From the way she acted, it seemed like she had something to ask Su Jinggong.
The man who'd stood next to her turned his head as he watched Wu Menglan descend to the side of the ship. He transmitted his voice over and warned, "Hall Master Wu, I believe you are aware of the rules. As soon as the participants have alighted from the ship and set foot in the Sea of Constellations, their fates are their own. I strongly advise you not to interfere!"
Wu Menglan gave a smile. "Of course I know. I'm not going to interfere. I only have something I wish to ask him."
The man fell silent. Wu Menglan cast a long glance at Su Jinggong, who was still swimming in the sea. Even though she didn't know his name, she recognized him as one of the people Miao Yi had previously brought to see her. She transmitted her voice over and asked, "You mentioned that Miao Yi did something to your steeds?"
She didn't notice exactly how Miao Yi had sabotaged the steeds of Su Jinggong and his party. They could run and jump just fine. However, with so many of them collapsing as soon as they clashed with Miao Yi, she found it rather suspicious as well.
As soon as he heard the transmission, Su Jinggong immediately returned to his senses. He turned his head and saw Wu Menglan standing above him on the side of the ship, her purple dress fluttering about. He replied with a distraught voice, "He must have done something. Even though I've never traded blows with him myself, I asked someone who did. I wanted to know how Miao Yi became so powerful that we couldn't even withstand a single blow from him. That person told me that it wasn't because we couldn't withstand it, it was just that the moment both parties invoked their transcendence arts and traded blows, our dragon steeds weren't able to withstand the impact. It was like we were sitting on a trap and just suddenly fell in. There was no way to fight back. And earlier on, I clearly felt that my dragon steed was unable to unleash its full speed and that its performance had drastically worsened. I originally thought that being in the Sea of Constellations triggered certain changes, but when I saw everyone else's steeds, they didn't seem as affected. The more I think about it, the more I'm sure that that brat did something to our dragon steeds."
Wu Menglan asked in response, "How could you not notice that someone was sabotaging your own dragon steeds when you were on the same ship for several months?"
Su Jinggong replied in frustration, "That's where the problem started. Hall Master punished us and had us stand on the ship's bow for three months. During that time, Miao Yi was the one who took care of our mounts."
Wu Menglan was shocked. "When have I ever made you stand on the ship's bow for three months?"
"We clearly heard Hall Master say that we were to continue standing back then…." Su Jinggong widened his eyes. He then reported what happened at the time.
When she heard the whole story, Wu Menglan abruptly turned her head and looked at Miao Yi, who was watching the battle. She couldn't help but scoff, 'Well played, brat. And here I was wondering how you suddenly became so powerful. To think you were bold enough to mess with me? You dared to pull the wool over my eyes even when your pitiful little life was within my grasp. Clearly, you take me for a fool. What impudence.'
Miao Yi seemed to have sensed something. He turned to see Wu Menglan standing at the side of the ship, and Su Jinggong floating in the sea below her. His eyes narrowed, and Charcoal hastily turned around beneath him. Wielding the Inversed-Scales Spear at an angle behind his back, Miao Yi instantly shot forward like an arrow leaving its bow.
As he approached the sea, Charcoal abruptly leaped up into the air. Riding on his back, Miao Yi waved his spear and slashed through the wind. Using Charcoal's momentum as leverage, he launched a fierce strike at the surface of the water.
Su Jinggong's expression drastically changed, and he hurriedly dived underwater, swimming away to hide at the bottom of the ship.
Bang! Something seemed to explode on the sea's surface as a pillar of water erupted dozens of meters upwards into the sky. An invisible barrier appeared in front of Wu Menglan and shielded her from the ensuing downpour.
Charcoal made a few quick turns in the water as Miao Yi scanned the surface, spear at the ready. As he surveyed their surroundings with his transcendence arts, he noticed Su Jinggong had already left the bottom of the ship and was hastily diving deeper into the ocean depths.
Then, Wu Menglan suddenly transmitted her cold questioning voice into Miao Yi's ears. "Miao Yi. How dare you sabotage their mounts back on the ship?"
Miao Yi lifted his head and replied, "Su Jinggong has a grudge against me. You need not listen to his nonsense, Sister Meng."
