As Chu Li stepped into the Guardian of Jade Island, Su Ru quickly rushed over to welcome him. She waved as he approached.
Chu Li smiled and fist saluted, following her to the Stargazing Tower's third floor.
Siao Qi was donned in a white gown. The reflection of light from her sword seemed like water.
Siao Qi saw Chu Li enter and sheathed her sword into her scabbard. An eerie aura came from the sword as it was slowly sheathed.
He was amazed. Her swordsmanship was improving far too quickly. She controlled the blade as if it were an extension of herself. It shattered the earth as she moved it, and it might as well be invisible when it stood still.
Siao Qi passed her sword to Su Ru. She pointed to the garden stool and the both of them sat at the stool to her opposite.
"So...how is it? Did Sister Siao Shi agree?"
"You're really the one to have come up with all these ideas!" Siao Qi calmly said, "It never worked no matter how hard I and Brother Siao Tieying tried to persuade her. I can finally go without worries if this is how everything falls into place."
Chu Li asked, "When will the envoys of the Imperial Residence of Prince An arrive?"
"Normally, they'd arrive tomorrow afternoon," Siao Qi answered, "You'll follow me to choose your island first."
Chu Li nodded.
Siao Qi continued, "We still have about twenty islands left in the Public House. You can choose any of them, big and small, near and far. Forget about the ones too far, though."
"Alright," Chu Li replied.
Siao Qi took the teacup Su Ru served and broke into a smile, "So, how did you persuade Sister Siao Shi?"
Chu Li smiled and said nothing.
Siao Qi fiercely stared at him, "Okay, I won't ask. I've also gathered some intel from the Imperial Residence of Prince An. I'll have Su Ru bring you to Glory's Will Courtyard. You can slowly see and get a rough idea of what's going on when you get there."
Chu Li gently took a sip from the teacup he was served.
Siao Qi announced, "Then we shall head off to choose an island, right now!"
She placed her teacup onto the table along with Chu Li. They left the Stargazing Tower together.
As the three of them boarded the boat, Chu Li said, "Ah, that's right, I'll bring Xue Ling along to have a look as well."
"You're really meticulous, aren't you?" Su Ru pursed her lips. She smiled and said, " Xue Ling isn't in the courtyard at the moment. I think she went over to the Hall of Martial Arts."
Chu Li nodded. They boarded the boat and sailed to the eastern side.
After fifteen thousand meters of travel, they arrived at the shore of a small island.
The three of them looked around the island. No one had tidied up the place. It was messy and quite inhospitable the trees and brushes were thick and not uniform. It had no aesthetic to it but it looked rather wildly full of life.
Chu Li glanced around the area and shook his head as a rejection. The island was large but he did not like it.
After that, he arrived at ten other islands for a look, taking a look from far away and closer to the islands. The last one they planned on visiting was only one thousand and five hundred meters northwest of the Guardian of Jade Island.
Siao Qi stood at the bow of the boat and pointed at the island, "Back in the day, I really wanted that island. Brother Siao Tieying didn't let me, rambling on about how it wasn't big and lordly enough so I had to choose another one. How about you go up and see if you like it?"
Chu Li walked into the small island and activated Omniscient Mirror.
The island was round and about half the size of the Guardian of Jade Island Island. It was full of trees, many of them prosperous. A much better sight than in a lot of other islands.
There was aura surging forth from all directions. He felt the essence of aura. The aura from a few colossal trees in the area were significantly purer than the typical kind of aura he encountered regularly. They had apparently lived for a really long time and were not common items.
The island's vigor was much more prosperous than any of the other islands. Even the land was full of aura.
Chu Li nodded in satisfaction, "It'll be this one!"
"Look here" Siao Qi looked at him, "Don't you think it's a little small?"
The island was only twice size of the East Garden and was also a little too close to the Guardian of Jade Island Island. It was a little too close for comfort for most people, so no one chose this island.
Chu Li affirmed his choice, "There's nothing to do in a big island anyway."
"It'd be much more spacious, no?" Siao Qi asked.
Chu Li shook his head, "How much space could I possibly occupy alone!?"
Siao Qi replied, "Well, that's only for now. How about in the future? Your woman, kids, grandchildren, even your great-grandchildren! They'll all be staying here as well! You'll regret it then when you don't have enough space for everyone."
"That's right," Su Ru pursed her lips and smirked, "This island will be yours, forever."
Chu Li smiled, "Life will indeed change with the passing of time, but we'll think about that when we get there. I choose this island."
"Young Su Ru, you'll have to deal with the rest," Siao Qi turned and said, "Don't make Chu Li worry over this."
