The next morning, Chu Li came to the parterre of the Moonlight Orchid as soon as his training was done. He found that the area where the Dreams of Pearls used to grow was completely empty. There were no traces of the flower.
Much like a breathtaking firework, the Dream of Pearls turned into ashes right after it shone its brilliant light like a blue neutron star.
However, Chu Li discovered through further inspection that there were still signs of life underground. Activating the Omniscient Mirror, he found a seed buried about one meter below the dirt.
This seed was different compared to the one Lady Siao had given to him. Revealing that this was where the true seeds of the Dream of Pearls were concealed!
Usually, a typical flower will bloom and produce fruits which bears the seeds within them. Despite that, the Dream of Pearl's unique growth cycle sets it apart from the other plants. It now became clear why this species has become incredibly rare and on the verge of extinction.
He pondered for a while, knowing that there was no use in keeping the seed to himself. Due to his current status and qualification, it was not appropriate to keep this precious discovery for himself. Hence he summoned Lee Yue to send him to Siao Qi's island.
Siao Qi's island was about ten times larger than the east garden by comparison. There were trees covering the whole island and lined with balconies of extravagant terraces. The sculptures were exquisitely detailed and the pools were extraordinarily huge; it was an incredibly luxurious place.
Before reaching Siao Qi's island, Chu Li felt the presence of a tremendously fierce power prying onto him. He felt like people were preparing to ambush him at this moment.
He activated the Omniscient Mirror and detected the twelve sources of this formidable power residing from within the willow trees. Any of which could immediately annihilate him.
"Remember, this is Lady Siao's Island. Be careful when you land and don't simply thread around without caution." Lee Yue reminded him, "Be careful!"
Lee Yue looked panicked. He stared at the island as though it was a monster.
Chu Li smiled and absentmindedly nodded.
As the boat landed by the shore, a middle-aged man appeared from the woods. He assessed the new guests in silence with his sharp eyes. His glare was so cold, it looked as if his glare could pierce right through them.
Chu Li wrapped his fist, bowed; introducing himself. He then requested to meet Chief Su Ru.
The middle-aged man nodded. He remained silent and remained in his position; without moving an inch.
Chu Li waited patiently as his arrival was being noted to the supervisors.
Not before long, Su Ru arrived in an elegant apricot-colored gown.
"Chu Li?" Su Ru said as she waved her delicate hand. She looked at him with surprise. "What is the matter?"
Chu Li only nodded and didn't say a word.
"Follow me." Su Ru realized that he wanted to talk in private. She walked swiftly yet with a sturdy manner; her movements were so graceful it was as though she could dance atop fragile lotuses. Chu Li followed quickly and they stopped at a gazebo.
A bridge connected Siao Qi's garden to the gazebo. Eight columns supported the structure in an octagonal shape. The structure floated above the lake without hints of faltered balance.
Su Ru sat down and hinted Chu Li to mimic the same. She then spoke, "What is it?"
Chu Li sat down. "Chief, I found a seed of the Dream of Pearls."
"Shouldn't it be dead?" Su Ru furrowed her brows.
In their conversation, she felt like it was such waste that the flower didn't manage to survive. The Dream of Pearls is well known to be highly sought after by women; no women could resist the power of claiming eternal youth.
At first, Rei didn't really care about the Dream of Pearls. However, after she noticed how incredibly competent Chu Li was in the task, she decided to try it out. Yet, she did not expect Chu Li was able to succeed.
When she saw the two Dreams of Pearls, she blamed herself for her careless behavior. If she had been more vigilant, perhaps the seed wouldn't have died.
Chu Li explained to her about his presumption.
"In that case, the Dream of Pearls will always have its seeds?"
"There is the possibility but are you willing to try it out?" Chu Li asked, "Where did the two seeds originate from?"
"It is what Lady Siao's mother past down to her before she left. If was essentially thrown into a corner and no one knows how it was found again."
"I have a theory that the Dream of Pearls presumed extinction was due to its special characteristics and misconception about its germination. The seeds of the fruit won't germinate and acts as a decoy. The ones left in the roots are the real seeds, yet it is still too risky to examine it."
"This is not a big deal. When we plant it again the next time, we will keep one flower to ourselves."
"It's not that simple. Sometimes when the plant bears fruit, it can't form its seeds any longer." Chu Li shook his head, "So doesn't that mean we get nothing in the end?"
Su Ru furrowed her brows, nodding her head. Chu Li's assessment is very thorough.
"I'm very worried too since the seed has a short lifespan. It blooms only two or three times per cycle before it disappears." Chu Li added.
