"What do you mean by a little test?" Xiao Tieying was dubious.
Chu Li said, "Use Lu Yurong's insignia and invite him."
"We would have to make it more believable!" Xiao Tieying shook his head. "Don't think that he's stupid. A person who's lived for more than a hundred years is for sure much wiser than we are. If we were to follow your idea, he'll certainly notice it's a trap... Unless, he really has a problem."
"I'm not worried that he won't fall into the trap," Chu Li said.
Xiao Tieying's curiosity was aroused. "What do you have planned?"
He saw Chu Li's confident look and was somewhat doubtful.
Chu Li said, "My Lady knows the Ren Public House's secret communication code, right?"
Xiao Qi nodded slightly. "Mm, I know a little."
"Invite him in the name of Lu Yurong." Chu Li smiled. "He'll most likely fall for it!"
Su Ru shook her head. "He won't be fooled so easily."
Chu Li smiled without saying a word.
"Let's give it a try," Xiao Qi said.
She glanced at Xiao Tieying.
Xiao Tieying snorted but made no comment.
There was nothing wrong with testing Zhao Zilai. If Zhao Zilai was innocent, he would not be able to detect anything. However, if Zhao Zilai was guilty, Xiao Tieying could no longer let him cure Xiao Shi.
Chu Li, Xiao Qi, and Su Ru stood on a boat. The boat was small and sailed on the lake.
A bright moon hung high up in the night sky and its moonlight shone onto the lake. They felt cool and pleasant.
A gentle and refreshing breeze blew against them.
"Is there really something wrong with him?" Xiao Qi said plainly.
Chu Li said, "I can't speak anymore of this in front of Master Xiao Tieying. I'm certain that there is something wrong with Zhao Zilai and we musn't let him cure Second Lady. However, I'm afraid that if I say this, Master Xiao Tieying will begin to doubt me. He might think that I have ulterior motives instead!"
"You aren't afraid that my Lady will doubt you for having ulterior motives?" Su Ru snorted.
Chu Li smiled.
Xiao Qi cast an askance glance at Su Ru and said emotionlessly, "Even if he has something to do with Lu Yurong, he wouldn't dare harm Second Eldest Sister."
"What if Lu Yurong were to come looking for him personally?" Chu Li said.
Xiao Qi looked at him thoughtfully.
Chu Li said, "Lu Yurong may be able to do those kind of things."
"Lu Yurong would personally look for him?" Su Ru had a sudden realization and pointed at Chu Li. "Oh... I understand now. No wonder you're so confident that he'll fall for it!"
Chu Li scoffed. "This can be considered as borrowing Lu Yurong's influence."
Su Ru understood Chu Li's idea right away. He wanted to intercept Lu Yurong's plot. Zhao Zilai knew that Lu Yurong would come to find him. They could give him a letter using the Ren Public House's secret codes before Lu Yurong did.
If there was something wrong with him, he would fall for it.
"Chu Li, you're really cunning!" Su Ru snorted.
Chu Li said, "For the Second Lady, we must do so... My Lady, can't we look for Lu Yurong? We've always been on the defensive side and eventually, something unpreventable will happen. We need to strike first to gain the initiative."
"You've not seen Lu Yurong, right?"
"... Look for an opportunity and go see her," Xiao Qi said plainly.
Su Ru said, "It's not that easy. Lu Yurong almost always stays in the Public House and doesn't come out. My Lady, we've only met her once."
Chu Li asked curiously, "Lu Yurong hardly leaves the Public House?"
"She only needs to plan strategies. It's unnecessary for her, the strategist, to be on the battlefield," Xiao Qi said. "Lu Yurong plans everything in advance and considers all the possible routes to take. They just need to follow her plan."
"She takes all unexpected events into account?" Chu Li frowned.
Xiao Qi said, "Indeed, almost everything."
"She's really terrifying!" Chu Li shook his head and sighed.
He had to admit that he was not ready for such a challenge. Although he had a high IQ, he still was not proficient in planning. This Lu Yurong was really scary.
