The echo of hurried galloping pierced through the silence of the snowy night, causing Miao Yi to break away from his thoughts at the star observatory platform, "Are the girls back already?"
"Doesn't seem like it. I can only hear the sounds of one steed moving," Yan Xiu replied, shaking his head.
"One steed?" Miao Yi's heart tensed. He quickly turned his head around and said, "Go find out what it is."
Yan Xiu quickly complied to the order and left.
The galloping sound of a dragon steed stopped at the gates of the mountain for a moment, quickly followed by indistinct cries of panic. Miao Yi stood on the platform and watched from afar through his transcendence vision, and he was able to clearly see that the steed was galloping toward the back of the mountain.
Not long after, Yan Xiu came back with a group of disciples from the School of Blue Jade and stood under the star observatory platform. All of them tilted their heads upward to the platform, and the air was thick with falling snowflakes drifting around them.
A distressed woman stood below, and sobbed with her fists cupped together, "Disciple Su Yuhuan from the School of Blue Jade respectfully greets Milord."
Miao Yi turned around, his forehead slightly creasing into a frown. Even though this person seemed distressed, he was able to vaguely recognize her by her beautiful appearance. During his first visit at the School of Blue Jade, she'd been one of the women with an ulterior motive when serving him.
He walked down from the star observatory platform and swept a glance at their expressions. When he realized that each of them had a pained look on their face, he couldn't help but ask, "What happened?"
Yu Suhuan sobbed, "Milord, three days ago, the School of Imperial Beasts suddenly mobilized a massive raid on the School of Blue Jade. They had a large number of experts, and we were outnumbered in terms of strength. The School of Blue Jade were unable to defend against them. The Grand Elder and Sect Master were killed in action. It was a complete bloodbath! The entire School of Blue Jade has been wiped out!"
The remaining disciples of the School of Blue Jade bit their lips. Some of them had tears welling up in their eyes.
Breathing in the cold air, Miao Yi exclaimed, "Why did the School of Imperial Beasts attack the School of Blue Jade?"
Su Yuhuan whimpered, "After the calamity, I eavesdropped on the conversation between the disciples of the School of Imperial Beasts. They say our disciples crushed their disciples at Mount Calming Sea, and that they killed Wu Liu, grandson of Elder Wu from the School of Imperial Beasts. At that time, he'd been serving at Long Viridescent Cave. Moreover, the one who attacked the School of Blue Jade was none other than that Elder Wu. Grand Elder and Sect Master were also killed by Elder Wu as well."
Wu Liu from Long Viridescent Cave? Miao Yi was slightly surprised. He recalled that when Gongsun Yu was still assuming his command at Long Viridescent Cave, Wu Liu was a disciple from the School of Imperial Beasts that Luo Shuangfei had slaughtered.
The reason Wu Liu had left such an impression was because he'd released a formidable 'Heart-Devouring Bat' at the time. Unfortunately, he'd come across the more vicious Luo Shuangfei and ended up dead at his hands.
Afterward, he'd heard from Yuan Fuang that in the School of Imperial Beasts, those who were able to tame 'Heart-Devouring Bats' would most likely be people with some sort of background. Now that he thought about it, it was certainly true. That Wu Liu had actually been the grandson of the School of Imperial Beasts' Elder. However, why would a person with such a background be stationed as a nameless soldier at Long Viridescent Cave?
Putting this aside for now, by personally leading his forces to dispatch an assault, he feared that Elder Wu had possibly abused his power for revenge. With that said, wouldn't that mean he was the one who'd caused harm to the School of Blue Jade?
However, Miao Yi was more or less suspicious of the situation. Frowning, he asked, "Even your Grand Elder and Sect Master weren't able to survive. With your cultivation base, why were you able to escape from such a predicament?"
"Senior Brother saved me…" Tears rolled down from Su Yuhuan's eyes like pouring rain, but she wasn't embarrassed. She explained how she was able to escape and survive long enough to find Miao Yi.
It turned out that this woman and one of the senior brothers had been in a romantic relationship. They were having a date under an old tree that night, and coincidentally, there was a hole under the tree. When the School of Imperial Beasts carried out their violent assault, the senior brother allowed Su Yuhuan to hide inside this hole. Unfortunately, the hole could only accommodate one person. For the sake of saving his loved one, the beloved senior brother decided to give her the chance to live.
