Zhao Lingtu's armor artifact was forcefully removed and all his valuables which could be stored inside a storage ring were subsequently kept away by Miao Yi. As for his storage rings and the like, Miao Yi wore them on his own hand. He didn't have time to sort them out now and planned to do that later on.
Everyone watched as Zhao Lingtu was stripped bare of all his treasures. Dong Quan and the rest almost drooled from the sight. Those were three top-tier Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts—three of them! And all of them had fallen into Miao Yi's hands.
Then, Miao Yi tossed Zhao Lingtu's corpse into the air. With one arm, Miao Yi raised his spear and slashed down, and the corpse which had yet to drip a single drop of blood after being frozen soon fell to the ground in two separate halves.
Miao Yi then jumped off his dragon steed and walked towards Lu Siping and the rest, who were similarly still in a frozen state.
Bang! Stabbing the Inversed-Scales Spear into the ground, Miao Yi gripped it as he stood staring at Lu Siping's frost-covered face.
This person lying on the ground was the same person who had once submitted to him and said that he wished to share life and death for nine years together. And yet just now, he had tried to kill him.
This person lying on the ground was the same person who had fallen to the effects of the Mystic Yin Mirror before but had been saved by him. And yet now, he had fallen once more to Miao Yi's Mystic Yin Mirror.
The path of cultivation was long and bloody, filled with death and betrayal. A person could be an ally in one moment, and an enemy the next.
Miao Yi spread his fingers and slowly released the Inversed-Scales Spear lodged in the ground.
Shing! He abruptly unsheathed the sword artifact by his waist, and it emitted a gray sheen. With an indifferent expression on his face, Miao Yi didn't hesitate and immediately chopped off Lu Siping's head with his sword. Then, he stripped Lu Siping bare of all his valuables.
Afterward, he walked to the side and slashed down again, chopping off another head and taking away everything he deemed valuable.
Then, he turned around and chopped off another head with his sword...
After sweeping clean everything that Zhao Lingtu and his Junior Brothers had, he shook off the bloodstains on his sword artifact and sheathed it back into the empty scabbard by his waist. He jumped up and pulled the Inversed-Scales Spear off the ground, then spread his legs and landed on Charcoal's back.
Miao Yi swept a cold gaze across the crowd and slowly turned Charcoal around.
Seeing as he was about to leave, several people jumped out from the crowd on the opposite side and shouted, "Alliance Master! I will follow you!"
With someone taking the lead, soon more people jumped out as well. "Alliance Master, take us with you!"
Eventually, about a hundred people jumped out shouting that they wanted to leave with Miao Yi.
He recognized all of them. They were the ones he'd personally recruited back on the ship—those with no sect background whatsoever.
They were the earliest to follow behind him, and yet were the same ones who wanted to cut all ties with him after seeing him in trouble. They were also the ones who supported the rest of the crowd in killing him earlier on. And now, they were saying that they wanted to follow him again.
Miao Yi scoffed coldly at their actions, causing those who wished to follow him to stop dead in their tracks.
He could hear the beating hooves of dragon steeds from afar. Miao Yi turned his head to look at where the sound was coming from, 'Are the forces of the three major sects already here?'
"I am not a sentimental man. The only reason I'm not killing you all is out of regard for the time we spent together! From now on, we shall have nothing to do with each other. Take care, everyone!" Miao Yi left them with a few cold words of parting. He couldn't stay here too long, so he turned Charcoal around and broke into a gallop. He passed by Sikong Wuwei and the other two and simply spat out, "Let's go!"
The three of them glanced at the crowd on the other side, all of whom stared hollowly back at them. They were once fellow members of the same alliance, but now they would go their separate paths. The three turned their dragon steeds around and chased after Miao Yi.
Miao Yi hadn't chosen to spare those disloyal bastards because he didn't want to kill them. Given his personality, even though he'd said it was out of regard for their past relationship, in truth it was simply because his strength was severely limited, and he couldn't use the Mystic Yin Mirror for too long. Ergo, he wouldn't be able to kill all those unfaithful bastards either way. Instead, it could plunge him into even greater danger. As such, all he could do was say a bunch of pleasant-sounding words to lie to everyone.
