"..." Dong Quan was wide-eyed and at a loss for words. He didn't think Miao Yi would be so straightforward and leave him without a shred of dignity. His expression darkened as he said, "Why are you insulting me so, Alliance Master? Do you not agree to draw straws then? Was your talk of sharing life and death for nine years all just a lie? You would prioritize your own benefit over the entire Red Scarves Alliance?"
The reason he tried to pressure Miao Yi using the Red Scarves Alliance was precisely because he wanted Miao Yi to think of the potential consequences. He wanted him to see which side was the bigger force so he wouldn't make the wrong judgment.
His words were enough to spark anger in another. Sikong Wuwei glared at Dong Quan, almost bursting out in rage. If Miao Yi hadn't told him to stand down earlier, he would have definitely cursed at Dong Quan.
In contrast, Miao Yi seemed unfazed as he replied, "What a glib tongue. I have no objections to drawing straws, but since you've been going on and on about the benefit of the entire Red Scarves Alliance, you made it seem like I'm the one at fault here. Dong Quan, since you are so considerate for everyone's well-being, then to prove that you have no ulterior motives, why don't you just give it up as Sikong Wuwei did? Leave the matter of drawing straws to the others." He swept his gaze across the crowd, "Everyone. What do you think?"
Dong Quan's expression froze.
Sikong Wuwei and Zhao Fei exchanged glances. They didn't think Miao Yi would really agree to hand out the transcendent artifact by drawing straws to decide.
"This works as well."
"Let's do as the Alliance Master says."
Fei De-an and the others quickly agreed. If they took Zhao Fei, Sikong Wuwei, Lu Siping, and Dong Quan out of the equation, then their chances of obtaining the transcendent artifact would be higher. As such, they obviously wouldn't object.
Dong Quan's expression twisted as he realized that after all that talk, all he did was play the villain to benefit another. It was unacceptable. Furious from the embarrassment, he immediately replied, "I can't make this decision on my own. I am merely acting on behalf of my fellow disciples' when I draw straws. If I don't participate, I won't be able to give them a satisfactory answer."
His fellow disciples immediately shouted, "Participate! Participate! We won't agree to it if he doesn't!"
It was a good thing to have your fellow disciples' support. You could always use them to force a point.
Sikong Wuwei was utterly furious.
Zhao Fei felt conflicted as he swept his gaze across the crowd. He knew their allegiance was gone. They had vowed to share life and death for nine years, but it had only been a little over three, and a single transcendent artifact had already ruined them. There was no need for someone else to do it either. They were the ones who brought it upon themselves.
Miao Yi sighed to himself as well. He was a little regretful of the decision he made now. Back then when Zhao Fei and the rest had objected to accepting these sect members, he was the one who stubbornly decided to recruit them into the Red Scarves Alliance. And now, a problem really did arise.
But then again, if he didn't have their help, and if experts like Lu Siping didn't join the alliance, they would probably already be in deep trouble if they'd fought against those Ghost Cultivators with just their original forces.
That was indeed the case. Kuang Lianqiu could deal with half of them on his own, whereas the rest might not be a match for those Ghost Cultivators, who were all almost fully equipped with Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts. Even if Miao Yi had been able to steal the transcendent artifact away, he would still end up retreating in shame. As for the rest, it was uncertain whether or not they would triumph as they did.
"It's pointless even if you shout." Miao Yi's expression remained indifferent as he continued, "The truth is, you're all aware deep down that this transcendent artifact should rightfully belong to me. However, some of you are beguiled by greed and harbor unrealistic expectations. Fine then, since you want it so badly, I'll grant your wish. However, drawing straws would be too childish. I have a better idea."
"May I know what the Alliance Master has in mind? We are willing to listen," Dong Quan cupped his fists and asked.
"Even though your words were utter bullshit, I do agree with one thing though. That is, we should give opportunities to those who are capable!" Miao Yi narrowed his eyes at Dong Quan. "Before I came to the Sea of Constellations, I liked to say this to my subordinates as well. Don't you all desire this transcendent artifact?"
He took out a sword artifact from his storage ring and sheathed it back into the scabbard by his waist. Then, he withdrew Kuang Lianqiu's severed arm, which was still holding onto the Mystic Yin Mirror. Miao Yi then rode Charcoal onto a small hill and stood there.
