Chu Li pulled a dossier from his sleeve and opened it. "Le Dongchu, of Yue Shan Town from the Green Hill Road. Joined the Feng Huang Mountain when you were young, and reached the Grandmaster's Boundary a year ago."
He put the dossier away. "Am I right, Le Dongchu?"
Jing Zhixue's expression darkened.
He had never expected Chu Li to find out about his seedy background so quickly.
In truth, Le Dongchu was a hidden master even within Feng Huang Mountain. Outsiders knew nothing about him, which was why he had dared to enter the Yi Public House as an informant.
Le Dongchu had truly underestimated the power of the Yi Public House; they were indeed everywhere, there was no way to absolutely nullify them.
"Le Dongchu, you are working for the Ren Public House, right?" Chu Li asked calmly.
"Haha! There is no point in saying anything more." Le Dongchu bellowed as if he did not care.
"Is it the Ren Public House or not?" asked Chu Li once more.
"It is." he smiled.
"Good! Elder Lin, cripple his cultivation and throw him out from the Public House." Chu Li was satisfied.
"Understood." Linquan agreed with a wide smile before walking towards Le Dongchu and slowly holding out his hands.
"Wait, wait! Why are you crippling my cultivation, I'll just leave!" Le Dongchu's expression quickly changed. He raised his voice in desperation.
Chu Li's tone was ice cold as he replied, "Do you think that the Public House is a place where you can just come and go as you please? You have been restricted by the rules of the Public House since you have joined us. Honestly, you can count yourself lucky that this is all we're doing - if you had committed a more serious offense, then we would have had you decapitated!"
"The one with the surname Chu, how vicious you are! The Ren Public House will not forgive you if you dare to cripple my cultivation!" Le Dongchu snarled at him.
Chu Li smiled knowingly. "You are wrong. It is the Feng Huang Mountain that will not forgive me, isn't it? Actually, I'm curious to see what your sect is capable of. Elder Lin!"
"Understood," Lin Quan replied before immediately hitting Le Dongchu on his Dantian.
"Woosh--" the crowd heard a long whistling sound. Like a punctured ball, Le Dongchu immediately started to crumble, his vital energy scattering as he was doing so.
The people around trembled for a bit. This was their first time seeing such a scary technique.
This man before them was Grandmaster, a figure who you would almost always look up to and chase after. Even if they had trained their entire lives, most of them in the crowd probably did not possess the talent to ever reach the Grandmaster's Boundary.
But this Grandmaster had been crippled right in front of them. He fell from the heavens down to the earth, like an Emperor turned beggar. It was scary just to think about.
In this world, you were useless if you lost your martial arts. He was once a god amongst men but was now useless. Indeed, this was the end for Le Dongchu!
When Chu Li waved his hand, Linquan picked Le Dongchu up while Zhao Qingshan carried the other two men. They walked through the crowd and got onto the small boat. Then, they left via the main gates, quickly disappearing into the horizon.
Chu Li nodded at the crowd and turned toward the Martial Arts Hall.
The crowd hastily made a closed fist salute. Everyone felt awed - they could feel the animalistic ferocity in the atmosphere.
Chu Li's power and influence expanded every day. Even though he was still only a Grandmaster, it was enough to make the people around him feel suffocated. One would work up a cold sweat if Chu Li had just looked at them.
Xue Ling followed closely behind Chu Li with her lips tightly pursed together so that she could avoid breaking into laughter.
This was too satisfying; it was a great release of anger! What a wonderful day!
The Protectors in the training hall did not dare to meet Chu Li's gaze. He had crippled the cultivation of a Grandmaster with only a flick of his finger. Who else would dare to oppose Master Chu Li? Who else would still dare to badmouth him?
Chu Li seemed to be occupied by his thoughts as he entered the Martial Arts Hall. He headed straight for the ancient library on the fourth floor. He read each book one by one, going through them quickly. Then, he shook his head - there were no records of the Heavenly Demonic Power.
He walked back to his boat as Xue Ling hastily trailed behind.
Chu Li once again stood at the bow of the ship, pondering as he gazed at the Jade Island Guardian.
"Master, what happened? You should be happy for dealing with that bastard!" asked Xue Ling in confusion.
Chu Li glanced at her and shook his head.
Le Dongchu was not an informant of the Ren Public House, but rather the Imperial Residence of King An. It was glaringly obvious how daring King An was.
However, it was still better for Chu Li to not tell Master Xiao Tieying the truth.
