There were also tens of thousands of Spirit Illusion Greatsword projections circling around in the sky. It was an equally astonishing sight.
When they saw Miao Yi coming out, both Sikong Wuwei and Zhao Fei recalled their transcendent artifacts and happily walked over. They were clearly pleased with the results.
Sikong Wuwei waved the shrunken hammer in his hands, acting humble as he said, "It's not bad, but it lacks flexibility. It's not possible to wield it like a normal weapon once you enlarge it since it'll be too heavy. Otherwise, it's going to be so awesome carrying this giant hammer around as I ride on my steed and duke it out with the enemy. Sadly, I can only hurl it around. Well, I suppose it's good enough for the moment."
"Then just make do with it for now." Miao Yi gave a cursory reply, then changed the subject, "At the moment, we are the only ones on the island. First, we need to prepare ourselves in case anything happens."
Zhao Fei's expression immediately turned serious now that they were discussing official matters. He tucked the Spirit Illusion Greatsword away and asked, "What sort of preparations?"
Miao Yi pointed to his surroundings. "Our numbers are few. If a strong enemy attacks us, and we are unable to triumph, we must retreat. I wish to prepare a few wooden rafts around the island so that we can run away in any direction at a moment's notice."
"What's there to fear?!" Sikong Wuwei waved the hammer in his hands and laughed aloud. "Whether it's one enemy or two, or even an entire group, I'll pulverize anybody and everybody who comes my way!"
Zhao Fei sighed. "Sikong, stop fooling around. Miao Yi is right. There is nothing wrong with being prepared. In the event that our transcendent artifacts can't contend against the enemy, at least we won't have to panic."
Sikong Wuwei waved his hand and replied, "Fine, fine!"
As soon as the group came to an agreement, they began acting on their plan and went off on their dragon steeds to prepare wooden rafts all along the shores of the island.
It was better to be safe than sorry. Everyone worked throughout the afternoon and hid wooden rafts across fifty different locations along the island's shore. They only managed to finish the task by nightfall.
As soon as they returned to the fort, Zhao Fei pointed to a steep mountain in the distance, the tallest one on the island, and said, "I'll take up sentry duty today. Around this time tomorrow, one of you come and switch with me."
"Alright! Everyone will take turns keeping guard." Miao Yi nodded in confirmation.
Zhao Fei then departed.
They were all covered in dirt after trudging in and out of the forest the whole afternoon, so Sikong Wuwei pulled Miao Yi along to the lake by the mountains to bathe.
It was inappropriate for a woman to follow them, so Qi Xiuhong went to the kitchen on her own. After she barricaded all the gaps and openings, she boiled water and cleaned herself.
There was a channel dug out that drew spring water from the mountains into the kitchen, so there was no need to go outside and collect water.
It was an interesting experience to drink wine while bathing in an open spring under the moonlight.
The two men reeked of alcohol when they returned. When he saw Qi Xiuhong come out of the kitchen, fresh from her bath, Miao Yi's eyes brightened. He rushed over and immediately lifted her off her feet and into his embrace. Her body was soft to the touch, surrounded by a soothing fragrance. The temptation grew stronger the longer he held her.
Qi Xiuhong was startled. Someone else was still present. Her face grew flushed as she tried to push Miao Yi away, requesting him to let her down.
Miao Yi paid her no heed. It wasn't as if the others didn't know about their relationship already. Taking large strides, he carried her away and proceeded into the cave.
Sikong Wuwei felt dazed. He clicked his tongue and retreated back into his own cave.
Meanwhile, in Miao Yi's cave, an erotic atmosphere filled the air as Qi Xiuhong's stifled moans resounded, her luscious body caving to the throes of passion…
The next day. The man and woman were still sleeping in each other's embrace when suddenly the sound of a galloping dragon steed could be heard. The naked Qi Xiuhong jumped up, startled, and quickly shoved at Miao Yi, whose arms were still around her. She covered her large bosom with one hand, then hastily picked up her clothes and put them on.
