Yao Ruoxian stared at Miao Yi's fading illusory Seventh Grade White Lotus on his forehead and shook his head, "Your cultivation base is only at Seventh Grade White Lotus. Naturally, you will consume a lot of energy when using the Second Grade transcendent artifact. You might even have difficulty in controlling a Third Grade transcendent artifact. How did you even offend your Hall Master in the first place? Why is he making you struggle all the way to the Sea of Constellations with your current cultivation base?"
Miao Yi forced out a laugh and replied, "I'm thinking about finding out the truth as well. But to no avail, I don't even have the qualifications to meet this person."
"I haven't started on the talismans yet. We will speak about it when I'm free." Yao Ruoxian shook his head as he turned around and went back inside the cave.
With a set of Second Grade transcendent artifacts in his hands, Miao Yi was in no rush to use the talismans just yet. He didn't even try to urge Yao Ruoxian to refine them. Miao Yi later took the ladies with him and went back home.
When they reached his residence, he asked the ladies about Mount Calming Sea's situation during the past few years. The two ladies were already familiar with the matters here, and knew it like the backs of their own hands. They explained tirelessly to him of the situation with the respective caves, as well as the current situation at the headquarters in Mount Calming Sea.
Ultimately, a cultivator would spend most of their time in a state of cultivation. A mere few years were nothing to a cultivator. There weren't any major issues, but there were quite a number of 'disputes' that had happened during the past few years. The fight for wealth and privileges between the disciples from the three main schools and the disciples of the School of Blue Jade had constantly been going back and forth.
Miao Yi immediately disregarded these matters. As long as the stability of Mount Calming Sea wasn't disturbed, he would allow them to continue their arguments. After all, he couldn't possibly go according to everyone's wishes.
Before he closed himself in, Miao Yi had already explained to the ladies about the principles for dealing with anything. They should never be biased toward anyone, and they should never allow the underlings to fight each other in a duel. This was a common occurrence as a result of having an overwhelming number of troops. Even so, they should never lose their control with these underlings no matter what.
All these years, he had allowed the two ladies to handle things themselves. As expected, their ability to handle tasks had been considerably strengthened and matured. The only regret Miao Yi had was that the two ladies still lacked a certain ruthlessness in some of their decision-making, and they were somewhat unable to alleviate the situation properly. Unfortunately, they couldn't use real weapons to deal a few bloody blows in these circumstances. They would never learn if he spoon-fed them on everything.
After that, the two ladies prepared a feast of delicacies for him. They stayed with Miao Yi and enjoyed the meal together. In the midst of eating, Miao Yi started getting into the mood. He then took the ladies into the bedroom and enjoyed a round of lovemaking with them.
After they were done, Miao Yi placed his arms around their stark-naked, fair-skinned bodies and sighed. If only there were no more disputes, it would be great to stay like this forever!
Miao Yi did not stay with the ladies in tenderness for too long. After they had attended to Miao Yi and bathed him, he quickly went into a state of closed-in cultivation once more. Any attempt to further his cultivation base before going to the Sea of Constellations would count as a step forward...
Those who had secluded themselves to cultivate would not know how much time had passed by. In the blink of an eye, another year was gone.
When Qian'Er entered the silent quarters to notify Miao Yi of something, he must go out of this place no matter what.
The construction of the ten large long-voyage ships had already been completed at their best quality as scheduled. The Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade would commence in half a year. Because they would have to float at sea for about three months before they could reach there, this meant that the participants would have to assemble and board the ships three months before the event.
News came from the upper division that the Suppressing Second Hall had sent a Deacon to the East Arrival Cave to check on the ten ships before they could be accepted. Yang Qing would be coming as well. Since the Manor Head was coming, Miao Yi didn't think it was right to continue his closed-in cultivation. If this Mountain Chieftain did not show his face during the inspection, it wouldn't end well for him.
When he got out, he cleaned himself up. He estimated the time and sent a message informing the East Arrival Cave to prepare themselves for the inspection. He left Qian'Er and Xue'Er to look after his residence and personally selected ten people to go with him. Miao Yi and the others swiftly left Mount Calming Sea and rushed all the way to the side of the highway to stand in wait.
Yang Qing would be there to accompany the Deacon sent by the Suppressing Second Hall. They had no reason to go to his Mount Calming Sea, and would head straight to the East Arrival Cave for the inspection.
After waiting for a full forty hours, they finally saw traces of troops rumbling toward them. Yang Qing and a pale fatty were riding side-by-side in front of the troops.
