Siao Qi stood up and went to the window. She gazed at the calm waters of a lake far away.
Every time she admired the vast and serene lake waters, her heart would come together as one with the body of liquid. She would feel very tranquil, and her mind would be able to think clearer.
Enlightened masters had always been many levels above the rest. To a normal person, they were like Gods standing amongst the clouds, as their level seemed to be unachievable. Even a grandmaster could only look up to an enlightened master and admit his inferiority, because the boundary of an enlightened master was indeed incredibly hard to break through. Of billions of people in the Great Ji dynasty, only one had managed to break through the boundaries of an enlightened master.
Enlightened masters were shrouded with mystery and were unimaginably strong. They were unlike any mortals in this world. If an enlightened master did not speak of it, nobody would know what they were truly capable of.
The story of the "Nine Dragons' Tripod Cauldron" may only be a myth, since nobody could verify its credibility. However, many chose to believe that it existed. But until today, no one had the courage to look for and steal the precious three-footed cauldron. And the thing is, only around ten people knew of the ancient artifact's existence.
Chu Li fixed his gaze at Siao Qi, awaiting her final decision.
After a short while, Siao Qi turned her head around. Her eyes gleamed brightly as she declared, "We must kill Prince An!"
A smiled etched on Chu Li's face.
However, Siao Qi did admit, "Killing Prince An won't be an easy task, and we only have half a year's time left!"
Chu Li smiled, "If everything else fails, we could only kidnap the Second Lady and hide her."
Siao Qi grinned upon hearing that, the worries were lifted off her chest for a short moment.
Chu Li was a man of many schemes. He had the greatest of courage and every so often, would come out with the craziest of ideas. This idea had particularly piqued Siao Qi's interest.
If they really had no means of killing Prince An, they would deploy several people as assassins to stage the Second Lady's kidnap. Then, they would hide her away in a secluded place, in hopes of delaying the matter for a while.
"If we're really left with no choice, we would have to do that." Siao Qi smiled, "So don't rush it. Because if you do, you would make mistakes very easily. This issue is directly related to the well-being of our public house, so there is no room for mistakes!"
"If only I could step into the boundary of an enlightened master, I would be able to kill him!" Chu Li exclaimed. "Lady, I think it's best that we don't mention Prince An's name in the future. From now on, let's call him 'Old Quan'."
"Old Quan?" Siao Qi stared her bright eyes wide and blinked, laughing, "What kind of a weird name is that?"
Chu Li smiled, "Well, because it's weird, the outsiders won't be able to guess who we're referring to."
He thought about the word "safe"  earlier, which inspired him of the name. Prince "An", hence Old "Quan". It was coincidentally a similar name to their friend, Lin Quan too. Outsiders would easily mistake the nickname for Lin Quan's.
Siao Qi rolled her eyes at him and smiled, "Good, Old Quan it is!"
Such a life-threatening matter had become much less stressful thanks to Chu Li's mischievous antics.
"When the people from Prince An's imperial court arrives, make sure that there's a grandmaster beside the Second Lady to protect her." Chu Li added, "We can't let them harm her."
"Alright, I will take care of that." Siao Qi sighed, "With Elder Guo by our side, we're not afraid of them poisoning her. I will ask my second sister to pretend to be sick, so she could stay away from those bad people!"
Chu Li praised her ingenuity. It was not a bad idea.
Once they finished the discussion, Chu Li reluctantly bid farewell to Siao Qi.
He slowly walked down the stairs and exited Stargazing Tower. She could still smell Ange's fragrance persisting around his nostrils, he felt melancholic.
It was deep into the night. The moon hung high up in the dark sky.
The moonlight splashed down its watery white-silver glow, illuminating the Chu Residence brightly.
Chu Li was sitting beside a stone table at his backyard, drinking tea. He sat there casually, watching a group of girls cultivating martial arts. There were around forty of them, and the atmosphere was noisy.
Some of them practiced their fist jabs, while others practiced sword fighting. All of them looked feeblish, as if they would fall immediately when a strong wind blew. They looked nothing like people who were skilled at martial arts.
But their physical bodies had underwent immense transformations. Even Yan Meng, the weakest amongst them, had three times the strength of a typical strong man.
Chu Li had applied the Nine Transformation Meridian Reforming Technique and the White Tiger Arts on the girls. In a short amount of time, they transformed into an entirely new person. Even if they did not cultivate any heart techniques and purely used their raw strength to cultivate martial arts, their powers would be phenomenal too.
He watched their training with admiration, nodding, all smiles on his face.
Then night was getting darker, and finally Zhao Ying Zhao and Chen Ying Chen were back.
The girls had already accustomed themselves with the work at Leisure Cloud Pub, hence they did not need too many staff there at one time. Ten staffs per night would be enough, while the rest would take a break, rotating their shifts every five days.
Only Zhao Ying was the most occupied, as she needed to supervise the condition at Leisure Cloud Pub every night.