Su Ru widened her eyes and stared at him: "What do you suggest?"
"If I were to grow the seed again, I could give my best shot for the one remaining seed I currently have. However, I don't want to do anything too reckless with it." Chu Li said as he shook his head.
Su Ru smiled with hesitation: "Actually, you can keep this seed to yourself."
Chu Li was an expert on the plant at this point. He knew the value of the seed while the others didn't. He could keep it to himself, yet he chose not to.
Based on what he knew, Chu Li was an intellectually gifted person. Intelligent people leaned towards necessary actions that were suitable for the situation. Thus, they were likely to be unfair and unjust.
"Between the seed and Lady Siao, I care more about her. Besides, how do I know this isn't Lady Siao's test?"
Chu Li is trying to find out if Lady Siao is worth working for in this situation.
"You really are smart!" Su Ru smiled gently: "Follow me!"
She left the pavilion in a graceful stride. After going through the woods and a few other pavilions, they arrived in front of a tall building. The bronze tower looked like a library. On top of the entrance, it was written "The Tower of Stargazing".
The Tower of Stargazing has three floors. Each floor was a hundred meters in height. Standing below of the tower made Chu Li realize how insignificant he was in the grand scheme of things.
Inside, they could see servants flying around using their strong levitation techniques. They moved around quietly and swiftly like a light feather. Their skills could be categorized as strong as a rank eight protector.
Without wasting time, Su Ru brought Chu Li to the highest floor of the tower.
It was wide and spacious. While one was on top of that floor, they could spot a huge lake and some islands from afar.
A small tea table was in the middle. There were two coasters, a tea set and five plates of simple pastry and fruits provided. Nothing more, nothing less.
Siao Qi wore a white shirt for her sword-training session. The sword she wields shone bright and clear like spring water.
"Lady Siao." Said Su Ru softly as she approached her.
Lady Siao withdrew the sword and tossed it to Su Ru as she looked towards Chu Li.
Chu Li greeted her with wrapped fists.
Su Ru sheathed the long sword to its scabbard and hung it back on the wall. She then said: "Chu Li has found that the Dream of Pearls has left a true seed. He suggests that it is able to bloom. He will explain it now with his own words. "
Siao Qi's focus went towards Chu Li's face.
Chu Li then told all of his inferences and concerns to Siao Qi.
Siao Qi frowned and raised her head: "In the meantime, you will let the seed bloom as I look around for more information. If you can manage to grow ten flowers, I will raise your position to the sixth rank."
"...Thank you Lady Siao!" Chu Li wrapped his fist.
Currently he under rank eight. Based on his experiences, he will become rank seven after ten years, and rank six in thirty years, and thereafter to the middle stage. It may appear to be a one-rank difference, but the differences in credit wise is huge. Much like the sky and the seas.
Siao Qi said: "I'll find the seed as soon as possible."
Chu Li gave a hesitant nod.
"Just say it!" Siao Qi said.
Chu Li asked, "Are you intending to build the herb garden in the East Garden?"
"Yeah, that is what I'm planning to do. What are your opinions on it?"
"I think it would be better to build it here."
"Why? Are you worried about safety?"
Chu Li nodded, "If there's a will, there's a way for anyone. When that time comes"
The unique spirit drugs will make even the most composed of all people to take risks out of desperation. At this rate, the east garden would be desired by many and this would put Lee Yue and himself into danger.
"Let me think for a while." Said Siao Qi with a nod. She needed to consider the advantages and setbacks of the proposal.
Chu Li wrapped his fist and left.
For the following month, Chu Li rarely left the Moonlight Orchid parterre. He was preoccupied with growing the Moonlight Orchids and watching over the Dream of Pearls.
The Dream of Pearls grew again as expected but at a faster pace.
He planted a few seeds and tried to grow the Fairy Beards. He made sure to grow them based on their habits and properties. Just as he thought, the Fairy Beards required a great amount of aura to grow.
When the Fairy Beards were all done growing, the land which has been planted on would become infertile for at least five years. However, it was obvious Chu Li did not want the east garden to have an empty plot of land like a bald spot of a head.
Chu Li concentrated most of his efforts on the Dreams of Pearls. Day and night started to blur as he subconsciously manifested himself as the dream of pearl to feel the source of life. His understanding of the source of the withering deepened.
Under the moonlight glow, Chu Li sat the floor alone in the Moonlight Orchid parterre.
He plucked two flowers and put them gently laid them into a jade box. The vigor between him and the Dreams of Pearls is still connected. Chu Li could feel it fading away, but there was still a strand of life. There was death in its life, and there is life in its death, it was the cycle of the scripture of life and death.