Without requiring an explanation, that pale fatty must be the Deacon sent by Suppressing Second Hall if he was able to ride beside Yang Qing like that.
The troops swiftly came rushing toward them. When Yang Qing saw Miao Yi and the others cupping their hands together to greet him, he raised his hand, causing all the steeds to come to a sudden halt.
"This is Mountain Chieftain Miao Yi from Mount Calming Sea." After Yang Qing made the introduction to the pale fatty, he turned to Miao Yi and roared, "Quickly pay your respects to Deacon Shen Fenghua of Suppressing Second Hall!"
Miao Yi clasped his fists together and said, "Your subordinate pays respects to Deacon Shen."
"That's very nice." Shen Fenghua beamed and nodded, seemingly quite gentle and amiable. He then turned to Yang Qing and said, "Brother Yang, we have urgent business to attend to. Let's resume our journey."
Yang Qing nodded. He then waved his hand, signaling Miao Yi to bring his men together with him. Immediately, two groups of troops merged into one as they hurried straight for East Arrival Cave.
Yang Qing had brought Qing Ju along for this journey. Once Miao Yi joined the group, he naturally placed himself next to Yang Qing, which happened to be in the same row as Qing Ju. They had a good relationship as they were able to smile and nod in greeting when they saw each other. They chatted through quiet conversations, which made the journey quite interesting.
As soon as the troops entered the vicinity of East Arrival Cave, they could see Cave Master Jiang Yunlu and his subordinates, whom he had brought in advance, waiting on the roadside to receive them. Zhou Huan, who had been sent from Mount Calming Sea, was among the troops as well.
These people were unworthy of making Yang Qing stop for a greeting. He kept a steady gaze and looked straight ahead as he led the troops and rushed past them. Jiang Yunlu and the others weren't angry at all. This Manor Head wouldn't know who the hell they were, why should he be courteous to them?
In the end, Miao Yi waved his hand at them, hinting that they should keep up with their pace. A group of people then immediately followed the passing troops from behind.
They didn't even go into East Arrival Cave and went straight to the dock near the sea. Before they could reach the seaside, they were able to see ten large ships towering alongside each other at the docks. It was quite a magnificent sight to see.
The docks had already been nicely cleaned up beforehand. The mortal workmen were already gone as well. When they reached the shore, those who were on their dragon steeds seemed so small in comparison to the large ships.
Deacon Shen Fenghua seemed strict, with an exceptional sense of effectiveness. He wanted to board the ships for inspection right away. Yang Qing looked at Miao Yi and nodded, while Miao Yi looked at Jiang Yunlu and called for him.
Jiang Yunlu quickly led everyone on board and took the responsibility to make the presentation. Whatever questions Shen Fenghua shot at him, Jiang Yunlu would always answer them smoothly, "Naturally, there's no problem in withstanding sea conditions and waterproofing the ship. The whole body of the ship is built with wood oil mixed with limestone and ground seashell powder. When these materials are combined, they will not leave cracks or gaps, and they are resistant to termites as well…"
East Arrival Cave's Cave Master Jiang Yunlu had clearly put in a lot of effort for the sake of constructing these ships. He was quite knowledgeable in this area. There was no choice either since this matter had put a lot of pressure on him. Unlike Miao Yi, he couldn't just ask someone else to do it for him. Zhou Huan even had a professional understanding of the ships as well.
Most of the area below the cabin was reserved as stables for the steeds, with about two hundred separated steel cages inside. Above this area were two hundred single rooms, all arranged within three floors.
Once the two hundred cultivators and two hundred dragon steeds boarded the ship, they would have to live together on this boat for about three months. The environment inside the ship wasn't torturous either.
After everyone had taken a brief look around the ship, Shen Fenghua then decided to run a trial voyage for each of the ships. In actuality, the ship had already been tested multiple times. But since he wanted to have a look, they had no choice but to comply with him.
Jiang Yunlu was forced to assemble the troops under his command and allowed ten dragon steeds to enter the engine room together to serve as the ship's power. There wasn't any alternative as the ship was too big. One dragon steed would never be able to start up the speed for the ship.
Ten large ships took turns and sailed around the shore for one round. By the time they were done, the sky was already dark. Everyone decided to stay in the large ship for the night since there were enough rooms to accommodate their numbers.
A banquet was unavoidable. After Miao Yi had served his superiors, he randomly found a room and opened a closed window. He stood in front of the window and watched the great waves crashing into the large sea under the moonlight.
After a while, Yan Xiu and Jiang Yunlu knocked on his door and entered. In terms of facial expression, they didn't look good.
