"Of course I know this. If we go to seize other people's domain now, I'm afraid that we will not only fail to seize it but others will seize our domain instead."
Miao Yi shook his head in a mildly self-mocking manner. He turned around to sit on the thick velvet of a long carved ivory couch and asked, "What do you think of us taking a trip down to the Sea of Constellations?"
"Sea of Constellations?", Yan Xiu suddenly widened his eyes greatly. He was the one who had told Miao Yi about the place. "For what purpose do we need to go to the Sea of Constellations? That is within the realm of the Yao Nation belonging to the Yao Sage, Ji Huan! Furthermore, the Sea of Constellations is a place where the Yao move unhindered. Nearly every human cultivator who trespassed there has never come back."
"Didn't you say that a gradeless Yao Core could be exchanged with an Orb of Will gathered from one thousand people?", Miao Yi asked in reply.
This was in fact what Yan Xiu had told him after witnessing the grand battle between Yang Qing and Lu Yu.
Yao Core and Yin Core could be refined into transcendent artifacts, and was also the source of formidable power within the transcendent artifacts. But transcendent artifacts were after all, transcendent artifacts. He couldn't cultivate them anyway. After being used once, the energy contained within a transcendent artifact would lessen slightly. The more heavily it was used, the greater the energy consumed, so of course it would require its energy to be replenished.
Hence, lower grade Yao Core and those of similar ilk became the best source to replenish the energy of transcendent artifacts. Since there was a market, naturally they also had value. It would be fine to exchange them with money or Orbs of Will.
Yan Xiu said anxiously, "Cave Master, don't tell me 'looking for another way' meant going to hunt at the Sea of Constellations?"
"Hehe. I'm only saying it casually. Look at you getting all worked up. I'm just joking." Miao Yi laughed out loud and ended it half-heartedly.
After dismissing Yan Xiu, he again clasped his hands behind his back and entered his cultivation quarters to survey the place.
This was a subterranean space, but it wasn't small. The walls and ground were covered with thick grounded stones, together with light from the copper furnace and oil lamp, the brightness was just right.
A stone chair for the purpose of meditation and cultivation quietly lay ahead of him. There were also three large pools stacked by jade stones with water flowing out from carved jade beast heads. One pool had spring water channeled into it while the other pool had channeled hot spring water. Both of the springs would then converged into another pool, blending the waters into one of suitable temperature. It was indeed a good place to take a bath.
Miao Yi stripped himself of his clothes and submerged himself into the pool water, feeling very comfortable until he moaned continually...
The next morning, Miao Yi, accompanied by a group of subordinates from East Arrival Cave, came to the front of the mountain gate to examine the newly made memorial arch.
Miao Yi was ecstatic the moment he set his eyes on it. Last night he had hidden himself in his silent quarters, and could faintly make out the clanking noise of chiselling hatchets almost the entire night. Six cultivators had worked together against the clock for a whole night. As expected the finished memorial arch was indeed out of the ordinary.
Primarily there were four pillars and three entrances. The main gate's entrance was as high as three zhang or more, embossed with vivid, life-like beasts of the fields and birds of the air, with auspicious clouds winding around and continuously twirling amidst them; and three large eye-catching words "East Arrival Cave". At the bottom were two carved sculptures standing on either side, a coiling dragon and a crouching tiger respectively.
The entire mountain gate memorial archway had an extraordinary air of grandeur that was both lofty and eye-catching. Miao Yi nodded as he praised, "Not bad. Not bad at all. It's more imposing than South Edict Manor's mountain gate memorial archway. Looks like my men from East Arrival Cave would also make a good stonemason if they're not cultivators."
Seeing that he liked it, the School of Blue Jade's disciples, afraid he would deliberately make things difficult for them, let out sighs of relief. For the sake of this memorial arch, they had thoroughly racked their brains overnight.
Everyone who heard the Cave Master's words were laughing out loud, the atmosphere between them became more harmonious in a flash.
No one expected Miao Yi would then point at their blue robes. "Why does it feel like an eyesore when I look at your clothes? The uninformed will think my East Arrival Cave is the School of Blue Jade. I don't have any objections if you return to the School of Blue Jade dressed in that. But in East Arrival Cave, it is better to unify the color of your robes. Yan Xiu, go to the city and find a tailor later. Change everyone's robes to black."
