Miao Yi did not make things difficult for this City Lord and had acknowledged him. He discovered that this City Lord was rather familiar with the people's livelihood in East Arrival City so he provided him with some encouragement before eventually dismissing him.
Both parties eventually found themselves without another common topic to warrant chatting further.
City Lord Xu let out a sigh of relief. After he left with his men, Miao Yi made Yan Xiu bring forth the gift and open it to take a look.
As expected, inside the little box was a granule-sized orb emanating a soft glow. Miao Yi did not act courteous. Immediately, he kept it inside his own storage pouch.
On the other hand, inside the case was five thousand gold crystals, which wasn't a small sum at all. This was the wealth of the people of East Arrival City.
To Miao Yi, who'd been born a commoner, he felt a bit conflicted in accepting these kinds of gifts. However, he had to accept them as he was not the only person in the entire East Arrival Cave. The many subordinates under him would need to depend on the followers of East Arrival City for survival.
But Miao Yi did not keep any. Not even one. He let Yan Xiu take and give away a portion of the gold crystals. Each of the White Lotus Third Grade cultivators would get two hundred of it while the second grades would get half of the amount, which was a hundred. The remaining would be spent on the cave's expenses and were left in Yan Xiu's care.
Yan Xiu was in an exceptionally good mood. When he was in Transient Light Cave, he could never have experienced this kind of treatment as a trusted aide of the administration.
Soon after, everyone exited the Grand Hall, arriving at the plaza. Sixteen exceptionally beautiful girls trembled with fear as they stood in a row, all of them looking quite young as they waited for the Immortals to take their pick.
The beauty of the two up front were even more outstanding. Slender and elegant, their heads were lowered, akin to two budding bashful flowers, both small, pure and fresh as well as beautiful and heartwarming.
The only flaw was that they seemed to be still too young, their bodies being not yet fully grown. The places that should be sticking out weren't jutting out just yet, while the places where it should be perky weren't as perky either, so their sex appeal was still out of the question. It could only be said that they gave a different kind of feeling to it. Perhaps there would be people who had this kind of taste.
Everyone, with Miao Yi in the lead, looked over the group one by one. Even Miao Yi's heart was stirred. He was curious as to what kind of handmaidens Yan Xiu had personally handpicked for him.
At Miao Yi's side, Yan Xiu beckoned to the two young girls standing at the very front. "Both of you come here. This is the Cave Master you'll be serving!"
Both of them casted a glance at Yan Xiu before giving Miao Yi a quick look. With their heads lowered, they gently and cautiously moved towards them. Both of them bowed in salutation, their voices similar to a weeping oriole as they said, "Zhao Qian'Er, Liu Xue, pay our respects to the Cave Master!"
The other handmaidens couldn't resist stealing a glance, experiencing a faint feeling of envy. Although every one of them were to be the handmaidens of Immortals, as long as they weren't dumb, they knew that becoming the master of this place's handmaiden was naturally of a different status in comparison to working as another person's handmaiden.
"Raise your heads," Yan Xiu ordered the two to lift their heads for Miao Yi's admiration. He then explained to Miao Yi at his side, "Both of them are fifteen years old. She's slightly older than the other. Her name's Zhao Qian'Er and an expert in dancing. This one is called Liu Xue and is proficient at playing musical instruments. Both of them have the aptitude for cultivating. Is Cave Master satisfied with this selection?"
Able to play and sing? Miao Yi couldn't help but take a good look at Yan Xiu. He was no longer the same ignorant person who didn't know anything like before. It wasn't an easy feat to look for handmaidens who had an aptitude for cultivating, moreover they had to be pretty and young as well as talented. Yan Xiu had obviously put in a lot of effort.
Seeing no reaction from him, Yan Xiu tested the waters and asked, "If Cave Master is not satisfied, you can replace them!"
Miao Yi muttered irresolutely for a while. Despite the fact that many normal men loved beautiful girls, he had already made up his mind earlier on. Regardless of the circumstances, so long as he had yet to find Little Brother and Little Sister, he would not succumb to female charms. What if his Little Brother and Little Sister were currently suffering, and he himself as their Big Brother was having fun instead...
However, he still nodded his head and said, "There's no need for replacements. Keep them!"
