As Miao Yi watched them line up and bow in an attempt to apologize, Miao Yi reminded himself of what they'd done. They blocked a weak and lonely person inside his own room, and tried to threaten him indiscreetly.
It was a situation he had experienced before at a young age, where a group of people had surrounded him in his own cabin. Only that time, he had two little ones with him. He'd been forced to stab his own leg too, which was why he disliked having to feel this way again.
However, the situation had changed very quickly. In an instant, the tables had turned for the group of people who'd tried to force him to submit!
Miao Yi retained a smile on his face. He realized that he quite liked experiencing this drastic turn of events. When everyone had bowed to offer their apology, he sighed. "I can only try my best to talk to Hall Master Wu. However, I can't guarantee what will happen."
Everyone's laughter sounded a bit forced. They were a bit skeptical about whether he would do his best to talk to Wu Menglan. Despite that, they managed to paste on a smile and said, "It is what it is."
"Let's go!" Miao Yi beckoned to them and continued to lead the group upstairs.
When they reached the third floor—which was the floor Miao Yi was staying at—they continued to climb the wooden stairs until they reached the deck.
It was only after they climbed to the top that they could feel the momentum of the ship braving the strong winds and torrential waves. This ship led the fleet, with nine other large ships following from behind.
On top of that, they were able to feel the rapid blowing of the intense sea breeze as their clothes fluttered about with the wind. They saw that the sky was changing from blue to grey with the setting sun, leaving an inky darkness that was devoid of light. The sounds of the ship and the waves crashing against one another filled the air.
Their hearts grew tense when they saw the wooden cabin, with its decorated beams and painted rafts, located on the spacious deck. Everyone knew that Wu Menglan was staying inside this cabin. They weren't sure what would happen to them in the end either.
"You guys wait here first." Miao Yi gave the order, turning to them.
Everyone couldn't understand him, and they stared at him with questioning looks. Miao Yi gazed at the wooden cabin, seemingly afraid that Wu Menglan would hear his words. He then changed to telepathic transmission and explained, 'I will report myself and sound her out first.'
Su Jinggong and the other nodded. Miao Yi then braced against the strong wind and walked the rest of the few dozen meters leading towards the cabin.
The wind and the waves were intense, so they couldn't quite hear what Miao Yi was saying. However, they were able to hear Miao Yi faintly calling out for 'Sister Meng' at the entrance before he pushed open the door and went inside.
Sister Meng? Everyone gazed at each other. Naturally, they were only able to comprehend that the 'Sister Meng (first month of the season)' Miao Yi called out was actually 'Sister Meng (dream)'.
Had Miao Yi actually addressed Wu Menglan as 'Sister Meng'? If he was someone who could address the Hall Master of Suppressing Third Hall as his elder sister, it was no wonder that he could ask Wu Menglan to deal with this incident. They weren't sure how this guy had managed to move up to that level of relationship so quickly either. Didn't this guy go to Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor to kill Xiong Xiao or something…?
They had been hiding below deck when the ship was about to depart, so they hadn't heard Wu Menglan threatening Miao Yi. Otherwise, they wouldn't have jumped to this conclusion.
Inside the cabin, Wu Menglan stared at Miao Yi standing inside the hall and asked in an unfriendly tone, "Why are you here again?"
Miao Yi smiled bitterly and said, "Sister Meng, you know about my situation. If I offend the three major sects now, I will surely be dead when we reach the Sea of Constellations. So…"
"So you aren't afraid to offend me and decided to bring them here?" Wu Menglan tilted her head slightly at him and released her transcendence energy. Swish! The windows burst open, allowing her to gaze indifferently at Su Jinggong and the others, who were standing a few dozen meters away.
Even though it was noisy outside from the sails and the waves, her cultivation base still allowed her to sense that there were people within that distance.
When Su Jinggong and the others met Wu Menglan's cold gaze, their hearts shuddered. It seemed like this Hall Master Wu really didn't have a good opinion of them!
They were afraid to look at Wu Menglan eye-to-eye, so they quickly lowered their heads.
Wu Menglan turned back her head and pulled back the windows with a burst of transcendence energy. She threw a chilling look at Miao Yi and said, "It appears that I have been a bit too lenient with all of you."
Looking at this situation, she was prepared to punish them all, including Miao Yi.