All of a sudden, the words of the scripture of life and death appeared in his mind. A vision of the tree of life and death floated in his head and increasingly clearer.
"Bam!" A huge noise was heard. Everything in front of Chu Li's vision had turned black. His soul was activated and he dug into the tree of life and death. The vast and boundless energy drowned his soul as he became the tree of life and death.
Life flashed before his eyes of its infinite power on this world. He saw a vision of people at the knees of destruction; victims struggled helplessly at the mercy of tsunamis. They screamed in agonizing pain and prayed in desperation. Despite that, nothing is stopping death. After the era of living beings had faded out, the world will regrow again. Plants reclaimed the land but the earth was destroyed again. Again, life returned and was destroyed. This dance of life and death is repeated countlessly
In this cycle of life and death, the toughest thing on our planet are not humans, but rather plants. They absorbed the essences of the Earth and grew out strongly, following the steps of the Earth. They sprouted during spring and bloomed during summer, bearing fruits in autumn and hiding during winter. They protected themselves with the land and absorbed its power.
Chu Li slowly woke up from his daze. It felt as though a long period of time had passed. At the same time, he felt like nothing had changed at all.
He was rather unsure when his soul had returned back to his body, but it has certainly grown distant from the world. With his state of mind changed, the whole east garden was within the range of his omniscient mirror.
The moon was like a silver plate hanging from the night sky. By looking at the position of the moon, he estimated it had been about two hours.
In just under a split second, the world had transformed.
The omniscient mirror has the ability to reflect what holds within the subject. Chu Li then used it to check on himself. His spirit energy has double the size compared to his original limits, and his omniscient mirror could reflect as far as 3 miles away.
He could connect with plants as far as a hundred meters away. Through the ground, their auras are interlinked and have the viscosity of water. It was a big difference compared to the vapor-like aura he detected beforehand.
He now realized that the aura of the plants was divided into innate or acquired ones. Before this, Chu Li could attain access to the acquired auras. However, now he could alter their innate auras at will. When the innate auras from the plant flow through his body, it expanded the diameter of his veins.
He then operated the Minute Pulse technique while showing a grin.
His veins released a white ray of light as he conducted the technique. Not only was the foundation building done, it also activated the vein. It was the first leap to the first level!
His body was strengthened by a formless force, with the muscles, bones, veins, each part of the body became exceptionally firm and substantial. His body was full of energy that was not exhausting, he really wanted to lift his head and howl to the sky.
After checking for a while, he slowly calmed down. The Dreams of Pearls planted was weak, so he used the aura to repair its vitality.
The effect of his aura was getting stronger. After a while, the seeds became vigor and started to regenerate for its next round of glory in flowering.
The next morning, Su Ru arrived gracefully at the Moonlight Orchid parterre; she was as lovely as usual. Her perfume gave off a relaxing property when smelt.
Chu Li felt an intimate connection with Su Ru as he stared at her beautiful face. He felt like she was someone close to him from past lives. Last night, when Chu Li underwent the two intense hours of meditation, he undergo many cycles of reincarnation. His mental state has greatly matured.
When he saw Su Ru, it was like he had just been given soul. The feeling of a brand new life.
Su Ru took out a jade box from her sleeve and said: Chu Li, here are the two seeds. You can try it with your methods."
Chu Li take the box with both hands and gave her a bigger jade box in return.
Su Ru then asked: "Are the Fairy Beards done?"
Chu Li nodded. He told her about his considerations.
Su Ru widened her eyes. She smiled and said:"Not bad, Gu Litong still has not figured out how to grow them yet."
Chu Li rubbed his eyebrows for a bit.
Su Ru said: "The Fairy Beards is a valuable item for a horse but for a hefty price of having a few bald spots of land!"
"Let's not be greedy. They shouldn't eat too much of it. "Chu Li said.
Su Ru replied, "The Fairy Beards definitely shouldn't be eaten too much. Half a kilogram is quite sufficient and enough to enhance a horse's bones.
"If Lady Siao were to plant it," Chu Li said, "it would be better to plant it outside of the Public House."
Su Ru raised an eyebrow and said, "Let me ask Lady Siao in a while...in the meantime, you shall concentrate on the Dream of Pearls and treat it as your first priority. You now have already four of the seeds. Another six and you can move to rank six!"
"Not a problem!"
"Gu Litong didn't make it, therefore, you don't have to surrender as it will count as a tie." Su Ru smiled.
Chu Li smiled in return and nodded.