'Why is he mentioning his passionate treatment at East Arrival Cave again?' Wu Menglan was angry, yet found it amusing at the same time. 'Didn't I just eat a bit of your food and take a few pots of your fine wine? Was that worth having you talk about it all the time? You make it sound like I should owe you for eternity.'
"You only remember the treatment you gave me at East Arrival Cave. Why can't you remember the incident where you charged into my territory and killed my people?" Wu Menglan asked sarcastically.
"Your men have also invaded my territory and killed my people… but, let's not talk about the past. Sister Meng, as a great person, you would never stoop to pettiness and grieve about the past, so why do you need to take your Little Brother to task?" Miao Yi smiled apologetically.
Wu Menglan was completely impressed by him. She had seen shameless people before, but never one as shameless as him. 'You are allowed to reminisce, but when I mention the past, you just tell me not to stoop to pettiness as a great person.'
But back to the topic at hand, she really couldn't allow Miao Yi to stoop to pettiness as well. Because of her status and cultivation base, she was indeed the greater person. And with Miao Yi essentially describing himself as the petty person, he wasn't far from the truth, which was why Miao Yi could say those things, but not her.
Now she could finally understand why her subordinates kept sustaining losses in her rival's territory. It was because they weren't as shameless as the opposition. If she was able to get this brat to be her subordinate, then she believed that he could contend on equal grounds with Yang Qing.
She sneered for a while, tacitly admitting that Miao Yi was indeed a petty person. With that, she finally stopped squabbling with Miao Yi. Otherwise, she might lose her status as a Hall Master.
Grasping the situation of the other ships was exactly what Wu Menglan wanted. Miao Yi took great lengths to nail on an idea that would cater to her expectation. Because of that, she did not disapprove of his request. However, she warned him sternly, "If you cause any sort of problem, don't blame me for being merciless."
This meant that she had agreed to his proposition. Miao Yi was elated as he replied, "Of course, of course! But…"
Wu Menglan scowled, "Don't push your luck!"
"No, no." Miao Yi smiled bitterly and continued, "It's just that if I go around talking nonsense, the people on the other ships might not believe me. I might even be thrown off the boat as soon as I hop on one. Sister Meng, couldn't you just write a brief order for me?"
Wu Menglan thought about it and agreed. She flipped her hand and grabbed a jade archive with her palm before writing a few simple words on it. Those words essentially ordered Miao Yi to inspect the situation of every ship in the fleet. She did not give him authority for anything else.
Miao Yi received the archive and examined it. With a feeling of joy in his heart, he thanked her and dismissed himself to attend to his task.
He really did what he said he would. The moment he went down to the guest cabin, he randomly knocked on the doors of two rooms and summoned two people to him. He then immediately gave his order, "In respect to Hall Master Wu's order, I'm commanding you both to complete a task."
The two were shocked. They asked, "What kind of task?"
Miao Yi pointed at the rooms on both sides of the hallway and said, "Note down all the names of the cultivators in every room on this level. Question them in detail about their cultivation base and their position in their respective outposts. Carefully record which sect they were born in, as well. After that, pass those records to me tomorrow. When I come back, I have to send these records for Hall Master Wu's review."
Previously, the disciples of the three major sects had been met with misfortune, so neither them dared to disobey his order. They complied with the command, yet their hearts were cursing Miao Yi for utilizing someone else's power to do his own bidding.
In truth, Miao Yi was indeed using another person's power for his own selfish deeds. Moreover, he planned on carrying on his evildoing until the end. Wu Menglan hadn't authorized him to investigate everyone's unsavory past.
Despite that, Miao Yi wanted to investigate that matter for himself, and he did so immediately while flaunting Wu Menglan's banner. He didn't even show the orders Wu Menglan had decreed to the two either.
In actuality, before he even knew Wu Menglan was going to command the ship, the reason he utilized his authority to obtain the position of Steward for this ship was due to this plan.
To take a sentence from his own book—he hadn't become a Steward just because he had nothing else to do. Even if Wu Menglan hadn't been the commander of the ship, and he hadn't been given an official order, he still would've done the same thing.
Wu Menglan's appearance was a pleasant surprise to him. He quickly extracted the order from Wu Menglan and decided to carry out his initial plan on the entire fleet.