Miao Yi quickly cupped his fists and bowed, "Sister Meng, it's not what you think. I did tell them that you didn't want to see them, but they didn't believe my words. It must be because I boasted too much. I told them so repeatedly, and they began to suspect my words, which was why they wanted to verify it for themselves. Sister Meng, please just go out and explain to them. Or maybe speak a word or two from inside the cabin."
The people outside didn't dare invoke their arts to listen in on Wu Menglan's conversation inside the cabin. If they were to hear any of it, they would surely burst in and demand an explanation.
Wu Menglan was planning to put these people on the spot, but as she listened to Miao Yi, she then thought, 'Do you think I will go outside just because you all want me to? Then what am I to you? What right do you have to ask for that?'
"Ask them to leave at once, before I lose my temper!" Wu Menglan scoffed.
Miao Yi wanted her to lose her temper and punish these people. It would put an end to his problem once and for all, and it would also save him the trouble of dealing with them himself. However, that wouldn't do. If Wu Menglan were to seriously make a move against those people outside, his two-faced deeds would be exposed immediately. He could not handle that kind of confrontation by himself.
Since he'd gone so far as to trick Wu Menglan, it was clear that the unlucky one would end up being Miao Yi himself, and not Su Jinggong and the others.
Miao Yi forced a smile. "What will happen if they can't see you and just continue to stand outside at the brink of death?"
His words seemed to suggest that they would. Su Jinggong and the others weren't fools. Why should they continue to expose themselves to the elements without walking away?
As expected! Wu Menglan's voice suddenly rumbled and reverberated through the entire ship, "Then let them continue to stand there!"
Hearing those words from outside, the expressions of Su Jinggong and the others changed. Those still in their rooms downstairs began to make a commotion as well. Even Pang Rang, who was at the farthest end of the stern, flew upwards to the deck and looked at the situation with raised brows.
Miao Yi was astounded, his heart overcome with joy. He was about to coax the others himself, but Hall Master Wu had unexpectedly beaten him to the punch by doing him this honor. She had been straightforward about it. By directly invoking her art to warn those outside, she had saved him a lot of effort for what he planned on doing next.
"Why are you still standing here? Do you want me to escort you outside?" Wu Menglan stared coldly at him.
"No, not at all!" Miao Yi quickly stepped outside.
After he walked out, he quietly closed the door before shaking his head and sighing as he walked toward Su Jinggong and the others.
Facing them, Miao Yi sighed once again when he saw the uneasiness on their faces. He then sent a transmission to them and said, "Hall Master Wu says that she will punish everyone for brazenly stirring up trouble in the ship that she personally commands! This will serve as an example to the others!"
Everyone was instantly frightened. Miao Yi then continued, "I tried my best to talk to her, and in the end, I managed to persuade her not to give you guys the death penalty. But unless you're deaf, you must have heard what she said. She wanted you all to continue standing here. I don't know what will happen to those who dare to move from this spot."
In actuality, Wu Menglan's words did not have that sort of implication. She only warned them and allowed them to stand there because of Miao Yi's words, and not because of the reason he'd just mentioned.
Words left unsaid could make people shudder in fear. Everyone finally let out a breath of relief; it was fine as long as they weren't dead. With their current cultivation bases, they had no problem standing here for a long time.
Perhaps they were scared, but no one tried to speak another word. However, they seemed to look at Miao Yi with a trace of gratitude.
Miao Yi was slightly embarrassed by their stares, so he waved his hand and called out, "Let's go! Don't just stand there like fools."
Everyone quickly looked at him in anger, realizing that this brat was actually trying to trap them. Wu Menglan had said that they were to keep standing there, yet this brat was actually trying to make them walk away. If this wasn't an attempt to harm them, then what else could it be?
Miao Yi quickly reacted to the situation. He believed that without Wu Menglan's orders, these people wouldn't dare to move around freely. He quickly used his transmission and explained, 'I have helped put in a few good words for you guys. If you continue to stand here, Hall Master Wu will only feel irritated seeing you whenever she opens the window or leaves her cabin. She understands my reasoning, and she doesn't want you all to keep staring at her like this. That's why she agreed to let you all go downstairs and stand at the stern. You can benefit from doing this, and you can avoid letting Hall Master Wu see you. Won't that remove the uneasiness you're feeling now? If you stand somewhere else, you can even scratch as you please whenever you have an itch. Isn't it inconvenient standing here?'