At that time, the 'Heart-Devouring Bats' that filled the sky took advantage of the moonlight and swept through the entire School of Blue Jade. They killed everyone they saw, leaving no survivors. That beloved senior brother had not been an exception to their killing spree. Before he died, he'd used his body to block the exposed hole under the tree to save his junior sister so that no one would discover her.
After the bloodbath was over, the disciples of the School of Imperial Beasts went all over the place to find any survivors. Su Yuhuan overheard the aforementioned conversation while she was still hiding inside the hole under the tree.
She waited until the disciples had retreated before she crawled out from the hole. It was then that she realized that the entire School of Blue Jade had been completely wiped out. The remnants of mutilated corpses were scattered everywhere; all of them had once been the disciples of the School of Blue Jade.
Being all alone, Su Yuhuan was left startled and frightened. She didn't know where to go or what to do next. In the end, she remembered that the School of Blue Jade was still stationed at Mount Calming Sea, so she quickly journeyed out and rushed over without a break…
"Ah! The School of Blue Jade." Miao Yi let out a soft sigh. He observed Su Yuhuan for a while, and came to the conclusion that she had no reason to tell him such a lie.
However, he realized that this woman was seriously fortunate to be able to escape from death this time. He vaguely remembered her graceful figure when she'd stripped herself naked in front of him. She was rather good looking, but since she already had a lover, why had she done that? That was quite unfair to the senior brother who'd died for her.
Just at that moment, the sounds of galloping echoed from outside. Yan Xiu, who had quickly climbed to a higher platform to check, flew down to the ground and said to Miao Yi, "Milord, Elder Auntie and Little Auntie are back."
Shortly afterwards, the sounds of galloping dragon steeds stopped. Qian'Er and Xue'Er were still in good spirits, even after they braved through wind and snow to quickly lead the others inside.
The two ladies were stunned when they saw so many School of Blue Jade disciples looking devastated. Their smiles quickly vanished and they slowly stood by Miao Yi's side, not having a clue as to what had actually happened.
Tian Qingfeng frowned, "What is the meaning of this?"
"Senior Brother, the School of Blue Jade is finished!" One of them let out a terrible wail.
"Martial Uncle!" Su Yuhuan turned around and cried. She immediately dropped on her knees and knelt beside Tian Qingfeng, clutching at his thigh as she relayed the catastrophe the School of Blue Jade had suffered.
As he listened to her account, Tian Qingfeng looked as if he'd been struck by lightning; he was utterly frozen on the spot.
Qian'Er and Xue'Er exchanged glances with each other. They didn't expect that such a tragic thing would happen. On top of that, they had seen the bloodbath of East Arrival Cave before, so they were immediately sympathetic.
"Martial Uncle! You have to avenge the School of Blue Jade!" Su Yuhuan wailed as she shook Tian Qingfeng's thigh.
Revenge? That would be entirely absurd. Tian Qingfeng swept a dazed gaze at his disciples. What could he use to avenge them? Should he use them? How would he fight with the School of Imperial Beasts? When the School of Blue Jade was still in existence, they had never been a match for the School of Imperial Beasts. Now that their school had been annihilated, it was ever more impossible for him to avenge them.
Even Miao Yi could only offer his sympathy—revenge was not possible. Mount Calming Sea would not be able to handle a fight against a colossal force like the School of Imperial Beasts, much less the Suppressing Second Hall. Unless the Traversing Moon Palace was willing to lend a hand…
But Traversing Moon Palace would never interfere with such matters. Their opponents had not provoked the officials, and it was just a fight between two cultivation schools. The Traversing Moon Palace could care less about whether they lived or died.
"Milord, I wish to bring a few men back to the School of Blue Jade to check on the situation." Tian Qingfeng clasped his fists together, his expression sorrowful.
Under the circumstances, Miao Yi would never refuse such a request. He nodded, "Go!" He turned his attention toward Su Yuhuan and added, "Then she will stay at Mount Calming Sea. When I go back to report this matter to Manor Head, I will settle her official status as well."
The School of Blue Jade had ended up in such havoc, so this was all he could do for them for now. It would not be realistic to seek revenge with the School of Imperial Beasts on behalf of the School of Blue Jade.
Besides, if he didn't mention this to the officials, Tian Qingfeng and the others would beg him to take in Su Yuhuan eventually. When that moment came, it would be awkward to refuse their request. In that case, he decided to take the initiative and grant them a favor now.
When he said those words, Su Yuhuan immediately turned to him and gestured her gratitude. She sobbed, "Thank you, Milord, for taking me in."
