Chu Li sighed, "Is the Second Lady that determined to enter the Imperial Residence of Prince An...?"
"She has already made up her mind. Who in the world can persuade her?" Siao Qi glanced at Siao Tieying as she said.
Siao Tieying looked helpless, "I've tried, but it's useless. They're already here. It's too late to do anything now!"
Prince An and Siao Shi's engagement was a verbal contract, but the one who officiated it was the Emperor and the High Duke. Both of their words were irrefutable. Therefore, it was based on the implication of such. If the both Emperor and the High Duke were not serious about it, the contract could be voided. However, if even one of them were serious, the other party had to comply.
Chu Li furrowed his brows and kept quiet.
He understood why the Second Lady made the decision. The Yi Public House's power was waning day by day. Ren Public House even had a political marriage with the Huay Public House. The situation was slowly getting worse. The marriage between her and Prince An can stabilize the morale of the Public House and retain its prosperity.
Siao Tieying said, "Chu Li...sigh,sorry to bother you with this!"
He knew that Chu Li was leaning his affection toward Siao Shi. If it were not so, he would not have almost given up his life to save Siao Shi twice.
Chu Li sighed, "At this point, I think I'll try my best to persuade the Second Lady. Joining the Imperial Residence by herself is worrisome."
"There's no need to worry," Siao Tieying scoffed and continued, "We can't let her do whatever she wants now. Even if she has qualms about it, you'll still follow her there!"
Chu Li replied, "What if she forces me to return? I can't just disobey those orders."
"I'll author a warrant for you," Siao Tieying scoffed, "What she says will have no bearing on you!"
Chu Li nodded in agreement, "That'd be a much better way."
Siao Qi glanced at Siao Tieying from the edge of her eyes. She wondered what he was trying to do. If he had resorted to this ironclad attitude any sooner, things would not have spiraled out of control. They had even attracted the attention of the personnel from Prince An's Imperial Residence.
Siao Tieying said, "Chu Li, take care of my sister. She's torturing herself as well. The both of you"
He shook his head as he said those words. He felt sorry for Chu Li because he was the one who made things hard for him.
As an indomitable and confident man, seeing the woman that he loved marrying another man and being forced to attend the wedding itself was indeed torture.
Chu Li agreed to do it. He was really enduring the humiliation as part of the important mission. Looking at the big picture, he deserved a large compensation.
Siao Tieying turned to Siao Qi, "Sister, Chu Li is handling a courtyard on his own right now, isn't he? We'll give him an entire island."
Chu Li quickly waved off his hand and smiled, "Master Siao Tieying! There's no need to do that! I do not dare accept!"
Gifting an island and being placed in charge of an island were two completely different things. Siao Tieying seriously intended to give Chu Li an island. Everything on the island would have belonged to him and the Public House would have had no rights to interfere with anything he did there. It was like having a Public House in the Public House. The status was completely different.
The temptation was huge but he did not want to leave Guardian of the Jade. Living in the Guardian of the Jade was like living with Siao Qi. Any moment he wanted to look at her, he could have simply done so with the Omniscient Mirror. He felt empty if he did not lay eyes on Siao Qi for even a day.
It would have been truly meaningless if he lived in an island, all alone.
Siao Qi furrowed her brows as she muttered, "Hmm. It'd be good to give him an island."
Chu Li interjected, "Lady Siao Qi!"
Siao Qi replied, "You can't possibly stay cooped up in my island forever."
Chu Li smiled, "I'll have less worries in your island! Besides, Lady Siao Qi will be leaving the Public House and so will Su Ru. The Guardian of the Jade would have no caretaker!"
"I guess that makes sense," Siao Qi gently nodded.
Siao Tieying smiled, "How about this, I'll give you an island and you can stay there, but you can also stay at the Guardian of the Jade whenever you choose to. You decide when you're free. Tell me when you're done choosing the island."
"Many thanks, Master Siao Tieying," Chu Li did not reject the offer. This was indeed the greatest reward for a Scribe of the Public House.
He swiftly changed the topic, "What should we do about the Desolate Town's Mayor?"
"Sigh," Siao Tieying suddenly sighed, "This is really troublesome!"
"Why did the Wang Brothers want to kill him?" Chu Li asked.
Siao Tieying scoffed, "The mayor definitely deserves death. His son robs the female citizens and now the parents of the victim want to bring it to the courthouse. What now? He's gotten himself thrown into prison and sentenced to torture till death! This is completely wild."
Chu Li furrowed his brows.
