"Failure will not be tolerated in this matter. Otherwise, it will be very troublesome if the higher-ups come investigating. I will leave the supervision to you. You will have to visit East Arrival Cave often. As for Mount Calming Sea…" Miao Yi turned to the two girls, "Whenever something happens, I want you to bring the two of them along and show them the ropes. Whenever you're not around, just let the two of them handle some of the affairs of Mount Calming Sea. It's high time for them to get to know these things as well."
He didn't mention why he really wanted them to start learning of these matters. He was afraid that he may not return alive from the Sea of Constellations. With the two girls being raised like sheep since they were young, their survival capabilities within the cultivation realm was rather worrisome.
Qian'Er and Xue'Er both looked awkward, knowing that they hadn't been able to help Miao Yi with the major affairs and share his burdens.
Yan Xiu looked at the two and nodded in acknowledgement.
Miao Yi then ordered Yan Xiu to inform the East Arrival Cave Master of this matter as soon as possible. In the meantime, he sent word to the respective Cave Masters, requesting their assistance and began writing a response to South Edict Manor.
After the spirit eagles were dispatched towards the various Caves, Qian'Er and Xue'Er returned to find Miao Yi waving a jade archive in his hand, saying, "From this day onwards, I want you two to look through all the report that pass through Mount Calming Sea. Once you two have an idea on how to respond to each one, pass them to me. I will be asking for your opinions."
"Understood!" The girls nervously acknowledged the order.
The next day, South Edict Manor sent over someone bearing the blueprints for the construction of the ship and millions of Gold Crystals. Miao Yi was afraid something would go wrong, so he made a copy of the blueprint and held back half of the funding. The rest he had someone deliver it to Yan Xiu at East Arrival Cave.
After he settled this issue, Miao Yi said to Qian'Er and Xue'Er, "Follow me, you two."
The two followed him into the silent quarters. They were a little bashful, thinking that Miao Yi wanted to do it with them again. However, Miao Yi turned around and asked, "What do you two think of Senior Yao?"
The two immediately realized they had been reading too deeply. Their faces flushed with embarrassment. Sharing a glance, they replied, "Even though Teacher's words may be harsh, he's actually very soft-hearted. He's actually a pretty good person."
"I could tell that from the start." Miao Yi gave a nod and continued, "If I were to have you two acknowledge him as your adoptive father, would you be willing?"
The two were surprised, wondering why Miao Yi wanted them to acknowledge Yao Ruoxian as their adoptive father. However, they still nodded and obeyed, "We will follow Master's arrangement."
"Don't just follow my arrangement." Waving his hands, Miao Yi said, "These things can't be forced. It depends on your true feelings. Whether you're willing or not, it's fine. I wish to hear an honest answer."
The two couldn't understand his intentions. Sharing a glance, then quipped, "We are not against it. We shall follow Master's arrangement."
This evidently meant that they still didn't have a clear opinion on the matter. Miao Yi laughed helplessly and said, "Alright then. I shall decide on this matter for you two."
Once he explained everything, Miao Yi had the two girls prepare gifts. It wouldn't be good to go empty-handed.
A few days later, after the two had their gifts prepared, Miao Yi brought both girls to the mountains.
Once they reached the cave that Yao Ruoxian had hidden himself away in, Miao Yi suddenly gave a loud laugh and said, "Senior Yao. I have good news for you."
Yao Ruoxian was stroking his beard and fiddling around with several Yao Cores. Without even raising his head, he sneered, "Come to take advantage of me, have you?"
Miao Yi walked to his side and chuckled, "I have brought the two of them here. I asked them, and they said they are willing to acknowledge you as their adoptive father. Rest assured, I didn't force them. They are willing to do so themselves. The rest is up to you. Of course, I won't force you either. It all depends on whether you're willing or not. If you aren't willing, I will immediately bring them back. You can pretend as if nothing happened."