As far as Miao Yi was concerned, Wu Menglan had flattered herself to be a big shot. It would be a waste not to make use of every single bit of her authority.
He went down to the second floor and found another two people. He explained the same thing to them.
It was the same for the first floor. However, he added an additional order, "You don't have to count the three major sects. They are currently in the middle of their punishment, so there's no need to disturb them. Besides, I know about their situation. You can save yourself some trouble by excluding them."
After that, he went to the lowest floor to take a look at the stables and the engine room. Su Jinggong and the others' mounts were still running in circles, working themselves to the bone. This was fantastic.
After settling the matters in this ship, Miao Yi went to the stern and gazed at the fleet of ships following behind them. He immediately soared into the air and ran across the sea, leaping over the waves before he finally flew up and landed on a big ship a hundred meters away from the ship he resided.
His actions had prompted several people on this ship to block him, and then ask, "Why is a person from Traversing Moon Palace here on our ship?"
Miao Yi boasted shamelessly, "On behalf of the Fleet Commander, I am here on business in accordance with her order. Let me meet your Steward."
If he didn't have Wu Menglan's order, he wouldn't have dared to leave his ship at all. Those who left their ship without permission were seen as someone who'd fled from their duty. They would be killed on the spot!
One of them who'd heard Miao Yi immediately came forward and clasped his fists in response. "I am the Steward of this ship."
Miao Yi wasn't the Steward of this ship, so it wasn't practical for him to say whatever he wanted. He quickly took out the orders Wu Menglan had decreed and handed it to the other Steward for his perusal.
After the other party had examined the written order, he returned the jade archive to Miao Yi and asked, "May I know what the commander has instructed?"
Miao Yi replied, "The commander wants you to carefully record the name of every cultivator, their cultivation base, their position in their respective outpost, and which sect they were born in. She wants to see it by tomorrow. Those who disrupt her progress will be severely punished!"
The other Steward was dubious of what Wu Menglan was trying to do. However, with the orders handed to him by Miao Yi, there was no need to doubt her intention. He quickly cupped his fists and said, "Your humble servant obeys your command!"
If even Wu Menglan couldn't expect Miao Yi to be this bold, then this man would never suspect that something was amiss about the order.
Miao Yi smiled, "I also hope you can make use of your time to handle your task quickly. I will look for you and collect what the commander wants to see tomorrow. Just get busy, I still have to go to the next ship to pass on the commander's orders. I will not keep you from your work."
"We will not see you off!" A number of people followed the Steward and cupped their fists together as a gesture of farewell.
Miao Yi returned the same gesture and dismissed himself. He soared up and strode over to the deck before he jumped to the stern and proceeded to hop across the sea. After a hundred meters of riding and leaping across the waves, he then arrived at the next ship.
Like before, he found the Steward of this ship, and after he had fooled him, went on to continue his journey to the next ship.
He was successful until he reached the last ship, where he finally encountered an obstacle. The moment he hopped onto the ship's bow, a silhouette flashed in front of him to greet him.
The one who came to greet him wasn't just a stranger, it was Advisor Pang Rang from Suppressing Third Hall, who had almost killed him back then. He stared coldly at Miao Yi and shouted, "Why did you leave your ship without permission and come here?!"
From the look of him, it seemed like he could kill Miao Yi at any moment without uttering another word.
Miao Yi quickly took out the Wu Menglan's order and handed it to him, "I came on business with respect to Hall Master Wu's order."
Pang Rang frowned, 'You killed the Manor Head of Suppressing Third Hall. How is it possible that the Hall Master has assigned you with responsibilities?' He didn't believe his words, so he took the orders and examined it. Indeed, it was an order from Wu Menglan. There was her transcendence seal on top of the archive, and no one could possibly fake it.
In spite of that, he was still a bit dubious. He returned the archive to Miao Yi and barked, "Stay here and wait!"
Swish! Pang Rang morphed into a phantom-like silhouette and flew to the sky. In an instant, he landed on the ship where the leader of the Traversing Moon Palace resided. He proceeded to issue a greeting with his fists clasped together outside the wooden cabin, "Your subordinate Pang Rang requests for a meeting."