Master Xiao Tieying had always felt that King An approved of this marriage. He felt that his sister was the first beauty of the Ji Dynasty. Xiao Shi was also the Second Lady of the Public House. She should have been more than good enough for King An.
The reason why Xiao Qi had hidden the truth from Master Xiao Tieying was that she was afraid that he would be enraged and do something foolish. And now that it had come to this, it was all the more reason not to tell Master Xiao Tieying anything. Doing so would only lead to further complications.
Now that Chu Li did not even have Xiao Qi to discuss things with, he could only keep to himself and keep the information secret.
Although he was also a Grandmaster now, and it would not be hard to kill King An, what was stopping him was the Emperor. If King An died, the Emperor would fly into a rage. He might even personally go after Chu Li.
Chu Li could not withstand a single punch from High Duke Lu, let alone the Emperor. An Enlightened Master was sure to have his own secret move, but no matter how well he tried to hide it, somebody skilled and determined enough could always figure out the user.
If so, it would mean the death of him!
Chu Li wanted to kill King An but was also not willing to sacrifice his own life in the process. This was the reason as to why he was in this dilemma.
A boat slowly moved towards them from afar. There was a slender woman standing at the front. As it neared, they saw that it was Yang Xu, the Imperial Maid of King An.
"Chief Chu! Chief Chu!" Yang Xu greeted him from afar.
Chu Li propelled his small boat forward and reached her as swiftly as an arrow. "Miss Yang."
Yang Xu was wearing a green floral printed gown. She held the lower corner of her sleeve and saluted. "Chief Chu, the Lady wants to see you."
"... Okay." Chu Li nodded.
Xue Ling pursed her lips and smiled. "Master, do I need to tag along?"
"You can go back first," Chu Li replied as he glided through the air and landed next to Yang Xu.
Yang Xu smiled. "I heard that Chief Chu was at the Martial Arts Hall and was about to head over myself; I never thought that I would meet you here."
Chu Li ignored the statement and asked, "What happened to Lady Xiao Shi?"
He propelled the boat forward, saving Yang Xu the effort of paddling. It moved extremely fast, soon leaving Xue Ling behind.
Yang Xu shook her head. "Lady Xiao Shi seems to have something on her mind."
Chu Li nodded. "How is Zhu Quan?"
"He-- He is turning into a wild child, always playing crazily." Yang Xu pursed her lips again and gently smiled.
"That's good to hear. There is no need to rush him to learn martial arts, let him build a solid foundation and he will be useful in the future." Chu Li faintly smiled.
Yang Xu smiled brightly.
Chu Li glanced at her. "So, does Lady Xiao Shi still enjoy spending her time alone?"
"She likes to have me by her side," Yang Xu replied.
Chu Li said, "She has gone through a lot ever since she was little. She might be a little temperamental."
"Lady Xiao Shi is naturally kind, so I understand." Yang Xu smiled.
Yang Xu had joined the Imperial Residence at the age of twelve and had served a lot of Imperial Concubines that were much harder to tackle compared to Xiao Shi. Therefore, she was experienced in how to handle them and was able to serve Xiao Shi well, who would be impossible for a normal maid to serve.
Chu Li sighed. "If that's the case, then you should always follow Lady Xiao Shi."
"Okay." Yang Xu nodded at his request.
Chu Li sighed once more before continuing, "Lady Xiao Shi is also quite pitiful." Chu Li stared into the horizon as he said this.
Yang Xu smiled understandingly at the remark.
As the small boat reached the shore, a tweedling sound could be heard. It could be heard from far away, it sounded loud and clear. Chu Li could tell that Xiao Shi was in a good mood; she had opened up quite considerably.
Chu Li went over to the Pagoda in the Floral Sea.
Xiao Shi's back was facing him as she was concentrated on playing her instrument.
Chu Li continued to look at her graceful silhouette without saying anything so as to not interrupt her.
God was unfair, he had poured all of the beauty and wit of the world into one being. Every part of her body was beautiful - her movements, voice, and smile were charming beyond measure.
Chu Li arrived at the pagoda and sat across from her.
Xiao Shi took a slight glance at him and continued to close her bright eyes, concentrating on plucking the musical instrument.
Chu Li closed his eyes to enjoy the beautiful sounds emanating from the instrument. A gust of wind blew across and thousands of flowers were blown in the wind. Their aroma lingered in the air as the petals swirled about in the pagoda.
"Zheng…" the music suddenly stopped.
Xiao Shi lifted her head and glared at him with her bright eyes. Then, she scoffed as if still unsatisfied. "You would not have come if I did not invite you, am I right?"
Chu Li smiled and said nothing.