It was rare for Qin Weiwei to be so stubborn when facing Qing Mei and Qing Ju. Generally, she would not behave like a little miss to either of them because they could more or less be considered as her stepmothers. They had raised her since she was very young.
Today, it was obvious that she had swallowed the wrong medicine.
Hong Mian and Lu Liu had also come along, and they chose to wait in the courtyard instead. When they saw Qin Weiwei forcing herself into the residence, they didn't have the guts to follow her and go against Qing Mei and Qing Ju. Within the two manors, only Qin Weiwei would dare to do such a thing.
However, there were also traces of anxiety in their eyes as well. After the candidate list for the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade was released, they hadn't been able to believe it either. They knew the kind of feelings Qin Weiwei had for Miao Yi. As expected, she immediately rushed over without stopping to rest.
Inside the silent quarters, Yang Qing, who was sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed, slowly opened his eyes to see Qin Weiwei striding into the residence. He didn't expect that she would force herself in. It was as though the girl who would never publicly address him as her father and the one before him now were two different people.
He knew that she would come looking for him once the candidate list was announced, which was why he'd shut himself in to avoid her. It wasn't because he felt guilty; he just didn't want to see his own daughter coming to look for him just because of that man. This annoyed him quite a lot.
However, he now acknowledged that the person approaching him was not just his daughter, but a woman. In the structure of a woman's life, being a daughter was just a part of it and never above her identity as a woman. Because of that, women were able to put aside their parent's words whenever love was involved in the discussion.
"Weiwei, do you realize what you're doing?" Yang Qing questioned sombrely.
Qin Weiwei stood firmly in front of him and questioned him as well, "What's with the candidate list?"
Yang Qing became furious, "Impudence! Are you going to talk to your father with that kind of attitude?"
Qin Weiwei bit her lips and asked again, "Why is Miao Yi's name on the list?"
The moment she knew of the candidate list, she immediately thought that she had gotten Miao Yi into trouble. She was certain that the marriage proposal last time had angered her father. Otherwise, how could someone let a cultivator from the White Lotus realm participate in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade? Wouldn't that mean that he wanted to send Miao Yi to his own death?
His daughter was Yang Qing's greatest weakness. Seeing that her eyes were slightly red, he couldn't bear staying angry with her for long. He calmly asked, "Do you like Miao Yi?"
Qin Weiwei's heart trembled as she firmly denied it. "No. I just want to know if you made his name appear on that list because of the marriage proposal."
It would be strange if she said she didn't like him. Yang Qing sighed in his heart, 'If you don't like him then why are you getting this worked up?' He shook his head and said, "You are overthinking things. Miao Yi's name wasn't even on the candidate list in the first place. It was the Hall Master who crossed out one of the names and added Miao Yi to the list. So there's no need to be suspicious. I know you won't believe me with this kind of statement, but to be honest, I don't know why Hall Master added Miao Yi's name. I really don't have anything to do with this matter, and Miao Yi knows this. I think he's the only one who can guess why his name appeared on the list. This wouldn't have happened without a reason."
Qin Weiwei widened her eyes and choked out a response, "Miao Yi already knew about the candidate list?"
Yang Qing nodded.
In that instant, Qin Weiwei finally realized why Miao Yi had entrusted those two people to her, and why he'd given gifts to the three main schools that time. He had done all of that because he was making preparations for his excursion to the Sea of Constellations.
After bidding farewell to Yang Qing, Qin Weiwei turned around and left the residence. She then immediately brought Hong Mian and Lu Liu along and rushed straight to Mount Calming Sea. She didn't bring any other subordinates with her for this journey...
Once the candidate list had been announced, the rowdiest place was none other than Mount Calming Sea. The disciples of the three main schools were bursting with joy as they spoke all sorts of words of retribution behind Miao Yi's back. They seemed poised to do battle once Miao Yi left for the Sea of Constellations.
Qian'Er and Xue'Er had already prepared themselves mentally a long time ago. They didn't pay too much attention to this matter since Miao Yi himself didn't seem concerned most of the time. Bit by bit, they had already put their hearts to rest. Both of them had blind faith in Miao Yi, and most importantly, Miao Yi had never disappointed them before. In their eyes, Miao Yi was a person who could face any problem he encountered.
