Public house of Yi in the Great Ji Dynasty.
Chu Li was rowing his boat on the lake. The wind gently caressed his face, leaving him quite refreshed.
The province of Yi was an archipelago with exactly ninety-nine islands. Chu Li was headed to the hall of martial arts roughly 18 miles from the East Garden.
Chu Li was a well-built and a relatively lean man, dressed in a green gown that fluttered around along with the wind. His looks were average, but he was smart and full of bravery. While standing on his boat, he gazed upon the surface of the pond as if he was deep in thought.
Nineteen years, two months, and three days! It had been nineteen years, two months, and three bloody days!
Chu Li was a credited researcher of particle physics, an honor student with a bright future, and probably the next big scientist! However, a tiny little mistake he made during an experiment caused an explosion that cost his life. He came to this world after reincarnating, and has since been living a new life!
"Bam! Bam!" A muffled bang distracted him from his thoughts. He directed his attention towards a shining golden carp bouncing on his boat.
He shook his head, bent his body down to pick the carp up in order to throw it back into the lake.
As he rose to stand again, a tall building entered his view.
A tall building had a height of over a hundred meters, it glimmered in a bronze radiance. The building was thick and heavy, symbolizing its might and authority.
The bronze building was the Hall of Martial Arts!
The front of the Hall of Martial Arts was a wide training field covered in red mud, with hundreds of people training on the field. It could be seen that they were engaging each other with swords and fists, fighting and learning from one another.The place looked very lively.
Chu Li disembarked from his little boat and stepped up onto the training field. A few steps away, a good looking and beautiful young gentleman quite suddenly appeared in front of him, beaming with confidence.
Relatively tall of a man, a full head taller than Chu Li. He had his arms crossed as he looked at Chu Li from above, calling out his first name.
"Chu! What are you doing here!?"
Chu Li furrowed his brows.
"Out of the way, a good dog doesn't block the road!"
"Hah!" The young man chuckled.
"Are you here to train, by any chance?"
Chu Li smiled as he continued to walk towards his destination.
"Zhuo Fei Yang, do you believe that if I lied down on the floor and started screaming, you'd be basically doomed?"
Guards from the Public House were banned from having personal fights, as well as fights with other guards from the same Public House. The guards from the Public House were separated into two ranks, the Protector, and the Scribes. One worked for the military, and the other was for the more civil issues. They were especially warned to not have, or provoke, any personal fights. They would be demoted from their ranks if they were found to have done so or even be chased out of the province if the incident was particularly serious.
Chu Li was a Scribe without a rank, while Zhuo Fei Yang was an eighth-ranked Protector. It was considered taboo for a Protector to attack a Scribe. If Chu Li were to scream right then and there, Zhuo Fei Yang would be detained and punished.
Zhuo Fei Yang furrowed his brows,
"Fine! You are completely shameless, Chu!"
Chu Li continued to walk.
Zhuo Fei Yang tilted his body to let Chu Li pass. He spoke while equipped with quite a handsome gloomy face,
"You only know how to use these little tricks, Chu!"
Chu Li smiled,
"These little tricks are more than enough to deal with you, idiot."
Zhuo Fei Yang stared daggers at Chu Li with his fist being clenched harder and harder by the minute. It seemed like he could swing it at any moment. Chu Li was still looking right at him with a face full of disdain and provocation.
Suddenly, Zhuo Fei Yang's face brightened up as a large smile replaced his gloomy face. He waved much like an excited five-year-old, "Sister Zhao!"
A beautiful lady walked slowly towards them. Her skin was fair, and her eyes were delicate with arching eyebrows. A visibly elegant and gentle woman.
Chu Li's expression slightly shifted. Zhao Ying, the woman who joined the public house around the same time as they did. She was pretty, kind, and gentle. It was difficult for a man to not find a way to fall for her.
Zhao Ying stepped towards them, looking surprised.
Chu Li, catching a whiff of the light and fragrant smell coming from Zhao Ying, smiled.
"Sister Zhao, it has been quite a long time since we last met."
Ever since he was assigned to the East Garden, he had been spending most of his time in the Tower of Wisdom, trying to hatch a plan to change his own fate through knowledge and education. It was rare for him to visit the Hall of Martial Arts.
As to why he came to the Hall of Martial Arts in the first place? He was faced with an obstacle while training the Minute Pulse Cleansing Technique, and he was looking for a rare manual or training that might have cited it.
Zhao Ying smiled,
"Congratulations, Chu Li! Being assigned to the East Garden means you have a great job!"
Chu Li nodded as he smiled,
"It's not too bad."
The East Garden belonged to the Third Lady of the Yi Public House, Siao Qi, on an island named The Guardian of Jade. Chu Li was noted to be the only one serving Lady Siao Qi on the island, along with some help from Lee Yue. It was regarded to be free and relaxing there, along with having a chance to meet the Third Lady. If they were somehow acknowledged by the Third Lady, the rest of their lives would pretty much be set.