Upon seeing Chu Li, a sweet smile etched on Zhao Ying' face. She looked pretty in that green gown of hers, her youthful fragrance billowing towards Chu Li.
"Brother, when did you return?" Zhao Ying sat in front of him.
Chu Li smiled, "This afternoon. Everything fine at the pub?"
"People knew it was run by the public house, so they stayed away from trouble." Zhao Ying chuckled. "Especially after that episode with the Phoenix Tree Faction, nobody dared to cause us any more problems!"
Back when the Phoenix Tree faction wreaked havoc at Leisure Cloud Pub, their faction was quickly disbanded. After someone had spread the word around, people kept it firmly in their minds never to stir any trouble at the pub.
Chen Ying served them a jar of wine. She took a white jade cup and filled it with wine. "Master, somebody wanted to see me today. They wanted to recruit me as one of their disciples."
She was wearing a light purple gown, the complexion of her face fair. Her eyes shimmered with a faint glow under the lights.
"Tai Hua Valley."
"Eh------?" Chu Li smiled, "That's a coincidence."
"Master, you knew someone from Tai Hua Valley?" Chen Ying asked with a sweet smile.
Zhao Ying added, "It was the faction leader of the Tai Hua Valley who told Chen Ying personally that they wanted to recruit her."
With both hands, Chen Ying handed the cup full of wine to Chu Li.
The fair complexion of her hand and the color of the white jade cup complemented each other and looked homogenous.
Chu Li accepted the white jade cup and took a small sip. He looked at her beautiful face intently and asked, "What is your decision?"
"I'll listen to whatever you say." Chen Ying replied.
Chu Li put down his white jade cup and said, "Then don't accept it."
"But why?" Zhao Ying said, "It was the Tai Hua Valley's leader herself, you know!.... Leader Mei said, sister Chen Ying's qualities were very suitable with the teachings of Tai Hua Valley. She even said that Chen Ying would outperform her one day!"
Chu Li said, "Leader Mei knows of Chen Ying's origins?"
The Tai Hua Valley leader, Frost Mei was a grandmaster. She was considered a genius in martial arts, which was why Zhao Ying felt very anxious for Chen Ying.
There were approximately three hundred grandmasters in the Great Ji dynasty. About a hundred of them were among all twelve public houses. Around a hundred plus of them were in the four major sects. While the remaining were scattered around the imperial court and various factions of the martial arts world.
In the martial arts world, grandmasters were often leaders or elders of various first-class factions. But Tai Hua Valley was only a second-class faction, yet they had a grandmaster like Frost Mei as their leader.
Zhao Ying said, "Everyone of us who runs the Leisure Cloud Pub knows of it, so I bet Leader Mei knew about it too."
"Zhao Ying, you do know the relationship between the public house and factions of the martial arts world, right?"
"But technically Chen Ying isn't from the public house." Zhao Ying explained, "Plus I'm sure Leader Mei doesn't mind at all."
"She doesn't, but I do!" Chu Li exhaled, "Zhao Ying, don't be so simple-minded, think about it deeper... If one of the disciples from Tai Hua Valley commits a crime in the future, and I'm commissioned to hunt him or her down, what situation would that put Chen Ying in?"
Zhao Ying rebutted, "But there are only female disciples in the Tai Hua Valley, what's the worst crime they could commit?!"
"When women are enraged, they could do so much more unimaginable things than men!" Chu Li waved his hand, "Plus, once you step foot into the martial arts world, you're bound to all the hatreds and vendettas each faction have against each other.... No, I won't allow it!"
By his estimations, the feud between Tai Hua Valley and Green Hill faction were not done and dusted yet. It would only be a matter of time before all hell would break loose. Chen Ying would not be able to look after herself if she joined Tai Hua Valley. What if something bad happens to her?!
It would be an entirely different reality compared to the one they were in. Safe and sound within the walls of Chong Ming town, free from disasters, living a happy and wonderful life.
Zhao Ying was about to add another argument, before being interrupted by Chen Ying, "Alright, I'll listen to Master Chu."
Chu Li glanced at her, using his Omniscient Mirror to see through her thoughts.
She was indeed lured by the prospects of joining Tai Hua Valley, becoming a top-notch martial arts master herself. She did not want to be a burden to Chu Li anymore. But after such objections from her master, she could not do anything but obey.
Chu Li was touched, he became more insistent of his opinion on the matter. The martial arts world was too dangerous for Chen Ying, so it would only be better if she did not venture into it.
Zhao Ying let out a disappointed sigh and grasped Chen Ying's hand, consoling her, "Sister Chen, it's a shame that we have to go head to head with someone so stubborn. I guess we can't do anything."
Chen Ying chuckled gently and said, "Master Chu would not put me in harm's way. So, I decide to listen to him."
"I'll meet this Leader Mei face to face tomorrow!" Chu Li proclaimed.
"Brother, Leader Mei only did it out of good will." Zhao Ying hurriedly explained.
"I won't go overboard." Chu Li picked up his white jade cup and finished the wine in a single gulp.
 Safe (Chinese: ; pinyin: n qun)