Right before everyone's eyes was a shore as beautiful as though it had come out of a painting. The waves crashed rhythmically onto the clean, white sands of the beach, the winding shore as flawless as a jade belt. Further away were plains of uneven heights, and even further beyond that was a lush forest. Tall and mighty mountains stood past the majestic trees. It was hard to tell how tall they were, only that their long-standing summits were all but covered in white snow.
From afar, the scenery looked like an assortment of ribbons of various colors. The ten mighty ships approached, startling the seagulls on the shore into flying away. The animals crawling on the beach quickly ran towards the plains, stopping to peek at them from a safe distance.
Boom boom boom....
The ten towering ships trembled and stirred up the waves as they came to a halt, one after another, atop the sands submerged under the sea. Because the ships extended much deeper into the sea, they were unable to reach the shore completely and stopped a few dozen meters away from the beach.
Everyone on board the ship jolted briefly upon impact. Although the stretch of sand before them was very beautiful, everyone's eyes were brimming with vigilance.
A man was standing on the beach. As soon as the ships stopped, he immediately flew over and landed next to Wu Menglan. After they both verified each other's identities, they stood shoulder to shoulder. He was most likely the intermediary from the Sea of Constellations.
A ball of fire suddenly appeared on the man's hand, which he then shot towards the shore, setting it ablaze. Everyone on the ship exchanged glances, unsure of what he was trying to do.
The man's voice resounded across the sky, "Disembark immediately! We will kill all those that remain on the ship after the fire has been extinguished! No exceptions!"
The heavy silence instantly broke the moment the words left his tongue, and everyone was utterly startled. They didn't know how long that ball of fire could stay ablaze. A frenzy of activity ensued aboard all ten ships as the participants scrambled onto their steeds, or at least, those who hadn't done so already. One after another, dragon steeds carrying cultivators on their backs leaped dozens of meters across the ocean surface and landed on the sandy beaches.
As soon as the people on the bow disembarked, the crowd behind them quickly followed their lead. The cultivators from the back end of the ship hastily brought their dragon steeds to a gallop from the passageway of the guest cabins. One after another, they charged towards the ship's bow with their dragon steeds, then leaped over to the other side of the shore.
In a few short moments, two thousand cultivators aboard all ten ships had alighted to the shore.
The impact of the death threat was great indeed. Otherwise, there would surely be many who wished to stay longer on the ship and see how dangerous the situation was before doing anything else.
As soon as they touched the ground, every single one of the cultivators brandished their weapons to avoid being run over by the ones behind them. They quickly backed away onto the plains once they landed, their eyes cautiously scanning their surroundings. Now that they were here in the infamous Sea of Constellations, no one dared to make any sudden movements.
Suddenly, the plains had filled up with people armed to the teeth. Not many had revealed their transcendent artifacts back on the ship. But now, as long as they had one, they would equip it immediately, preparing to guard against any sudden attack at a moment's notice.
There were treasures of varying quality amongst the crowd. But one thing was certain. There were many who, like Miao Yi, had used up their entire fortune to prepare for this journey into the Sea of Constellations.
Standing on the balcony, Miao Yi jumped onto Charcoal and leaped down to the deck. Bringing Charcoal to a gallop, he then jumped off the ship's bow. He was the last person in the entire fleet to reach the shore.
There was no helping it. Who asked him to stand on the balcony and show off? It was too late to try and cut in by the time everyone below him had started racing off. If he had jumped down, he would have definitely crashed into the frenzied crowd trying to get off the ship.
The man standing beside Wu Menglan swept his cold gaze quickly across the shore and tallied the number of participants.
As soon as Miao Yi landed on the shore, he realized something was amiss and quickly brought Charcoal to a halt. Before him, there were twenty armed riders spread out in a semicircle, blocking his path forward. Every one of them revealed mocking expressions; they were either snickering or just laughing smugly.
It was none other than Su Jinggong and his party. Given the size of the Western Star Sea, it would be hard to find Miao Yi again once everyone separated. As such, they couldn't possibly allow Miao Yi to escape. They had to stop him here and now, and deal with him.