None of the caves in the entire mountain fort had doors. It would be terrible if someone were to walk in and see her.
As expected, someone rushed towards this particular cave, causing Qi Xiuhong to jump up in fright.
Fortunately, outside the cave, Sikong Wuwei called for the other person to stop in time, "Zhao Fei, don't go inside. Miao Yi and a certain someone are still sleeping."
He'd revealed the situation inside the cave so casually, causing Qi Xiuhong to feel utterly embarrassed.
As he was getting dressed, Miao Yi saw how frantic she looked and couldn't help but laugh. "Why do you still need to keep up appearances? It's not like they don't know about our relationship."
Qi Xiuhong bit her lip and lowered her head silently as she arranged her clothes. She had already done what she shouldn't have. As soon as she got off the bed and put on her clothes, she maintained her distance from Miao Yi. No one knew what she was thinking.
Even after they went outside the cave, Qi Xiuhong still distanced herself from Miao Yi. When Miao Yi saw the two people outside, he asked, "Zhao Fei, what's wrong?"
Zhao Fei swept his gaze across the two. He was in no mood to concern himself with their personal affairs. He was not some child after all. Sex was a common occurrence among adults. What was there to be so excited about? Not to mention, there were more pressing matters to attend to at the moment, so one would naturally place the topic of sex aside. He raised his hand to point at the sky and said, "Take a look!"
Miao Yi lifted his head to see two black dots circling high above them. When he opened his transcendence vision, he saw two large rainbow-colored birds circling around the sky like eagles. It was not his first time seeing these birds. Immediately, he exclaimed, "The Seeker Birds of the School of Imperial Beasts? The three major sects have found us already?"
Zhao Fei said somberly, "There were three of them before this. They were randomly flying around this island when they discovered me. Sadly, they are unbelievably agile and quickly flew off before I could attack them. And now one of them has left. I fear it has gone to report to its master. We'd best prepare ourselves soon."
"It's not a good thing to be targeted by these feathered beasts. Even if we leave now, they will continue to keep an eye on us from the sky," Miao Yi said with frustration, staring at the sky.
"Damn it! Why did they have to fly so high? Otherwise, I could just smash them down with my hammer!" Sikong Wuwei cursed. They had barely gotten to rest, and now they were starting to feel uneasy again.
At his words, Miao Yi seemed to have thought of something. His eyes brightened, and with a flick of his sleeve, he shouted, "Go!"
Thirty-five tiny mantids then shot up to the sky. Sikong Wuwei gasped, "What are these crab-sized things? Are they mantises? They're so damn fast!"
The tiny mantids were fast indeed. When they had just hatched, their speed allowed them to easily catch up to a sparrow and kill it. Now that they had grown up a bit, they were naturally much faster.
"Can those mantises win against the Seeker Birds?" Zhao Fei couldn't help feeling a little worried. Birds were the natural predators of insects like mantises.
Miao Yi was a little worried as well. After all, a Seeker Bird was not a regular bird, but a spiritual beast bred by the School of Imperial Beasts. He was afraid of losing the tiny mantids. After all, they were still quite fragile. Even a White Lotus cultivator could easily kill them. They were still a long ways away from being a terrifying Hell Mantis from the Boundless Secular World, impenetrable by all manners of weaponry. Usually, he couldn't even bear to use them. Now that Lao Bai had probably passed away already, there were no other means for him to obtain them anymore. He would permanently lose them if they died.
However, these Seeker Birds were truly hateful. There would be no way to hide once they targeted someone. Miao Yi had to eliminate them.
Alas, in the end, he was worried for nothing. Everyone watched with their transcendence vision and soon discovered that the tiny mantids were much faster than the Seeker Birds. As soon as they saw the tiny mantids, the two Seeker Birds screeched in fright and quickly flew away.
The thirty-five tiny mantids were absolutely vicious. They split into two groups and swiftly chased after the two Seeker Birds. Soon, the tiny mantids caught up to them and stabbed them with their sickles. Their attacks were extremely precise, and in the blink of an eye, they eliminated the two Seeker Birds, frozen still as they fell from the sky.