Zhuo Fei Yang took a deep breath, believing that Chu Li was definitely a lucky man. Of all the places he could be assigned to, he was dropped into the East Garden! God must have truly been blind. He took it upon himself to punish Chu Li instead.
"Zhao Ying, ignore this piece of garbage. I just learned the Delusion Split yesterday, would you like to practice with me?"
"Zhuo Fei Yang!"
Zhao Ying furrowed her brows, thinking that the way Zhuo Fei Yang addressed Chu Li was incredibly rude.
"Okay, okay, I won't call him garbage then!" Zhuo Fei Yang hurriedly apologized, and glanced at Chu Li, "Even though he really is one."
"Are you not done yet!?" Anges angrily widened her eyes.
"It's alright, Zhao Ying." Chu Li smiled.
"There is no need to bother with this arrogant fool here."
"Li!" Anges gushed out with anger.
Chu Li raised his hands as a sign of defeat, "Zhao Ying, come over to the East Garden for some fun. The scenery is really nice, and Lee Yue's cooking is absolutely amazing."
"Sure!" Zhao Ying said, with a sweet smile on her face.
"I have been wanting to check out the place, you know? Did you know that the East Garden "
"Hmph! What's so special to look at?" Zhuo Fei Yang tilted his mouth.
"It's all flowers and grass. I'd much rather use all that time to hone my skills. Having fun wasting time on pointless things makes someone useless!"
"Ah, so according to you, Lady Siao Qi and Master Siao are doing pointless things, yes? And that is nothing compared to what you're doing?" Chu Li chuckled. The West Garden belongs to the eldest master of the Yi Public House, Siao Tie Ying.
Zhuo Fei Yang's face turned red really quickly as he began to smile awkwardly, as he decides to stop arguing with Chu Li.
"Zhuo Fei Yang! Chu Li!" Anges voices out in dissatisfaction.
"Can't you guys just stop for a little? Chu Li, I'll go to the East Garden one day. You can leave if you're busy."
Chu Li stared at Zhao Ying,"Sister, there are people out there who only seem good from the outside. It takes time to tell their true nature inside. Don't be too trusting of anyone you don't know!"
"Chu? What do you mean!?" Zhuo Fei Yang shouted.
Chu Li ignored Zhuo Fei Yang's statements and wrapped put bid goodbye with a fist salute while smiling at Zhao Ying.
Zhao Ying turned and walked away.
Zhuo Fei Yang hurriedly followed her, but as he left the area, he held out his hand when Zhao Ying was not paying him any attention.
His palm almost slapped onto Chu Li's face. He was confident that Chu Li would not be able to dodge it. It seems to be unnoticeable, but his inner strength had been focused into the slap, it was swift.
Chu Li slightly tilted his head. Zhuo Fei Yang's fingertips scrapped by Chu Li's cheeks, passing right by. Chu Li felt a breeze going through, this slap was not of a light variety.
A loud sound of slapping was clearly audible.
Chu Li slapped himself with his left palm and quickly hid his hand. The sound itself was loud and clear. It may not have been too powerful for a slap, but the sound was strong.
Zhao Ying flipped her head over to check.
Chu Li's facial expression did not move an inch. As if the slap had not hit his face at all.
Zhuo Fei Yang glared at him.
Chu Li broke a small smile, touching his own cheeks.
"Such great skill! Color me impressed!"
Zhuo Fei Yang stared daggers at him.
"ZHUO-FEI-YANG!!!!!" Anges is really angry now.
"S-sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it!" Zhuo Fei Yang clenched his teeth, making sounds out of it.
"I believe that Chu Li doesn't mind it, isn't it, young Brother Chu Li?"
Chu Li turned with a smirk,
"Forget about it, Zhao Ying."
Zhao Ying looked apologetically at Chu Li, and hurriedly pulled Zhuo Fei Yang and left. If they stay any longer, they were most definitely going to fight!
Chu Li stared at Zhao Ying's beautiful back, stunned. He grasped his pulsing cheeks and activated the Omniscient Mirror to stabilize his state of mind.
If it were not for the Omniscient Mirror, he would have fallen right into Zhuo Fei Yang's plot!
This world allowed one to take pride in one's martial art's skills. This was the value he had been taught since he was small. Zhao Ying was gentle and kind. Her act of protection in any situation would touch Chu Li.
But he was a man, and a man who needed a girl to protect him was intolerable!
Zhuo Fei Yang. The Delusion Split.
He passed through the crowds on the training field and walked into the Hall of Martial Arts.
He untied the wooden piece from his waist and handed it over to a young man stationed in front of the palace. The young man inspected it and signals him to go inside.
