"Why are you still hesitating?" Sikong Wuwei stomped his feet and said, "Let's hurry and make a run for it!"
Miao Yi replied, "Where to? Are you going to go cut them off?"
"Uhh…" Sikong Wuwei turned to look at Zhao Fei, who was furrowing his brows in silence, then to Qi Xiuhong, and finally to Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun. He was a little lost for words, finally realizing why Miao Yi didn't want to leave.
At the moment, they didn't have their mounts, so it was impractical for them to continue their escape on land. Even if they did, they would have a hard time outrunning the enemy's Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts. And although they could simply escape to the seas, they would eventually have to leave one person behind. The two demons didn't have any objections to this, but Miao Yi may not feel the same way if Qi Xiuhong had to be left behind.
The present state of the affair was that without their mounts, escaping on land was impossible, and if they were to escape to the ocean, Sikong Wuwei and Zhao Fei would only be able to bring Miao Yi along. Their speed would drop if they had to carry more people, and the enemy would surely catch up to them then. This was a pickle indeed.
Sikong Wuwei sighed, "Don't tell me you want to fight them head-on?"
Miao Yi whispered to the group, "You all had best get ready…"
After reaching shore, the Gu Sanzheng trio quickly summoned their Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts and mounted them. Tan Lao somberly said , "This should be the place."
With a flip of his hand, a bronze flute appeared in his grasp. Placing it by his lips, he started playing a sharp tune. Following which, a large flock of flying beasts swiftly flew out from the forests and circled above a certain area in the skies before him.
Miao Yi's group had been hiding in the dark. Their expressions contorted in shock when they lifted their heads and saw the birds marking their location out. Sikong Wuwei cursed under his breath, "What sorcery is this? Why are the birds of the island helping them too?"
Tan Lao tucked away his flute and pointed to the area where the birds were hovering about, and said, "They're right there."
"Let's go!" said Gu Sanzheng with a wave of his hand. The Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts immediately rushed up the hill, but they soon came to a sudden stop. There was a man atop the following hill before them. Seated on his dragon steed with a body full of armor, he held a spear in one hand and the Mystic Yin Mirror in the other. Who else could it be besides Miao Yi?
Both parties were about four hundred meters apart at this moment, and within the range of the Mystic Yin Mirror, much to the shock of Gu Sanzheng's group. Tan Lao's spiked shields instantly hovered about him, ready to defend against the attack of the Mystic Yin Mirror at a moment's notice.
Miao Yi smiled and said, "I have been waiting long for you!"
Ringing sounds echoed forth as the Thunderclap Flying Swords shot out of their sheath. Ye Xin also readied her whip to attack at the drop of a hat.
Miao Yi raised his spear and said, "Hold your blades for a moment. We can battle all the same once you hear me out!"
Ye Xin mocked coldly, "What more is there to say? You are quite bold to face us alone. Today shall be the day you die."
Miao Yi laughed heartily and said, "I suggest you don't act rashly. There's no guarantee that I will be the one to die if we battle. I hope the three of you will not waste my kindness!"
The three of them quickly scanned their surroundings. Despite knowing that he was not a match for them, the other party still dared to face them on his own. This was highly dubious to begin with, and at a time when he still had those two helpers no less.
Gu Sanzheng bluntly asked, "Where are your two helpers? Why didn't you call them out to help you?" In truth, he was trying to figure Miao Yi out as he knew that things could not be so simple.
"The reason I have been awaiting your arrival on my own is just to show you my sincerity. I hope that we can set aside our grievances for the time being." Miao Yi put on a candid face and continued, "Only three years have passed in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade. The future is perilous. Why don't we join forces and fight against the dangers together? With our respective strengths, there is much we can accomplish if we work together!"
Tan Lao scoffed disdainfully, "Even in the face of death, you still have a slick tongue!"
Miao Yi reminded once more, "I'll say it again. If we really do battle, there's no guarantee that I will be the one to die."
Gu Sanzheng's gaze darted about his surroundings as he asked, "Simply because those two helpers of yours are lying in ambush?" He continued to probe Miao Yi. He doubted that someone as intelligent as him would rush to his own death.
