He led them both out of the silent quarters. The orders from the South Edict Manor had arrived just as he handed over Hong Xiu and Hong Fu to Qian'Er and Xue'Er.
Even though there were still a few months left until the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade, it would still take about three months to sail by sea towards the destination. Thus, the time to depart was already less than half a month. The Fifth Earthly Branch had already dispatched the participating officials from their territory. They would reach East Arrival Cave for the assembly within half a month, and after that, they would prepare themselves to board the ships at the appointed time.
Yang Qing ordered Miao Yi to have Mount Calming Sea start the preparations immediately to avoid causing the unexpected to happen. He commanded Miao Yi to lock the offices in their departure area and clear the entire docks at the East Arrival Cave. In the meantime, they would be prohibiting ordinary folks from all marine activities and lift the restriction after the participating troops had departed. They were to prevent any mishaps from happening at all costs.
Meanwhile, Yang Qing planned to take half of the respective troops from the two manors and rush towards East Arrival Cave to maintain order and avoid a chaotic situation. He would also rush down personally to take up command of the troops. Suppressing Second Hall would dispatch their experts to East Arrival Cave as well.
After Miao Yi had looked over the orders, he smiled at Qin Weiwei, who was waiting for him. He said, "Mountain Chieftain Qin, the troops from both manors are getting ready to move soon. I fear that you must go back to Mount Shaotai at once."
After that, he handed the jade archive to Qin Weiwei for her perusal, before turning to Wen Fang. He said, "Wen Fang, I have something I must attend to, so it's inconvenient to have you remain here. I'm afraid that I must see you out soon."
Wen Fang noticed that he'd received an order and spoken to Qin Weiwei first, so she instinctively knew she shouldn't disrupt their official business. She then gestured to him, showing that she would immediately take her leave.
Qin Weiwei went silent after she had seen the orders. Yang Qing wanted to take half of the troops from both mountains and bring them to East Arrival Cave. Mount Shaotai certainly wasn't an exception. She had to hurry back as this matter could not be delayed. With that, she was forced to take her leave as well.
Wen Fang, who had just familiarized herself with Qin Weiwei, quickly suggested leaving together with her. After knowing that Qin Weiwei was the Mountain Chieftain of two mountains, she had set her mind on becoming friends with her as well. Moreover, she had acquired some experience from Miao Yi. Should there be a chance in the future, she would be prepared to go around and visit the respective Mountain Chieftains in South Edict Manor.
Outside the mountain gates, Qin Weiwei wore her snow-white dress as she straddled her dragon steed. She had a look of reluctance on her face. She looked at Miao Yi, who had personally come to see them off, and hesitated from speaking her mind. A glint of despair flashed before her eyes, yet she was powerless to do anything. The Hall Master had already decided on the selection.
Hong Mian and Lu Liu, who were both standing behind Qin Weiwei, understood her very well. Naturally, they knew what she wanted to say. However, they feared that she might open up and pour her heart out to him at this critical moment.
Both of them felt torn for Qin Weiwei. They'd hoped that she could tell him the things she had kept in her heart, but at the same time, they didn't want her to say it to him. In the past, they definitely would have wanted her to clarify her feelings. But Miao Yi would be going to the Sea of Constellations soon! If word were to spread out, and in case Miao Yi couldn't make it back from that place, there would be a blot on Qin Weiwei's reputation. Wouldn't that make it awkward if she found another partner for her dual-cultivation in the future?
She had stayed for half a day and didn't seem to be leaving anytime soon. Miao Yi asked curiously, "What's wrong?"
She opened her mouth, her words at the tip of her tongue. Yet when she saw Wen Fang at the side, her presence inevitably became a stumbling block on this final stretch. Qin Weiwei pouted her red lips for a while before she finally swallowed her words back down.
Even in this kind of situation, she still couldn't take the initiative as a woman because of her personality. She hesitated; she still didn't know whether Miao Yi would accept her suggestion. Because of Miao Yi's words and behavior, she didn't dare to say those words to him. Still, it would be great if she could show some signs or a hint of her intentions!
With some difficulty, she changed what she meant to say and said, "We are friends!"
Miao Yi beamed with a nod. "Friends! So please don't ever forget the things I've asked of you!"
Qin Weiwei forced a smile on her face as she said, "Take care!"