Miao Yi led the charge down the mountain and up another, reaching the peak of a different mountain where Qi Xiuhong had been waiting by herself.
Miao Yi gave her a faint smile when he saw her. When he was facing off against Zhao Lingtu earlier on, he transmitted his voice over to Sikong Wuwei and the other two to have them cooperate with his sudden attack. As for Qi Xiuhong, he only told her to go on ahead as soon as they made their move.
The reason was simple. Speed was of the essence for his sudden attack. If Qi Xiuhong were to charge with them, not only would she be unable to provide any assistance, there was a chance that she could hinder them instead. Even though Miao Yi wouldn't use the word 'hindrance' when talking to Qi Xiuhong, it was an apt description. All he could do was order her to leave ahead of them.
Not to mention, this sudden attack of his carried with it a great risk. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that he needed to fight with his life on the line. Miao Yi didn't want to put his life at risk either. He wanted to live, but when it was time for him to fight like his life depended on it, he would never hesitate. And it was all because he'd never believed that Zhao Lingtu would let him go once he handed over the Mystic Yin Mirror!
As such, if he were to fail, disaster would definitely fall upon Qi Xiuhong as well, since she had already chosen to stand by his side in front of everyone. He let her go ahead in case he failed, to give her one last chance to fight for survival, allowing her to run as far as she could and live as long as she could.
The people in the Sea of Constellations now all had that same mentality of living through their days as long as they could. Even though Miao Yi had slept with Qi Xiuhong, he didn't have to drag her into the grave as well.
However, Qi Xiuhong had only gone far; she didn't go away and had waited for him at this place this whole time. As a result, she received a heartfelt smile from Miao Yi. The cold and ruthless Great Alliance Master Miao had instantly softened up, like well-tempered steel turning into cotton.
Qi Xiuhong heaved a sigh of relief when she saw Miao Yi had escaped in one piece. He called out to her with a nod, and she immediately rode her steed over and fell in line with the other three.
Leading the charge down the mountain, Miao Yi ripped off the red cloth tied around his wrist and tossed it away. A self-mocking smile hung on his lips as he looked at it with disdain.
The rest who were behind him also ripped theirs off. Four pieces of red cloth fluttered in the wind as Miao Yi's group galloped away and slowly disappeared into the forest.
At the mountaintop lake, many among Dong Quan and the rest heaved a sigh of relief when they could no longer see Miao Yi and the others. Zhao Lingtu and his fellow disciples had died, and Miao Yi had left. After spending several years in peace, the crowd suddenly felt a sense of loss. Their hearts were full of anxiety, as well as fear towards the uncertainty of their futures.
After watching Miao Yi and the others depart, the crowd turned to face the other direction. Several dozen riders were already in their line of sight and were quickly advancing towards them.
"Everyone, get ready to open the floodgates." Dong Quan took up the responsibility of leading everyone of his own volition. He cupped his fists towards the crowd and sighed. "Let's hope that Zhao Lingtu wasn't lying to us before he died. If the situation doesn't feel right, all we can do is fight with our lives. And if that doesn't work, we will have to run for it!"
Against the fear of uncertainty, the crowd didn't disobey the order and proceeded to make their preparations as Miao Yi had instructed them to in the past. The water of this still lake could be considered the final piece of protection that Miao Yi had given to the Red Scarves Alliance.
At the foot of the mountain, three vicious beasts came to a stop. They had sharp fangs and claws, with robust statures covered in a hard crystal armor. Low snarls emitted from these beasts, their savagery in full display.
Seated upon each beast were two young men and a young woman. These three youngsters all had a cold expression on their faces as they lifted their heads to look at the mountaintop. There were about fifty people behind them. Based on their attire, they were undoubtedly the forces of the three major sects.
At the mountaintop, Dong Quan and the others all cast their gazes upon the troops at the foot of the mountain as well. Those three terrifying beasts should be the 'Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts' that Zhao Lingtu had mentioned. Based on the attire of the three major sects, the handsome, yet cold-faced individual in the center should be Gu Sanzheng of the Sword Deviate Sect; the stern-looking youngster with the brawny physique on the left should be Tan Lao of the School of Imperial Beasts; and needless to say, the voluptuous and elegant woman on the right was definitely Ye Xin of the Jade Lady Sect.