Of course, Miao Yi's words of comfort to these ladies had taken effect, 'This isn't my first time going to the Sea of Constellations!'
However, the disciples of the School of Blue Jade were shocked. Their school was already destroyed, and if Miao Yi were to leave again, they could imagine the kind of unfavorable circumstances that would follow. Not to mention that the next Mountain Chieftain to assume the role would never be like Miao Yi, who was willing to give up his income every year to take care of their overwhelming number of troops.
Naturally, the first thing that Tian Qingfeng and the others did was to request an audience with Miao Yi to verify whether the news was real or fake.
Inside the hall, Miao Yi swept a glance at the disciples of the School of Blue Jade and nodded his head, "It's true."
"My Lord, why are they letting you go to the Sea of Constellations?" Tian Qingfeng said with utter anguish. These few years had been a series of blows to the School of Blue Jade, and this latest piece of news was a bit hard to swallow.
"This isn't important. The most important thing is that the three main schools tried to pressure me to demote all of you from your current positions after the destruction of the School of Blue Jade. But I managed to endure that pressure in the end." Miao Yi stood up from his chair and continued, "I am telling you this because I want you all to understand that I have given you fair treatment, so when I'm not here, you must conform with Yan Xiu and take good care of Mount Calming Sea. I will authorize Yan Xiu as the temporary Mountain Chieftain for Mount Calming Sea. When I return, I will give out fair rewards to those with contributions. I will definitely come back from the Sea of Constellations!"
Do you think you can come back just because you say so? Everyone was filled with complex feelings. Despite that, they still responded in unison, "Understood!"
After the group retreated, Miao Yi brought an upset Yan Xiu along with him to the loft at the courtyard. They had avoided Qian`Er and Xue`Er along the way.
He wrote down a jade archive of authorization and handed it to him, "While I'm away from Mount Calming Sea, I will entrust all matters here to you."
Yan Xiu took the jade archive and cupped his fists together, "Yan Xiu will not disappoint Mountain Chieftain's trust."
Miao Yi laughed, "Some things aren't appropriate to say in front of Qian'Er and Xue'Er, but I shouldn't hide this from you. This time, the odds are stacked against me on this journey to the Sea of Constellations. The chances of returning are small. I heard there will be a substantial reward for anyone who survives, and I will gamble for that small chance. You don't have to worry either. If I don't come back, Qian'Er and Xue'Er will naturally leave with Yao Ruoxian. I have also arranged a path for you should that happen. If you are willing to follow Qian'Er and the others to a distant land, you can go find Qin Weiwei at Mount Shaotai and ask to remove your immortal records. If you want to continue hanging around in the administration, I will not force you either. If you find it hard to gain a foothold in Mount Calming Sea, you can go to Qin Weiwei. I have already notified her of this matter."
Yan Xiu hadn't expected Miao Yi to arrange an escape path for him too. He felt touched beyond words. With his feelings slightly beyond his control, he said with a trembling voice, "My Lord, you have made these arrangements beforehand. Did you already know that you'd be going to the Sea of Constellations?"
Miao Yi nodded his head, "I'm so sorry for hiding it from you this whole time."
After he finished assigning tasks to Yan Xiu, another guest had arrived on a steed. This visitor wasn't a stranger; it was Wen Fang from the Chamber of Commerce at South Edict Manor. She had brought along another box of pastries that she'd made herself.
She had no choice since she wasn't some sort of rich person. In her eyes, Miao Yi was wealthy, so he would definitely look down on any present she tried to give him. In that case, she figured she might as well make something from scratch to express her sincerity.
She had also thought of gifts for both Qian'Er and Xue'Er. She gifted them two sets of beautiful jewelry and proceeded to chatter away with them.
Inside the hall, Miao Yi opened the box and sat beside the tea table. He took out a piece of pastry and took a bite of it. The taste was quite nice. He didn't even get to touch the ones she gifted him last time. This time, he got to taste it with a smile. He then asked, "Did you really make this?"
"Big Brother, your words wound me. Do you think I would lie to you?" Wen Fang left the two ladies and sat on the other side of the tea table, acting like this was her home and she wasn't a stranger. After hesitating for a while, she tried to probe, "Big Brother, I heard rumors that you will be participating in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade?"
Miao Yi asked curiously, "Does your Chamber of Commerce usually concern themselves with matters of battle? You're quite well-informed with the news."