Anger was evident in Wu Menglan's tone as she said, "Miao Yi, I see you're getting sick of living. How dare you trick me!"
"Sister Meng is exaggerating. I have been very respectful to you all this time. How could I deceive you? It will be hard to predict my fate on this journey of mine into the Sea of Constellations, so I shall take my leave now." Miao Yi gave her a light smile as he cupped his fists with his spear in hand. Then, Charcoal dashed out of the water and went ashore, carrying Miao Yi away.
Wu Menglan was outraged. Even though Miao Yi's tone was polite, what he was trying to imply was clear as day—'So what if I tricked you? I don't even know if I'll survive the Sea of Constellations. As if you'd dare do anything to me now that I'm here.'
She really wanted to kill Miao Yi with her own hands right now. Yet, she truly wasn't bold enough to interfere with whatever was going to happen here.
At this moment, it was clear who the victor of the all-out battle between the Red Scarves Alliance and the three major sects was—the three major sects suffered a crushing defeat. With around thirty people remaining, they would not be able to overturn the situation. They no longer tried to engage in battle, and merely fought tooth and nail out of the encirclement just to run for their lives.
The massive Red Scarves Alliance immediately chased after the ones that escaped. Sitting on his dragon steed with his spear in hand, Miao Yi scanned his surroundings and noticed there were still quite a number of people present. He didn't know what they were planning, so he immediately invoked his transcendence arts and shouted, "Stop running after the fallen enemy and quickly return to clean up the battlefield!"
At the front of the charge, Zhao Fei and the others immediately led their troops back and began collecting the spoils of the battle. The onlookers watched on greedily as they did so. There were so many transcendence artifacts scattered around the area!
"Keep an eye out on each other. Anyone who dares to embezzle the items shall face execution!" Miao Yi warned sternly. He led Qi Xiuhong over, then cast his gaze towards Zhao Fei, Wang Yuetian, and Sikong Wuwei.
The three of them acknowledged his order. They were the ones with the highest cultivation all around and had been the ones with the most kills. Once the dust has settled, they were sure to be the ones most heavily rewarded. As such, they did not wish to see someone else steal what was rightfully theirs. They immediately raised their weapons and patrolled the area on their mounts. At the same time, they called a few people over and had them keep a watchful eye on the troops as well.
Dusk had already fallen. A group of people was tossing around the corpses and picking up the scattered weapons and transcendent artifacts on the ground. They would take the storage rings as well as the armor artifacts still worn on the corpses...
Under the red, blood-like hue of the sunset, Miao Yi sat firmly on his dragon steed, a steady grip on his spear, while Qi Xiuhong waited quietly behind him.
Miao Yi swept a gaze across the troops and tallied the numbers. He estimated that their forces suffered a loss of around fifty people or so; the remaining troops barely reached a total of four hundred people. Furthermore, a majority of them suffered from various wounds.
Finally, they finished gathering all the spoils of the battle. The troops also assembled in a rather disorderly manner. They had only just rallied together after all. Without a proper chain of command, it was understandable that they were a little disorganized. However, everyone was in good spirits. As soon as they'd stepped foot into the Sea of Constellations, they had routed the forces of the three major sects. It was a pleasing thought to be had and even a little unbelievable. Normally, they wouldn't have dared to offend the three major sects.
Zhao Fei and the other two delivered the spoils of battle before Miao Yi. Then, Zhao Fei cupped his fists and reported, "Alliance Master. We have killed 206 people, and have lost 53 of our own."
Miao Yi nodded quietly. He sighed in his heart, 'The three major sects are true to their name indeed. Even with an ambush like this, we still lost over fifty people. If we continue to bump into enemies as difficult to deal with as the three major sects, I fear we will not be able to survive.'
Sikong Wuwei was a dark-skinned man with two bulging eyes, a messy beard, and a thin stature. And yet of all things, his weapon of choice was that of a crude, long axe. He smiled, "Alliance Master. Everything is here."
Miao Yi opened the bag and took a look. He noticed that the number of storage rings alone had already exceeded five hundred. There were sure to be plenty of items inside. For this ten-year expedition within the Sea of Constellations, everyone had clearly come as well-prepared as possible.