Could this brat actually be so kind as to act this concerned for them? They couldn't help but suspect his intentions, and it seemed like he was just trying to find an excuse to get rid of them. Wu Menglan might be infuriated if they left, and she might kill them for defying her orders.
Seeing that they remained indifferent, Miao Yi suddenly shouted loudly, "You are all truly a bunch of idiots! Why do you refuse to listen to me? Fine, I've wasted my breath trying to convince Hall Master Wu, and you've almost dragged me into this mess. I don't care anymore. If you guys like standing here, then continue doing that. Don't blame me if you get into trouble!"
He didn't use transmission for his outburst, and his voice was slightly raised, with a note of exasperation in his tone. He was trying to convince this lot that he wasn't lying. At the same time, he wanted Wu Menglan to hear his words to prove to her that he hadn't lied to her.
When he finished speaking, he waved his hand and left.
Su Jinggong and the others exchanged glances before they looked at the wooden cabin with its decorated beams and painted rafts. When they saw no reaction whatsoever, they nodded their heads and quickly turned around to follow Miao Yi downstairs.
The logic behind this was simple. Based on Wu Menglan's cultivation base, it would be impossible for her not to hear Miao Yi's loud voice. If Wu Menglan displayed no reaction to that, it meant that Miao Yi was most likely telling the truth.
If Miao Yi had continued to speak to them through transmission, they definitely wouldn't believe him. Since he had spoken in such an imposing manner, they had no reason not to believe his words. Even if something were to happen, they could always say that it was Miao Yi who had falsified the orders.
At the lowest level, cultivators from both sides of the hallway had opened their doors and were standing at the entrance. They looked curiously at Miao Yi as he led Su Jinggong and the others through the middle corridor, where they arrived at the other side of the exit.
Miao Yi halted his footsteps and pointed at the stern ahead. He coughed and looked at the people behind him. "I don't think you need me to teach you what to do next. Just stand at the stern quietly. Of course, if you don't want to stand, I will not force you either. I've helped you guys up to this point, the rest is up to you."
Li Yaoqi led the others and cupped his fists at Miao Yi as a gesture of gratitude. The others followed as well, each gesturing in succession as they passed by him. None of them hesitated to stand at the stern.
All twenty people who'd previously made a ruckus in Miao Yi's room were now standing obediently at the stern of the ship, braving the wind and seas as 'self-punishment'.
After dealing with those people, Miao Yi sighed heavily in relief, his back slightly drenched with sweat. It was too dangerous and took too much effort to do something like this; it was like walking on a tightrope. If he'd been the slightest bit careless, Wu Menglan could have become furious from embarrassment and then sent him to his death with a single slap. It was important that he controlled even the most miniscule change in his expression throughout the ruse, and he had no choice but to give it every last ounce of his focus. The deception was not as easy as he'd made it seem.
He'd bet on the notion that both Wu Menglan and the Su Jinggong party wouldn't suspect him of playing tricks with such a short distance between them. As a result, he'd successfully fooled both sides. He was doing nothing short of playing with fire. Only someone really bold could have pulled it off.
Wu Menglan's cultivation might be higher than Yang Qing's, but Miao Yi was relieved to see that her wit was not as well-developed. If it were Yang Qing, then Miao Yi wouldn't have even attempted to carry out the carefully calculated ruse to his face. There was no telling who'd be the one fooled then.
Miao Yi looked at the people standing on the stern of the ship, then turned to the sky and thought to himself, 'The winds are strong. A storm should be coming soon, I think?'
Miao Yi turned around and was passing through the corridor when one of the cultivators standing at their door asked, "Steward Miao, what happened to them?"
"Ai!" Miao Yi sighed. Candidly, he admitted, "This is the result of offending Hall Master Wu. She gave them a light punishment."
The people in the corridor suddenly realized something. No wonder they could hear what Hall Master Wu had said just now. These three major sects just had to go and put themselves in this situation.
"You and you, come with me for a moment." Miao Yi randomly selected two people, including the one who asked him the question.
Both of them followed Miao Yi as he led them to the stable at the lowest level. Unable to contain their curiosity any longer, they asked, "Steward Miao, what is the meaning of this?"
Miao Yio sighed, "There are no good consequences for offending Hall Master Wu. Their punishment is one thing, but they've even involved their dragon steeds in this matter. There are three more months until the Sea of Constellations. From now on, their dragon steeds will specifically be responsible for supplying the driving power for this ship."