Chu Li stepped into the boat.
The boat was on water as the breeze passed his face. His blue robe was floating about. He looked as if he was thinking about something.
Narrowed World could pass through the void and he could immediately appear in the Island of Symphony. He did not activate it in the Public House because he did not want any others to know that he could.
The islands of Yi Public House were separated by bodies of water, making the Public House safer as it was more segregated. If they knew that Narrowed World voided this characteristic, they would have been unable to rest well.
Chu Li guessed that Lady Siao Shi wanted him to go over this time to discuss the matters of Prince An.
The boat was floating along the lake like a lone leaf. With great speeds carrying the boat, they reached the Island of Symphony in no time.
A delicate and beautiful maid was waiting on the shores. She saw as Chu Li arrived and folded the lower corners of her gown to greet Chu Li, "Chief Chu Li, please follow me."
Chu Li nodded.
The maid gracefully lead the way. Chu Li softly asked, "How's the Second Lady's mood?"
"Lady Siao Shi is depressed," The delicate maid said, "It looks like she's worried about the thing with the Chief."
Chu Li nodded and said nothing.
They went into a floral sea and entered the pagoda in the courtyard.
The pagoda was surrounded and covered by a white veil.
It gently floated along with the wind, like mist.
Within curtain was Siao Shi dressed in a white gown, holding her hand in the air as she sat in front of the short tea table. She was in her own world. Her peptachord was shining a gentle light. It was not an ordinary item.
"Lady Siao Shi, Chief Chu Li has arrived," the maid gently reported.
Siao Shi turned and beckoned Chu Li.
Chu Li entered the pagoda. His surroundings were obscured by the veil and it had a surprisingly serene feel.
"Sit down," Siao Shi pointed at the garden stool to her opposite.
Chu Li fist saluted and sat down as he quietly looked at Siao Shi.
Siao Shi's facial features were both beautiful and dreamy. It made people unable to help themselves, praising the beauty of nature. For nature itself to produce such a beauty.
Siao Shi sighed and asked, "Chu Li, do you want to join me to the Imperial Residence of Prince An?"
Chu Li nodded.
"You really intend to follow me?" Siao Shi asked again.
Chu Li answered in a single beat, "Yes."
Siao Shi gently shook her head, "But I don't want you to go!"
Her eyes were like spring water, quietly dripping on Chu Li's face as she observed Chu Li's expression, "You've saved me twice. I don't want to express any more gratitude to you.."
He had decided on her, sacrificed his life twice because of love. If she had said thank you on any of those occasions, it would have been taken as courtesy and alienated him. It would have hurt him.
She would have disappointed his infatuation of her.
After going through so much pain, standing on the line between life and death, she had become cold and numb. Her heart was already tired at such a young age. She no longer fell in love at first sight and never will fall in love. Even when Chu Li sacrificed his life to save her, she only felt a little touched. Nothing close to love.
Even if someone was better than Chu Li in every manner by a factor of ten, she still would not have fallen in love.
This could have only be blamed on fate. The heart of the girl Chu Li met was dead.
This was unfair to Chu Li.
She had the thought of allowing Chu Li to stay by her side because she felt more relieved and no longer lonely with him around, but she still stood firm. No matter how Brother Siao Tieying and Sister Siao Qi persuaded her, she would never change her decision. She did not want to let Chu Li follow her. It was far too ruthless to him.
Chu Li said, "Second Lady, I think you've misunderstood something."
Siao Shi looked at him with her spring water-like eyes.
Chu Li sighed to himself.
It was a pair of eyes that made every man lose their way. No man could resist it!
Chu Li composed himself and smiled, "I saved Lady Siao Shi because it was my duty. I did my best to fulfill it, not because of personal feelings."
"Ah" Siao Shi's eyes continued to be focused on him.
Chu Li knew that she had not given up just yet. She was still not convinced. He continued, "The one I like actually isn't Lady Siao Shi."
Siao Shi's eyes did not even blink. She wanted to observe if it was true or false.
Was he afraid that he will feel guilty himself? Was that why he said it like that?