As he went in, a sight of multiple rows of book racks entered his sight. He walked in with confidence and stopped to pick out a book. He flipped through the book quickly and slotted it back, moving on to the next book. He repeated the process multiple times.
Like this, he flipped 20 books in a span of two hours.
It seemed as if he had known all about the library before this, being able to casually walk into the place and pick the books out like this. However this was the first time he was here, and he had read about the Minute Pulse Cleansing Technique in the Tower of Wisdom before this.
Chu Li visualized the layout of the Hall of Martial Arts in his mind. Every single row, every single book. Everything was being mapped out in his mind.
He continued to walk towards the second floor and went straight to the front of the third bookshelf. He picked out the sword skill guidebook for the Delusion Split. He flipped through the book once and proceeded to pull out another seven books, all of them regarding experiences of people who had learned Delusion Split.
Before he left the training palace, all the contents of the thirty books had already been registered in his brain. Twenty-two books of the Minute Pulse Cleansing Technique, one guidebook for the Delusion Split, and another seven books regarding the sword skill.
He rowed his little boat along the lake, with a soft wind blowing through, extinguishing his anger.
The thirty books he had in his mind began to rearrange and make sense in his mind.
The sun was centered high in the afternoon. He slowly rowed back to the East Garden.
The East Garden had a two-mile radius, separated by ornamental flower beds. Every one of these parterres consisted of a one of a kind rare flower, making the whole garden full of flowery scents.
There was only one small courtyard on the island. Chu Li pushed the door and walked into the small courtyard. A cooling breeze blew towards him, a large tree covering over half the yard made the environment cooler.
He went into the east room and took out the Emerald Tipped Sword. Chu Li began to slash around with the sword. He waved it around slowly, much like a Tai Chi sword. Not much time had passed before he began to sweat bullets. His forehead even began to shine in the amount of sweat that was produced.
Chu Li had photographic memory. He only needed to read a book once to remember every single detail within it. The Delusion Split he learned from the training palace was indeed powerful, but it took up a lot of energy.
"Oho?" A strong young man, with a rounded face and small eyes, walked out from the main hall.
He moved as if he was a large black bear, stretching himself as he yawned two times in a row, before he muttered, "Brother, back this early?"
Chu Li replied with a soft "Mmhmm."
Lee Yue. A rank nine Scribe. He was in charge of the East Garden along with Chu Li. He personally enjoyed eating, and he had the cooking to back it up. His fighting ability was no laughing matter, but he would rather be a Scribe. He dared not to challenge the Tower of Ranking.
The Scribes and Protectors the Public House were both separated into nine different ranks, but both of the jobs had an almost tenfold difference in pay.
The Scribes were paid very little, and even ranking up takes a considerable amount of time. It takes roughly three years to achieve Rank Nine, eighteen for Eighth, twenty for Seventh, forty for Sixth, and seventy for Fifth.
For Protectors to climb in their rankings, they merely need to strengthen their fighting skills and challenge the Tower of Ranking. Passing a level counted as successfully climbing a rank.
Their pay was high, and they had missions outside the Public House. Their lives were infinitely more exciting than those of the Scribes, who only stayed in the Public House serving their patron. Even those with barely any skill would try for a post as a Protector.
Lee Yue stretched out his neck and legs as cracking sounds rang out in the yard. He swung his fists right after, in order to train his fist.
"Brother! Stop with your sword training, and come train with me!" Lee Yue exclaimed, unable to keep his mouth shut.
Chu Li stayed silent.
"There's no reason for you to practice sword skills! You can't practice without your inner strength anyway, so just train your fists with me!"
"Shut up already!" Chu Li screamed, with sweat all over his forehead.
In this world, everyone started learning martial arts at a very young age,
Starting from the age of eight, and all the way to eighteen, While children were still maturing, it was seen as important for them to build their foundation, to train their meridians.
Around that same time period, once their meridians stiffened, even a random heart technique would be considered a miracle. One would have to spend a lot more time on training to attain the same level of efficacy.
Before he hit eighteen, Chu Li grew up in the Temple of Autumn, training with the Scripture of the Root of Wisdom. Thus he missed out on the opportunity to train his meridians.
His vitality was doubled compared to a commoner, the inner energy within him was completely out of the ordinary.
Chu Li was also a researcher of particle physics in his past life. His general knowledge of the world was immense.
The two factors combined were the reason he successfully mastered the scripture, completing the Omniscient Mirror.
With the incredible level of his energy, he was able to train for extended periods of time, compared to normal commoners. Five years was more than enough for Chu Li to build a stable foundation for his Minute Pulse Cleansing technique.
"Haha..! You can't even kill a chicken with that sword of yours. Why are you still training?"
Chu Li withdrew from his practice.
"You want to compete?"
Chu Li, exhausted and panting, was only able to stay stable by using the sword as leverage. Delusion Split had way too high of an energy cost.