After Xue Ling was done serving Chu Li's lunch, she noticed that he was still concentrating on studying his formations. She knew that he would not listen to what she had to say, so she left the Glory's Will Courtyard on a boat and headed towards the East Garden.
In the distance, Li Yue was standing at the shore prepared to welcome her.
When he saw Xue Ling, he waved his hand with vigor.
Xue Ling calmly waved back and stopped gesturing until the boat had reached the shore.
Li Yue walked forward with a smile and said, "Miss Xue Ling, is Chu Li back?"
Xue Ling usually handled her matters swiftly and decisively and she was always on time. The only reason why Xue Ling would arrive later than she had the day before could only be because of Chu Li. He was the only reason that could cause a delay in her schedules.
Xue Ling gently stepped onto the shore, and replied, "Yes, he just returned."
"Sigh This chief works too tirelessly. He's always busy from morning till night," said Li Yue as he sighed. "He's more tranquil while he's in the East Garden. It's much better to be a Nine Rank Scribe where it's more relaxing and free."
"Master Chu Li has no choice. He doesn't like being busy, but bad things just keep happening. He can only go ahead and settle it," said Xue Ling as she gracefully moved towards the garden. She calmly asked, "Has Sister Bi Liu arrived?"
"Not yet," said Li Yue as he shook his head. "She's also late today."
Xue Ling stopped in her tracks. She furrowed her delicate eyebrows and stared at the surface of the lake at the distance.
Bi Liu would not normally arrive late. Why would she be late today? Could something have happened to her?
The New Moon Brothel was under the Public House's protection. No one dared to do anything unruly. However, things here were unpredictable. There would always be a fool that did not understand his own limits. Master Chu Li had already taught two groups of troublemakers a lesson, perhaps there would be more to come soon.
"I'll head over to take a look," said Xue Ling as she turned around and walked back.
Li Yue hurriedly said, "Maybe she has some matters at hand that is delaying her. Bi Liu is also under the New Moon Brothel's control. She does not have the freedom to act independently."
"Hmm," uttered Xue Ling wordlessly, before she entered the boat.
Li Yue helplessly stared after her as the boat pushed away from the shore, as fast as a drawn arrow leaving a bowstring.
He gave out another sigh and shook his head disapprovingly. Miss Xue Ling had a cold and arrogant personality, only a person like Chu Li could handle her.
When Chu Li had told Li Yue before that he wanted to let Xue Ling and the New Moon Brothel's Miss Bi Liu practice dancing in the East Garden, he was so excited that he could not sleep that night. Miss Bi Liu was the New Moon Brothel's finest dancer. The opportunity to see her every day gave him a sense of hope for a budding romance.
Although, Miss Bi Liu seemed like the type of woman who would not fall for men easily and usually kept their hearts well-guarded, unlikely for any man to be able to grasp hold of her heart...However, time may give way to love as she would be seeing him daily. He could take this opportunity to shower her with attention, and perhaps they could end up together.
If he could have Miss Bi Liu as his wife, Li Yue would not ask for anything more. It would feel like he had gained the all the uck accumulated from three of his past lives.
What a pity he thought. The maiden in his dreams was absolutely wonderful. However, in reality, it was not as wonderful as Xue Ling was present.
Xue Ling had a completely different persona when she was in front of Chu Li versus him. She would be as cold as frost and be completely unapproachable. Without the slightest doubt, she had only forcefully entertained Li Yue as he was her Master's good friend. This frustrated Li Yue but he could not do anything about it.
He could not go to Chu Li and complain about his maid being cold and arrogant.
Xue Ling's courtesy and manners were on pointe, thus making it hard for one to pick out a problem with her. He could not just expect her to treat him differently, Chu Li would not agree on this either.
But it was good that they had a cold personality. After all, they were two famed beauties. Ever since they had set foot in the place, the East Garden had changed drastically. The air in the surroundings became more aromatic as if the air carried the scent emanating from the two women. It was almost like his life had suddenly turned wonderful, the world seemed much brighter, and every morning Li Yue woke up feeling happy.
Xue Ling was on the lake when she saw Bi Liu.
Standing at the bow of a ship was Bi Liu, her lake-green gown floating, her elegant posture like willow branches moving with the wind. Even a woman like Xue Ling could not help but admire the beauty of Bi Liu.
Bi Liu's maid was paddling the oar, the boat moving along slowly Compared to Xue Ling's boat, the speed difference was like comparing an old cow to a running horse.
Xue Ling gave out a long breath as her boat headed swiftly towards Bi Liu's direction.
As their boat neared one another, Xue Ling gently hopped onto Bi Liu's boat before grabbing onto her very thin and fragile waist and floated back to her own boat. She hastened the boat, launching away and leaving the maid's boat far behind in the blink of an eye.
"What happened, Sister?" asked Xue Ling as she stood next to Bi Liu, her white gown flapping in the wind.
