Inside the guest house in Mount Calming Sea, Shen Fenghua sat unfazed on the main seat in the main hall as he waited to be served.
However, he quickly noticed that something wasn't quite right. After he came in here to take a rest, he was met with warmth and enthusiasm at first, but was later served with just a cup of tea. After that, not only was there no one to shower him with flattery, no sound could be heard from the outside as well.
He was pondering over what could have happened, when one of the two subordinates he'd brought along, Zhang Buping, stepped inside and whispered into Shen Fenghua's ears, "Deacon, I don't know what's going on, but the servants in this residence have been withdrawn."
"Withdrawn?" Shen Fenghua was shocked, but soon revealed an enlightened expression on his face. It would seem that Miao Yi didn't want too many people to witness him giving presents to a Deacon.Thinking that Miao Yi was going to come soon, he waved his hand and laughed, "It's alright. A guest should suit the convenience of the host."
Since he said it that way, his subordinates had no further opinions about it.
However, after waiting for less than half a day, a silhouette had yet to be seen coming through the door. There wasn't even anyone serving tea or pouring water for him. Moreover, there was no food delivered to him as well. Normally, there would always be good wine and good food served to him whenever he came down to make an inspection. Today was quite odd indeed.
After dawdling until the sky was almost dark, Shen Fenghua could not sit still any longer. Even though this bit of time was nothing for a cultivator, and meditating in cultivation could pass by in the blink of an eye, it was still difficult for him to just sit there and drain away his time. He then said with a gloomy face, "Zhang Buping, go and see what's going on."
"Understood!" Zhang Buping accepted his order and hastily went out.
About an hour later, Zhang Buping hurriedly ran back and said, "Deacon, Miao Yi and the others are at Yang Qing's side. They are having a feast and entertaining Yang Qing and his men."
Shen Fenghua vaguely felt like he had been fooled. But when he thought about it, it didn't seem possible for that to happen to him. A mere Mountain Chieftain would not dare to do such a thing. He stood up and said, "Take the lead. Bring me there so I can have a look."
The three of them then went out through the door by themselves. The moonlight was spectacular in the night sky. Zhang Buping took the lead in front and brought the other two to the residence at the other mountainside. As they walked toward the door of the other residence, they could smell the aroma of delicious wine and food. Laughter could be heard coming from inside.
This area was lively, yet as an envoy sent from their superiors, there was no one at his side taking care of him. Shen Fenghua immediately flung his sleeves, pushed aside the guards at the door, and forced himself in, breaking into the banquet at the main hall directly.
Yang Qing was sitting on the main seat inside the hall, while Miao Yi and the others were sitting in a row on both sides. A group of people were drinking excitedly as they raised their cups at each other. However, the main hall suddenly went quiet at the appearance of an uninvited guest. Everyone turned to look at Shen Fenghua standing at the entrance, who was gazing around the main hall.
Yang Qing's forehead was slightly creased. This fellow had just forced himself in like that. He really wasn't giving him any respect at all.
Even so, Yang Qing still stood up and smiled, "Deacon Shen has arrived. Prepare a seat!"
Shen Fenghua directed his gaze at Miao Yi and realized that he had a playful smile on his face. At that moment, he finally understood that he'd really been fooled by Miao Yi. He had never seen a Mountain Chieftain so bold as to fool a Deacon from the Suppressing Second Hall before, so he thought that there must be someone causing mischief behind his back. He stared at Yang Qing and let out a strange laugh, "It's quite lively at Manor Head Yang's corner. As expected of a Manor Head that commands two manors. There's no one serving tea or pouring water for us at my side. Nothing can compare to this treatment I'm getting!"
Yang Qing narrowed his eyes at hearing the churlish words. How dare he ridicule him in front of his subordinates. A Deacon with no power could never have control over this Manor Head!
In reality, he was actually a bit unhappy with Shen Fenghua. This guy had taken his gifts, yet he did not even express anything to him. So after they had arrived at Mount Calming Sea, he didn't feel like going over to the other side to take care of him. He didn't even think about the situation at Shen Fenghua's side either.
Hearing what Shen Fenghua had said, Yang Qing turned to look at Miao Yi and asked, "Miao Yi, did you neglect your guest?"