Miao Yi casually tossed the bag over to Qi Xiuhong, then turned to the crowd and said, "It's best that we don't stay here for too long. Let us first find a safe place to rest. Then, we can discuss the rewards."
Zhao Fei and the other two nodded in agreement. There were still plenty of people keeping a close eye on them. It was indeed unwise to stay for too long.
Everyone couldn't help glancing at Qi Xiuhong. Those who didn't know better would naturally assume that this beautiful woman was Miao Yi's lover. Otherwise, how could he let her take care of such a large amount of treasure? Everyone told themselves that they needed to be more respectful when dealing with this woman in the future.
Qi Xiuhong looked gratefully at Miao Yi. She knew that he was doing this to take care of her.
Miao Yi looked at the crowd. He knew that the only reason he could fool these people into forming an alliance was because they all didn't want to die. Despite knowing they had a slim chance of being one of the one hundred survivors, they still carried the hope that they'd be able to survive this ordeal. Just like Miao Yi.
"Red Scarves Alliance!" Miao Yi suddenly raised his spear and shouted. "In the end, there will only be one hundred survivors! Merely one hundred! I don't know how far we'll go, nor do I know how many of us will survive until the end. Maybe none of us will. I myself don't have much hope that I can survive this either. But I know that if we work together, we'll be able to live longer. I'm also aware that even if we manage to survive to the end, we will eventually become enemies. Because out of 180,000 cultivators, only one hundred can live. Thus, in the next ten years in the Sea of Constellations, I won't wish for us to survive to the very end together, I will only hope that we can share our lives and deaths for the next nine years. In the final year, we shall return to being enemies once more!"
Even though it was rather unprecedented to use this type of speech to boost morale, it reached everyone's hearts and eased much of the tension they all felt. At the same time, it ensured that everyone knew clearly that for the next nine years, they could rely on one another for help.
Sikong Wuwei immediately broke out in laughter. He turned towards the crowd, then raised his axe and shouted, "Red Scarves Alliance! Ten years in the Sea of Constellations, we shall only share life and death for nine! In the final year, it's back to being enemies for us!"
This immediately roused the crowd as everyone raised their arms and loudly repeated, "Red Scarves Alliance! Ten years in the Sea of Constellations, we shall only share life and death for nine! In the final year, it's back to being enemies for us!"
Their shouts continued endlessly!
The onlookers exchanged glances with one another. The words of the Red Scarves Alliance had clearly struck a chord with them. Many of them looked uncertain, feeling a sudden urge to join the Red Scarves Alliance.
As she slowly walked to the ship's bow, Wu Menglan watched as Miao Yi roused the troops and rallied them together. Even though she was angry, she couldn't help but sigh in admiration. Regardless of what Miao Yi had done aboard the ship and how he'd managed to bring so many people together, there was one thing she couldn't refute. The scene before her now was a testament to Miao Yi's capabilities. It was not sheer luck that this kid had managed to come this far.
With his hand still up in the air, Miao Yi felt his ears twitching slightly. He quickly turned to look at Wu Menglan standing aboard the ship.
She transmitted her voice into his ears, "Miao Yi. The three major sects are not as simple as you'd imagine. With this incident, you have firmly established a vendetta between you and the three major sects. They will be sure to seek revenge. You must know that the real experts of the three major sects do not come from the administration. The Fifth Earthly Branch has chosen to send people over to participate in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade, so naturally, they won't wish to see that none of their members are among the one hundred survivors in the end. Those who came from the system were all enlisted from the bottom-up, whereas the participants sent by the various major sects reported directly to the Overlord. Even if it were just to protect their honor as the three major sects, they would surely have sent their highly capable disciples over, and bestow upon them powerful transcendence artifacts to help them obtain a ranking in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade. This is the case for all the respective Earthly Branches of every nation."
Miao Yi looked at her in gratitude as he transmitted his voice, "Thanks for the advice, Sister Meng! If I make it back alive, I will come and thank you again!"
Wu Menglan gave him a light smile. "Little Brother. Take care of yourself!"
"Let's go!" Beneath the sunset, Miao Yi suddenly raised his spear and shouted. He turned around and quickly led his troops away. Qi Xiuhong followed closely by his side as the massive army galloped towards the verdant forest.