Wu Menglan was still standing on the balcony at the top of the ship, her eyebrows creased as she noticed Miao Yi's predicament. However, as soon as the participants aboard the ship touched down on the Sea of Constellations, they were out of her hands. She had no right to interfere. If she did, it would be an infringement of the rules. If she did, they'd most likely punish her immediately.
Still teetering next to the shore, the two thousand participants noticed something was amiss as well, and they cast their gazes over. Zhao Fei and the others who had already allied with Miao Yi were a little unnerved by the three major sects and the equipment they wore. They didn't dare go over to support him.
Miao Yi's gaze quickly swept across his surroundings and came into contact with Zhao Fei and the rest. His expression turned cold when he saw that none of the members of his coalition were stepping forth to help. However, he knew what they were afraid of. After all, they couldn't be sure whether he'd really managed to recruit so many members. If it was a lie, and they ran out now and offended the three major sects, they would undoubtedly be courting death.
Miao Yi flexed his arms as clumps of black mist erupted out of his storage bangle and enveloped his entire body.
Everyone watched as the black mist suddenly compressed itself. And then, there stood a dragon steed on the desolate plains, wrapped from head to toe in fearsome armor, stomping its hooves and kicking up dust. Its rider garbed himself similarly in an equally imposing set of armor. As the black mist dissipated, the Inversed-Scales Spear appeared in his hands, its sharp tip tilted towards the ground.
The dragon steed's armor, the rider's armor, as well as the spear in his hands were all pure black. The only whiteness found was that of the cold expression on the rider's face. Both man and steed stood firmly in place, with a spear at the ready. Their killing intent was overwhelming as they stared at the people ahead surrounding them in a semicircle.
Many people sucked in a breath of cold air. 'To think that he had a set of Crystalline Obsidian armor. How much would that even cost?' They were all wondering whether or not the armor had been entirely refined using Second Grade Yao Cores. If so, then that would make it a complete Second Grade armor set.
For many in the crowd, it was a first for them even to see a dragon steed donning a Crystalline Obsidian set of armor. After all, quite a number of the participants didn't even have a single artifact on them. This sight in front of them was a little too extravagant for those present.
Standing in the crowd, Qi Xiuhong, who didn't even own a single transcendence artifact, was ecstatic at the sight. She didn't think that Miao Yi could be so powerful. It seemed like the chances of her survival would be considerably higher if she went along with him. Nonetheless, she couldn't help feeling a little worried when she saw the combined forces of the three major sects.
Standing on the balcony at the top of the ship, Wu Menglan was momentarily dazed as Miao Yi had given her a big surprise. If that really were a complete Second Grade armor set, then it would have been difficult to put together, even for her.
"It looks like this brat is well-prepared!" Wu Menglan mumbled to herself. She shifted her gaze towards the disciples of the three major sects from the other ships. Seeing the greed in their eyes, it didn't take her long to realize the trouble Miao Yi had just gotten himself into.
Looking at the random assortment of First Grade Transcendence Artifacts they wore, then turning to see the ones Miao Yi possessed, Su Jinggong and his group were almost drooling. It would be good if they could kill him now and obtain any one of his transcendence artifacts. It would also be a great help to them on their expedition in the Sea of Constellations.
The vicious killing intent in their eyes grew even more fervent. They were less likely to let Miao Yi go now.
Suddenly, the roars of a dragon erupted across the shore. Miao Yi raised his spear towards the crowd and asked in an icy tone, "Why are you stopping me?"
Pointing his scimitar at Miao Yi, Li Yaoqi sneered. "Miao Yi, you little rascal. Do you still remember Wu Liu's death back in Changfeng Cave? Elder Wu has since then ordered me to chop off your dirty head!"
As expected, they wouldn't let him go no matter what! With an emotionless expression on his face, Miao Yi kept calm. However, beneath him, Charcoal was already restlessly kicking his hooves, a bloodthirsty excitement in his eyes. It seemed like every time he could feel Miao Yi's killing intent, his thirst for battle would come surging forth.