"I will not see you off!" Miao Yi cupped his fists together as a gesture of farewell.
Qin Weiwei forced herself to look away and turned her dragon steed around. Her white dress fluttered in the wind, with Hong Mian and Lu Liu following closely from behind.
"Goodbye, Elder Brother!" Wen Fang waved with a smile before quickly trailing after Qin Weiwei.
After watching them fade into the distance, Miao Yi immediately wiped the smile off his face. He turned around and allowed his subordinates to see the dignified side of Great Mountain Chieftain Miao as he strode back towards his residence.
To some men, especially those who had shouldered responsibilities since they were young, romance was an extremely luxurious thing to have. He had yearned for it too, but there would always be other priorities in his life. Undoubtedly, he placed love and romance behind his survivability, and so he would never be too devoted in romantic affairs. And because of that, he would always let slip the opportunity. Perhaps some men would regret it after they had achieved success in life. Most of them intended to make up for it after they had acquired fame and success. In the end, however, they would always regret it!
As soon as he returned to the Mountain Chieftain's residence, Miao Yi quickly wrote down a list of orders for Qian'Er and Xue'Er to distribute to his subordinates.
Following the Mountain Chieftain's decree, the troops from the respective caves in Mount Calming Sea began to move out.
A messenger from East Arrival Cave passed on the orders at the City Lord's manor in East Arrival City. As a result, the City Lord quickly assembled all of his officials inside the city and mobilized all of their powers to announce the ban on marine activities. The officers then hurried toward the docks and began the evacuation and blockade.
The inconveniences brought upon the common people were inevitable. However, there was simply no room for discussion at the moment.
The forces from the two manors were also moving in haste. Yang Qing had already received the candidate list of official troops participants, and South Edict Manor was tasked to verify the people boarding the ships. He personally led his men and departed once more to East Arrival Cave.
The official troops of the Fifth Earthly Branch assembled together as one unit from various places in the area. After that, they rode off together and hurried towards their next destination: East Arrival Cave.
All the official troops from the Fifth Earthly Branch had to assemble at East Arrival Cave, whereas the non-official troops would have to assemble at the harbors in other places instead. East Arrival Cave wasn't the only place that had harbors designated for ship construction.
Throughout the Celestial Nation, troops rushed from their respective territories and hastened to the ocean.
The 180,000 troops summoned by the six nations were all on the move. Their destination was the Sea of Constellations. The entire world of cultivation was stirred up because of it.
This spectacular event was soon about to launch. The event occurred once every three hundred years and spanned ten years. Some would eventually achieve success and gain recognition after the event ended. However, only a small number would be able to achieve that, and only a few would return in one piece. The majority would be buried in the Sea of Constellations forever. And just like the name 'Sea of Constellations', they would forever become the nameless stars that adorned the night sky.
Miao Yi would soon be leading his men in setting out for the journey. Once he departed, aside from cooperating his forces with Yang Qing's, it would be impossible for him to go back to Mount Calming Sea later on since he would immediately board the ship and start his journey to the Sea of Constellations.
Before his departure, Miao Yi refused to meet with anyone else. He intimately made love to the two ladies all day. Countless emotions and sweet affection were displayed on this day.
On top of the bed, he tore himself away from the intimate embrace of the ladies' jade-like limbs, freeing himself from their graceful, well-developed, fair-skinned bodies. He held their beautiful, delicate faces and looked at the glistening tear stains on their cheeks. He let out a sigh, feeling regretful for not being able to do anything. Miao Yi could not intoxicate himself in sex with the ladies any longer—he still had to leave in the end.
However, there was one thing he could never forget. Miao Yi brought the ladies along and arrived at Yao Ruoxian's secluded cave.
Yao Ruoxian also knew what he wanted to retrieve—fifteen pieces of Second Grade talismans and one hundred and fifty pieces of First Grade talismans. He finally handed these items to Miao Yi.
Yao Ruoxian initially hoped that there would be some sort of accident so that he could deduct some of these items for his own use. However, he still had to hand over the items to Miao Yi in the end.
Under Yao Ruoxian's guidance, Miao Yi turned a Mountain Cleaving Talisman into a ray of white light, which burst out from Miao Yi's hand, hitting the side of the mountain.