Miao Yi stood up and replied, "Manor Head, it's not that I wanted to neglect him, but Mount Calming Sea is unable to provide the items that Deacon Shen requested. Because of that, I have to save up and be economical for another two days. Perhaps from that, we might be able to save up enough for him."
Everyone gazed at one another in their seats. They felt that this guy had really neglected his guest indeed!
Yang Qing was too speechless to reply.
Shen Fenghua, who was burning with rage, waved his finger at Miao Yi and roared furiously, "Such audacity! Men! Take him down!"
The two subordinates behind him were also furious as well. They immediately came forward as soon as the order was given out, preparing to act against Miao Yi.
However, Miao Yi's face suddenly darkened, and with a 'bang', he kicked away the long table filled with dishes and wines in front of him, causing food and drinks to fly everywhere. Tian Qingfeng and the others quickly left their stations outside and poured into the residence Each of them wielded their weapons and surrounded Shen Fenghua and his two men.
A rumbling noise came from behind them, and cultivators mounted on dragon steeds burst into the courtyard.
Everyone on their steeds were shocked by the scene and proceeded to stand up as well. Why did they feel that this scenario looked a bit like a mutiny? What was this lunatic Miao Yi thinking?
Qing Ju stood aghast and stared at Miao Yi. She finally understood why Yang Qing did not want Qin Weiwei to marry this guy.
On the other hand, Yang Qing coldly glanced sideways at Miao Yi.
Shen Fenghua wasn't afraid of the large number of people around here. Despite feeling furious, he looked at the troops surrounding him and laughed. He then pointed at Miao Yi and snapped, "You piece of scum, are you trying to start a rebellion?"
Miao Yi extended his fingers and yelled back, "If you can take out Hall Master's orders, I will immediately let you apprehend me without putting up a fight! But if you can't, then my Mount Calming Sea isn't a place that some dog scum can casually wander in and act with impudence!"
Shen Fenghua could not show the orders. He turned to the indifferent Yang Qing standing to the side and shouted, "Yang Qing! Are you trying to start a rebellion?"
—bang!— Yang Qing flipped the long table in front him with a kick, and it flew across the room. He stared coldly at Miao Yi and inquired, "Miao Yi, what are you trying to do?"
What kind of joke was this? He'd come to his own subordinate's territory, and had been enjoying a grand banquet that had been arranged for him. And now to be suddenly ambushed? If there were a scheme behind this, he would be in great danger.
Miao Yi cupped his fists in response, "Manor Head, this old piece of scum with the surname of Shen is terribly cruel. He had the audacity to threaten your subordinate on the matters of ship construction. He said that if we don't give him one hundred Orbs of Will, he would go back to Suppressing Second Hall and report that the ships constructed had problems. Mount Calming Sea is surrounded by barren mountains and unruly rivers. I have also raised so many troops under me, so where in the world can I find one hundred Orbs of Will to give him? Since all my options lead to death, and since that Shen Fenghua doesn't look like he'll back down, I have no choice but to take down this dog scum first before going back to Suppressing Second Hall to ask for my punishment!"
Yang Qing finally understood the situation. No wonder that Shen guy was acting a bit strange. He hadn't expressed anything all this time even after receiving Yang Qing's gifts, and he still wanted to come to Mount Calming Sea to have a stroll. His relationships were built from briberies.
But back to the topic at hand, Miao Yi wasn't someone incapable of forking out one hundred low-grade Orbs of Will. That person didn't always have important matters to handle, but now he had finally found this opportunity to make extortions. Why couldn't Miao Yi just give him what he wanted? Why make such a fuss?
Yang Qing abruptly thought about Miao Yi's 'all options lead to death', and then came to a realization. That was true! This guy would be going to the Sea of Constellations soon. Was he trying to pick the pocket of a dead man?
He swept his gaze at the troops of Mount Calming Sea inside the main hall. Yang Qing was also worried that this lunatic Miao Yi would drive himself to despair, so he didn't dare provoke him into an act of desperation.
Moreover, what was the meaning of Shen Fenghua coming to the territory of a vassal state to seize his subordinate? If he were to be taken away just like that, then where would his authority as a Manor Head fit in all this?
Shen Fenghua naturally wouldn't admit that there was indeed a case of demanding bribery. He growled furiously, "Little scum, don't even think that you can make a slanderous charge against me!"
"Shen Fenghua!" Yang Qing interrupted, "We can work this out, but to take my subordinate away… what gives you the right to do that? If that's the Hall Master's order, then you might as well take it out and show it to us!"
