Su Ru grinned. She stole a glance at Chu Li. She was not sure how the Lady would react.
The trio travelled through a lake and then through a gallery road . They finally reached a waterside pavilion, which was situated right beside Su Ru's.
Su Ru stood at the entrance and said, "I shall go and have a look at their food first!"
She ran off after she finished speaking, leaving Chu Li and Siao Qi at the pavilion.
From a stone's throw away, deep in the valley, they could vaguely hear laughing noises. The disciples of the Snow Lunar Pavilion were practicing martial arts, and they sounded very enthusiastic.
Chu Li's sword fighting exhibition served as an eye-opener for them. They had always felt that the sword fighting techniques from other factions were better than theirs. But after the show, they realized that it was not the techniques they learnt which were bad, but rather their own abilities.
Chu Li pushed open the window, then found himself a drum stool to sit on.
Siao Qi on the other hand, went to the window. The sunlight shone on her pretty face. At that very moment, she looked like a beautiful female sculpture sculpted out of white jade. Her beauty was unrivalled.
Chu Li frowned and asked, "Are you hurt?"
"Just very worried." Siao Qi shook her head and said, "I heard from Su Ru, that big brother..."
Chu Li nodded, then quietly watched her face. He sensed that she was getting worse with every minute. Her injuries were not light at all. "You didn't pick a fight with someone and got injured, right?"
"I was safeguarding my master while she was cultivating in isolation. Where did I even get the chance to start a fight?"
"How's your master doing?"
"She has the Emerald Sky Pill. It'll be a fast recovery."
"What about you? Going to continue your isolation?"
"Yes." Siao Qi swept a quick glance at him. "I recognize Song Yu Ning. She's honest, generous, tolerant, and most importantly, kind-hearted. She would be a helpful assistant to my big brother."
"Shame that she's short-tempered."
"That wouldn't matter." Siao Qi said. "Big brother can handle that."
Chu Li nodded gently.
Master Siao had a lot of strengths and very few weaknesses. His biggest strengths were patience, generosity and transparency when dealing with matters. Hence, he should be able to withstand Song Yu Ning.
Another important point was, Song Yu Ning was a smart woman. She knew what to do and what not to do all the time. That was a wisdom that few owned. Not every woman was as brilliant as her.
Siao Qi let out a sigh, "Chu Li, I'm afraid I would be stuck here for at least ten more years. The affairs of the Public House would all depend on you now. "
"That long?" Chu Li frowned.
Siao Qi was a genius. She had a calm and innocent soul, unscarred by the darkness of the world. Logically, understanding the concept of the union of man and heaven was a very easy task, it should not take her ten years no matter how slow her progress.
Siao Qi shook her head lightly, "The problem is with my heart technique. I'm too anxious, so I can't achieve much... About my second sister, and my big brother, I leave them under your care now."
"Of course." Chu Li said. "The Public House is like my home."
A smiled etched on Siao Qi's face.
Chu Li watched her quietly.
Siao Qi turned her glance to somewhere else. She looked at the surface of the lake, her gleaming eyes appearing brighter than the crystalline waters.
"Is there something you didn't tell me?" Chu Li said. He was tempted to use his Omniscient Mirror.
He did not care if Siao Qi could notice and get upset. It was better than leaving him hanging in the dark.
Siao Qi raised one hand and covered in front of her eyes, "Don't do it!"
Chu Li gave up, feeling speechless. "What is it that you didn't tell me?"
"Nothing much, really." Siao Qi put down her hand. "This time, I would be cultivating in isolation for ten years."
"For ten years straight?" Chu Li was shocked.
Siao Qi nodded gently.
Chu Li asked, "You don't want my presence, right?"
Siao Qi rolled her eyes at him, "To forge the foundations of my heart, I couldn't afford any distractions. Only then, I could have the hopes of becoming a grandmaster."
"That's true." Chu Li nodded. "But ten years... That's way too..."
He shook his head again. Ten years was too long. He felt that he would not be able to hold till the end.
The feeling of missing a person would be too excruciating for him to bear. One would feel restless, disoriented and overly anxious. That feeling would haunt him for the rest of his life, which was why he chose to rush over to her place now.
"If everything goes smoothly, it's possible that I can get out earlier." Siao Qi said. "By that time, I don't know what would have happened to the Public House. Can big brother handle it? Will second sister be living happily? And you..."
She shook her head gently and said, "But ten years could be gone in a flash."