However, the tiny mantids didn't let the matter end there. They swooped down, surrounded the two Seeker Birds, and instantly tore them apart in mid-air as rainbow-colored feathers scattered about.
"Are those mantises spiritual beasts?" Sikong Wuwei asked in astonishment. Zhao Fei and Qi Xiuhong were also taken aback by the sight.
Miao Yi heaved a sigh of relief when he saw them eliminate the two Seeker Birds. He didn't intend to show off the tiny mantids and quickly called all thirty-five of them back. As he extended his arm, the thirty-five tiny fellows quickly flew into his storage ring and disappeared without a trace.
Everyone else cast their gazes at Miao Yi's storage ring. Zhao Fei gasped, "These mantises can live inside a storage ring?"
The storage ring was a vacuum. Any living creature that stayed inside for too long would definitely perish.
Miao Yi wasn't willing to talk about the matter. With a wave of his hand, he said, "Time is of the essence. We have already gotten rid of the two Seeker Birds. We mustn't stay here any longer. We should retreat now!"
"Don't!" Sikong Wuwei lifted his hand and interrupted, "Aren't they just the three major sects? Now that we each possess a top-tier Second Grade Transcendent Artifact, we need not be afraid of them. I can pummel them into the ground with my hammer! Not to mention, we can't keep running away like this. We will need to face them eventually. This is not a permanent solution."
Miao Yi was speechless. He knew that this idiot simply wished to use the Mountain Suppressing Hammer. If he had known this would be the case earlier, he wouldn't have given it to him so soon.
Unexpectedly, Zhao Fei echoed his sentiment, "Miao Yi, Sikong has a point. We can't keep hiding from our enemies. We will eventually need to conclude this Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade."
Miao Yi furrowed his brows and said, "There is surely a reason why the three major sects are ranked so highly among all the schools of the Fifth Earthly Branch. I fear we might not be able to handle them."
Zhao Fei remarked, "We can first give it a try and see how strong our opponents are. If it looks like we can win, we'll fight. If not, we'll run. There's no need to force ourselves against a strong enemy!"
Miao Yi mulled over the idea, then gently nodded. He took out the map of the Western Star Sea and looked it over, then called for Qi Xiuhong. Pointing to an island on the map, he said, "Xiuhong, once we determine where our enemies are coming from, I want you to leave in the opposite direction immediately. Head to this island and wait for us!"
Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei both nodded. They agreed with this idea as well. With Qi Xiuhong's strength, if anything were to happen, she would only end up being a burden and would jeopardize their chances of escape.
Qi Xiuhong knew her faults as well and understood that this was for her own good. She didn't want to drag everyone else down, so she quietly nodded in acknowledgment.
After everyone donned their battle armor, they rode on their dragon steeds to the tallest peak on the island and scanned their surroundings.
About four hours later, they could vaguely see a black shadow upon the blue ocean, swiftly approaching them.
"They're here!" Zhao Fei remarked with a solemn expression.
Miao Yi immediately turned to Qi Xiuhong and said, "Go now!"
"Be careful, everyone. I will wait for you!" said Qi Xiuhong. Then she swiftly turned her dragon steed around and charged down the mountain.
Suddenly, a rainbow-colored Seeker Bird flew towards them from the enemy side. It seemed like they realized that someone had left. The Seeker Bird flew off in the same direction that Qi Xiuhong left in. Miao Yi raised an eyebrow, and with a flick of his hand, he sent out two tiny mantids.
He had already seen how strong the tiny mantids were when compared to the Seeker Birds. It would be overkill to send out a large group again.
As expected, even against two tiny mantids, that Seeker Bird became so frightened that it lost its way, screeching as it randomly flew about the sky. It seemed like it was absolutely terrified of the tiny mantids.
In the blink of an eye, the two tiny mantids caught up to the Seeker Bird. After they latched themselves onto the Seeker Bird, they swiftly eliminated it with great ease. The Seeker Bird then fell from the sky.