He went inside and explained the situation to Wu Menglan when he saw her. Wu Menglan smiled, "Indeed, I did allow him to take charge of this task. Didn't he show you the order I decreed?"
"I did read it. But I still feel a bit strange about it. He charged into the realm of the Suppressing Third Hall and did what he wanted without restraint. Hall Master was even eager to kill him, so why did you put him in charge of this task?" Pang Rang could not understand her actions.
Wu Menglan smilingly said, "Because Huo Lingxiao is sending him to his doom. Even if he is fortunate enough to come back from the Sea of Constellations, he will no longer dare to return to Suppressing Second Hall. I don't mind putting up with him for now. If he comes back, then I will recruit him. The capability of this brat is undisputed. Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor needs someone like him, someone who can reclaim my reputation."
Pang Rang's forehead creased with a frown as he said, "Hall Master, forgive me for being blunt, but do you really think he'll come back alive from the Sea of Constellations?"
Wu Menglan shook her head in response, "It's fine if he can't come back. All of his options lead to death anyway, and we won't have anything to lose. Besides, this brat really does have some skills. You've seen how he charged into Thriving Ten-Thousand Manor to kill Xiong Xiao too. That's both courageous and perceptive. No one can guarantee that someone like him will never come back. Like I said, we won't have anything to lose. I'll make an exception for him, so why not have him serve me just in case he comes back alive?"
Pang Rang knew about the private competition between Wu Menglan and Huo Lingxiao. He felt some disapproval for her intentions, but still managed to flatter her on the surface, "Hall Master is wise!"
When he flew back to the last ship, he left Miao Yi with only a sentence: "Go do your business." Afterward, he didn't stay, nor did he speak with Miao Yi face-to-face. Pang Rang's silhouette immediately flashed, and he returned to his cabin atop the deck.
After being kept in suspense all this while, Miao Yi breathed a sigh of relief. He then went to look for the Steward of this ship and explained the task.
When he finally made his way back to Traversing Moon Palace's ship, he stood at the balcony and enjoyed the scenery of Su Jinggong and the others standing at the bow and bracing themselves from the heat of the blazing sun. A smile appeared on his face as he returned inside the house and opened the windows on all three sides. While embracing the soothing sea breeze, he tossed an Orb of Will into his mouth, sat on the couch with his legs crossed, and then continued his cultivation.
The sun had set, allowing the bright moon and a sea of stars to fill the sky outside his window. The radiant moon rose above the sea, and one could easily become lost in reverie at the night's scenery. The moonlight fell on Miao Yi's face, yet he had no mood to appreciate the beauty outside of his window when he was sitting cross-legged on the couch for his cultivation. What a waste of a good room.
The next day, Miao Yi revisited the other ships and looked for their respective Stewards. While he collected the information they compiled on every cultivator, he asked them about the situation in their respective ships.
When he returned to Traversing Moon Palace's ship, he went to look for Wu Menglan again to report on the situation of every ship. Everything was fine on their side, but he kept the jade archives he'd collected secretly in his possession. He didn't hand them over to Wu Menglan.
It was obvious that Wu Menglan did not want him to stay and chat for long. Miao Yi then returned to his room and took a glance at the people standing under the hot blazing sun at the bow. He quickly locked all the windows and doors afterward.
He whipped up a plate of chilled fruits and placed it on the tea table before sitting leisurely on one of the side chairs. Miao Yi flipped his hand over and took a look at a jade archive. The jade archive had information about the members on this ship. He continued to examine the jade archive as he ate his fruits.
Out of the 18,000 cultivators heading to the Sea of Constellation, Miao Yi had no confidence that he would be one of the hundred lucky survivors. Even if he had a set of Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts, he still wasn't sure of his survival. However, he would not sit quietly and wait for his doom. Even if there were a tiny chance of survival, he would seize it no matter what. Even if there weren't a chance, he would create a chance and continue to survive.
There was nothing wrong with being weak, but he thought that maybe he might not be the only weak cultivator in this ship. Even an ant would struggle for its life, so he believed that not a single person would be willing to send themselves to death. Without the support of the three major sects, it was natural for him to think of a way to establish ties with others in order to protect himself from harm.