Keeping both of them at his side to serve him would lessen the disruption of menial tasks, which was advantageous to cultivating.
After the Cave Master had made his selection, it was the others turn to choose. Even Shang Youlai, who was guarding the mountain gate, was also called over.
Once everyone had chosen, there were still two left remaining. Yan Xiu then said to Qiu Shaoqun, "Help Dan Biaoyi by taking them to him."
Qiu Shaoqun nodded his head.
But everyone had just noticed that there still seemed to be two handmaidens missing. Miao Yi was also puzzled. This matter had been carried out from Yan Xiu personally liaising with East Arrival City so how had he forgotten himself? Hence, he couldn't help but ask, "Where are your handmaidens?"
Perhaps others had not realized it yet, but Miao Yi realized it in a split second. In a flash, a strange desolate expression indistinctly flashed through Yan Xiu's eyes.
Forcing out a smile, Yan Xiu bowed slightly and said, "Yan Xiu is old. I'm used to having a quiet life."
Wang Zifa and the rest immediately made jest of him. "Not old, not old at all. Flowering and seeding is still no problem at all."
The two women, Nan Sisi and Wang Xiuqin also pursed their lips into a smile. Everyone had received their share of profits so they were all in a seemingly good mood.
Yan Xiu blushed with shame as he gave a bitter smile. He cupped his hands at the crowd, begging for mercy.
That woman who couldn't stand being disgraced, galloped her horse with hoisted blade, all for the sake of earning first class merits in order to wash away her humiliation. In the end, she'd been beheaded instead… That scene suddenly flashed across Miao Yi's mind. He quietly stared at Yan Xiu for a while, before gradually tilting his head without uttering a single word.
However, he understood Yan Xiu's reason. Honestly, he'd originally held criticism towards Yan Xiu in his heart because of Luo Zhen's death. But today, he had seemed to come to an understanding. Some things, he feared, were just difficult to erase from this sweet-talking old man's heart.
Qiu Shaoqun, who was also a Transient Light Cave prisoner, casted a pensive glance at Yan Xiu, and said nothing...
After everyone returned back home with their handmaiden, Yan Xiu called the two handmaidens to follow behind Miao Yi.
Charcoal, after eating and drinking his fill, lay down on the entrance of the back hall, dozing off. His smooth snake tail hit the surface of the ground from time to time. He was living quite leisurely, which was also an old failing of his.
Hearing movements, he only opened his eyes to take a look. Seeing that Miao Yi had returned, he let out a sneeze and then shut his eyes.
They stood still in the courtyard. Zhao Qian'Er and Liu Xiu carefully peered about the surrounding environment, holding the same feelings of curiosity and nervousness they had the first time they got here.
Miao Yi turned around and said, "Yan Xiu. They've just arrived so they're not familiar with the state of affairs here. Help them with the arrangements on what they need to do. I'm taking Zhu Tianbiao to patrol the territory for a while."
This was also one of the duties that every new Cave Master needed to do. They could not oversee the domain if they were unfamiliar with it. The time needed to be spent when they just arrived would still need to be spent.
Having heard that he wanted to head out, Charcoal opened his eyes and straightened his ears. He then looked in Miao Yi's direction with his head half-raised.
Abruptly. Yan Xiu stopped Miao Yi, who was about to leave. He pointed at the two young girls and reminded him, "Cave Master, you have yet to give them names."
Miao Yi was surprised. "Don't they have their own names already?"
Yan Xiu laughed. "That used to be their secular world's name. They're now Cave Master's people. Normally, Cave Master is required to give them new names. This means it's an otherworldly rebirth. This is something that everyone does."
"I see!" Miao Yi scratched his head. Even though he had learned some culture from Lao Bai, the ink in his belly was still limited. Naming was not his forte so in the end, he could only laugh dryly. "Zhao Qian'Er and Liu Xue, from now on you'll be known as Qian'Er and Xue'Er!"
He had given them these names to save himself trouble. Taken aback, Yan Xiu couldn't say anything about it. He turned to face the two handmaidens to give them a reminder. "Hurry and thank Cave Master for the names!"
The two young girls quickly bowed in salutation. "Qian'Er and Xue'Er, thanks Cave Master for the names!"