"Very well, I'll quickly get someone to tidy up the place and find someone to build a nice place," Su Ru said, "You can move in after half a year or so."
Chu Li said, "Chief still needs to go to Snow Lunar Pavillion. Just let me handle the rest."
"I'll bring Xue Ling along and teach her so she can take over whenever I'm not around," Su Ru smiled as she replied, "Let Xue Ling take care of these petty matters next time."
Chu Li nodded.
The sunset dyed the courtyard red in the second evening.
Chu Li sat in the pagoda, cultivating the Art of White Tiger. He was satisfied.
He had ordered Xue Ling to go to the Stargazing Tower to ask if the Envoys had arrived after she lit the beautiful lanterns. He felt an ominous foreboding.
After Xue Ling left the courtyard, Chu Li stood and left the pagoda. He stopped in front of Glory's Will, raised his head and looked to the skies.
Xue Ling returned fairly quickly, pushing the door open. Her complexion was rather pale, "Master! The Envoys of the Imperial Residence of Prince An! They're missing!"
Chu Li arched his eyebrows in confusion.
Xue Ling continued, "The Protectors we sent to escort them are also gone."
"Where'd they disappear to?"
"The outskirts of the Soaring Aves Town."
Chu Li thought to himself. The Soaring Aves Town and where he stood was twenty-five thousand meters apart.
"Lady Siao Qi has already gone over to the Iron Eagle Island. Do you want to go and see what's going on, Master?" Xue Ling asked.
Chu Li shook his head.
"You don't want to go, Master?"
"Going now is pointless," Chu Li said, "Master Siao Tieying is much more experienced in matters like these. We'll just wait for the news."
Xue Ling scoffed, "You're really good at keeping your composure, Master!"
Siao Tieying was sitting in the main hall, stiff. He grabbed a scroll as he chatted with Siao Qi.
His temperament and attitude was far different from before. It was like he was switched for a double. He was calm and spoke in a lively and humorous manner. Worry did not seem to reflect from his attitude at all.
However, whenever something involved Siao Shi, he always somehow ended up short-tempered and chaotic.
The disappearance of the Envoys of the Imperial Residence of Prince An was a large problem but he was able to stay calm and handle it with tact.
"Chu Li chose the island closest to Guardian of Jade Island?" Siao Tieying smiled, "He really isn't greedy!"
Siao Qi put down the teacup, "I think he's just messing around."
Siao Tieying laughed, "It seems to me he doesn't pursue fame."
"He's been educated with the Buddhist austerities since he was young," Siao Qi explained.
"Let's not have Su Ru worry about the expenses. Just get the best for everything," Siao Tieying said, "We owe Chu Li a little too much. We'll have to repay him well."
Siao Qi gently nodded.
Siao Tieying placed the scroll down and gently took a sip of tea, "Sister Siao Qi, I'm guessing it's the Ren Public House messing around this time."
"It may be the Huay Public House," Siao Qi proposed, "They've waited around the outskirts for a few days and got nothing. They've probably become angry from the embarrassment."
Siao Tieying asked, "Do you think they'd dare to kill?"
Siao Qi furrowed her brows as she muttered, "The Huay Public House doesn't dare to. They've just sent the memorial apology in the throne. We can't exclude the Ren Public House either. Lu Yu Rong is quite crafty, and I'm sure she'd dare to be behind something like this."
"They killed the Envoys of the Imperial Residence of Prince An. We'll just spoil their big wedding," Siao Tieying smiled, "Have Chu Li go over. His presence would surely flip the earth and the skies around!"
Siao Qi shook her head and smiled, "Brother Siao Tieying, how could you still laugh in this situation?"
"What's the point of being bitter?" Siao Tieying smiled, "I'm quite relieved at how Elder Zhao Qingshan and the others do their job."
They had already assigned Zhao Qingshan and another three Grandmasters to the rescue mission. The people in the Yi Public House knew Soaring Aves Town very well. The Envoys will be found in no time.
Siao Qi said, "Sister Siao Shi finally agreed. I suppose Chu Li's persuasion really is the best."
"He's still her savior, after all," Siao Tieying smiled, "Her grandeur was lost from the start. Ah, the report is back."
A voice came from the outside, "Master! High Official Zhao Qingshan wants to see you!"
"Elder Zhao Qingshan, please come in!" Siao Tieying loudly welcomed the High Official.
Zhao Qingshan and the three men entered the main hall. They looked gloomy.
Siao Tieying stood up and welcomed them, "Where are the rest?"
"Master, we were too slow. They were murdered!" Zhao Qingshan sighed, "The Protectors are safe, however."
Siao Tieying scoffed, "This is rather cruel..."
He turned toward Siao Qi, "Seems like the Ren Public House is behind this."