"I heard it from someone who came to make some transactions in the Chamber of Commerce."
Wen Fang observed his expression as well as Qian'Er's and Xue'Er's reactions to her answer. Miao Yi could be pretending to be calm, but she had interacted with the two ladies before, and she knew very well that they weren't calculating women. She could see them holding onto the two sets of jewelry and whispered to each other as if they weren't worried that their master was going to the Sea of Constellations. Their eyes seemed deeply absorbed with thoughts.
Miao Yi laughed, "You know that I'm going to the Sea of Constellations soon, and you're still dropping by? I might not come back once I go there. No matter how much you try to establish a relationship with me, I won't be able to give consideration to your business."
"Little Sister isn't the snobbish type. Even if Big Brother isn't here, I will still come often to visit Qian'Er and Xue'Er." Wen Fang patted her chest and assured him, "I won't call anyone else 'Big Brother' because when I do, I will call them that forever!"
"Forever?" Miao Yi laughed. It would be weird if she was here because of affection and not because of business.
Of course, he could only keep those words in his heart. There was no need to say them out loud to hurt her.
As they continued to chat, someone outside informed him that Qin Weiwei had arrived.
Not long after that, he saw Qin Weiwei striding toward him from the courtyard. Hong Mian and Lu Liu followed her from behind. Miao Yi asked Qian'Er and Xue'Er to accompany Wen Fang before he personally went out to greet her, cupping his fists together. "Mountain Chieftain Qin has honored us with your presence. I welcome you to revisit your old territory."
How could he still crack a joke at a time like this? Qin Weiwei shot him a disdainful look. She ordered Hong Mian and Lu Liu to accompany Qian'Er and Xue'er while she headed toward the loft she'd once been familiar with. At the same time, she called Miao Yi and said, "Come up, I have something to discuss with you."
When they reached the loft, she noted that the furnishings inside didn't seem to have changed much. Qin Weiwei immediately walked toward the long table and sat down. That space used to be her original seat too.
Miao Yi, who'd followed her from behind, forced out a smile and said, "Weiwei, that seat seems to be mine now. With you sitting there, why do I feel like we're back to when I was a Cave Master of East Arrival Cave coming to greet you?"
Qin Weiwei did not humor his joke and asked him with a scowl, "Did you know beforehand that you'd be going to the Sea of Constellations?"
As expected, everyone came here just for this issue! Miao Yi sighed, "Yes!"
Qin Weiwei gritted her teeth and probed, "Is it because of the marriage proposal that Manor Head deliberately tried to make things difficult for you?"
Miao Yi was shocked. He quickly shook his head and replied, "This thing really has nothing to do with Manor Head. It was the Hall Master who chose me."
Qin Weiwei didn't believe him. "Why did the Hall Master select you personally for the Sea of Constellations?"
"I'm curious about this too. I suspect that I've been betrayed by my sworn brother."
There was more to the story? Qin Weiwei was stunned, "Your sworn brother? Who?"
Miao Yi couldn't tell her that he forced the other party to pledge brotherhood with him, so he just sighed. "It's a long story. In short, this was back when I accompanied Manor Head to Suppressing Second Hall. I unintentionally went into the Hall Master's plum garden and touched Hall Master's favorite plum tree. It seems like the Hall Master is angry at me because of this incident. Other than that, I really can't think of anything that might have offended the Hall Master." Miao Yi shook his head and let out a bitter smile. At this point, he had nothing to hide anymore.
Qin Weiwei abruptly stood up and stared at Miao Yi with exasperation. She said in great distress, "Miao Yi, you've left me speechless. You can't just blindly enter the Hall Master's private area!"
"How should I know that a great Hall Master would be that narrow-minded? Besides, this is just my guess. I can't be certain of it yet."
While they were still conversing, Qian'Er suddenly came in to make a report, "Master, there are people outside who wish to meet with you. They said they were sent by your Elder Brother."
"..." When did I ever have an Elder Brother? Miao Yi was stunned. Did Xiao Yizhu really come for me because I talked about him just now? He didn't want the same occurrence to happen like the time he'd mistaken Wen Fang for his 'little sister', so he asked, "Which Elder Brother?"
"The guards said they wouldn't say who. Only that the two people were women who are calling themselves Hong Xiu and Hong Fu. They also said that Master will know once I report this to you."