Even if it was only suffering awaiting him, he still wanted to stay with her and follow her. Chu Li's love was far too deep. He definitely dared to do and say anything in order to convince himself.
Chu Li looked calm.
Both of their gazes were intersected in the air.
"Then who's the one that you like?" Siao Shi calmly asked.
Chu Li hesitated and kept quiet.
Siao Shi continued, "Are you trying to fool me?"
Chu Li shook his head.
Siao Shi showed small signs of a smile, "Then tell me. Who is it?"
Chu Li asked, "Can Second Lady keep this a secret?"
"Seems like she's a great person!" Siao Shi pursed her lips as she gently smiled, "Very well then! I'll keep this a secret between the both of us!"
She knew she was rather eccentric today. She did not like people and liked to isolate herself. She hated anyone who appeared in her field of vision, but Chu Li was an exception. Maybe he was the one she let her guard down around.
In Chu Li's presence, she felt very relaxed.
Chu Li slowly said, "The Third Lady."
"...Hmm?" Siao Shi's eyes widened.
Chu Li continued, "The one that I like is the Third Lady."
Siao Shi furrowed her brows and stared at him, "Sister Siao Qi...?"
She found it hard to believe.
Siao Qi's beauty was not inferior to hers but Siao Qi's temperament was a little off. She was cold, otherworldly, and seen as above the common folk.
Men still liked women that were as gentle as water. Just like her temperament, Siao Qi was cold and lacked any feminine traits. Men would have only taken a step back in her presence.
Chu Li slowly nodded, "Yes."
"You really like Sister Siao Qi?" Siao Shi did not blink.
Chu Li answered, "I really do like the Third Lady."
"You're not kidding, are you?" Siao Shi asked.
Siao Qi cultivated the Rooted Soul heart technique. It required the user to detach themselves from any form of affection. The moment she chose to cultivate this, she had already made up her mind to be alone forever and unburdened by the mundane. She wanted to pursue the finest of martial arts, achieving the level of an Enlightened Master.
If Chu Li really liked Siao Qi, then his plight was destined to be futile.
Chu Li answered, "How can we joke about this kind of thing!?"
Siao Shi was still unconvinced.
She could not tell anything from Chu Li's expression. Did he really like Sister Siao Qi, or did he want to make Siao Shi give up and have her not feel guilty about it? Was that why he said this on purpose?
She felt a little complicated and restless. She calmly said, "Sister Siao Qi is pure and clean. She definitely attracts affection, but the two of you are impossible."
Chu Li nodded, "I know. Our status has too great a difference."
Siao Shi waved off her hand in disagreement, "This isn't about status anymore."
Chu Li smiled, "I still think that this is about status, however. If I accomplish enough and build my success enough, I'll be able to be matched with the Third Lady in the future!"
"Don't you already have your own island?" Siao Shi asked.
Chu Li gently nodded.
"You know what that means?" Siao Shi said.
Chu Li shook his head.
Siao Shi made a forced smile, "That means you're no longer inferior in status to us. Other than the fact that Brother Siao Tieying will be the future High Duke, the three of us siblings are all Island Leaders. You're an Island Leader too! We're on an equal footing, so you already match with Sister Siao Qi! There's no need to push your success any further."
He still showed his flaw in character. Every excuse he made was in an attempt to convince her to let him join her to the Imperial Residence of Prince An.
He claimed that he liked Siao Qi and half of it may have been true, but the other half of it was an excuse for him to accompany her.
Chu Li sighed, "Lady Siao Shi, I actually intend to go to the Imperial Residence of Prince An to increase my knowledge and experience."
"This sounds more true to me!" Siao Shi scoffed.
Chu Li explained, "The Imperial Residence of Prince An isn't our Public House. There'll definitely be intrigue awaiting. I can assist if I'm there! I have no improper desires towards the Second Lady! There's no need to worry and overthink."
Siao Shi rolled her eyes as she scoffed, "Seems like I'm inferior to Sister Siao Qi."
Chu Li awkwardly smiled. He did not deny it.
"I'll take this as it being one-sided from me!" Siao Shi waved off her hand and scoffed, "Alright! You can follow me!"
Chu Li fist saluted and left.