From the looks of things, Zhao Lingtu was indeed telling the truth.
A rainbow-colored bird descended from the sky and landed on Tan Lao's shoulder. Then, it chirped by his ear.
It seemed like Tan Lao could understand what the bird was saying. He turned to the side and said, "There is a lake at the top of the mountain with signs of digging at its edges. It seems like they have plans to trigger a trap to flood us using the canals. What a vicious plan. The larger the force that attacks the mountain, the greater the number of casualties. We mustn't be lured in by them. Just attack at your own pace and advance while avoiding the places where the canals are situated."
Gazing towards the peak of the mountain, Ye Xin furrowed her brows and said, "Gu Sanzheng, Tan Lao, have you noticed their attire? It seems like they're the forces of the Fifth Earthly Branch."
Gu Sanzheng had noticed it a long time ago. He remarked with interest, "Why are there so many of the Fifth Earthly Branch's troops gathered here?"
At the mountaintop, Dong Quan invoked his arts and shouted, "Are the ones down below the disciples of the three major sects under the Celestial Nation's Fifth Earthly Branch?"
"Senior Brother Gu. They are indeed the Fifth Earthly Branch's forces. I have seen quite a number of them before!" Behind the three leaders, Su Jinggong suddenly stated.
It was evidently a little strange for an old man to call a youngster Senior Brother. That said, this Su Jinggong was a rather fortunate man indeed.
Ever since he'd escaped Miao Yi's hand, he had traveled alone to the disembarkation point for non-administration forces of the Fifth Earthly Branch. There, he had actually managed to meet up with his fellow disciples in one piece. He was fortunate that the forces of the respective Earthly Branches had yet to spread out at the time. Otherwise, he might not have been so lucky.
It was also fortunate that the School of Imperial Beasts had their 'Seeker Birds'. As soon as the non-administration forces of the three major sects alighted, Tan Lao immediately sent out the 'Seeker Birds' towards the disembarkation points of the administration forces to assemble their fellow disciples.
However, it was evident that they hadn't managed to assemble all their fellow disciples. Most of them had died to Miao Yi and the Red Scarves Alliance's hands. Only a meager twenty to thirty survived out of the original two hundred. They'd barely managed to amass their current numbers of a little over fifty troops after adding on the non-administration forces.
Gu Sanzheng was even more curious after hearing what Su Jinggong said. "I can see there are around seven to eight hundred troops up there. After the most tumultuous three-year period, almost half of the Fifth Earthly Branch's administration forces have actually managed to survive. Furthermore, they are all gathered together. What is going on?"
Then, Su Jinggong widened his eyes and shouted, "Senior Brother Gu. They are the forces of the Red Scarves Alliance. Look at the red cloth tied around their wrists. They are all troops of the Red Scarves Alliance. Some of them have surrounded the forces of our three major sects before. I recognize them."
"Indeed! They are all forces of the Red Scarves Alliance. I can't believe they are still alive and have been hiding here all this time." Behind him, there were others who affirmed his speculation.
"Senior Sister! They were the ones who killed Senior Auntie." A Jade Lady Sect disciple shouted, "Senior Sister! You have to avenge Senior Auntie!"
Ye Xin turned around and asked, "Didn't you say that there were only about four hundred members in the Red Scarves Alliance?"
It was evident that this Senior Sister was much more sensible than a certain murdered Senior Auntie.
Su Jinggong replied, "The others probably joined afterward."
At the mountaintop, Dong Quan couldn't help feeling a little anxious when he saw that the people down below didn't respond. He invoked his arts and repeated, "Are the ones down below the disciples of the Fifth Earthly Branch's three major sects?"
After hearing the remarks from the people behind him, Gu Sanzheng invoked his arts and replied, "Are the ones up the mountain the forces of the Red Scarves Alliance?"
"We are! Are you Gu Sanzheng of the Sword Deviate Sect? The incident in the past was a misunderstanding. We have nothing to do with it!" Dong Quan shouted in reply.
Gu Sanzheng commanded, "Bring Miao Yi out to see me!"