When he said this, Gu Sanzheng and the other two exchanged glances. Even though they didn't say anything, they were sighing inwardly, feeling even more impressed by Miao Yi deep down. He was truly a man who was as cunning as he was brave. He must be full of boldness to dare to attempt such trickery in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade. Gu Sanzheng and the other two didn't think he was despicable at all. The disciples of the three major sects had not suffered losses against such a man without reason, and it was the same case for all the people he had fooled.
When Su Jinggong saw that they still didn't believe him, it made it seem like he was making up stories to cover up his embarrassment after Miao Yi defeated him. He ground his teeth with frustration and said, "Have any of you seen him fight with just his cultivation alone?"
Dong Quan thought, 'Didn't he use his cultivation when he fought against you?' However, since the other party said that Miao Yi tampered with their mounts beforehand, he put the matter aside for the time being. After giving it some thought, Dong Quan found it rather suspicious as well that he'd truly never seen Miao Yi fight against his opponents simply by using his own cultivation and without relying on external support. He had triumphed against his foes simply through sheer courage and wit!
"Don't tell me he's really been lying to us all this time?" Dong Quan gulped as he tried to come to terms with the situation. Soon, his suspicions piled up, and he abruptly smacked his thigh and shrieked, "Oh no! We've all been tricked by him. No wonder he didn't make a move on us after killing Zhao Lingtu and his fellow disciples. In truth, given his cultivation, his transcendence energy was already depleted after using a top-tier Second Grade Transcendent Artifact. He'd become a hollow shell… and we allowed him to steal three transcendent artifacts just like that!"
Dong Quan was so furious he almost spat out blood. Those were three top-tier Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts. How could he have let them slip away from his fingertips so easily?!
He was not the only one feeling pained from the loss after realizing the situation. Yu Baixing and the others were grinding their teeth in hatred as well.
Gu Sanzheng and the other two scoffed inwardly. 'Tricked? Go and try it if you all think you can even attempt such trickery. Some things are easy to understand but difficult to do. Accomplishing them without extraordinary courage and intellect is impossible. Those who lack even slightly in both departments would never dare to attempt this sort of trickery!'
"He's fooled you good! This is the consequence of following behind such a cunning rascal and committing evil!" Su Jinggong mocked coldly. He cupped his fists towards Gu Sanzheng, "Senior Brother Gu. Many among them participated in the culling of disciples of our three major sects back when the administration forces of the Fifth Earthly Branch first disembarked. Please avenge the deaths of our fellow disciples!"
Many of the Red Scarves Alliance members felt nervous when they heard him. To make matters worse, the survivors from the Jade Lady Sect and the School of Imperial Beasts were shouting in agreement for Ye Xin and Tan Lao to avenge their dead disciples.
Tan Lao and Ye Xin looked towards Gu Sanzheng. He lowered his gaze and said, "It is easier to bury one's enemies than to forgive them. We are in trying times and should unite together as members of the Fifth Earthly Branch. Just forget about what happened in the past."
The eyes of those feeling anxious suddenly brightened as they caught a glimpse of hope.
Su Jinggong widened his eyes in disbelief and asked, "Senior Brother, don't tell me you'll let our Sword Deviate Sect brothers die in vain?"
"Obviously they won't have died in vain. Miao Yi has fooled all these people. We shall only pursue the mastermind behind these foul deeds. We can offer the rest a chance to redeem themselves," Gu Sanzheng said plainly.
Dong Quan and the others immediately cupped their fists and praised, "Brother Gu is a virtuous man indeed."
In truth, Gu Sanzheng was secretly transmitting his voice over to Su Jinggong, "Do you think I don't wish to avenge the deaths of our fellow disciples? But the Overlord has given strict orders to our Sword Deviate Sect. If we kill this many of the Fifth Earthly Branch's administration forces, then if we fail to place within the top one hundred at the end of the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade, the Overlord will blame us all. How then will our Sword Deviate Sect continue to exist within the Fifth Earthly Branch? These people must die. However, they cannot die by our hands. Not openly, at least. There are so many troops gathered here. Since they will die either way, why not use forgiveness as a pretense to pull them under our banner and have them fight for us? Don't you think it's a good idea to have them fight at the frontlines so that our Sword Deviate Sect will have fewer casualties and our disciples can then live longer, even if only by a few more years? How can we let such an opportunity slip by!?"