"Yes!" Yan Xiu cupped his hands in acknowledgement.
School of Blue Jade's disciples threw glances at each other.
Miao Yi didn't care whether they were willing or not. He clasped his hands and continued to stare in admiration at the memorial archway.
At the exact moment when everyone had just surrounded the memorial archway in admiration, Yan Xiu suddenly pointed towards the mountain road by the lakeside ahead and said, "Cave Master, I think the City Lord of East Arrival City is here."
Everyone cast their gaze over, only to see a group of laborers traveling along the mountain road by the lakeside, meandering their way through to their location. Quite a few of them were carrying a palanquin and leading horses pulling carts. They seemed to have brought quite a number of goods.
Miao Yi only swept his gaze over casually. However, he took a second glance at the large lake at the foot of the mountain as he stared. He said, "Yan Xiu, later ask someone to get some fish and prawns to rear in the lake."
Yan Xiu obeyed, knowing that this was to be prepared for Charcoal. That steed was different from other dragon steeds and loved to eat fresh fish and prawns. He also loved to play with water so having such a large lake at this place had actually become Charcoal's paradise.
"Wang Zifa, arrange for someone to guard the gate. From now on, you will be entrusted with arranging the crew of this mountain gate region. I will hold you for questioning if it is again destroyed by others! The rest of you head back to the Grand Hall." Miao Yi swung his arm, turned and left. The East Arrival City Lord was still unworthy to have everyone welcome him here.
Naturally, Wang Zifa didn't have bad judgement, so he obviously would not arrange for the Cave Master's trusted aides such as Yan Xiu's group to guard the mountain gate. He left Shang Youlai behind to perform the duty.
A few moments after the others returned to the East Arrival Grand Hall, the robust and prosperous City Lord of East Arrival City, Xu Xinliang, arrived at the entrance of the mountain gate. He dismounted from his horse, and courteously requested Shang Youlai to send word.
There was no need to announce it as the Cave Master had already known of their arrival. Shang Youlai allowed them to enter.
No one dared to enter by riding a horse, so the mounts were all left outside. Only the large pile of goods pulled by horse carts followed behind Xu Xinliang, eventually coming to a stop at the plaza outside the Grand Hall.
There was also the palanquin carried by sixteen porters, which was gently placed on the ground. Nobody dared to neglect it as the handmaidens to be gifted to the Immortals were all inside.
One cultivator having two handmaidens was the standard convention. The rules of the cultivation world would not allow you more. If every cultivator wanted extra handmaidens, with their ability to come and go without a trace, there would not be enough women in the secular world for them to defile. The ones getting affected would be the followers, and affecting the followers would mean losing power of will, so naturally this had to be strictly regulated.
Other people couldn't enter the Grand Hall without permission. Only the East Arrival City Lord, Xu Xinliang, wiping away his sweat and dressed in official's robes trembled with fear as he carried a case up the flight of stairs.
He wasn't actually scared that the Immortals would harm him. It was just that whenever the Cave Master of East Arrival Cave changed, it was also the time when his seat as City Lord was most insecure. Once the Cave Master deemed you as an eyesore, there was a high possibility that he would replace you.
Inside the Grand Hall, Yan Xiu and the others stood split on either side. Xu Xinliang who carried the case in, did not dare to raise his head to look directly. He lowered his head as he walked to the designated place. Immediately, he placed the heavy case down, knelt and kowtowed as he said, "East Arrival City's City Lord, Xu Xinliang has come to pay respect to the Cave Master!"
Sitting on the high seat, Miao Yi smiled, "City Lord Xu, we meet again."
Hearing those words, City Lord Xu was taken aback. He lifted his head to look and realized that the Cave Master looked slightly familiar. Immediately, realization dawned on him. It turned out that this was the Immortal who had saved Madame Ji. Never would he have expected that he was actually the newly appointed Cave Master of East Arrival Cave. The new Cave Master looked so young!
"Stand up to speak!" Miao Yi raised his hand to humbly support him.
City Lord Xu quickly clambered up. He took out a small box from his sleeve and carried it along with the case to offer it. "Cave Master, this is a token of appreciation from the people of East Arrival City. We hope Cave Master will accept it."
After what happened to Head Guard Huang, Miao Yi didn't even need to look to know what was inside of it. He gave a slight nod to Yan Xiu who immediately went over to accept the item.