The two ladies had been raised in a conservative environment, so they were still pure and innocent. They failed to see the internal struggle between Miao Yi and Yao Ruoxian. When they noticed that Miao Yi wasn't angry, they let out a sigh of relief.
On the contrary, there was a trace of a smile on the corner of his lips.
He didn't consider it a loss when he failed to obtain those two pieces of Third Grade transcendent artifacts. That old guy's background wasn't that simple. He was Sir Zi Yang, who was notorious throughout the world for refining transcendent artifacts!
With the two ladies having him as their dependent, Miao Yi was finally able to put his mind at ease.
The two ladies had acknowledged him as their adoptive father. It would be a joke if the old man tried to mention killing Miao Yi again. He should be asking his two daughters whether they were willing to let that happen or not.
'If I need to refine any transcendent artifacts in the future, I don't need to turn to him personally anymore…'
Now in a good mood, Miao Yi immersed himself in a state of cultivation after he went back.
One month later, Elder Auntie Qing Mei rushed down from the South Edict Manor to personally check on the progress of the ship's construction. It was apparent that Yang Qing had considered this matter an important one.
Qing Mei saw Miao Yi pouring his mind into his cultivation, and asked him about the progress in preparation of the ship's construction. In response, Miao Yi only told her that he had delegated that task to his subordinates to handle. Elder Auntie Qing Mei's expression turned unpleasant at the way he'd handled the situation. She gave a stiff warning to Miao Yi and said, "Mountain Chieftain Miao, this matter must be managed from top to bottom. There must be no accidents or mishaps, so I do hope you try to be more diligent about it. Do not disappoint the Manor Head and fail to meet the expectations he has for you."
She was slightly afraid that Miao Yi would abandon progressing with the ship's construction altogether since he would soon be going to the Sea of Constellations. Should any problems arise, he could drag Yang Qing—as well as the Hall Master—through the mud with him.
Because of this, Yang Qing was a bit regretful that he'd informed Miao Yi in advance that he would be going to the Sea of Constellations. However, at that time, thoughts of the ship's construction hadn't crossed his mind.
Miao Yi could tell that she was upset with him. In his heart, he 'paid his respects' for a moment, but he still cupped his fists together and said, "I will heed Elder Auntie's advice."
"I want to take a look at East Arrival Cave." Qing Mei had already made up her mind.
Miao Yi could only put aside his cultivation for now. He accompanied her without bringing Qian'Er and Xue'Er along. He left them behind at Mount Calming Sea to settle some matters on his behalf. It looked like he'd already started to allow the two to deal with various businesses by themselves.
When they reached East Arrival Cave, the stern-looking Qing Mei did not stop to rest and continued rushing towards the site to check on it personally. She was more attentive and responsible than Mountain Chieftain Miao Yi of Mount Calming Sea could ever be.
The location of the ship's construction was chosen to be on the seaside. There were a lot of manual workers laying down the groundwork in preparation to construct the base of the ship first.
Inside the depths of the woods, more than thousands of manual workers were chopping down trees to salvage pieces of lumber that were suitable for the ship's construction. Giant trees were rolled down the mountain through the use of rolling logs. The process of delivery for the fallen trees was extremely arduous.
Trees that had been freshly chopped down could not be used for the ship's construction right away. The wood must be dried out in the sun, be rid of moths, and treated through a series of processes before they could be used to construct the ship. The process cycle could be lengthy, which was why the wood had to be prepared ahead of time.
"Heave-ho! Heave-ho…" Occasionally, the deep rumble of singing echoed throughout the mountains in a synchronized manner as the manual workers in the mountains pulled the towline, using a lever to move the fallen trees.
At the sight of these manual workers risking their lives in the mountain forest, sweat pouring down their backs, Miao Yi could not help but frown. He turned around and said to both Yan Xiu and the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave, "The manual workers must receive their salaries on time. If I find that someone has tried to embezzle their salaries, don't blame me for being merciless!"
If Yao Ruoxian were to hear these words, he would definitely turn against Miao Yi and say, "Where's my salary then?"
The Cave Master of East Arrival Cave and Yan Xiu cupped their fists together in acknowledgement.
Seeing that everyone was busy working in an orderly fashion, and all the preliminary works were progressing as planned, Qing Mei felt relieved.