Miao Yi felt strange when he saw their faces. He was soon going to be a person heading for the Sea of Constellations, so there was no way he'd bend over his knees to accommodate Shen Fenghua. Because of that, he had handed over this matter to Yan Xiu and Jiang Yunlu for them to handle. Seeing that something wasn't right from their expressions, he asked, "What happened?"
Jiang Yunlu pulled a long face and said, "Mountain Chieftain, that Deacon Shen said that the quality of our ships does not pass the standard. He wants to report to the Suppressing Second Hall and accuse us of this crime."
Miao Yi curiously inquired, "He was quite pleased when he was having a feast earlier. He didn't even say there was a problem! Jiang Yunlu, tell me honestly. Did you properly construct the ship according to the drafts?"
Jiang Yunlu bowed with his hands folded and replied, "Mountain Chieftain, I wouldn't dare cheat on labor and materials for such an important matter. Me being impatient with life seems more probable than that. Your subordinate can guarantee that there are definitely no problems. But…"
Miao Yi creased a frown and asked, "If there's no problem, what's the 'but' for?"
Jiang Yunlu gave a bitter smile and said, "If Deacon Shen is intentionally trying to find fault in our work, then we have no choice!" Some words were difficult to say it out loud. He gestured to Yan Xiu and cupped his fists together.
Yan Xiu took a step forward and said to Miao Yi in a low voice, "Deacon Shen hinted that with one hundred low-grade Orbs of Will, he will forget about this matter once and for all."
Miao Yi suddenly came to the realization that this Deacon had taken the opportunity to use his authority to blackmail him. Where in the world would the East Arrival Cave be able to cough out one hundred Orbs of Will now? This was clearly an act aimed directly at Miao Yi. 'God damn it. I am about to send myself to death by going to the Sea of Constellations soon. And you still dare to blackmail me? Have you ever seen anyone spending money on their death? Don't bully someone like that!'
"Scumbag. One corrupted Deacon cannot control me. I still have South Edict Manor to defend me." Miao Yi sneered, "Don't even think of getting anything from me, not even a single hair!"
"Master, this matter can go two ways. If he goes back to Suppressing Second Hall and speaks recklessly of this, I fear that will cause problems for us," Yan Xiu forewarned.
Miao Yi hesitated for a moment before he said to the two, "Letting him linger here isn't the solution either. What if he tinkers with something on the ship discreetly… We will curb his movements first, and then we will talk about it again after he leaves. Yan Xiu, go and tell him that we don't have much on us. We will give him our deepest gratitude once we get back to Mount Calming Sea."
Yan Xiu was speechless, 'According to your words, it seems like you don't want to give him anything!'
Miao Yi shot a sideways glance at Yan Xiu. Yan Xiu had no choice but to obey his command and he left to deal with the task...
The following day, Jiang Yunlu let out a sigh of relief. They had finally sent that person away. But soon after that, his face was painted with a bitter smile. Miao Yi had commanded the troops of East Arrival Cave to move into the ship and live inside temporarily. They would have to wait for another three months before the official transferral could be processed.
Yang Qing was a bit depressed as he accompanied Shen Fenghua in the middle of their journey back home. He had more or less gifted some presents to him, but when Yang Qing asked for his opinion on this inspection, Shen Fenghua evaded the subject and discussed something else just so he wouldn't have to answer him. This caused Yang Qing to be frustrated in his heart.
What further surprised Yang Qing was that when they were approaching Mount Calming Sea, Shen Fenghua actually suggested to drop by and have a look.
This Deacon had the right to conduct an inspection tour around the workplace of his subordinates. It wasn't favorable for Yang Qing to say anything about it. He could only accompany the Deacon and pay a visit to Mount Calming Sea together.
Only Miao Yi and Yan Xiu knew what this great Deacon wanted to do. He came to Mount Calming Sea for the purpose of collecting money. What could they do when the Great Mountain Chieftain Miao had promised to give his deepest gratitude?
After Yang Qing's troops had settled down, Miao Yi called Yan Xiu over and made arrangements, "Don't be impolite at Manor Head's side. As for that Fatty Shen, do not give him any water, not a tiny drop of it. I want to see how long he can endure it!"
"Ah!" Yan Xiu forced a laugh and continued, "Mountain Chieftain, won't that be too much if we do it this way?"
Qian'Er and Xue'Er exchanged glances with each other.
Miao Yi taunted, "I'm not afraid, so why should you? Send out my orders. Let's see what happens to whoever dares to defy my command and attempts to flatter him secretly! Ever since I came to Mount Calming Sea, I haven't slaughtered anyone yet. My hands are itching for it!"