However, Miao Yi forced down that burning desire inside Charcoal. He pointed his spear towards Su Jinggong and Wan Yanhua, asking coldly, "You two wish to kill me too?"
Su Jinggong snickered. "You little rascal. After you cast down all my fellow Sword Deviate Sect disciples back in Mount Calming Sea, did you not think this day would come?"
"Why waste your breath on him? Whoever kills him shall obtain his transcendent artifacts!"
Before Wan Yanhua could say anything, her Senior Auntie behind her scoffed as she charged ahead on her dragon steed. Her forehead shone with the mark of a Blue Lotus Fifth Grade cultivator, and she waved the nine-jointed whip in her hand at Miao Yi.
As soon as Miao Yi raised his spear, Charcoal instantly shot out like an arrow. His acceleration took everyone by surprise. 'It can run so fast even with armor on. What powerful leg strength!'
Charcoal moved swiftly, but Miao Yi's spear didn't lag behind either. He swung his spear like a pole, a stark contrast from the way he usually wielded it. It instantly clashed together with Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie, and as he struck down, a dragon's roar echoed from the tip of the spear. The spear emitted a dim blue hue, revealing its nature as a Second Grade Transcendent Artifact before everyone's eyes.
Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie's nine-jointed whip was also a Second Grade Transcendent Artifact. She'd heard long before that Miao Yi was only a White Lotus cultivator. As a Blue Lotus Fifth Grade cultivator, she wasn't intimidated. She pulled on her nine-jointed whip with both hands to block Miao Yi's spear, intending to disarm Miao Yi first and take away a Second Grade Transcendent Artifact for herself.
Clank! Their weapons clashed with a sharp, ringing noise and Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie widened her eyes, as though she was utterly terrified.
When her nine-jointed whip clashed with the opponent's spear, she realized that something was wrong. She'd absorbed the brunt of Miao Yi's strike, but her steed couldn't take it. Its hooves weakened, and it collapsed to the ground.
With such a large opening, she suddenly found her chest embedded with the sharp tip of a black spear. Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie looked at Miao Yi in disbelief. As she felt the intense pain seeping through her chest, she noticed that he'd lifted her body up, away from the dragon steed that collapsed on the ground.
Harrumph! Charcoal neighed as he raised his two front hooves and came to a sudden stop. Miao Yi sat on his back, bloodied spear in hand, fresh from his recent kill. With a flick of his spear, he tossed Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie up in the air. Everyone was astonished by his ability to kill with one strike!
Stabbing down with his spear, Miao Yi nailed the loser to the ground as Charcoal brought his hooves down. He pulled out the blood-soaked tip of the spear and hooked it through the nine-jointed whip in Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie's hands.
Miao Yi raised his hand and immediately sucked the Second Grade Transcendent Artifact into his storage ring. In an instant, he'd managed to obtain a Second Grade Transcendent Artifact.
Simultaneously, he chopped off Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie's wrist with his spear. The lopped-off hand landed in his grasp, and he took both the golden bangle and storage ring and stored them away.
This act established the first person to steal a golden bangle among the cultivators of the Fifth Earthly Branch who had reached the shores of the Sea of Constellations. The speed was unbelievably fast, and it had happened in the blink of an eye.
Miao Yi's expression immediately turned cold. With a flick of his spear, he tossed the bloody corpse of Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie back over to her comrades.
Wan Yanhua was still in a daze when the body landed in front of her. All the disciples of the Jade Lady Sect cried, "Senior Auntie!" Their beautiful faces twisted with sorrow.
The dragon steed that had collapsed on the ground also got up and ran towards Wan Yanhua's Senior Auntie's body. Its eyes showed signs of grief as it stood beside her.
What ferocity! Many in the crowd couldn't help but suck in a breath of cold air as they speculated Miao Yi's actual cultivation. His opponent was a Blue Lotus Fifth Grade cultivator wielding a Second Grade Transcendence Artifact, yet she couldn't even withstand a single blow. Even her steed's legs weren't strong enough and fell under its weight. His skill with the spear was even more astonishing if he could cut down a Blue Lotus Fifth Grade cultivator with a single strike and steal her artifact. He was absolutely too ferocious!