When Miao Yi and the others accompanied Qing Mei back to Mount Calming Sea, Yan Xiu followed them as well. He wasn't required to stay on site for a long period of time. The starting process would always be difficult, but once the preliminary works were completed, it would be fine for him to come back to check up on their progress after a certain period of time.
Fearing that the people in East Arrival Cave would not work together, Miao Yi purposely brought Zhou Huan and a Deacon along so that he could station them there to supervise the situation. Essentially, if something were to go wrong, he could accuse them both of negligence.
Qing Mei nodded her head in approval. Zhou Huan and the Deacon could only comply with the order helplessly.
Accepting this order would mean that they had to stay here for several years. It would be fine if they could execute things their way, but Miao Yi would not let them do as they pleased. He made them stay together so that they could monitor and supervise each other.
After he had sent off Qing Mei, Miao Yi returned to Mount Calming Sea and resumed his charade of asking others to do things for him. He dumped everything on his subordinates for them to handle while he continued to concentrate on his cultivation.
Days passed by. Those who secluded themselves to cultivate would be unaware of how much time had passed.
The East Arrival Cave was as busy as little ants filling in the ditch.
Besides cultivating, Yan Xiu would sometimes call for Qian'Er and Xue'Er to handle things together. Both of them had accompanied Yan Xiu twice to East Arrival Cave to check on the progress of the ship's construction. Under Miao Yi's instructions, a few Advisors and Deacons would look for them to discuss and ask for their decisions on some matters.
The two ladies weren't stupid. Their ability to handle matters with diligence had greatly improved. In fact, their mentality had slowly matured. As expected, human beings could only grow by experiencing more things. Age was irrelevant in the matter.
One day, half a year later, Qian'Er and Xue'Er came to the silent quarters to announce some good news, "Master, father has given us two sets of transcendent artifacts as a present."
"Oh?" Miao Yi lit up, seemingly interested in their news.
They extended their arms outward, and all he could see were a pair of exquisite feminine bracelets clasped around their fair-skinned wrists. They were very beautiful.
Miao Yi pointed with shock at the bracelets and asked, "Could it be that he gave each of you a pair of storage bracelets?"
"Father refined these for us." The ladies nodded in reply, seemingly elated by their presents.
Even Yang Qing still seemed to be using storage rings. Miao Yi looked at the storage rings on his fingers again and felt bitterness in his heart. 'I'm flaunting myself with just a few rings, yet both of you are already using storage bracelets, and a pair at that. This is making me look awkward.'
He realized that the old man was clearly taking precautions against him by intentionally refining storage bracelets that were deemed feminine. Even if Miao Yi were to snatch them for himself, he would be embarrassed to meet others while wearing such bracelets on his wrists. What would others think if he, as a man, were to wear a pair of bracelets meant for women? On top of that, he wouldn't be able to fit those bracelets on his wrists anyway. Otherwise, he could have made do by using the bracelets for their functionality, even if they were meant for a woman's use.
He would've asked the ladies to wear one bracelet each and give up the remaining ones for him. However, he quickly dismissed the thought. Feeling slightly jealous, he said, "That old man is really narrow-minded. He gave both of you only a pair of bracelets each."
Surprisingly, the two ladies tried to explain further, "No, father gave us a set of treasured armor as well."
"Don't both of you already have a set of treasured armor?" Miao Yi asked curiously, "Hand them over so I can take a look."
The two ladies nodded. Their purpose in coming to see him was so that they could let him have a look at the items. They asked him to go outside to see what they were talking about.
Miao Yi followed them outside, and when he did so, he saw them pulling along two dragon steeds into the courtyard.
The ladies hopped onto their mounts and flashed a storage bracelet on one arm. What came next was a cloud of black mist exploding from each bracelet, which enveloped both humans and mounts. He could barely see their silhouettes amidst the black fog. They looked like ghosts that had appeared under broad daylight.
—swish swish— The black mist suddenly vanished. At that moment, the ladies had transformed from angels into devils atop their dragon steeds. This caused Miao Yi to stare at them with widened eyes for a good minute.
The ladies' black battle armor had covered everything below their neck in an impenetrable manner. They had two thorns protruding slightly from their shoulder armor, with phoenix wings extending from the earlobe area of their helmets. Their breastplates were wide, and the area around their waists was covered in tiers. Battle armor covered their long legs as they straddled their mounts. A pair of black battle boots etched in cloud patterns were linked together to the overall armor. There were two thorns protruding from the area around their ankles as well.