"..." Shen Fenghua gritted his teeth. How in the world would he be able to show proof that it was the Hall Master's order? He gave a ferocious nod and said, "Yang Qing, I knew that you were behind this. When one door closes, another opens. I will settle this with you when we go back!"
Yang Qing was speechless. It looked like he would have to take the blame after all. No matter how hard he tried to explain to Shen Fenghua, he would never believe that a mere Mountain Chieftain would dare do such a thing like that.
"Let's go!' Shen Fenghua flicked his sleeves and walked away with both of his subordinates. However, before they could leave, a few long spears were shoved in front of their faces, blocking them from going further.
Miao Yi did not say that he would let them go. Naturally, Tian Qingfeng and the others would not step aside either.
Shen Fenghua quickly turned his head toward Yang Qing and said, "Yang Qing, don't tell me you are still thinking of making a move against me?"
"Let them go!" Yang Qing said coldly.
Miao Yi immediately waved his hand, allowing his troops to step aside and open a path for them.
A depressed-looking Shen Fenghua held in his resentment and left.
To be honest, when Miao Yi was watching their silhouettes walking away, he really didn't feel like letting them go. He wanted to use his complete set of Second Grade transcendent artifacts to take Shen Fenghua's head. However, he also knew that if he were to truly detain and kill the envoy of the Suppressing Second Hall, it would be a slap to Manor Head's face. He feared he'd be doomed even before he could reach the Sea of Constellations.
Tian Qingfeng and the others quickly retreated after taking cues from Miao Yi. They were palpitating with fear knowing that things had turned out this way. But there was no choice. If they didn't do it today, Miao Yi would set them up tomorrow.
Yang Qing's troops inside the main hall let out a slight sigh of relief. They initially thought that a fight would break out. Luckily, nothing had happened.
However, Yang Qing waved his hand and said, "Miao Yi will stay. The others, leave!"
It was a great banquet, but unfortunately, it had ended in a different direction. Everyone who left subtly shook their heads in disappointment. Before they left, they shot a strange look at Miao Yi. This lunatic truly had the audacity to ruin things, even to the point of offending the Deacon from the Suppressing Second Hall. Wasn't he afraid that the Deacon would come back and give him a severe punishment? They thought that it would be best to not provoke this lunatic in the future.
Some of the people leaving the banquet were people from the three main schools that he had gifted presents during his time at South Edict Manor. Miao Yi was able to gift them gifts, but why didn't he give some to that Deacon? With that, they thought that Yang Qing must be the mastermind behind this matter.
After everyone had left, Yang Qing, Qing Ju, and Miao Yi were the only ones remaining in the main hall.
"How dare you flaunt your prowess in front of me. You've got some nerve, Miao Yi!" Yang Qing suddenly burst out in rage.
"Your subordinate understands his crime. But I am unable to fork out one hundred Orbs of Will for him. I have no choice but to make this unwise move!" Miao Yi smiled bitterly.
There was a certain ruthlessness in his words! Amongst the Mountain Chieftains in the two manors, Miao Yi was the most extravagant of them all. Could he really not fork out one hundred low-grade Orbs of Will?
Yang Qing suddenly narrowed his eyes. He realized at that moment that Miao Yi had changed. He wasn't the same Miao Yi from all those years ago. He had actually worked out a plan to go against him and make him a scapegoat!
"Is it because you are going to the Sea of Constellations soon, or is it because I rejected your marriage proposal?" Yang Qing suddenly implied, a double meaning to his words.
Miao Yi's expression slowly turned indifferent as he held his head up high. He stood there, neither humble nor arrogant, and smiled without taking consideration of the distinction in their ranks, "This and that are unrelated. I will always remember the gratitude I have for receiving help from the Manor Head that year. I have tried to return your kindness by risking my life numerous times, and I have thought of following Manor Head for eternity. But because of Xiong Xiao, I am now able to think this way. Manor Head might not be able to accept me when the time comes. Even if that should happen one day, I will not hold grudges against Manor Head because the rules of the game are just like that—it will always circulate around the topic of replacement. If it were me, I would do the same to Manor Head too."
With those words, Qing Ju felt like she couldn't recognize Miao Yi anymore. Her eyes slowly widened as she continued to stare at him.