Everyone watched as Miao Yi ripped the severed arm off and simply tossed it aside, allowing it to vaporize into ashes under the sunlight. Holding the Mystic Yin Mirror in one hand and holding the Inversed-Scales Spear in the other, Miao Yi raised the mirror artifact and said aloud, "This transcendent artifact shall go to whoever is capable of obtaining it. Cut the crap if you don't have the skills. Isn't it too absurd to think of taking away the transcendent artifact I risked my life to obtain with just a few simple words? This matter isn't that complicated. I don't mind parting with this transcendent artifact either. If you desire this, feel free to challenge me for it. Whoever manages to take it away from me is free to keep it. Stop beating around the bush by blabbering on and on."
Miao Yi pointed his spear at Dong Quan and shouted, "I am still recovering from my wounds. Dong Quan, this will be your best shot at obtaining this transcendent artifact. Do you dare battle me!?"
It would be a lie for Dong Quan to say he wasn't tempted to be the first to have such an opportunity before him. However, there was a good reason why Miao Yi was able to command such respect over the entire Red Scarves Alliance for the past few years.
They were not back in their little system outside the Sea of Constellations where they had to do things by the book. There, the higher ranked officials could always step over their subordinates. Here, the one with the bigger fist had the last say.
Dong Quan himself saw how ruthless Miao Yi could be. Even if he was injured now, Dong Quan didn't dare to act rashly. There was a perplexed look on his face. The item was in Miao Yi's hands, and he was intent on using strength to decide and not by drawing straws. Dong Quan wouldn't be able to make a difference even if he was any better with words.
Seeing Dong Quan was afraid to speak, Miao Yi ignored him and pointed his spear towards the others. "What about you lot? This is the only chance any of you will get. You won't get another once it's gone."
Everyone exchanged glances, but none of them answered.
Dong Quan looked at the people beside him and transmitted his voice over, "Why don't we join forces and kill him? After that, we can draw straws to decide who the transcendent artifact should belong to. How about that?"
Everyone felt instantly tempted by the offer and began secretly communicating with one another via transmission.
When he saw everyone exchange glances, Miao Yi could make a rough guess as to what was happening between them. He scoffed, "Those who wish to challenge me are free to come. But if any of you have any ulterior motives, I don't mind giving the might of this Mystic Yin Mirror a try. When that happens, don't blame me for disregarding our friendship and starting a bloodbath!"
'So that item is called the Mystic Yin Mirror!' All their plans instantly went up in smoke when he said this. Join hands to steal the transcendent artifact? They'd all borne witness to the might of the Mystic Yin Mirror. Their plan was pointless no matter how many of them joined forces.
They finally ceased their desires! Strength was truly the best way to solve an argument. No one said anything after that.
After a brief pause, Miao Yi said plainly, "I think we've messed around long enough. Everyone, return and do what it is you're supposed to do. Let me be blunt. Should any of you dare to neglect his duties, don't blame me for being discourteous!"
He wouldn't let this matter rest so easily if he was his usual self. But in truth, he was already teetering on the brink of collapse. Not only had he not fully recovered from his wounds from their earlier battle, but he had also used up a great deal of transcendence energy to activate all his Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts to engage in such a massive battle. With his cultivation base, there was no way he could battle again so soon. He wasn't confident that he could use the Mystic Yin Mirror in his hands either. At the very least, he still didn't know how to operate it.
To put it simply, he still didn't know how the tides of battle in the Sea of Constellations could shift in the future. It was better to have allies next to him than none at all. Not only did a large force act as a deterrent for other forces, but it could also be used to gather all sorts of information on the enemy so that he could make preparations beforehand. Some things couldn't be done by him alone.
Since he put it that way, everyone thought that they had indeed messed around long enough. All they could do was treat the whole thing as a farce, that it had all been an unrealistic dream. Even though they weren't exactly satisfied, they could do little else besides go on with their tasks.
Sikong Wuwei burst out in laughter whereas Zhao Fei looked worried. Everyone's allegiance was already gone!
Once he returned to his cave, Miao Yi turned and pulled on Qi Xiuhong's arm, whispering, "Be more careful from now on."