Reason finally dawned upon Su Jinggong, and he transmitted his reply, "Senior Brother is truly wise!"
"I'm no virtuous man!" Gu Sanzheng turned back to Dong Quan and the rest and said, "It's just that I'd rather not kill among ourselves. However, let me make things clear. We cannot let that evil mastermind roam free. Will everyone assist our three major sects in our crusade to take him down?"
Everyone from the Red Scarves Alliance exchanged glances with one another. 'Is he intending on having us work together with the three major sects to kill our own Alliance Master?'
Gu Sanzheng added plainly, "I'll leave it to you to decide who your friends and foes are. However, we don't have that much patience!"
When he said he would rather not kill among themselves, he was referring to how he didn't wish for the three major sects to suffer casualties. This same sentiment did not apply to the enemy. It was a blatant threat! That said, the members of the Red Scarves Alliance were no longer confident that they could continue to hide out here. There was nothing wrong with following behind a powerhouse anyway. Thus, the members of the Red Scarves Alliance quickly came to a consensus. They all cupped their fists and said, "We are willing to follow the lead of the three major sects!"
Dong Quan turned to the crowd and shouted, "From this day forth, the Red Scarves Alliance is no more."
"That isn't necessary." Gu Sanzheng stopped him and said, "This Red Scarves Alliance is not a bad name. Not to mention, all of us do need a title now that we're together. That said, we cannot operate without a proper leader. May I know who should be the next Red Scarves Alliance Master?"
Who else could do it outside of these three? Tan Lao rolled his eyes and said, "I don't want to become some Alliance Master. Gu Sanzheng, you do it."
Ye Xin didn't want to spend so much effort as well. Tilting her head to the side, she said, "I'm not interested, either."
The result was obvious. Everyone voted for Gu Sanzheng to be the new Alliance Master, and the Red Scarves Alliance began receiving his orders.
As soon as Gu Sanzheng became Alliance Master, he immediately got to the task at hand and handed down his first official decree. He simply said a single sentence, "Anyone who disobeys orders will be punished with death!"
He commanded total authority over the Red Scarves Alliance. There was no need for him to be courteous because he had the strength to uphold his authority. He couldn't be bothered to spend so much effort as Miao Yi did.
Then he asked, "Which way did Miao Yi run off to?"
"He was heading towards the south. There are wooden rafts hidden between the reefs by the sea there. He should be planning on crossing the sea that way," Dong Quan said as he pointed out the path for Gu Sanzheng.
"Since this Miao Yi is still alive, I think it's time for us to meet up with him." Gu Sanzheng looked at the two beside him and inquired their opinions. He might be able to bark out commands at the original members of the Red Scarves Alliance, but he couldn't treat the Jade Lady Sect and the School of Imperial Beasts in the same fashion. They still needed to discuss certain matters and come to a consensus.
Tan Lao chirped, and the Seeker Bird immediately soared to the sky and flew off towards the south. With this, he displayed his stance on the matter.
Ye Xin nodded as well.
"We can't let Miao Yi escape. Let's go!" Gu Sanzheng waved his hand, and the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast beneath him immediately charged out, followed by the disciples of the three major sects.
Now under a new leader, the members of the Red Scarves Alliance quickly followed suit as well and gave chase to take down their previous Alliance Master. Gratitude and resentment would always be a subject of mystery.
The Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast was true to its name. It was much faster than the average dragon steed and was capable of crossing mountains and treading through forests with greater flexibility and speed. There was a good reason why it had the word 'hurricane' in its name. With its sharp claws, it could even climb up trees and scale mountains as if it were flat ground.
Racing at full speed, Gu Sanzheng and the other two quickly pulled away from the forces behind them.
The three of them charged at full speed, intent on catching up to Miao Yi and killing him.
From a different point of view, the three of them were indeed impressed by Miao Yi's feats in the Sea of Constellation Subjugation Crusade despite being a White Lotus cultivator. However, it was precisely because of how impressed they were that they felt even more strongly about eliminating him. The three arrogant youngsters wished to see if Miao Yi was as impressive as they imagined, and whether or not he could escape their grasp. They wanted to meet the bastard that had caused their three major sects to suffer losses on numerous occasions. How could they let him make light of their three major sects as though none of them could do anything against him...
