Chu Li sat calmly beside the window as he watched Siao Qi walking towards the Snow Lake. She followed the plank road and entered her water pavilion before her graceful shadow disappeared.
It felt like a piece of his heart was torn out from him. He felt so weak that he had no strength at all.
Even as the morning ray shone on him, he could not feel even a bit of warmth. Everything looked colorless to him, including the ravine that used to be extremely beautiful had suddenly become empty and quiet. The intoxicating feeling that it gave disappeared too.
He sat for quite some time until Su Ru called him to eat.
As he followed Su Ru to her water pavilion, Siao Qi was seen dressed in white, like snow. She sat quietly beside the window and looked at him faintly but did not speak.
Chu Li smiled and sat down opposite of her.
Su Ru rolled her clear and shining eyes.
Although their actions were no different from usual, it felt like there was an unusual feeling between them which was unlike before.
She looked carefully, and it seemed like the Lady's gaze was more initiative where she kept staring at Chu Li and Chu Li stared back at her with their eyes locked from time to time.
She chuckled to herself and thought their relationship was growing well.
After their meal, Chu Li announced, "I'll be paying an official call to the elders later tonight and I'll be leaving tomorrow."
"Leave?" Su Ru opened her eyes widely, "What's the rush?"
"If I'm meant to leave, I'll have to leave anyway," Chu Li said, "I have important matters to attend to."
"Just stay for a few more days. You can leave after Sister does her Isolated Cultivation," Su Ru took a look at Siao Qi.
Siao Qi said lightly, "Let him leave if he wants to leave."
Su Ru was extremely unwilling that she stared at Siao Qi.
Siao Qi said, "He has serious matters to attend to, it's not like we won't be meeting anymore anyway."
"But that's too soon!" Su Ru scoffed.
Chu Li laughed as he said, "I'm planning to rear an eagle and I'll make it deliver letters to you then."
"That's a great idea!" Su Ru laughed along, "I hope that the Master's golden eagle will be an intelligent one. I'll ask you for the secret trick to tame it."
Chu Li nodded and looked at Siao Qi lovingly before he turned and left.
He separately bid farewells to Wang Wen Si, Jiang Chun Yue, and Lee Qing Luo. After he said his goodbyes, he finally arrived at the water pavilion of Shen Yinghu.
Shen Yinghu was sitting in her Pagoda and looked at the lake lazily. She did not move an inch as she zoned out, a glimpse of sadness hanging from the corners of her amorous eyes.
Chu Li entered the Pagoda and sat in front of her.
Shen Yinghu held her jaw with her hands and looked at him sleepily.
Chu Li said, "I've already talked it out with Siao Qi. She'll continue her training on the Regal Sword Scripture."
Shen Yinghu looked at him with her shiny eyes carefully, then shook her head and said, "You'll regret this."
"I wish," Chu Li smiled, "I'm really looking forward to her being an Enlightened Master!"
"When the time comes, she would've already lost feelings towards you."
"That's alright, I'll make her fall for me again," Chu Li smiled, "Back when I entered the House of High Dukes, she was training on the Regal Sword Scripture. Her heart didn't move for other men anyway."
"What a bold man!" Shen Yinghu put up a stunning smile, "No wonder Siao Qi fell for you! However, you have to understand that when you entered the House of High Dukes, the Regal Sword Scripture was just like a cloth that wrapped around her heart. When she really becomes an Enlightened Master, she would've built a wall around her heart instead."
"I can tear those walls down," Chu Li took out a letter and passed it to Shen Yinghu.
Shen Yinghu received it and when she touched it, she could feel that a jade pendant was enveloped inside the letter.
Chu Li continued, "I trust that you'll know when to give it to her."
"Very well, when will you be leaving?"
"I'm leaving tonight."
"Feel free to come over and visit that lassie, Su Ru," Shen Yinghu replied, "After Siao Qi goes into Isolated Cultivation, she'll be very lonely."
Chu Li nodded.
He rose and saluted her with his fist cupped in another hand. Shen Yinghu sighed and waved her slender hands gently.
Chu Li paced out of the Pagoda and left.
Soon after he returned to the pavilion, Su Ru straggled behind him while carrying a bundle wrapped in cloth.
Chu Li sat on the couch and smiled as he looked at her.
Su Ru stared at Chu Li, "Did you two quarrel?"
"I think so," Chu Li laughed, "We'll be fine after some time."
"I don't know what the both of you are up to," Su Ru shook her head, "Whatever it is, she's in a really bad mood."
Chu Li nodded.
