He knew that the Realm Beyond Heaven had sent someone over to participate in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade, but he never thought that the representative would actually be his own little sister.
He never thought that right after escaping with Qi Xiuhong's body, he would end up meeting the little sister he had missed for so many years. Right now, he didn't know if he felt joy or surprise, feeling pain or happiness. His heart was a cocktail of emotions.
'Little Sister is successful now. She is no longer the same snot-nosed brat that lived in that dirty, worn-down house behind the butcher's stall. She is now the prestigious disciple of one of the Six Sages, and one of the Twin Fairies Beyond Heaven—Fairy Yue Yao.'
When he was staring at Yue Yao, Miao Yi almost couldn't help calling out 'Little Sister'. However, when he saw the astonishing presence of Fairy Yue Yao, then looked at his own wretched state, he swallowed the words back down.
What right did he have to recognize her as his little sister? When she was with him, she had cried from hunger and from the cold. She never had anything good to eat, never had anything nice to wear, and stayed in a dirty, shabby house. Back then, he had sent her off when she was at such a young age. All these years, his little sister had shouldered everything on her own. Had he even fulfilled a little of his responsibility as her big brother? Now that his little sister had made something of herself, he was going to recognize her immediately? Then what about the times she suffered? No one could be free of suffering completely. Where was he when she experienced hardship? What had he done to help her?
'Right now, Little Sister has become Fairy Yue Yao, who is equal in status to Fairy Hong Chen! Her prestige is illustrious and inviolable. I'm sure the Realm Beyond Heaven will help protect her honor as well, and ensure that all her acquaintances are highly distinguished people in their own right. If everyone finds out that the renowned Fairy Yue Yao had an elder brother who was a butcher and had gone through such a rough childhood, would they laugh at her?'
'If Little Sister were to see how miserable her Big Brother was right now, that he couldn't even protect his own woman, how would she think of me?'
'Would she pity me? Ask to take care of me? Then would I become the target of ridicule in front of all her influential acquaintances?'
Miao Yi thought about how miserable he looked when he fought Bai Ziliang and compared it to Yue Yao, who managed to scare him off with just a couple of words. He could finally rest easy. Perhaps he might never reach the heights his little sister had reached even if he spent his whole life trying. However, she also no longer needed this big brother to take care of her anymore.
In truth, when Miao Yi saw the radiance that was Fairy Yue Yao, the one thing that he was scared of finding out the most was whether this little sister was still willing to recognize such a worthless big brother or not…
Zhao Fei and the others secretly glanced at Miao Yi, confused as to why he didn't report his own identity when he greeted Yue Yao.
Yue Yao was not very concerned about this matter, so she didn't ask any questions. She looked at the direction Bai Ziliang and the others had disappeared to and said, "They're already gone. This is the most I can do. I cannot simply gather all the Celestial Nation participants together and protect every single one of you. It will be a violation of the rules. All I can do is just act unreasonable and force my logic on him to scare him off. You can try to kill him, whereas I am not in the position to. In the road ahead, you all must take extra care not to bump into him again. Avoid him whenever possible. I hope I will be able to meet you all at the Western Constellations Palace in the end. This place will not be safe for long. I am sure there will be more Yao cultivators coming here to hunt you, Gu Sanzheng. This is all I have to say. All of you had best leave quickly!"
"Thank you, Lord Sixth!" Miao Yi and the others cupped their fists in gratitude.
Yue Yao nodded, then rode the Jade Lion away as she left with her subordinates.
Miao Yi continued to stare at the back of the person atop the Jade Lion.
"I thought you guys were already dead. I never expected you to actually be able to destroy that transcendent artifact and escape!" Gu Sanzheng cupped his fists towards Miao Yi and the others, "Impressive!"
Sikong Wuwei said arrogantly, "How could a mere gourd hold us down?!" Then he laughed aloud, "We truly must be blessed by fate! To think we would meet our savior at such a crucial moment and escape two dire situations in succession. We surely have the devil's luck!"
Everyone smiled, feeling a sense of joy after managing to survive a life-threatening ordeal. Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun were the only ones who felt a little uncomfortable, as the Sea of Constellations was still part of the Yao Nation after all. Being members of the Yao Nation, they actually offended that young master in their home country. How should they live from now on?!
"Where should we go now?" Tan Lao looked towards Gu Sanzheng and asked. He had always been the one taking the lead amongst the three of them.
"Let's ask him!" Gu Sanzheng nodded towards Miao Yi. "In this regard, he is much smarter than we are."
This was no lie. Everyone had borne witness to Miao Yi's prowess when it came to planning.
Obviously, Gu Sanzheng had another reason for saying this. Earlier on, Yue Yao's words reminded him that there were still other Yao cultivators aiming for his head. The number of experts would only continue to increase as the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade proceeded to its later stages. Gu Sanzheng was in need of help as well and clearly indicated that both parties were still in an alliance with his words.
Everyone cast their gazes at Miao Yi, but they soon noticed that he was still in a daze, looking at the direction Fairy Yue Yao had departed in.
Sikong Wuwei leaned his head in front of Miao Yi and chuckled as he said, "So this is the legendary Fairy Yue Yao! Brother Miao, I bet you've never seen such a pretty girl before, right? Stop being in such a daze. A woman like this is high on the social ladder and beyond the reaches of common folk like us. We can only admire her, and at most fantasize about her deep down. We must never entertain the thought of reaching something that is beyond our grasp. Otherwise, there will be a buttload of trouble to come. The people attempting to court such a woman are all surely elites of the cultivation realm. Meanwhile, we don't even have the qualifications to stand by her side. If we're careless, someone could get the wrong idea. Then we might even end up dead before even knowing why! Well, how do I put it? Beautiful women always come in tow with misfortune. We had best worry about the situation before us. As long as we make it back alive, we'll have a Manor to our name and beautiful women by the dozen upon our request. Snap out of it!"
