At first, everyone had banded together against the Mountain Chieftain, all while shouting at the top of their lungs that they refused to accept the outcome. But now, everyone was remaining silent. Each had an ulterior motive in their hearts. The change in their reaction was very quick.
The benefits that were normally reaped by a small group of personnel suddenly became something that could be possessed by the majority. Those who objected to the idea and wished to rebuke it would find it difficult to step forth and risk offending everyone. The unity they displayed before had already crumbled into pieces.
Once he had retrieved all the writs of appointment and storage rings belonging to the Advisors, Deacons and Cave Masters, Yan Xiu returned to stand at his original position, sweeping his gaze over the silent audience. He sighed inwardly. How had his lord even managed to rise above these men and become the Mountain Chieftain? This hadn’t happened without a reason. If he were in Miao Yi’s shoes, he wouldn’t be able to do it. It was better to just be obedient and perform his duties!
Qian’Er carried the pile of storage rings, while Xue’Er carried the pile of jade archives. They walked up the stairs together, holding on to the items as they stood before Miao Yi.
Back in his own seat, Miao Yi took a jade archive from Xue’Er’s hands and examined it under the eyes of many. He directed his gaze at the people beneath him and calmly said, "Those who are capable can occupy the high grounds! I’ll answer everyone’s call! This will be a fair assessment, those who are capable can occupy the high grounds! If anyone wishes to go back on their words… please step forth!"
He had made preparations beforehand. If anyone were to take back what they’d said and throw him excuses, he would immediately act out with violence and order Tian Qingfeng and the others to promptly make their move.
Fortunately, everybody kept their silence. Those with objections were obviously those who occupied the positions with vested interests. Unfortunately, Zhou Huan, the trio who were representing them, did not utter a word, so it wouldn’t do them any good to object to their earlier declarations. They held the most weight amongst the people in the three great sects.
However, Zhou Huan and the others realized that it wouldn’t look good to retract their statements to give them a slap across the cheek, since they were the ones who suggested it in the first place.
"Good! Since there’s no objections, then we have come to an unanimous decision. I will respect everyone’s choice." Miao Yi nodded, reaching out to grab all the jade archives from Xue’Er’s embrace into his own. Facing the audience, he supported the archives on one palm, and abruptly slammed the stack with his other palm.
—SLAM!— The jade archives were crushed into powdered dust before the audience’s very eyes. With their destruction, anxiousness gripped the hearts of those who once wrote in the jade archives. Did this mean that their positions were gone just like that?
Invoking his arts to shake away the powdered dust from his hand, Miao Yi gestured towards Qian’Er, signaling her to hold on to the storage rings. The two then parted ways and once again took their positions at Miao Yi’s sides.
"I’ll give everyone an hour to register their names. Those who wish to participate in the tournament can register their names with Yan Xiu." Miao Yi shifted his gaze towards Yan Xiu. "Yan Xiu, I’ll leave the matters of registration to you."
"Understood!" Yan Xiu acknowledged the order.
With a wave of his hand, Miao Yi said, "You’re all dismissed."
Yan Xiu was the first one to leave the grand hall. He knew all too well that some of these men would definitely find it inconvenient to register in front of their peers in the same sect, so he had to find a suitable place.
As for the remainder, the majority of them also left in quick succession. The only ones who stayed back at the hall were Tian Qingfeng and the others. They looked up at Miao Yi, who sat on his high seat with a fiery gaze. They’d held back their tongues from start to end, waiting for Miao Yi to give an explanation.
Miao Yi only had one thing to say. He briefly explained, "I have gone through all this trouble for all your sakes. Do not accuse me of not giving you a chance. If you can’t seize the opportunity, you have no right to blame it on me!"
Tian Qingfeng turned to nod at his junior brothers. After they all cupped their fists at Miao Yi in silence, they quickly dashed out of the grand hall to register their names.
Staring at the deserted grand hall, Qian’Er and Xue’Er revealed looks of admiration towards Miao Yi. Their master was still as amazing as ever in their eyes. Their worries were all for naught.
With his cultivation base, there was no need for Tian Qingfeng to register. He didn’t need to fight with his own peers. Miao Yi had promptly forced onto him a position as his personal escort, so wherever Miao Yi went, he just needed to follow him around to protect him.
Tian Qingfeng did it grudgingly. However, Miao Yi had been generous with his offer, and it was one of the highest in the entirety of Mount Calming Sea. On top of that, the fact still remained that he should stay by Miao Yi’s side since he was responsible for maintaining contact with the School of Blue Jade, so he had no more objections.
The two whispered to one another as they walked towards the back hall, with the two ladies swiftly following behind.
