"Chu Li is not dead yet!" Siao Qi said.
Siao Tieying sighed. He said flatly, "Little sister, a dead man will not come back alive. My deepest condolences to you!"
Siao Qi was dissatisfied at his attitude and replied, "No, big brother. I was there. I saw it clearly!"
From the way she told him, Siao Tieying could see that she might be telling the truth. But still, he half-believed the story, "Is he really not dead yet?"
"I can't be sure." Siao Qi shook her head, "His did not have any vital signs of life, but his body temperature was still relatively warm, it did not feel like a dead body."
"So, you're telling me, there's a chance that he could be revived?" Siao Tieying looked rejuvenated upon hearing this new information.
Siao Qi said, "I genuinely think that he won't die."
Siao Tieying frowned, he then said, "Then, we must heal him at once! Does Elder Guo know how?"
"If Elder Guo had any ideas, he would not stand by and do nothing." Siao Qi shook her head whilst saying, "For Chu Li's situation, I'm sure Elder Guo did not know how to save him. Chu Li could only count on himself."
Chu Li showed no signs of life, and his body laid there as still as a log. Even the medicine and herbs are of no effect for him. However, his body had a hint of warmth left, meaning that his spirit had not left his body for good. There was still a chance for him to wake up. God knows if he was still struggling hard inside his own body.
If that was the case, nobody from the outside would be able to help him. He could only count on himself.
Siao Tieying stood up and nervously threaded around, "There should be a way!"
Siao Qi said, "Let me go and ask Grandma Sun. She reads a lot, maybe she knows how."
"Yes, go now." Siao Tieying replied, excitement written all over his face.
On the brink of losing Chu Li, Siao Tieying realized how important he was to him. He was indeed irreplaceable. If he had really lost him, the Public House would lose a pillar of strength.
Chu Li drifted in and out of consciousness from time to time. He was in the world of oblivion, and he felt like he was plunged into a void of nothingness. Everything around him was grayish and blurred, with a mysterious layer of mist surrounding him. He could not see clearly where he was, and what was around him. He could only make out a small narrow trail leading from under his feet into the heart of the strange fog in front of him.
When he slowly recovered his senses, he followed the small path and walked forward. After walking for what seemed like an eternity, there was still nothing around him, only the thick layer of mist. The landscape looked the same everywhere.
He could sense that something was amiss. He stopped and tried to figure out what was going on.
He could still remember the moment right before he collapsed. He could recall that he was struck by a bolt of lightning, and almost instantly, he was knocked out cold. He genuinely thought that he would die, but luckily, he did not. It could be that his powerful spirit had allowed him to escape unscathed, or it could be that a kind of magical force was protecting him.
He bent down and touched the narrow trail under him. The trail was made of a strange material, it felt like metal, but felt like wood too. But if there was one thing he was sure of, it was not cement. Could it be that he was walking on a small wooden path?
But soon after, he rejected the thought. He stopped caring about what the trail was made of. He instead shifted his focus on figuring a way out of the mysterious fog around him. He needed to wake up quickly. Because if he had not, the people outside would assume that he was already dead, then proceeding to bury him.
He crossed his legs and sat down. He started picturing the White Tiger Arts in his mind. The white tiger appeared before him, looking vivid as always. But what was different was that there was not a single streak of energy in his surroundings. The place looked like it was blockaded from the physical world. But it could also be because of the unusual situation right now.
Which was why he switched to the Scripture of Life and Death.
As soon as the Tree of Fallen Glory appeared before him, he felt inspired. His eyes opened widely.
A giant tree appeared about ten steps in front of him. It was humongous in size and completely obstructed his view. Its trunk looked tall and huge, and seemed to grow all the way up into the skies, so high up that he could not even find the top of the tree. It looked as if he was a tiny ant standing below a tree.
He stepped forward and touched the tree. At that instant, a strange feeling surged into him. He felt his flesh and blood becoming compact and condensed. Then, reality sank home. This, was the Tree of Fallen Glory!
He jolted upright, and all the mist surrounding him started swirling and gushing towards the tree. That made the image of the tree clearer.
The thick fog seemed to be endless, and the Tree of Fallen Glory felt real. Chu Li felt that his flesh and blood were bound with the tree, unifying as one. His visions gradually became clearer. Soon, they became one, he was the tree, and the tree was him!
"Boom!" The scene right in front of him exploded. His mind turned blank.
He could hear a soft humming in his ears. He also felt a stream of mysterious energy trapped in his chest. He could not hold back the feeling anymore, he opened his mouth and gasped for breath. A loud, deafening wail came out from his mouth, shaking the entire Island of Jade.
Xue Linge was kneeling beside him at the time. She stared at Chu Li with her reddish, teary eyes, astonished by the sight of him waking up from unconsciousness. Chu Li slowly opened his eyes and sat upright.
