was no need to ramble on further. Even if he allowed himself to continue, he wouldn’t be able to convince the crowd that he wasn’t a lying bastard. He would have to be a bit realistic when facing these people. He swept his cold gaze at them and muttered, "We need a solution for the vacancy of Advisor, Deacons, and Cave Masters by today. Zhou Huan!"
Zhou Huan was the disciple with the highest position in the Sword Deviate Sect of Mount Calming Sea, and who also had a cultivation base of Blue Lotus First Grade. Naturally, he stood out. He cupped his fists together and replied, "Present!"
"Those you have recommended are disciples of the Sword Deviate Sect, right?" Miao Yi asked.
Zhou Huan didn’t shy away from the question as he replied, "That’s right, they are the disciples of Sword Deviate Sect. But I think any recommendation should not exclude close kin, as those who are capable are expected to assume the position."
Miao Yi nodded and said, "‘Those who are capable will assume the position’. Nicely put. I agree with your words." His eyes fell on Liu Qian, and he continued, "Liu Qian, your recommendations are all disciples of the Jade Lady Sect, right?"
Liu Qian, who represented the Jade Lady Sect at Mount Calming Sea, also had a cultivation base of Blue Lotus First Grade. She said the same thing as Zhou Huan as she cupped her fists together, "My recommendations are all exceptional. Similarly, my recommendations do not exclude my kin."
Miao Yi looked at the School of Imperial Beasts and asked, "Miao Yifan, what motive do you have for recommending your own disciples?"
Miao Yifan was more unlucky with this one. As the leader of the School of Imperial Beasts in Mount Calming Sea, he also had a cultivation of Blue Lotus First Grade. By principle, he was also qualified to become an Advisor. Alas, Qin Weiwei had previously arranged to have one of her trusted subordinates to become an Advisor. Three people were left to strive for the two positions of Advisor.
Qin Weiwei had Yang Qing’s support, so she didn’t have to worry too much about it. For the sake of fairness, she had allowed three people to draw straws, and the result was naturally a miserable one for Miao Yifan. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have become a Deacon in the first place.
Miao Yifan cupped his fists and responded, "Of course, the capable ones will assume those positions. Your subordinate has no selfish motives!"
"No selfish motives, my ass!" Miao Yi sneered, before he continued, "What a capable one indeed. It’s fine. I will listen to you all. Those who are capable will receive the position. From now on, all Advisors, Deacons, and Cave Masters will be relieved from their roles. Make all the positions vacant!"
Everyone was shocked. Zhou Huan blanked out for a while, before he furiously lashed out, "Why?!"
Liu Qian moved forward as well and asked, "If I may, Mountain Chieftain, why did you discharge us for no reason at all?"
Naturally, Miao Yifan would not remain silent, "We didn’t do anything wrong. Did you sack us because we were arguing just now? How can we accept it if Mountain Chieftain ends it like this? We refuse to accept this!"
He loudly cried out, and the disciples of the School of Imperial Beasts began to follow suit, "We refuse to accept this!"
Zhou Huan and Liu Qian both turned around, and their disciples immediately roared, "We refuse to accept this!"
"We refuse to accept this!"
Everyone was now worked up inside the Grand Hall, and jointly opposed their Mountain Chieftain together.
Qian’Er and Xue’Er had uneasiness plastered all over their faces. They didn’t know what to do if things carried on like this.
Miao Yi remained composed and observed the commotion for a while before abruptly shouting in anger, "ENOUGH!"
His voice reverberated throughout the entire Grand Hall and in an instant, everyone fell silent. Zhou Huan took a step forward and said, "We have spared no effort to serve Mount Calming Sea to the best of our abilities, yet Mountain Chieftain has discharged us for no reason at all. If you don’t give us a satisfactory explanation, we will go to South Edict Manor and ask Manor Head to bring us justice!"
"Explanation?" Miao Yi turned his cold gaze at him and continued, "Didn’t all of you already explain it just now? Weren’t you all arguing endlessly and causing a ruckus during the meeting in the Grand Hall, saying that the capable ones would occupy the positions?"
Liu Qing clasped her fists together and said, "Perhaps Mountain Chieftain thinks we lack the capability to take on the position?"
"Your words do not count in regards to whether you are capable or not. Show me proof with your strength!" Miao Yi snapped. He then faced everyone and said in a low tone, "From now on, everyone will be treated equally without discrimination. But those who think they are competent enough for the positions of Advisors, Deacons, or Cave Masters will be able to sign up for it, after which they must engage in a fighting competition. The winners will immediately receive the positions, while the losers will step aside, with no more talking about how capable they are!"
"..." Zhou Yuan and the others were immediately speechless. After quarrelling for a long time, they finally realized that they had inherently dug their own graves.
But the reason had already been clearly explained. They were the ones who said that the capable ones should occupy the seats. Even if they were to bring this issue to the Manor Head, they would still be the ones to suffer the consequences.
Nonetheless, they didn’t expect that their earlier justification would include themselves as well. They had intended to strive for their own side, and it would not be favorable to exclude themselves if they continued to stick to that reason now, would it? They seemed to have fallen into a giant pit of their own making.
In an instant, they were rendered speechless.
Those below exchanged glances.They were quite eager as well. By the looks of it, everyone would have a chance now!
In that moment, no one wished to argue anymore.
"Yan Xiu, Qian’Er, Xue’Er!" Miao Yi cocked his head to both sides and said, "Go and fetch their writ of appointments and storage rings."
"Yes!" The three of them obeyed his command.
Qian’Er and Xue’Er went down the platform, following Yan Xiu from behind.
Yan Xiu was already used to executing Miao Yi’s command by now. He went in front of Zhou Huan first and sternly cupped his fists at him, "Advisor Zhou, I will have to trouble you to hand over your writ of appointment and storage rings."
Zhou Huan only had himself to blame for being the type to stand at the forefront of the crowd.
He would never take back his own words. Gritting his teeth, he put up a bold face and cleared the items inside the storage rings in front of everyone. After that, he handed them over to Yan Xiu, along with the writ of assignment.
After Yan Xiu had verified these items upon inspection, he then gave them separately to Qian’Er and Xue’Er, before walking toward Liu Qian. He gestured to her by cupping his fists together.
There was no need for further response, and she was now choking on her own words. Liu Qian could only hand over the items resignedly.
The next one was naturally Miao Yifan.
The three of them were still fine because when after some thought, they remembered that they were the only three Blue Lotus First Grade cultivators in Mount Calming Sea. After a brief competition, they would be able to retrieve the things they deserved, and rightfully take back their titles, confirming that these three were still considered suitable for their respective positions. Thus, they didn’t put up a fight.
The ones who were truly lamenting at the three were the Cave Masters. They had their positions, but they made no mention about capable people and what they deserved. Initially, the majority of them had been able to directly assume their role as Cave Masters in Mount Calming Sea due to their background.
These Cave Masters finally realized their current situation after furtively glancing at the burning eyes of the other disciples. There were many who had a higher cultivation base than them, and there were many who desired to take on their positions. If they were to hand over their position, they weren’t sure whether they would be able to seize back their title. They were suffering because of those three bastards!
The Cave Masters were cursing at the ancestry of eighteen generations of Zhou Huan and the other two. So what if they were of the same sect or schools? They continued to curse without fail!