Once they reached the courtyard, they enjoyed the scenery in the garden. The standards of a Mountain Chieftain’s residence naturally was of a different calibre than the one he had when he was a Cave Master.
Miao Yi casually plucked a flower and held it to his nose. He took a whiff and said, "I’ll need the School of Blue Jade to send more people to me."
Tian Qing was slightly speechless. He forced a smile and said, "My lord, the School of Blue Jade does not have the Blue Lotus disciples to spare. It’s not that we are not willing to serve My Lord. We need some men to serve at our school so we really can’t send anymore."
Miao Yi shook his head in reply. "I don’t dare to accept any more Blue Lotus disciples. If I did, I fear that I’ll incur the Manor Head’s displeasure."
Tian Qingfeng’s eyes brightened at his words. The School of Blue Jade could at least dispatch more disciples of the White Lotus realm, so he couldn’t help but ask, "How many more men does My Lord need?"
"Gongsun Yu has taken away the last two remaining men in Long Viridescent Cave. Now East Arrival Cave and Long Viridescent Cave have been deserted, and about twenty more men have left for Mount Shaotai, so around forty or more seats are unoccupied at present. There’s only about twenty of you here. Take advantage of the fact that the Manor Head cannot reject our proposal since we have slaughtered Xiong Xiao and have performed a merit. On top of that, we are seriously lacking in personnel right now, so go and request the School of Blue Jade to send us another twenty disciples," explained Miao Yi.
Tian Qingfeng smiled, "I will contact my school later."
Tilting his head to the side, Miao Yi warned him, "I still have other matters to attend to, so I don’t have time to waste on these human affairs. Now that both East Arrival Cave and Long Viridescent Cave are nothing but empty shells, if anything were to happen, I will not be able to explain myself to my superiors. In the span of ten days, all personnel must take up their positions."
Tian Qingfeng withdrew his smile, his expression turning solemn as he cupped his fists and replied, "Your subordinate will definitely inform my school so they can quickly dispatch some men to take up the posts."
Their discussion was then cut short; Yan Xiu was already hurrying over with a jade archive in hand.
Miao Yi received the archive and scanned its contents, smiling faintly as he did so. Only six men were registered to compete for the Advisor position. Zhou Huan and the other two at Blue Lotus First Grade were pitted against three Blue Lotus Third Grade cultivators from the School of Blue Jade; now he finally had a show to watch.
As for the group of men that registered to seize one of the six Deacon positions, it was a match between a couple of White Lotus Eighth or Ninth Grade cultivators from the three great sects and six Blue Lotus Second Grade cultivators from the School of Blue Jade. The matchup didn’t seem like much of a competition for this tournament.
As for those who registered to fight for the ten Cave Master seats, it was needless to explain further. Miao Yi shook his head and passed the candidate list to Tian Qingfeng. He once again mentioned, "If you lot can’t even win these seats, then you cannot blame me for it."
After Tian Qingfeng looked over the list, he revealed a joyful expression on his face, saying ‘yes’ again and again.
Miao Yi then turned to return the candidate list to Yan Xiu. "Time is of the essence. Start organizing the tournament immediately. The personnel must be decided and arranged by today." He once again said to Tian Qingfeng, "Go and accompany Yan Xiu. We must ensure that the tournament is fair, so there must absolutely be no mistakes in this round. Of course, if anyone were to cause any trouble, kill them without mercy!"
The man was seriously unforgiving towards his own subordinates! Both of them trembled with fear as they acknowledged the order and left.
Yan Xiu initially wanted to request Miao Yi to go with him, but Miao Yi didn’t want to be a judge as it would just rub the others the wrong way. He would just leave the task of offending people to someone else, as usual.
There was nobody else inside the garden. Miao Yi’s gaze dropped onto Qian’Er and Xue’Er’s bodies, and his eyes swept over their shapely curves, a peculiar look in his gaze. Beckoning them over, he held their hands and led them into his private quarters.
Standing before the bed, the two ladies flushed with redness, feeling shy beyond measure. How could they not understand what they were about to do? Was it even… suitable to do it at a time like this?
Having recently experienced this for the first time, Miao Yi didn’t allow them any room to reject him. But they would always go along with his wishes and weren’t about to deny him. Their dresses were easily removed and thrown aside, exposing snowy peaks and jade thighs. The moment they were revealed, Miao Yi had already wrapped his arms around their bodies, falling on the bed.
Before they entered East Arrival Cave, and in order to serve Immortals, they’d had a ‘mother’ who taught them how to serve men. Since they felt ashamed beyond relief during that first time, they didn’t take the skills they’d learned into consideration. This time around though, they attempted to use what they were taught to bring Miao Yi unimaginable pleasure.