Xiao Qi said, "She's quite mysterious and I've only met her once."
"What kind of person is she like?" Chu Li asked.
He could not help but be curious. He activated the Omniscient Mirror and looked inside Xiao Qi's mind.
He saw an image of a graceful woman riding on a bay horse. The woman was wearing a white veil and was dressed in a white gown. Before Chu Li could catch a glimpse of her face, she galloped past him.
Xiao Qi shook her head. "I cannot see through her thoughts."
She pondered and looked at Chu Li.
She could see through other people's thoughts, but she could not see through Chu Li's. It was like looking at a pond filled with clear, placid water. She could only see the bottom of the pond and there was nothing.
Furthermore, her senses were far more sensitive compared to ordinary people. She could feel it when someone looked into her thoughts. Just now she felt something, it must have been Chu Li who had the power to look into someone else's mind.
Chu Li said, "It seems like I need to go to the Ren Public House."
"Jiang Kuai is proficient in the art of bone shrinking so learn that skill from him," Xiao Qi said plainly. "Change your appearance and go to the Public House, maybe you will have a chance to meet Lu Yurong. She's always staying in the Public House, but she'll need to come out when there's a special occasion."
Lu Yurong visits her brother's grave every year.
"The Bone Shrinkage Skill isn't something that can be learnt by anyone." Chu Li laughed and shook his head.
The Bone Shrinkage Skill was not a top-notch martial art. In fact, it was just a simple heart technique. However, because of this simplicity it was harder to practice successfully. It was easy to learn its basics, but difficult to master them. It was very unlikely anyone would reach Jiang Kuai's realm.
Most people who practiced it could only make themselves a little shorter. Moreover, they were only able to maintain the skill for a short while. However, Jian Kuai could shrink his body and maintain its shape for a day.
Chu Li believed that he could master the Bone Shrinkage Skill, entering a realm that has never been reached before by anyone, be it in the past or present, just like his Light-body Technique. This was due to the consumption of the bizarre fruit which changed his constitution.
Early in the morning, Zhao Zilai woke up from his meditation.
He came out to the courtyard and breathed in the fresh air. His whole body felt relaxed.
The air here was completely different compared to the dry air in Fairy's Capital. The air here was humid and fresh, just a single breath of air could bring relaxation.
Unfortunately, he could not stay here long as Fairy's Capital was his home.
A maid served him his meal. After he had eaten, he strode out of the small courtyard and took a stroll beside a lake.
The island he lived on was an abode. The courtyard was exquisite and elegant, with rockery and water fountains that were designed by famous architects. It was extraordinary but when compared to an imperial house, it was ordinary.
He strolled around the island and walked back slowly.
Suddenly, he stopped and his gaze swept across a rockery. He could see a pattern on a rock very clearly.
This pattern, at first glance, looked like it was part of the rock's natural structure. It was inconspicuous, but he knew that this was the unique symbol used by Lu Yurong.
He was astonished: this Lu Yurong lassie really came to find him? She was infinitely resourceful!
He assumed that Lu Yurong must've had many informants in the Public House: she knew that he was here right after he had arrived and looked for him.
He glanced at the pattern again and thought carefully. He understood the message hidden in the pattern and continued to walk back to the small courtyard. He sat in the courtyard and started reading.
When a maid served him tea, Zhao Zilai asked her a few questions about the surrounding environment casually. The maid answered him cautiously. He waved his hand, indicating that the maid did not have to serve him and that he wanted to be alone.
He spent the day in peace. Xiao Tieying did not come again and let him rest for a day.
When the lanterns around him lit up, he told the maid that he would not be having dinner and then got on a boat. He went out of the Public House and walked along the main street until he reached Sky Inn.
Sky Inn was the largest restaurant in Chong Ming Town. Although it was three floors high and looked imposing, he felt like it was no less inferior to the restaurants in Fairy's Capital.
He studied the inn a few times before heading to the third floor. When he saw the person who was sitting at a table near the window, his heart sank.
Xiao Tieying and Lin Quan were sitting by the window, quietly watching him.