Miao Yi replied sarcastically, "That's odd. I have already displayed my sincerity in negotiating with you. Do you really want to see my helpers so badly?"
Ye Xin understood Gu Sanzheng's intentions. She then tried to provoke Miao Yi, "My guess is that his cultivation was simply too low for his two helpers. It would be a burden to bring him along, so they left him and escaped."
Tan Lao nodded and said, "True. It's very likely that this bastard is trying to trick us. Why don't we just kill him off first?"
"You don't need to provoke me. I don't fight battles I am not confident in winning. Don't you wish to see my helpers?!" Then Miao Yi suddenly shouted, "Brothers. Come out and let them have a look!"
Four people showed up along the side of the mountain behind Miao Yi. Obviously, they were Zhao Fei, Sikong Wuwei, Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun.
Qi Xiuhong didn't come out as the other party should be aware of her strength. She wouldn't have any impact even if she showed herself.
Gu Sanzheng's group all raised a brow as they thought, 'Why are there two more people?' Back when they burnt the island down, the ones that showed themselves were only Miao Yi, Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei. They didn't see Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun, who had hidden themselves in the corner. Even if Gu Sanzheng and the other two saw them, they wouldn't know their backgrounds anyway.
The three of them had seen the might of Zhao Fei's Spirit Illusion Greatsword and Sikong Wuwei's Mountain Suppressing Hammer before. However, they had never seen the black crescent-shaped object on Pi Junzi's shoulder and the black pagoda in Tao Ruchun's hands before. These two items were clearly different from the average weapon. They could tell they were transcendent artifacts with transformation capabilities at a glance.
"I believe you all are aware of Zhao Fei's Spirit Illusion Greatsword and Sikong Wuwei's Mountain Suppressing Hammer. Let me introduce the other two to you. The one wielding the 'Almighty Transcendence Wheel' is Pi Junzi, and the one holding the 'Demon Imprisonment Pagoda' is Tao Ruchun. The two of them are my new Yao cultivator friends. It might be a little exaggerating to say that Brother Pi's Almighty Transcendence Wheel is capable of tearing heaven and earth asunder. However, it at least has the power to split entire mountains. On the other hand, Brother Tao's Demon Imprisonment Pagoda is capable of trapping cultivators within it, and there is almost no chance of survival for those entrapped inside."
Gu Sanzheng's group were taken aback by his words. It went without saying that they could underestand just how powerful those artifacts seemed. They couldn't help thinking, 'How can this guy manage to gather so many mighty artifacts by his side?'
By the mountainside, Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei maintained stoic expressions on their faces. The latter was on the verge of having stomach cramps from trying to stifle his laughter.
In contrast, Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun were in great trepidation. They were already feeling a little weak in the knees as they silently prayed for the fight to not break out.
The things in their hands were not transcendent artifacts at all. They simply ground some rocks and added some color to them. They were forgeries through and through. How could Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun not feel restless when they were lying so blatantly to Gu Sanzheng's group?
However, Miao Yi said that they needed to instill confidence when negotiating and insisted on doing it this way, so what choice did they have?
At first, Zhao Fei objected a little and told Miao Yi, "It's fine if you want to do it this way. Just don't get too close to them. That way, it will be easier for us to respond accordingly if a situation arises."
However, Miao Yi said, "We need to show that we have nothing to fear from them. If we still choose to keep our distance despite having so many transcendent artifacts in our possession, how could they not grow suspicious of us?"
They also discussed and settled on a plan for retreat. If a fight were to break out, Miao Yi would immediately activate the Mystic Yin Mirror while the enemies were still in its effective range and provide support for Zhao Fei's Spirit Illusion Greatsword and Sikong Wuwei's Mountain Suppressing Hammer. On the other hand, Pi Junzi, Tao Ruchun and Qi Xiuhong would immediately escape to a different location. Miao Yi's group would then continue to make their escape across the sea as Gu Sanzheng's group would probably still choose to chase after Miao Yi anyway.