Qi Xiuhong was no fool and knew what Miao Yi was reminding her about. She nodded, a worried expression hanging on her face as she then walked out the cave and kept watch by the entrance.
She was relying on Miao Yi right now. Just this alone meant that if anything were to happen to Miao Yi, she would be in trouble as well. She had no choice but to be extra careful.
After he took off his armor, Miao Yi quickly tossed an Orb of Will into his mouth and sat cross-legged as he began to recover his transcendence energy.
Miao Yi's wounds and transcendence energy were only fully recovered to normal the next day.
The first thing he did after opening his eyes was to take out the Mystic Yin Mirror and examine it. He needed to know how to operate this transcendent artifact as soon as possible in order to face any problems that may arise.
As soon as he imbued his transcendence energy into the Mystic Yin Mirror, Miao Yi was startled to find a large amount of Yin aura stored within. He didn't know where it had come from, but as soon as his transcendence energy came into contact with the Yin aura, he immediately felt dazed by the sudden feeling of chilliness.
If Qi Xiuhong, who was at the entrance of the cave, could see what Miao Yi looked like now, she would definitely jump in fright. He was covered entirely with frost like a snowman.
However, that layer of frost quickly evaporated. After he was back to normal, Miao Yi became more cautious as he invoked his arts to examine the mirror once again.
He only managed to understand how to operate the Mystic Yin Mirror after an hour. Holding the mirror artifact in his hand, it glowed with a blue light before a cold, black Yin aura immediately spewed out from the glass and landed on the walls of the cave, instantly covering them in a thick layer of ice.
However, as he invoked his arts to use the transcendent artifact, Miao Yi's expression changed. Then, the Yin aura that rushed out quickly retracted back into the mirror once more.
As she was standing guard outside the cave, Qi Xiuhong abruptly turned her head when a blast of cold wind came from inside the cave, fluttering her dress. Her expression drastically changed when she felt the piercingly cold chill in the air. It was a little unbearable, and she wondered what was happening inside the cave.
Once the biting coldness was gone, Qi Xiuhong rushed in to find the walls of the cave covered in layers of frost. It was like she had fallen inside a cave of ice. Then she saw the mirror artifact in Miao Yi's hand and speculated that he'd probably just used it.
However, when she saw how pale Miao Yi was, she couldn't help asking, "Alliance Master. What's wrong?"
"Nothing!" Miao Yi shook his head and continued examining the transcendent artifact in his hands.
Qi Xiuhong pursed her lips and didn't say anything else. Then, she walked back out of the cave to stand guard.
Inside the cave, Miao Yi sighed as he held onto the mirror artifact and felt both happy yet worried at the same time. He wondered how this transcendent artifact had been refined. Even though it didn't seem large, it contained a different dimension within, much like storage rings. At the same time, it was of a much higher grade since it could be shrouded and stored within a storage ring.
By the looks of it, a large number of Crystalline Obsidians had probably been used to refine this item, and rightfully so. As a transcendent artifact that was able to house a separate dimension within, the amount of Crystalline Obsidians used to refine it was probably at a jaw-dropping amount. It had probably taken up over fifty Second Grade Yao Cores and various profound methods in order to create such a transcendent artifact.
Which was to say that operating this transcendent artifact was equal to operating over fifty Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts simultaneously. Miao Yi had only used it for a short while, and he could feel that almost half of the transcendence energy within his body had already been used up. With his cultivation base at the White Lotus Seventh Grade, he wouldn't be able to use this for long. Any longer than this and he would end up using all his transcendence energy. If that happened while he was fighting the enemy, he would eventually lose all means of resistance.
Miao Yi couldn't help laughing when he thought about the expressions on Dong Quan and the rest. If his guess were correct, they wouldn't be able to use this transcendent artifact even if he had given it to them. They would suffer a terrible backlash as soon as they tried to activate it. This transcendent artifact had probably been made so that only Ghost Cultivators could wield it.
Whereas Miao Yi was only able to operate it because the cultivation arts he practiced could counteract the corrosion effects of this Mystic Yin Mirror. However, with his cultivation base, he wouldn't be able to use it for long periods of time as his transcendence energy wouldn't be able to keep up.