"Don't say anymore!" Bai Ziliang abruptly stood up and bellowed like an angered beast. His body was trembling as he tightly clenched his fists and said, "I just want to cultivate in peace. I don't want to be involved in all those politics. Why does everyone keep pushing me?"
"Young Master. It's not that I am trying to push you!" Lan Susu harped on, "Even though the realm is vast and wide and the cultivation resources might seem plentiful, in truth there is only so much to go around. Yet there are many people competing for a share. Even though you don't wish to compete with others, they will not be as courteous with you. Don't you realize that Madam is the one who gave you everything you have right now at her own expense? You're enjoying Madam's share of resources, yet you say you wish to cultivate in peace. What right do you have to cultivate in peace when Madam is shouldering all the burden? Do you think that just because you are Madam's son, you can live off her for the rest of your life? Back then, Madam was such a proud princess. But now, she has become a pitiful woman who has to go around begging for charity because of her son. And for what purpose? Young Master, wake up! Even if not for yourself, you have to spare a thought for the misery that Madam goes through for you!"
"Don't say anymore!" Bai Ziliang bemoaned dejectedly, "I'll go…"
The two of them quickly exited the cave. The gentle bearing on Bai Ziliang's face had turned cold. It seemed he had suffered quite the impact.
There was no one outside the cave. Everyone knew better than to eavesdrop on their personal conversation and had gone away.
"Hong'Er!" Bai Ziliang called out. The Tempest Beast lying on the ground immediately opened its eyes and stood up. Its scaled shell expanded slightly, and its breath kicked up clouds of dust like a surging wind.
Bai Ziliang mounted the beast, then stood quietly by the entrance.
Soon, Lan Susu assembled the troops. The Six Sages had each sent six people over. However, there was only one representative. The other five were simply aides. Basically, they were here to protect the representative.
Hei Langjun joined the group as well. It was his first time seeing Bai Ziliang face-to-face. Earlier on, he hadn't dared to raise his head. But now as he looked at the awe-inspiring Bai Ziliang sitting atop the Tempest Beast, he felt a sense of admiration for the boy.
"Lead the way!" Lan Susu commanded Hei Langjun.
The party rushed to the seaside. Hei Langjun reverted to his original form and continued to lead the way across the sea.
The Tempest Beast stepped upon the waves as though it were flatlands. Wherever it stood, steam would rise, making it seem like it was mounted on a cloud. It was truly a magical sight.
Four people treaded across the waves behind it, while Lan Susu ran alongside it.
Besides occasionally looking at Bai Ziliang beside her, Lan Susu's face was turned to the far reaches of the mighty ocean, a sense of longing in her gaze as she remembered clearly what her Madam had personally told her before she departed. "Susu, I have never thought of you as an outsider. With you by my son's side, I have nothing to worry about! If someday he manages to distinguish himself and gain a stable foothold in the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons, I will have him officially take you as his bride. I hope you will work hard for my son's sake. Don't let me down…"
"This island is huge! How the hell are we going to find Qi Xiuhong?"
After a long journey at sea, Miao Yi's group finally went ashore. They had arrived at the island where they promised to meet up with Qi Xiuhong. Sikong Wuwei scanned his surroundings and shook his head at the difficulty of the task ahead.
Miao Yi also realized that he had been too careless before. In his haste, he forgot to decide on a general area where it would be convenient for Qi Xiuhong to meet up with them.
He pulled out the map of the Western Star Sea and scrutinized it. Examining the most direct route from the island where they were separated from Qi Xiuhong to this one, a certain area protruding off the edge of the island caught his eye. He immediately pointed his finger along the edge of that shore and said, "Around thirty miles from this place, there is a hammer-shaped plot of land extending off the edge of the island which is rather conspicuous. If Qi Xiuhong is waiting for us, she will definitely think of waiting at a place that can easily attract our attention. Let's go there and look."
Sikong Wuwei asked, "Brother, are you sure it was alright to let her travel across the vast ocean on her own? What if she didn't make it to this island? Or what if something happened to her along the way?"
Miao Yi narrowed his eyes at him. Zhao Fei noticed the tension in the air, and hurriedly stepped in, "Let's not quibble around. Lady Qi has been waiting for us for several days. She must be feeling anxious. Let us hurry and go look for her."
Sikong Wuwei also came to realize that his words might not be too pleasant to hear. He laughed dryly, "I didn't mean anything by it. What I was trying to say was, if we can't find her, are we just going to stay here until we do?"
Miao Yi replied plainly, "I've said it before that I will never betray those who put their faith in me. We've made a promise to share life and death for nine years. As long as she doesn't give up, I will not cast her aside. Even if it were either of you, I would still do the same! It's not because she's a woman!"
A trace of respect flashed past Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei's eyes. If Miao Yi had told them something like this when they first met, they may not have felt much about it. But throughout the past few days together, the both of them somewhat understood now what kind of person he was. He definitely had a sentimental side to him.
Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun looked at each other, not sure of what was happening.
Zhao Fei nodded, "Rest assured, we won't give up so easily either. Let's go. We've already been delayed quite a bit by Gu Sanzheng and the others. Lady Qi might think that something happened to us."
Everyone quickly rushed along the shoreline. They could only rely on their own two feet now that none of them had mounts.
They then came to the edge of the hammer-shaped plot of land extending several miles out from the island onto the open sea. Before them was the boundless ocean. The waves crashed and ebbed, but there was no sign of anyone.
Sikong Wuwei turned back to look at the seemingly endless mountain range on the island, and laughed bitterly, "This is such a big place. How are we going to find her?!"
"You're the one yapping the most. Just focus on looking for her." Zhao Fei scolded.