"Ah… This…" The Yao Ruoxian who would always shout at Miao Yi as though it was second nature, was instantly startled and didn't know how to respond. He looked towards the two beautiful ladies, then looked back at his slovenly self. He didn't know what he should say and was a nervous wreck.
Miao Yi threw him a strange look, thinking, 'Isn't this a little too extreme? Aren't you always arrogant?'
However, he could tell that the old man was willing to accept them. Miao Yi quickly gave the two girls a hint with a nod.
Qian'Er and Xue'Er immediately stepped forward and kneeled on the ground. With both hands, they each presented a gift and clearly said aloud, "Your daughter greets her Father."
The gifts were not actually very expensive. One was a black robe similar to the one Yao Ruoxian always wore, and the other was a pair of shoes. Both were handmade by the two girls.
Miao Yi had this arranged. "The old man is richer than we are. We can't afford to give expensive gifts. It's fine as long as our intentions are conveyed."
"Ah…" Yao Ruoxian's face was red and choked with emotions. He was restless and didn't know how to respond. He looked towards Miao Yi for help, as though asking him what he should do. Just then, it seemed like he had turned into an utterly clueless fool.
"What are you stuttering for?" said Miao Yi. He pointed to the girls kneeling on the ground and said, "Are you willing to accept them or not? Say something!"
"I'm willing. I'm willing." Yao Ruoxian finally managed to squeeze out the words, nodding his head enthusiastically.
Miao Yi snickered, "Do you want them to keep on kneeling forever?"
"Ah!" Yao Ruoxian cried out, and hurriedly stepped forward, grabbing the girls' arms and helping them up, "Oh my gracious daughters. Quickly stand up now, you two."
The two girls were feeling a little shy. Lifting up the items in their hands, they said, "Father. Your daughters have prepared these clothes and shoes for you. Pray see if they fit."
After that, they placed the items to the side, and walked up to Yao Ruoxian to help him take off the dirty, long-sleeved robe he was wearing. Then, they spread open the newly made black robe and draped it on Yao Ruoxian.
Yao Ruoxian's jaws were quivering with emotion as he allowed the two ladies to do as they pleased. Then, they helped him to the stone couch to sit and helped him take off the ragged shoes he was wearing before putting on the new pair of shoes for him.
"Father. Why don't you stand up and see how they fit?" The two girls helped him stand up, and had him turn around to check if the gifts fit.
Spinning around with his arms out, Yao Ruoxian fervently nodded, "Good... Very good…"
Beside him, Miao Yi remarked, "Senior Yao. Even though these things are not costly, they were handmade by these two, piece by piece. It has great sentimental value! Just take a look at the neatness and intricacy of the needlework. Normal tailor shops would not be able to produce such quality. These were personally made by them and tailored to your exact measurements. They have followed me for so many years and not even I have ever had the opportunity to experience such care. Take another look at that perfect needlework. Isn't it more beautiful than the transcendent artifacts you refine?"
The two girls were speechless and rolled their eyes at him. 'What a blatant lie. Weren't all your clothes personally tailored by the both of us as well?'
Miao Yi secretly hinted at the two of them to keep quiet. He had his own plans.
"Yes, yes, yes…" said Yao Ruoxian, nodding fervently. He kept nodding as he tugged on his clothes and lifted his feet to look at his shoes.
As his eyes continued to dart about, his eyes began to moisten and tears began falling. He raised his hand to wipe them but it was endless, as though his eyes were springs.
Miao Yi and the girls were utterly lost for words. 'Isn't this too extreme? He's actually so moved to the point of tears?'
The three of them couldn't possibly understand the experiences that Yao Ruoxian had gone through. As a disciple that was publicly humiliated, expelled and fallen from grace, he had to endure all kinds of hardship for a thousand years. How much pain had he suffered? How many had looked down on him and mocked him? Slovenly as he was, he had to live in hiding. Who then, had ever cared for him? The tenderness shown to him today struck the softest part of his heart. He would actually have two beautiful daughters, and his life would no longer be a lonesome one. His emotions were spiraling out of control.