"In a flash..." Chu Li shook his head and smiled bitterly.
"Let's stop thinking about these. Tell me more about what happened in the Public House." Siao Qi said. "You've beaten Lu Yu Zhao Lung to her game once again. Judging by her character, she would do anything to hit back at you. You've got to be careful!"
Chu Li said, "I've always been cautious. I plan to head to the Hu Ren Public House to have a look, and maybe find myself a few insider contacts."
"You should be setting up a strategy." Siao Qi said. "She is very unpredictable. It's better if you are always three steps ahead of her."
The two of them continued chatting until Su Ru came back, hands holding a few dishes.
Chu Li wished that he could continue staying with Siao Qi at the waterside pavilion so badly.
After telling her what happened in the Public House, he talked to her about some current affairs in the martial arts world. They seemed to have a never-ending conversation. Only when he noticed that Siao Qi was getting tired that he stopped talking. He then reluctantly left the place.
Siao Qi sustained a rather serious injury, so she became very weak. He wanted to ask more about it in detail the next day. But it was not a huge worry for him, as she has the Emerald Sky Pill. She would recover in no time.
Darkness began to descend upon the place as he departed from Snow Lake. He returned to his home.
He was about to start reading a book when he heard knocks on the door. A teenage girl dressed in green was there when he opened the door. "Master Du, Master Shen would like to see you!"
Chu Li followed the girl back to the lake and went to a waterside pavilion in the middle of Snow Lake.
The pavilion had two floors, and it looked identical to the other five pavilions surrounding it. He stood beside the window at the second floor. Everything below him was within his sight.
The girl gracefully led the way, and Chu Li followed her to the main lounge.
The main lounge was laid with a pure white carpet, and it looked elegant. There was a purple patch in the very middle, tempting people to step onto it.
A gorgeous lady sat on the armchair at the very middle of the room. She looked pure and charming, her stunning beauty was enough to drive any man crazy.
Her hand rested under her chin, as she sat there quietly. When she saw Chu Li enter the room, she got up to his feet and started walking outwards. She waved her hand and ordered, "You all may leave now."
The two girls dressed in green gently retreated backwards.
"Follow me." She beckoned him with a light gesture of her finger.
Chu Li followed as she exited the pavilion, her fragrant scent wafting into his nostrils.
She gracefully led him to a kiosk in the middle of the lake, and then sat by a stone table. She signaled Chu Li to sit down with her.
Chu Li sat opposite to her. Within such a close distance, Chu Li was mesmerized by her captivating beauty. Her complexion was as fair as jade, and her jet-black iris formed a stark contrast with the white of her eyes, which looked as if they could suck in a person's soul.
A breeze blew over the lake, caressing their faces. It felt very soothing.
She supported her chin with one hand and watched Chu Li intently with her gleaming bright eyes.
After a short while, she gently lifted her head and spoke, "You're Chu Li, right?"
Chu Li nodded slowly.
She was Siao Qi's master, so it would not unsurprising that she knew his identity.
"Siao Qi's mother is my sister." Shen Yanghu said faintly.
Reality dawned on Chu Li.
He did not know that she was in fact, Siao Qi's aunt!
Shen Yanghu sighed, "Siao Qi is in trouble now."
Chu Li straightened his back, listening attentively.
"She's cultivating the Regal Sword Scripture." Yara said, "You've heard of it, right?"
Chu Li nodded, "Her mother taught her that."
"It was a heritage from the past, an original ancient martial arts study. It could help one become an enlightened master." Shen Yanghu said, "But the Regal Sword Scripture is especially hard to master, it strictly requires a strong aptitude. I've tried before, but I couldn't get through it. Siao Qi's aptitude is most compatible with this sword scripture. If all goes well, it is possible that she could become an enlightened master before she turns thirty!"
Chu Li was shocked. He did not expect the Regal Sword Scripture to be that powerful.
Shen Yanghu continued, "But shame that she's still stuck at innate mastery, so she couldn't advance further."
Chu Li raised an eyebrow.
Shen Yanghu took a glance at him, "Mentality is the most important aspect for the Regal Sword Scripture. If your emotions are too volatile and you could not put them aside, it wouldn't be suitable for you to cultivate this scripture. If you have feelings for somebody, it would be conflicting against the principles of Regal Sword Scripture, just like how fire and water cannot co-exist."
"It's because of me?" Chu Li said.
Shen Yanghu nodded slowly.
A mixture of emotions started brewing in Chu Li's heart.