"She's acting like there's nothing wrong," Su Ru scoffed, "You must have made her mad! You're the only one who is capable of doing that!"
When Siao Qi trained for the Regal Sword Scripture, she had a cool temper and remained in a calm and tranquil emotion, such that it was hard for anyone to make her outraged as her emotions would not fluctuate easily.
Chu Li sighed and smiled.
"She asked me to deliver this to you," Su Ru opened the bundle.
Inside the bundle, there was a bluish-white robe. It was flawless, not exceedingly white that it was conspicuous, but it was spotless.
"She said that you'll look really good in it," Su Ru took it out and shook it a little before passing it to him, "Try it on, see if it fits."
Chu Li took off his tunic and wore the white robe.
The material of that white robe was peculiar, it felt so soft yet heavy at the same time. When touched, it felt like the skin of Siao Qi, which was cooling with a hint of warmth, delicate yet not lacking in flexibility.
"This is made of moon hemp, which is very rare. It has many benefits it's waterproof, fireproof, sword-proof, and most importantly, it's untainted by even a speck of dust so it won't be dirtied. The Lady...she has one as well. This one is made into a robe for you and it looks like it's quite fitting," Su Ru said as she measured with her eyes.
Chu Li asked, "She has such a craftsmanship?"
"You think?" Su Ru laughed and said, "She's extremely skillful with needles. Her garments are all self-made. This is the first time that she's making it for someone else and it fits very well. Just wear it then."
Chu Li smiled and nodded.
Su Ru clapped her hands then continued, "Alright, what's your gift in return for this?"
"Nothing," Chu Li shook his head.
Su Ru gave him an angry stare.
Chu Li chuckled, "Please thank her for me."
"I won't do it for you!" Su Ru scoffed then beetled off as she waved her hands.
During nightfall, the moonlight was as gentle as the water. Chu Li paced out of the pavilion and arrived at the plank road, carrying a baggage with him where he kept the white robe and walked slowly.
When he arrived at the end of the ravine, he felt something, so he turned around to look.
On the second floor at Shen Yinghu's water pavilion, Siao Qi was seen standing on the roof in a white robe. She watched him quietly and looked just like a perfect white jade statue.
Chu Li flashed a smile at her and left with big steps.
As Siao Qi watched his shadow disappear at the end of the ravine, she trembled slightly. She suddenly felt so empty as if he left together with her heart.
When the sun rose, a golden ray shone on her where she unwittingly stood through the whole night.
Shen Yinghu approached her and sighed, "Silly girl, it's not like you're parting forever! You're stronger than your mother and you didn't fall for the wrong man."
Siao Qi remained silent.
Shen Yinghu tapped on her shoulder, "Think about your mother, think about the House of High Dukes, then think about Chu Li's painstaking efforts. You should make your decision!"
"I want to go into Isolated Cultivation," Siao Qi sounded hoarse and dry.
"Very well," Shen Yinghu held her wrist as both of them left the water pavilion gently and headed deep into the ravine.
They went all the way to the end of the ravine and stopped at the precipice that penetrated into the clouds, where they could no longer clearly see the peak.
They made their way up along the precipice until they immersed themselves in the clouds. She then bit her index finger and pressed it on a spot.
With a "boom" sound, a cave appeared on the precipice.
They entered the cave and passed through a path in the cave and were suddenly enlightened. Another ravine appeared before them, identical to the one at Snow Lunar Pavilion, the Snow Lake, the forest and the flourishing flowers. Everything was breathtaking.
The only thing that was different was that the lake had only one water pavilion and one Pagoda.
Siao Qi stood in the Pagoda as she looked at the tranquil lake water and she looked exceedingly cool.
"Have you thought about this seriously?" Shen Yinghu leaned against the railing and asked casually, "Continue to train the Regal Sword Scripture?"
Siao Qi remained quiet.
Shen Yinghu did not rush her either. She looked at the lake while leaning against the railing.
Time elapsed slowly, moving from morning till evening.
Siao Qi just stayed there and did not move an inch, just like a statue.
Shen Yinghu shook her head helplessly as she watched her from the windows in the water pavilion.
When the sunset painted the sky, the lakewater looked like a gigantic red satin. The ravine was tinted in rose color and everything turned out to be magnificent and charming.
Siao Qi's body constantly shivered.
Shen Yinghu sighed and flew next to her then passed her a letter, "He left this for you."
Siao Qi looked as pale as a paper and her eyes looked dazed. After receiving the letter, she opened it with her trembling slender hands.