Both of them wielded a pitch-black Inversed-Scales Spear in their hands. The wings of their spears gleamed with a subtle cold light. Moreover, their mounts were covered in vicious-looking black armor as well. They weren't any different than the ones Charcoal wore, but their colors were black in comparison. The ladies seemed quite mighty and dignified as they used their battle boots to step on the thorns protruding from each side of their mounts' ribs.
The ladies and their mounts seemed to be completely covered in black metal armor. Only their fair-skinned faces and necks were exposed. Their skin was exceptionally pale in contrast to the black armor on their bodies.
Such armor in an oppressively gloomy black was able to emit an air of murderous intent while exposing the fair-skinned beauty of their faces. This had formed a sharp contrast in comparison, allowing the gracefulness of the ladies to show through the imposing air of their armor.
A white lotus was shown blooming on their foreheads. The two ladies and their mounts were glowing with a resplendent blue light. Even under the sunlight, their shining glow wasn't too glaring, and Miao Yi could still breathe in some cold air. He cried, "A full set of Second Grade transcendent artifacts?"
He saw the ladies slightly raise the glowing Inversed-Scales Spears in their hands.
—swish!— The sharp and barbed tri-edged spearheads abruptly struck outward in unison, causing the three blades to overturn and combine together with a clacking sound. With this movement, the spearhead had changed into a different form. It still looked like the sharp tri-edged spearhead, but without the barbs.
The two ladies drew in their transcendence energy and their feet touched the ground with a clack. They walked in their black armored boots and rattled towards Miao Yi one step at a time. The armor was fitted to their slender waists and made the two girls seem particularly charming as they walked towards him. It was apparent that their armor was made specifically for the two of them.
The battle armor concealed their hips and swayed as they moved. The other parts were moving as a whole, unlike Miao Yi's silver battle armor, which had empty spaces between his shoulders and bracers.
Even though the armor had covered the joints on their body, the metal was clearly refined so that the joints could move freely without affecting the ladies' movements in the slightest.
"The battle armor uses a lot of transcendence energy when we try to invoke the arts." A smile spread over Xue'Er's fair-skinned face as she wore the black battle armor.
"This is natural. It will definitely be strenuous for the both of you to wear a full set of Second Grade transcendent artifacts while having the cultivation base of a White Lotus First Grade." Miao Yi laughed humorlessly. He felt that it would be more appropriate if he were to use those artifacts on himself. Why did this adoptive father Yao Ruoxian make more complete sets of women's armor? It was as if he were trying to stop Miao Yi from planning something.
However, this was nothing. Miao Yi focused his attention on the Inversed-Scales Spears held in the ladies' hands and looked at the change in their spearheads. He pointed at the spears and asked, "What is the meaning of this?"
Qian'Er explained with a smile, "Father said he'd been through enough in the past. Although having spearheads with barbs is undoubtedly lethal, if we were to face opponents stronger than us, they could easily use their weapons to lock against the spearhead and seize our weapons away. With the spearhead completely reformed, we'll be able to avoid this sort of risk during a dire situation like that."
"Not bad, not bad." Miao Yi clicked his tongue, gaining another piece of insight on Yao Ruoxian's superb artifact-refining skill. He then exclaimed, "Senior Yao is certainly willing to use his capital since he's refined a set of Second Grade transcendent artifacts for each of you. He didn't even forget about the dragon steed mounts either."
Qian'Er forced a smile on her face as she said, "Father is afraid that we might be bullied by the people here after you go off to the Sea of Constellations. With a set of transcendent artifacts, we can defend ourselves at any critical moment."
"He really did take you both into consideration." Miao Yi had a look of envy as he nodded in approval. He still hadn't received anything yet after squandering his fortune, yet these two were already settled after recognizing Yao Ruoxian as their adoptive father. If he had known how it would be, he would have taken Yao Ruoxian as his adoptive father as well. However, that old guy would never agree to that.
Charcoal, who was lying down under the loft, was clearly attracted to the two other creatures of the same species. Charcoal then trotted over and circled around the heavy armor-clad dragon steeds.
Miao Yi gazed at the ladies' mounts before he looked at their battle armor. Suddenly, his expression changed as he said in a low voice, "Where did this old man get so many materials? This is bad…" With a flash of his silhouette, he exited the courtyard and quickly flew towards the inner mountains.