Sikong Wuwei shrugged and said, "I didn't say I wasn't going to look. I was just speaking the truth. Why do you all hate it so much?"
"XIUHONG!" Miao Yi suddenly invoked his arts and bellowed; his voice echoing far and wide. After several shouts, he gave a bitter smile and said, "It looks like she's not here. She would've replied if she were."
"Wait!" Zhao Fei suddenly raised his hand. Sikong Wuwei's expression also turned serious as his ears perked up to pick up any sound.
Soon, Miao Yi heard it as well. It was the sound of hoofbeats. Everyone looked to the distance and found a steed coming into sight at the peak of the mountain before them. A woman garbed in armor and wielding a spear brought her steed to a halt at the mountaintop and gazed at them. Who else could it be other than Qi Xiuhong?
Everyone instantly breathed a sigh of relief. Sikong Wuwei clapped his hands and laughed, "Good thinking, Brother. She is indeed here."
Qi Xiuhong quickly rushed over when she saw who it was. She abruptly came to a halt before everyone, then tucked her spear away and dismounted. There was no one in her eyes except Miao Yi. Ignoring everyone else, she ran before Miao Yi and examined him, anxiously asking, "Are you alright?"
"Couldn't be better!" said Miao Yi, opening up his arms. Qi Xiuhong dove into his embrace without holding back. Her head lay on Miao Yi's shoulder as she said in a soft voice, "I've been waiting for several days. If you all didn't show up, I was prepared to wait another day. And if there was still no sign of you then, I would've gone back to the island to take a look."
Beside them, Sikong Wuwei clicked his tongue, and Qi Xiuhong snapped back to her senses. She finally remembered that they were not alone, and hurriedly backed away from Miao Yi's embrace. She couldn't hide the redness on her face even with her helmet on, and quickly diverted the topic by saying, "I've been watching the sea from the tallest peak of the mountain at the end. How was it that I didn't see you all approaching?"
Miao Yi looked to the surroundings and pointed along the shoreline as he said, "We didn't come ashore from this place. We simply got here as we ran along the shoreline. Perhaps due to the way the terrain is shaped, it ended up blocking your line of sight instead."
"Alright, now everyone is here." Sikong Wuwei asked, "What should we do now?"
Miao Yi turned to the ocean and sighed, "We'll continue waiting until my mount arrives."
"We are going to wait for your mount? We've been running around quite a distance. How long will it be by the time your mount manages to find us?" said Sikong Wuwei, astounded. "What point is there in waiting for a single mount? Just find a way to get some more."
Miao Yi quietly looked to the ocean and shook his head. He didn't know how fast Charcoal could swim and how long he would take to cross this vast ocean to find him. Most importantly, the journey would be significantly dangerous. However, Miao Yi had no other option at the time. None of them could have survived if he brought Charcoal along. He had to separate from him.
Zhao Fei looked at Miao Yi for a bit. Then suddenly spoke up, "Then let's wait."
"Are you all mad?" Sikong Wuwei found the situation absurd.
Everyone then followed Qi Xiuhong back to her hiding place. It was a cave by the side of a remote stream along the mountain. There were too many of them to stay in this place, so they went looking for a tall mountain suited for observing their surroundings and dug out caves at its peak instead.
Pi Junzi was the most skilled in doing things like this. On the other hand, Tao Ruchun was forced to shapeshift into a peach blossom tree and take up sentry duty on the mountaintop. He did not have any right to refuse.
Inside the new cave, as he watched the figure of Qi Xiuhong busily cleaning, Miao Yi couldn't control himself. He released several tiny mantids to stand guard by the door, then walked over to Qi Xiuhong and hugged her from behind.
It seemed Qi Xiuhong was also feeling rather responsive this time. Perhaps it was from the joy of being able to reunite. As the passion welled within her, she allowed her dress to be taken off without resistance, and even took a little initiative herself. Her voluminous breasts were exposed and she was pushed onto the bed. Soon, the sound of her gasping and moaning could be heard...
However, after she got down from bed, Qi Xiuhong kept her distance from Miao Yi once again, which made him utterly speechless. He didn't have any experience when it came to love. It was different from when he was with Qian'Er and Xue'Er. He didn't know if Qi Xiuhong's behaviour was normal or not either. He simply felt like something was wrong, but he didn't have anyone to properly consult with.
The next day. After giving their surroundings a look through, everyone didn't find anything amiss, and there was no sign of Gu Sanzheng's forces. Sikong Wuwei gazed at the mighty ocean and laughed aloud, "It seems like those bastards' method of tracking us is only effective on land. We're finally rid of them. It'll be hard for them to find us again given how vast the Western Star Sea is!"
Miao Yi nodded in agreement. Otherwise, Gu Sanzheng and his forces would have caught up with them by now.
He would never have suspected that the Red Scarves Alliance had already figured out which way they went. They had just been a little caught up from sorting out their loot and replenishing their transcendence energy.
Once they were done with their preparations, the five-hundred-strong army immediately set forth in the direction that Miao Yi's group had run off to. Along the way, Gu Sanzheng and the others noticed something was amiss. There were various water tribes following them from the side, and it seemed as though they were being observed by the fishes that would occasionally leap out of the water.
This situation persisted throughout their journey, unnerving the forces of the Red Scarves Alliance. It was too abnormal!
Indeed, after half a day, the first wave of Yao cultivators that came after Gu Sanzheng had arrived. These Yao cultivators burst out of the ocean and blocked their path, then their leader bellowed furiously, "Which of you is Gu Sanzheng?!"
Gu Sanzheng proudly replied, "I'm right here!"
Without any warning whatsoever, the other party abruptly raised his hand and shouted, "ATTACK!"