Bi Liu's gentle eyes were swollen. It was obvious that she had cried before she slept last night. Xue Ling gently continued, "What grievance have you suffered?"
Bi Liu looked at the clear surface of the lake and gently shook her head.
"Then what happened?" said Xue Ling as she turned her head over to look at Bi Liu.
Bi Liu only sighed.
Xue Ling said, "Sister, we're not strangers. There isn't anything that you can't tell me!"
Bi Liu bitterly smiled and muttered, "Just some family matters."
"Where is your home?" asked Xue Ling.
"At the Town of Clouds," replied Bi Liu.
"You did not bring your parents over?" exclaimed Xue Ling in shock. The New Moon Brothel's women were all well-off and they would usually own a home in town. Commonly, they would stay in their own home until their shift, where they would then go to the New Moon Brothel. Common sense would dictate that they bring their parents over to have a comfortable life too.
Chong Ming Town was not only prosperous, but it was also always bustling with activity. It had also triumphed over other cities and townships as the safest and the most livable place.
"... They are disgusted with me for joining the New Moon Brothel." wailed Bi Liu as bitterness was expressed on her delicate face.
"Sigh It's hard to blame them for that," said Xue Ling with a sigh."Why not just redeem yourself?"
"How am I suppose to find a living after I redeemed myself?" replied Bi Liu with a sigh.
"I'll go and beg my master to let you join the Public House!" exclaimed Xue Ling.
"I don't have any talents and my background is not pure either," said Bi Liu.
"Don't you worry. Master will agree to take you in." comforted Xue Ling.
Bi Liu gently shook her head and said, "I don't want to trouble Master Chu Li... I'm also enjoying the life I'm living now. It's leisurely and carefree."
The New Moon Brothel was unlike the usual prostitution places. They sold talent and not their bodies. If anyone wanted to buy their bodies, they would have to redeem her instead. With the Public House's protection, no one dared to be unreasonable with them. Hence, the New Moon Brothel's woman depended on their beauty and talent to earn a living.
The men they interacted with every day are all wealthy and respectable people. As they mingled day till night with these upperclassmen, their knowledge and wisdom grew even more.The New Moon Brothel was very prosperous as well. How would they be willing to marry and become a housewife, relishing in supporting their husband and raising a child? Placing it in Chu Li's previous incarnation's perspective, it would be the same as young superstars retiring from the entertainment world.
"You guys" said Xue Ling as she shook her head. "It is the same as what Master has said! Tell me then, what is bothering you. You can rant to me about it."
"It's my younger brother!" exclaimed Bi Liu as she held her forehead and sighed. "He never knows his place. This time he's gotten himself beaten up severely. I'm afraid that he won't live through his wounds this time."
"Which division is he in?" enquired Xue Ling.
Bi Liu shook her head and said, "He's followed a master since young. I did not know where the master came from. He was seriously injured and had collapsed on the side of the road, but my younger brother went forward to help him. Soon after, he'd acknowledged him as his master. Two years ago, his master passed away. After that, he'djust lost control of himself and has been causing trouble wherever he goes!"
"Is it because of the resentment between divisions?" asked Xue Ling with a furrowed brow, before shaking her head. "Why does he have to get involved in the world of martial arts!"
Xue Ling has a bad impression of martial arts and the masters. She asked, "Was he seriously injured?"
"My father wrote a letter to me. It's really bad. His life is hanging just by a thread. He won't last for another few days. The doctor has already given up on using medicine on him."
"Then why don't you go to him as soon as possible?" asked Xue Ling.
"Sigh My father wouldn't let me. Even if I go back home, I'd be chased out of the house!"
"... How about we both go?" asked Xue Ling as she steered the boat towards the left and made a detour away from the direction of the East Garden. The speed of the boat hastened once more.
The whistling sound of the wind was heard as the boat reached the full speed of a galloping horse, their gowns fluttering in the wind.Before long, they had reached the small island filled with greenery.
Xue Ling madeBi Liu wait on the boat as she swiftly left and brought a valiant man over in just a moment.
"This is Brother Jiang Kuai. His Light-body Technique is top-notch. I will let him go and save your younger brother," said Xue Ling as she floated gently onto the boat.
Jiang Kuai followed suit and launched the boat. With aclosed fist salute towards Bi Liu, Jiang Kuai smiled and said, "I'm Jiang Kuai. May I know where is the location of Miss Bi Liu's house?"
Bi Liu helplessly looked at Xue Ling as she recited the house address.
Jiang Kuai smiled and said, "I'll get us there immediately."
Bi Liu held the lower corner of her gown and curtsied. "Thank you Master Jiang Kuai for your effort."
She doubted that this was actually going to work because her brother would probably be dead by the time Jiang Kuai reached the town. But as long as a glimmer of hope lies, she was more than willing to try.