"Shut up if you've got nothing good to say!" Zhao Fei bellowed, signaling to the storage ring on Miao Yi's finger with his eyes.
Sikong Wuwei was stunned. He narrowed his eyes at the storage ring, then obediently shut his mouth. Qi Xiuhong had just died. It was not like he hadn't seen the state Miao Yi was in back when they were trapped inside the gourd. How could he possibly be in the mood to think about another woman?
Qi Xiuhong's body was still warm, yet he'd actually said something like this. Sikong Wuwei also realized he had said the wrong thing—Pa!—and slapped his own cheeks!
Miao Yi snapped back from his thoughts when he heard Zhao Fei admonishing Sikong Wuwei. He asked, "What?"
"..." Sikong Wuwei was dumbfounded. The other party didn't hear a single thing he said. His words had fallen on deaf ears, and he had slapped himself in vain.
Everyone exchanged glances, perplexed as to why Miao Yi was in such a daze. Was he really so stupefied by Fairy Yue Yao's beauty? This was not a good sign at all!
Truth be told, Zhao Fei and the others were fully aware that even though Sikong Wuwei's words were unpleasant, women like Fairy Yue Yao were indeed existences beyond the grasp of people like them. If they were to carelessly approach her, they could end up attracting the murderous intentions of another. Furthermore, the person who would kill them was someone they had no way of opposing at all. It was not purely because Fairy Yue Yao was beautiful, but rather she had a powerful background. It was all the more fearsome when such outstanding beauty and background came together.
"Hmph! You men are all the same. Don't you look at one another like you're confused!" Ye Xin suddenly scoffed.
Tan Lao immediately consoled, "You're an outstanding beauty yourself!"
"Tan Lao, are you trying to pick a fight?" Ye Xin snapped back at him. However, her eyes secretly glanced at Gu Sanzheng.
Noticing this, Tan Lao sighed deep down. There was no denying that Ye Xin was beautiful indeed. As the saying goes, affection blossoms over time. To be honest, he was quite fond of her. However, the same logic applied to Ye Xin as well. Tan Lao could see that Ye Xin seemed to have an interest in Gu Sanzheng, and felt a little depressed at this.
Gu Sanzheng examined Miao Yi, who had just come to his senses, then brought the topic back on track and said, "We were discussing where to go after this. You're more experienced in this aspect, so you should make the decision."
Originally, Miao Yi wanted to continue waiting for Charcoal. However, Yue Yao's words made it clear that the longer they stayed, the more dangerous it would be. Their main concern now was to figure out a way to stay safe.
Miao Yi quickly kept his emotions in check and calmed himself down. After a moment of thought, he said, "I recall there are several locations highlighted on the map of the Western Star Sea that are forbidden areas because they are dangerous. We should rush to the closest one immediately and set up base there temporarily. We'll decide on our next course of action after we manage to avoid the first wave of enemies hunting down Gu Sanzheng. If we are to bump into a strong foe, we can use the dangerous surroundings to our advantage."
"Doesn't this seem a little unwise?" Tan Lao said, "If we were to rush in towards the forbidden area, then wouldn't it be a slap to the face if we ended up dying inside that forbidden area instead of at the hands of a powerful foe?"
Miao Yi explained, "We're not going to rush into the forbidden area and seek death. I'm just saying that when we encounter a powerful enemy, we can use their apprehension towards the forbidden area to make it easier for us to escape. We don't have to enter too deeply inside."
Gu Sanzheng nodded. "True. The most dangerous place is also the safest one. We have no objections," he said on behalf of Tan Lao and Ye Xin.
Sikong Wuwei chuckled and said, "We've been together for so long. I trust Brother Miao's judgment."
Zhao Fei also nodded in agreement.
Pi Junzi and Tao Ruchun didn't have any right to make an objection, and could only follow along. Miao Yi and the others wouldn't mind if they didn't want to follow them either. They could just go their separate ways. It wouldn't make much difference with or without the two of them.
The group quickly took out the map of the Western Star Sea that was given to them. After finding his own location, Gu Sanzheng examined the map, then raised his head and said, "There is a rather large island to the southwest corner with a location marked on it called 'Skyfire Mountain'. It's not too far away as well. How about it?"
There were no area names marked on the map of the Western Star Sea. If there were, it meant that the location belonged to a forbidden area. For example, there was one marked as 'Western Constellations Palace'. That place was definitely a forbidden area. No participant would dare venture inside.
Miao Yi nodded. Since there were no objections, the decision was set. Everyone then quickly identified the right direction and departed...
It was not a good thing indeed to offend people from the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons in the Sea of Constellations. There was no way they could just sweep this under the rug and live like nothing happened.
Even though Fu Qing had already given the order for the water tribes that weren't participating in the Subjugation Crusade to stop interfering, when Lan Susu used the name of the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons, there were naturally still some who would try to curry favor with Bai Ziliang and secretly obey his commands.
Along the way, Lan Susu also used the name of the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons to recruit two groups of Yao cultivators hunting down Niu Youde for Bai Ziliang.
As soon as the water tribes managed to confirm that Miao Yi's group had already separated with Fairy Yue Yao and identified the direction they were heading in, Bai Ziliang immediately led a force of over a hundred Yao cultivators to pursue them.
What caused Bai Ziliang and Lan Susu great distress was that along the way, they noticed a group of six monks from afar. After that, this group of monks continued to follow behind them. Their intentions were unknown.