Miao Yi smiled and said, "As for the Mystic Yin Mirror in my hands, I believe no introductions are necessary. Spirit Illusion Greatsword, Mountain Suppressing Hammer, Almighty Transcendence Wheel, Demon Imprisonment Pagoda and Mystic Yin Mirror. With the combined forces from these five mighty artifacts, am I capable of contending against the three of you on equal ground now, I wonder?"
Gu Sanzheng's group exchanged glances with one another. Just the Spirit Illusion Greatsword and Mountain Suppressing Hammer alone were enough to hold them back. With the addition of that Almighty Transcendence Wheel and Demon Imprisonment Pagoda, of which their capabilities were still unknown, as well as the Mystic Yin Mirror, they would undoubtedly lose. No wonder that bastard was so sure of himself.
Miao Yi sighed, "Again, the reason I came here to meet you all on my own is to show my sincerity. I don't wish to threaten you with force, which is why I had them hide themselves earlier."
Ye Xin stubbornly said, "Threaten us with force? We have slaughtered our way here. As if we will be scared. Why don't you give it a try then?!"
Even though she was trying to sound tough, she was already feeling a little fearful inside. Otherwise, she would have made her move already, and not ask Miao Yi to give a try.
Miao Yi felt a surge of confidence. He knew that the three of them wouldn't dare act rashly anymore.
"Alright fine. You all are indeed very capable. I can't shake you off no matter how hard I try. To be able to pursue me so relentlessly... Just consider me terrified, alright? Is it fine if I just admit defeat now?" Miao Yi put on a troubled expression and sighed, "Truth be told, just now my brothers were thinking, since you all intend to go against me no matter what, we will first kill you, and then take away your transcendent artifacts. However, I believe that will do more harm than good. Yes! I know you wish to kill me, but I still believe that I should take a chance, because even if we were to kill the three of you and take your transcendent artifacts, all that would come of that would be another three occupied spots in our storage rings. Would the strength of eight mighty artifacts be greater with five people wielding them, or eight? If we were to join forces and combine the strengths of our eight mighty artifacts, not only will we be able to easily traverse the Sea of Constellations with hardly anyone capable of standing against us, we will surely be able to place within the top one hundred rankings of the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade as well. Are you really not going to consider forming an alliance with us?"
Tan Lao scoffed, "You killed the grandson of my Elder Wu and many of the disciples of our three major sects. Yet you still wish to form an alliance with us?"
Miao Yi mocked disdainfully, "That grandson of that Elder Wu of yours acted so arrogantly simply because of his background. Despite just being a lowly grunt, he dared to act insolent towards this Mountain Chieftain. Even if I didn't deal with him, someone else from the administration would have done the same to such a petty moron. And that Elder Wu of yours is an even greater imbecile. Placing his personal vendetta above the interests of the sect, and yet you all are still trying to take revenge on his behalf? Your fellow disciples are no kind samaritans either. I humbly tried to befriend them, and they thought I was actually afraid of them? They were utterly full of themselves simply because they were disciples of the three major sects. As we were coming here aboard the ship, they dared to invade my room and threatened me right to my face, telling me that they would end me as soon as we reached the Sea of Constellations. And as expected, they immediately made their move on me as soon we alighted the ship. Don't tell me you expect me to just sit around and wait for them to kill me? Tell me, what logic is this?"
The three of them fell silent. Even though they were not there to witness everything, but given how much they knew about their fellow disciples, they knew that Miao Yi's words were most likely true.
Ye Xin said indifferently, "Then wouldn't the disciples of our three major sects have died for naught?"
"Yeah, that's right! You all are very impressive. After all, you are the disciples of the three major sects. Wherever you go, you will never forget to announce that fact again and again. What arrogance. Acting as if you are the number one sect in the realm, as if even the Six Sages themselves would also have to bow to your will. You made it seem like anyone and everyone has to give you face. But in reality? Your three major sects aren't worth shit in the Sea of Constellations. You are thought of even less in the eyes of those from the administration. All it takes is a single word and your three major sects will have no way to support yourselves. What is there to be arrogant about? I've seen egomaniacs before, but I've never seen ones as self-absorbed as you lot!"