Siao Qi scoffed, "The Wang Brothers make this act really gratify peoples, this is really"
Chu Li said, "If that's the case, let's not say that he was murdered by others in the memorial to the throne that we're going to hand in to the Emperor. Shall we say that he died because of disease? What do you think?"
"Hmm...?" Siao Tieying grasped his own chin, "That's quite a good idea. We'll do it just like that and we'll pass Young Song's apology memorial to the throne too. I believe the Emperor will have to act confused."
"Not only will this help us protect the Public House's prestige," Chu Li said, "This'll also be a warning to other Mayors. If they were the cause of any outrage, we wouldn't let them off scot-free!"
"This is a great idea!" Siao Tieying smiled, "These fellows take over whole towns with no one controlling them, so they always did some revolting things. The people of the martial arts world won't just lie down and and take it. We still need some assistance to deal with this problem, it's quite a repetitive issue. The best choice we have is to send all of them a warning!"
Siao Qi furrowed her brows and offered her opinion, "We'll offend the Mayors if we do this."
"Then let it be," Siao Tieying scoffed, "They wouldn't dare to do a thing!"
Chu Li said, "Lady Siao Qi, when dealing with these Mayors, you need to use threats. Let them feel fear or else they'd continue whatever they were doing with the wrath of god and the resentment of men shouldered on their backs. The reputation they corrupted was still the reputation of our Public House."
"That is true!" Siao Tieying slammed the table, "We should've finished them off long ago!"
Siao Qi gently nodded and said nothing.
Chu Li returned to the courtyard and Xue Ling diligently served him. She prepared a whole table of great dishes and good wine.
She used her clean and fair hand to pour the wine, then sat to the opposite of Chu Li. Her cold face turned into a warm smile, "Master, did you catch the culprit?"
Chu Li gently took a sip of wine and shook his head.
"Isn't it the Wang Brothers?" Xue Ling asked, "Master still hasn't caught them?"
Chu Li explained, "They're the High Officials of Huay Public House."
"So we can't touch them?" Xue Ling scoffed, unconvinced.
Of course, she knew how powerful the Public House was. Her Master killed the Imperial House's High Official and was safe from allegations. Not even mentioning that the man was only a Mayor.
Chu Li nodded, "We can't touch them."
Xue Ling pursed her red lips.
Chu Li said, "Do you know why Wang Zheng Zong and Wang Zi Xu killed the Desolate Town's Mayor?"
He explained the reason to Xue Ling.
Xue Ling furrowed her brows, "Injustice as an officer, bullying the citizen into submission? D*mn it!"
Chu Li lifted a piece of beef, sent it straight into his mouth, and slowly chewed it.
Xue Ling scoffed, "Are we just going to let this slide?"
"What can we do even if we cared?" Chu Li asked, "Both are polarizing. They've done good and bad. Standing out for this kind of guy is not authoritative and fair at all. That would unleash all the Mayors. Besides, Huay Public House would've also surrendered."
He explained the situation as Xue Ling helplessly stared at him, "Master Chu Li, these kinds of offensive jobs surely must be done by you, no matter what!"
Chu Li smiled and replied, "Who'll go if I don't?"
"I believe High Duke Song wouldn't dare to take it too far if Master Siao Tieying decided to go personally."
"Maybe not," Chu Li shook his head, "What if High Duke Song made it difficult for Master Siao Tieying? Our Public House would lose face!"
"High Duke Song is really awful!"
"As long as the person was dead, there would be no favor to repay," Chu Li sighed, "He really thinks that the High Duke bode ill rather than well."
"That's very disappointing!" Xue Ling scoffed.
Chu Li said, "There must've been some sides of the story that outsiders don't know about. Fine, there's no point in discussing them. Did anything else happen in the Public House?"
"Everyone was discussing Prince An and Second Lady's engagement!" Xue Ling smiled, "Everyone is quite happy."
Chu Li furrowed his brows.
Xue Ling continued, "Prince An has a good reputation and he's even a prince! Everyone believes that he's the perfect match with the Second Lady! If she married over, Ren Public House wouldn't dare to cause trouble anymore!"
Chu Li sighed to himself as he nodded.
"Bam Bam!" A knock rang throughout the courtyard. Su Ru pushed the door open and walked in. She was in yellow this time and her beautiful face was clear, flawless as ever.
She entered the courtyard, "Chu Li, Lady Siao Shi wants you over."
"Chief," Xue Ling stood up to welcome her.
Su Ru waved as a signal to drop the courtesy as she carefully stared Chu Li.
Chu Li nodded, stood up, and left.