The tournament outside had already started. For the sake of their own interests, men belonging to the same sect fought with each other, their faces red with fury. While the tournament was awfully intense, the battle between the Mountain Chieftain and the two ladies did not lose to them as well...
Marriage was originally a deep-rooted issue Miao Yi had to tackle in the mortal world. At times when he was free, he couldn’t help but allow his thoughts to wander and be concerned about it. After completely claiming the two girls, it had finally become something that wasn’t really essential in his life. He finally managed to break free from his inner demons, which was advantageous to his cultivation progress.
Once they came out from their quarters, the flush on the girls’ faces had yet to vanish and they appeared more radiant and beautiful than ever. They followed Miao Yi from behind and ascended the loft, pushing open the windows to gaze at the tournament from a distance.
One of them carried over a tray, while the other served Miao Yi the cup of tea from the tray. They gazed at Miao Yi with eyes full of tender affection.
After they had given their bodies and hearts entirely to this man, they finally felt completely at ease. The feelings they shared between them were now completely different. They weren’t obediently attending to Miao Yi’s needs because he was a Mountain Chieftain. Instead, they were now tenderly taking care of him because they saw him as their own man. Judging at how meticulous they were with their treatment of Miao Yi, it could truly be said that they cherished him with all their hearts, and that they would always try to look out for him.
After the tournament ended, Yan Xiu returned with Tian Qingfeng in tow. They ascended the loft together and delivered the results of the competition.
Without even looking at the contents, Miao Yi could already guess the outcome of the competition from the smiling expression on Tian Qingfeng’s face. Once he looked through the jade archive, the results were exactly as he’d expected.
After listening to the two men’s report, he found that there wasn’t much to be concerned with for the other matches. Under the situation of a duel, it was expected that a White Lotus cultivator was no match for a Blue Lotus cultivator, since it was a battle between two different realms. The men who fought for the Cave Master positions hadn’t been expecting Blue Lotus cultivators to appear out of nowhere, so the majority of them forfeited the match before it even began.
To everyone’s surprise, during the fight for the three Advisors positions, Ou Yulin and the other two Blue Lotus Third Grade cultivators had almost lost to Zhou Huan and the other two with a cultivation of Blue Lotus First Grade.
The reputation attached to the three great sects was truly well-deserved as they were all capable. If they had utilized mounts to solve the differences they faced in speed, as well as to evade the strikes, it would have been hard to guess who would emerge as the victor. Fortunately, the tournament occured on a leveled ground. So in the face of desperation, Ou Yulin and the rest forcibly settled the match using their higher cultivation bases. Under a situation where they allowed no room for the enemies to show them what they were made of, they defeated Zhou Huan and the rest.
Even if that were the case, Ou Yulin and the other two cultivators were still covered in injuries and wounds inflicted by Zhou Huan and his men. It was a dangerous victory.
Once the match ended, Zhou Huan and his men were not convinced. But they still showed signs of fear when they faced the twenty Blue Lotus cultivators, especially when Tian Qingfeng revealed his Blue Lotus Fourth Grade cultivation base. So they could only concede, their faces gloomy.
"Keep watch over Zhou Huan and his men," Miao Yi tilted his head and spoke to Tian Qingfeng.
Tian Qingfeng gave an understanding nod, signaling that he understood the meaning behind Miao Yi’s words. Even if it weren’t for the sake of protecting his own benefits, he wouldn’t have even tolerated Zhou Huan and his goons trying to overthrow the results of this match. He would definitely inform his peers to keep a watchful eye on the trio.
Miao Yi wasn’t in the mood to gather everyone again and announce the appointments to provoke the others. He remained in his loft, wrote about a dozen writs of appointment before ordering Yan Xiu to send them off. At the same time, he immediately called forth the respective Cave Masters who had accepted the appointment.
When the new Cave Masters arrived, Miao Yi commanded them to quickly head to their respective dwellings to assume their roles. He wouldn’t give Zhou Huan the chance to collude with his peers, and so promptly transferred his former subordinates away by ordering the East Arrival Cave Master and the Long Viridescent Cave Master to take the men with them for now.
As for Zhou Huan and what remained of his men, when faced with Tian Qingfeng and the other nine cultivators with at least a Blue Lotus Second Grade cultivation, they wouldn’t be able stir up much trouble even if they wanted to.
Miao Yi decided to allow the available positions in Mount Calming Sea to remain vacant. It was more important for him to stabilize the present conditions first.
He wasn’t afraid of potential misfortune with so many Blue Lotus experts at his side. He would wait for the disciples of the School of Blue Jade to arrive to assume their posts and make the ten newly appointed Cave Masters fully understand the circumstances of their own subordinates. Only then would he attempt to reorganize the entire Mount Calming Sea. Obviously, the areas with a large number of thorns would need to get eradicated first.