"Ma. Master?" Xue Linge called him hesitantly, afraid that what she was seeing was only a hallucination. She feared that if she had spoken too loudly, she would be aroused from this beautiful dream.
Chu Li glanced around him, to the right and then to the left. He then smiled, "How long has it been?"
"One day." Xue Linge hesitated for a second before reaching out her hand towards him. She touched his face.
Chu Li slapped on hand, smiling, "You're not dreaming, silly. I'm alive!"
"You're really alive!" Xue Linge's eyes gleamed brightly.
"I won't die so easily!" Chu Li smiled.
Xue Linge wiped away the tears on her face, "Master, youyouscared me!"
Chu Li smiled, "Don't be sad anymore, go and tell the Lady I'm okay."
"Yes!" Xue Linge hurriedly picked herself up, then went straight to the door. Before stepping out, she stole another glance back and Chu Li, in fear that she was still dreaming.
Chu Li waved at her and smiled, sending her off with his smiling eyes.
He sat there cross-legged. He closed his eyes briefly and felt his body.
A strange feeling emerged out of nowhere. The aura from the surroundings started flowing into his body. The pure aura consisted of two types of energy, one symbolizing life, the other symbolizing death.
Just like the protons and electrons within an atom, combining as one. He had always felt that the pure aura of the mystical plant was not plain simple, and it was clear to him now. It comprised of two elements, the energy of life and the energy of death.
Chu Li felt inspired, as he started separating those two constituents, splitting the aura into two bundles of energy, emitting each into the two herbal plants beside him respectively.
Almost instantly, the two plants started experiencing transformations. One spurted its growth and grew an inch taller, looking vibrant. While the other one started wilting.
A smile etched out on Chu Li's face, he had finally broken the deadlock. He had finally stepped up to the second stage of the Scripture of Life and Death!
He activated his Omniscient Mirror, and everything within five miles' radius from him came into view. Every streak of floral aura within a mile away from him started swirling towards him. The vibrant energy from all around him started swarming onto him, seeping into his body. They helped rejuvenate his body and restored him to full strength. Chu Li could feel that his powers were upped by another level.
But shame was that he was still within the innate master's boundary, so he could not fully understand enlightenment. He was still unable to step over the grandmaster's boundary.
A shadow flashed across him. Siao Qi appeared right in front of him, her bright eyes staring at him.
Chu Li opened his eyes and smiled, "Lady Siao."
"So, you're really alright now?" Siao Qi asked.
Chu Li flashed a smile and nodded, "Yes, I'm quite tough!"
Siao Qi stared meanly at him, "It's not about how tough you are, you're just plain lucky. Next time around, you may not be so lucky!...Do you still feel any discomfort?"
"I'm good." Chu Li smiled.
Siao Qi let out a sigh of relief. Her worries were finally resolved. Suddenly, fatigue hit home. She called out to Xue Linge and Su Ru, who had just arrived. "Go and make me something to eat."
Xue Linge replied with a yes, then glanced at Chu Li. She scurried back into the kitchen.
Su Ru approached Chu Li, and squeezed on his shoulder, "Well, you're really alive! Chu Li, please don't do that again!"
Chu Li laughed, "I'm sorry I made you worry, my Lady. I promise it won't happen again."
"I was not even worried!" Siao Qi scoffed.
Su Ru grinned, "We all thought you were dead. Right, back to the topic. Do you really fancy the Second Lady that much? To the point that you're willing to give up your life for hers?"
Chu Li smiled bitterly and shook his head, "I was just doing what was necessary. I dared not have any feelings for the Second Lady!"
"That's enough, Chu Li." Su Ru smiled, "Stop denying the truth, we could see it clearly!"
Chu Li smiled, "It's really just a misunderstanding."
"My second sister is the nation's number one beauty. It wouldn't be strange if you had fell for her." Siao Qi said flatly.
Chu Li explained, "Lady, please don't say that. I don't want to taint the Second Lady's good name."
Siao Qi seemed unimpressed, "The Second Lady's good name. Hmph!"
"Lady Siao, allow me to pass this news to Master Siao and Lady Siao Shi." Su Ru said.
Siao Qi waved at her, signaling her to go.
Su Ru threw a mean stare at Chu Li, "Don't do that again next time, yeah?"
"Of course." Chu Li smiled.
Su Ru moved her lips from side to side. Chu Li had always promised the same thing, but still, he never changed his behavior.
Soon, Xue Linge walked out of house, holding two bowls of porridge. Chu Li and Siao Qi ate the porridge, then set foot to the Stargazing Tower. When they reached the third floor of the building, Siao Tieying and the others quickly welcomed them in.