A thunderous sound rang out upon impact, causing a big piece of the mountain to collapse and fall into the deep ravines below. The rumbling sound of the rocks reverberated in the air.
After testing it once, he was now fully prepared for what was to come.
Miao Yi turned around and took out two pieces of jade archives customized by the Celestial Nation Chamber of Commerce. He handed them over to the two ladies and said, "I don't know when I will come back once I go there. For the sake of preparing for this journey, I have nearly squandered my whole fortune. Thus, I have nothing left to give to you two. I need to bring the transcendent artifacts with me for protection when I go to the Sea of Constellations. However, I still have 18,000 low-grade Orbs of Will in my possession. Among that amount, I have already deposited 14,000 orbs at the Chamber of Commerce. Here are two jade archives. One is the proof of deposit and the other details the procedures that the Chamber of Commerce and I have settled on. Both of you can withdraw from them anytime. The 10,000 orbs are yours. Hong Xiu and Hong Fu were entrusted to me by Big Brother Yan, and he was my savior. If he doesn't come back from the Sea of Constellations as well, you must give them the remaining 4,000 orbs."
Hearing this, Yao Ruoxian shot him a glance. There was a trace of sadness in his heart. Even though this brat wasn't exactly a good person, he could be a person of kindness and righteousness deep inside his heart.
"We will remember it." The ladies sobbed and nodded, with tears streaming down their cheeks.
"Don't cry!" Miao Yi revealed a rare look of gentleness on his face. He lifted up his hands and wiped away the tears from their delicate faces. After that, he took out four pieces of sparkling and translucent ruby-like crystal fruits from his storage bangle. A resplendent halo of light enveloped each fruit. He then handed them to the ladies, "These four fruits were born from the Glorious Star immortal herb. The effectiveness of these fruits are quite similar to an ordinary Glorious Star immortal herb, and you can use them more times than that of the ordinary immortal herb. Keep them to defend yourself."
The Glorious Star immortal herb in his hand had born a total of nine fruits. Yao Ruoxian had taken two fruits away from him, and Miao Yi had given one away to Yan Xiu. With this four, he had given away a total amount of seven fruits. So out of nine fruits, he was now only left with two.
Standing to the side, Yao Ruoxian eyes lit up once more at seeing the fruits. He snorted, "I see you still have some conscience, kid."
Miao Yi shot him a sideways glance at his words. There was a reason why he was giving these fruits to the two ladies with Yao Ruoxian watching. He knew that they would not be able to stop this old guy if he planned to take their stuff. In that case, he'd rather be a bit more generous with the fruits. Perhaps he might be able to earn a few points for making a good impression on Yao Ruoxian too.
"I have arranged for a person in the capital city. Her name is Lin Pingping, whom I have mentioned to you before. I have already given her the status of an official last year. Also, I have given her the order that she should comply with both of your commands in case of an emergency."
The two ladies could only nod their heads firmly.
After he had finished handing over his orders, Miao Yi turned to Yao Ruoxian and cupped his fists, "Senior Yao, won't you let me take those little mantids away?"
"Scram!" Yao Ruoxian roared furiously, "I won't give them to you!"
The little mantids were too important to him. He needed the substance secreted by the little mantids to refine a treasured artifact to wipe away his humiliation. He would never give them to Miao Yi, no matter what.
Miao Yi smiled wryly and said, "If I go now, I'll be away for ten years. If I'm away from the little mantids for too long, you won't be able to control them. Why don't you return them to me? They can give me extra protection."
Yao Ruoxian was foaming with rage as he glared at Miao Yi, "Before you come back, I can put them in a deep sleep by storing them in a storage bangle. If you are unable to return, I will think of a way to raise them in captivity by force. It doesn't matter if I can't tame them, it's better than letting them disappear with you if you can't come back!"
Miao Yi was speechless. He didn't need to say anything further because Qian'Er and Xue'Er were already pleading to Yao Ruoxian, each holding an arm as they begged, "Father, just give them to Master!"
What was this, 'a woman's heart would always be with her husband'? It seemed like Yao Ruoxian was finally experiencing it today. His face twitched. In the end, he was defeated. He really couldn't stand these two daughters, so he gnashed his teeth and released thirty-five little mantids from his storage bracelet. He said bitterly, "I will give you only thirty-five of them, and no more than that. Take it or leave it."