Meanwhile, as soon as Miao Yi reached the shore and found the hidden rafts, he immediately ordered Zhao Fei and the others to destroy all the other wooden rafts but one. The five of them swiftly got on the remaining raft and invoked their arts to cross the ocean.
Once they were far away from shore, Miao Yi and the others heaved a sigh of relief after seeing that no one was chasing after them yet. They changed the direction of their raft and didn't continue heading southwards.
Then Wang Yuetian inquired, "Alliance Master. There is something I don't understand. I cannot fully comprehend what happened when you killed Zhao Lingtu."
Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei cast their gazes over as well. Both of them had the same question in their minds. Back then, they were taken aback when Miao Yi had transmitted his voice over asking for them to cooperate. That giant hammer was not something to be trifled with so easily. They could only grit their teeth and did as he'd said because of the respect and awe they had for him. Unexpectedly, Zhao Lingtu had frozen still and subsequently killed by Miao Yi with a single strike.
"I am no longer the Red Scarves Alliance Master, so stop calling me that from now on. Now that we will be sharing life and death, we shall address one another as brothers. As for your question, allow me this secret for now. When the chance comes in the future, I shall tell you all."
At the moment, they were all stuck on the boundless ocean, and Charcoal wouldn't be able to utilize his speed at all. Against three Blue Lotus Ninth Grade cultivators, it would be hard for Miao Yi to escape if anything were to happen. Thus, he had no choice but to take extra precautions. He was relying on the fact that the three of them didn't know about the true extent of his cultivation as well as the terrible feedback from the Mystic Yin Mirror. If he revealed all his cards, Miao Yi couldn't guarantee that they wouldn't have any ulterior motives.
In truth, Zhao Lingtu had only fallen into his trap because of the Mystic Yin Mirror. When Miao Yi had obtained the Mystic Yin Mirror, he realized that it was unusable by any other cultivator besides a Ghost Cultivator. After invoking his arts to examine the Mystic Yin Mirror, he'd suffered the nasty backlash from the vast amounts of Yin aura stored within, which froze him completely in place. He was only able to wield it because the cultivation arts he practiced were able to negate the effects of the Yin aura.
When he tossed the Mystic Yin Mirror over to Zhao Lingtu, he intentionally told him that it was only usable by Ghost Cultivators. He knew that by saying this, Zhao Lingtu definitely wouldn't store it away immediately. Anyone would want to examine it and see what was wrong with it.
As he expected, as soon as Zhao Lingtu invoked his arts to examine the Mystic Yin Mirror, he immediately suffered the backlash of the Yin aura. As a result, he'd easily eliminated Zhao Lingtu.
Otherwise, Miao Yi wouldn't have handed over the Mystic Yin Mirror to Zhao Lingtu even if his life depended on it. Since he had no other options, and he didn't believe that Zhao Lingtu would let him go, he decided he might as well take a gamble with the Mystic Yin Mirror.
Seeing as Miao Yi didn't wish to share this information with them now, Zhao Fei and the other two didn't ask further.
How many people in the world could share in the moment of the sun setting upon the ocean? The sky soon darkened, and the bright moon hung between the clouds as a blanket of stars draped the night sky. The waves ebbed and flowed as a lonely raft drifted upon the ocean's surface.
By afternoon the next day, the group finally arrived on an unfamiliar island. It wasn't particularly large in size. Everyone cautiously rode on their dragon steeds as they circled around the island a few times. They didn't discover anyone else but instead found an empty fort in a cavern along the mountain.
Recently, this was a common occurrence in the Western Star Sea. Those Yao cultivators who were not participating in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade would be forced to move away temporarily and were only allowed to come back once it was over. As such, there were many similar-looking caves in the Western Star Sea.
The conditions on the island were not bad. There were mighty waterfalls and verdant forests, as well as a peaceful serenity to the mountain range.
Miao Yi and the others were fortunate enough to stumble upon a fort with such a fine environment to rest and recuperate. However, they didn't know how long they could stay here. It was no longer possible to think about hiding until the end of the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade. They couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be another jade archive dropping from the sky one day.