"Sister Medusa is strong, and she has an unsightly baldy by her side who is also somewhat strong." Zi Yan pouted as she spoke in defense of Medusa.
"Is that so?" Xiao Ming said, narrowing his eyes.
"Regardless of her strength, her reckless behavior will eventually lead her into trouble. If she gets caught, she can always leave, but the rest of the blame will fall on me."
Everyone knew that Zi Yan was part of Xiao Ming's group, and if she was caught stealing herbs, then Xiao Ming would be blamed by the others.
Although these people probably wouldn't dare confront him directly, the notion of a Dou Ancestor stealing herbs from a small clan would not reflect well on him if news of it spread.
However, since the matter had reached this point, returning the herbs was not an option either, as the risk of exposure would be too high.
Rubbing his forehead, Xiao Ming stuffed everything into his storage ring.
"You should stay indoors for the next few days. And I guess Medusa won't have much free time to play with you either."
With the three-year agreement approaching, Medusa, as Xiao Yan's bodyguard, would have very little free time.
Since Xiao Ming had spoken, Zi Yan could only agree.
Under the sun's illumination, Jia Ma Sacred City appeared incredibly glorious.
At this time, the inhabitants of the Imperial Capital were beginning their daily journey.
For ordinary people, this day was no different from usual.
However, the great clans of the Imperial Capital knew that today was a special day.
Today was the day when the Little Sect Leader of the Misty Cloud Sect, Nalan Yanran, and the Third Young Master of the Xiao Clan, which dominated the entire Northeast Province, Xiao Yan, would fulfill their three-year agreement.
Normally, these kinds of competitions between the younger generation didn't garner much interest from the older generation of the clans.
However, Xiao Ming, another member of the Xiao family, was now in the Imperial Capital and was expected to participate in the three-year agreement. This made many people feel that something interesting would happen. There were also rumors in the Imperial Capital that Xiao Ming was a Dou Ancestor powerhouse, so many were eager to go and take a look.
Coincidentally, the Misty Cloud Sect had not prohibited entry, and as a result, magnificent carriages started leaving the city gates and heading towards the huge snow-white mountain peak in the distance.
The Misty Cloud Mountain was awe-inspiring, with its towering height and winding stone steps that looked like a serpent snaking its way up the mountain.
The steps were ancient, having stood for an indeterminate number of years, and seemed to emit a faint hum, like the sound of swords clashing, that echoed in the surrounding peaks and forests. It was a mesmerizing sound that captivated the mind of all who heard it.
At the top of the long stone steps, the area was shrouded in a veil of mist, beyond which lay a massive square. The square was made of massive stones, giving it a magnificent and ancient appearance. In the center of the square stood a grand stone monument that was carved with the experiences and accomplishments of the former leaders of the Misty Cloud Sect, as well as those who had made significant contributions to the Sect.
The atmosphere in the square was incredibly quiet, with only the occasional gust of wind breaking the stillness. Nearly a thousand people sat in a semicircle, all clad in white robes, with long swords of cloud-like colors peeking out from their sleeves, waving in the wind as if they were alive, emitting a faint sword intent.
At the top of the square were stone platforms with seats arranged in ascending order, reflecting the rank of each person within the Sect.
Usually, the higher the seat, the older and more experienced the individual. However, on this day, the highest stone platform was occupied by a young woman dressed in luxurious green garments - Yun Yun, the Sect Leader of the Misty Cloud Sect.
Below her were a dozen white-robed Elders sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed. Their steel-like figures, unperturbed by even the strongest gusts of wind, reflected the immense power they possessed.
On the stone platform below the elders, there stood a woman dressed in a flowing moon-white robe. Her eyes were slightly closed, and as a gentle breeze blew, the fabric of the robe hugged her body, highlighting her flawless curves. This calm and beautiful woman was Nalan Yanran.
Occasionally, a slightly strong wind blew across the square, and, instantly, white robes fluttered everywhere, like clouds falling from the sky. Such a scene, at first glance, was quite shocking.
From time to time, the sound of the wind breaking in the air could be heard, and then several figures would suddenly appear at the tips of the towering trees.
A closer look revealed that among these figures were many powerful people, even the Ice Emperor Hai Bodong, who had been in seclusion these days, was among them.
Of course, the former leader of the Nalan family, Nalan Jie, and even Jia Xing Tian, who was rumored to be in seclusion to break through to Dou Ancestor, were also present.
"Old Hai, I heard that you obtained a pill from Master Xiao Ming and your strength went from two-star to seven-star Dou Emperor in one go?" Jia Xing Tian asked with a smile as he approached Hai Bodong's side.
"That's right." Hai Bodong seemed very lively today, his strength had increased five stars at once, which made him feel refreshed.
"Didn't Master Xiao Ming also refine the Zong Breaking Pill for you? How come you didn't break through?" Hai Bodong asked.
"It's not that easy to break through to Dou Ancestor." Jia Xing Tian said somewhat depressed.
Hai Bodong felt somewhat amused. For Jia Xing Tian to say that, it must have meant that he had failed in his attempt to break through, but he didn't go too overboard, instead, he made a suggestion.
"Hahaha, don't be too demoralized, Master Xiao Ming will definitely come today, ask him at that time, maybe you can get another one."
"Sigh, hopefully." Jia Xing Tian sighed, that was what he had come for today.
Speak of the devil and he shall appear
Suddenly, a sudden clamor echoed through the crowd, both the powerful people on the treetops and the originally well-ordered members of the Misty Cloud Sect in the square below all looked a bit shocked at this moment.
Their gazes were fixed on the sky, where three figures were in the air, with the exception of the little girl who had Dou Qi wings, the remaining man and woman were flying through the air with nothing behind them.
The crowd was very clear about what this meant, they were two Dou Ancestors and one Dou Emperor!
And what was more important, all of them looked quite young.
"It's Master Xiao Ming! He's arrived!" someone in the crowd shouted.
Xiao Ming had once given a lecture at the Alchemy Association and had been seen by many people, so someone quickly recognized him.
"Master Xiao Ming has really broken through to Dou Ancestor, haha, to be able to meet such a strong person, this time I really didn't come to waste my time!"
"I heard that after taking the pills given by Master Xiao Ming, the Ice Emperor advanced five stars in one go. I had hoped to invite him too, but he was always busy. Today, I finally get to meet him in person!"
"Who are those two women accompanying Master Xiao Ming? I can't believe they're also that powerful!"
The crowd erupted in discussion and speculation, but they were ignored as Xiao Ming, accompanied by the two girls, flew over to where Jia Xing Tian and Hai Bodong were standing.