Qian'Er and Xue'Er were starting to panic as well and didn't know what they should do; they looked to Miao Yi for help. Yao Ruoxian was now their adoptive father. The two had been orphans since they were young, so acknowledging him as a father was quite important to them as well.
However, Miao Yi simply made a dry cough. Taking advantage of Yao Ruoxian losing control of his emotions and his mind not being in the right place, Miao Yi chose to strike while the iron was hot and said, "Senior Yao. Your two daughters brought you gifts. Don't you think you should reciprocate with one of your own as well? How about it? Didn't you manage to obtain a pair of third grade transcendent artifacts from the Sea of Constellations? Why don't you give one to each of them? I think that would be very suitable."
"Alright, alright." Quickly wiping away his tears, Yao Ruoxian shook the storage bangle on his wrist and he took out two black hoops, preparing to gift them to the girls.
Miao Yi's eyes lit up instantly. Those were two third grade transcendent artifacts. Even a single one of them would be worth more than all the items he just sold. And what belonged to Qian'Er and Xue'Er would naturally belong to him as well.
He quickly shot a glance at the girls to quickly receive it and not let Yao Ruoxian have any opportunity to take it back.
The two girls were somewhat hesitant. It would be fine in the past, but Yao Ruoxian was now their adoptive father. Would it be appropriate to take advantage of their own father while his mind was clouded? With a pained expression in their eyes, they looked at Miao Yi as though pleading for him to stop doing such a thing.
Miao Yi almost wanted to stomp his leg in anger when he saw their actions. Yao Ruoxian was the one who was always setting him up and taking away his possessions. It wasn't easy to find such an opportunity to return this grievance. How could he give it up?
However, Yao Ruoxian had lived for a thousand years; he wasn't a fool either. Otherwise, he wouldn't have lived to such an age. He had been secretly observing the actions of the three, and wanted to test whether or not the two little girls truly treated him as their father.
Now that he had confirmed the stance of the girls, he realized that he hadn't misjudged them at all and couldn't help raising his head, laughing heartily without ceasing. After being alive for a thousand years, there was finally someone who truly cared about him and placed him in their hearts. His long life was not in vain after all. It was a truly comforting thought in his old age.
Miao Yi and the girls stared at him with puzzled looks, unable to fathom what was going on in his head.
Yao Ruoxian wiped his tears away and pointed at Miao Yi as he said to the girls, "My good daughters. This kid is no saint. He doesn't so much as blink when deceiving, robbing and killing others back in the Sea of Constellations. Don't let him bring us father and daughters apart."
He knocked on the hoops in his hand, "Even though these two items are worth quite a sum of money, they are not suitable for you two at all. Don't worry. Later on, Father will be sure to help you two refine a fine set of transcendent artifacts as gifts. Father will never treat you both poorly."
Miao Yi sucked in a breath of cold air, as something finally clicked in his head. He realized, 'This old bastard has been acting all along. Damn it. What a convincing act. At his age, he's able to cry whenever he wants. Even I fell for it.'
Then, he looked on as Yao Ruoxian tucked the two third grade transcendent artifacts away, and he couldn't even grumble.
Qian'Er and Xue'Er looked weakly towards Miao Yi as though afraid he was going to blame them. Seeing this, Yao Ruoxian mocked, "Why are you afraid of him? With me around, I'd like to see him try to make things difficult for the both of you!"
After that, Miao Yi immediately became an outsider, watching from the sidelines as the other three bonded as father and daughter.
After staying for four whole hours, Miao Yi left with the two girls in tow.
Once they were far enough away from the cave that Yao Ruoxian was secretly staying in, Qian'Er and Xue'Er cautiously said, "Master…"
Miao Yi knew what the two were worried about, so he waved his hand and said, "You two did nothing wrong. I was too anxious and almost fell for that old man's tricks. He's too cunning."