The School of Blue Jade was unfortunate, yet she had found great luck in this misfortune. Otherwise, she would never have been able to join the officials that easily with just the cultivation base of a White Lotus First Grade. When she stripped herself naked during their first meeting, she hadn't managed to turn it into an opportunity. But now, she had succeeded.
"Thank you, Milord!" Tian Qingfeng cupped his fists to thank him. He then turned to his disciples and said, "Help her down so she can get some rest."
Not long after, the group of School of Blue Jade disciples departed. Miao Yi took Qian'Er and the others back into the residence. He then quickly wrote a report and sent it to South Edict Manor to notify Yang Qing of the situation.
Immediately, the sounds of dragon steeds galloping in haste rang out from outside and soon left Mount Calming Sea. He believed that Tian Qingfeng and the others had already left to check on the situation.
Standing at the door, Miao Yi sighed, "The School of Blue Jade has struggled for so long at South Edict Manor. Back in the day, they had fought incessantly with Yang Qing, and almost took control of the entire South Edict Manor. It only took one wrong move for them to end up defeated. Yang Qing was able to completely break away from their constraint all because of Hong Changhai's inept efforts in the matter. By involving the entire School of Blue Jade, it looks like Hong Changhai has caused harm to his own people instead. If that didn't happen, then why would the three main schools join the two manors after that? The School of Blue Jade is completely finished this time. I am more or less responsible for this matter."
He was able to utter those words because he still had no clue why the School of Blue Jade was finished. In fact, only Yang Qing, Qing Mei, and Qing Ju knew of this matter. Yang Qing applied some tactics, and took the opportunity to send out a letter, which ultimately caused the School of Blue Jade to fall apart. They had fought with Yang Qing in the beginning, and now they had lost to him in the end.
In actuality, the reason why Yang Qing had allowed the three main schools to join the two manors was to prepare a counterattack against the School of Blue Jade. If they had abided to the law and behaved themselves, he would have stopped at that. After all, he still had some use for them. However, the School of Blue Jade had never given up, and they'd even tried to make a comeback by using Miao Yi.
How could he tolerate any outsiders trespassing on his interests! The School of Blue Jade was a sect excluded from the officials, yet they repeatedly tried to meddle with Yang Qing's affairs. How could he continue to tolerate them? Even if Miao Yi had prevented Luo Shuangfei from killing Wu Liu, the massive support that the School of Blue Jade had shown to Miao Yi was already a great offense to Yang Qing. Naturally, he would use heavy force to dig up the roots of future trouble!
This was bad. The School of Blue Jade had destroyed themselves by playing with fire.
After expressing his thoughts, Miao Yi turned around and asked, "Tian Qingfeng and the others were in a rush to check on the aftermath. Yan Xiu, do you think they will use this as motivation to avenge the School of Blue Jade? If that's the case, then I fear that Mount Calming Sea will no longer remain tranquil. I feel that we need to make preparations soon."
"Revenge?" Yan Xiu shook his head. "It's not necessarily a bad thing for the School of Blue Jade to perish. At least you no longer have to give them a share of your annual Orbs of Will. Besides, how will they be able to exact their revenge with their current strength? They're not foolish enough to charge headlong to their deaths. It would make a bit more sense if one of them managed to rise up to the position of a Palace Lord. With the destruction of the School of Blue Jade, such an aspiration would be impossible since their cultivation methods would be put on hold. They rushed back to their school to check on the outcome not because they wanted revenge, but to see if they can find the complete cultivation method of the School of Blue Jade among the ruins. That's what they're most anxious about."
Miao Yi asked curiously, "How did you come up with that conclusion?"
Yan Xiu forced a smile, "Milord, have you forgotten that I have suffered the same fate as well? I can understand their feelings more than anyone else."
Miao Yi replied with an 'oh' at the sudden realization. He gazed at the fluttering snowflakes illuminated by the light outside, and narrowed his eyes. "The destruction of the School of Blue Jade isn't necessarily a good thing for me. I have lost the considerable support of an outside force. Luckily, I was able to kill Xiong Xiao first before this happened. However, if I ever want to find another mercenary sect like the School of Blue Jade in future, it might be very difficult to do so."
Yan Xiu remained silent. He was there during the entire process of Miao Yi's retaliation, and that was also partly due to the support shown by the School of Blue Jade. Manor Head Yang Qing had been able to rise up to his current position thanks to their support as well. In the end, the fate of the School of Blue Jade today was all because they had been too involved with the officials.