Xiao Shi waved her hand and Yang Xu bowed and left. After this, only two people remained under the pagoda.
Chu Li remained silent.
He was reminded of Xiao Qi every time he saw Xiao Shi; his heart was torn.
Xiao Shi looked at his face with bright eyes. She gently asked him, "How is Sister Xiao Qi?"
Chu Li lifted his head and looked at her without answering.
Xiao Shi scoffed at him. "I do not even need to guess to know that you visited Sister Xiao Qi!"
Chu Li smiled. "Indeed, I went to the Snow Lunar Pavillion."
"Has Sister Xiao Qi gotten used to things over there?"
"She is fine."
"That's great. Sister Xiao Qi is not as picky as I am. She is free and easygoing - She can stay in any part of the world and still easily assimilate." Xiao Shi smiled. Her beauty would make a well-maintained garden of flowers pale in comparison.
"… Why did Lady Xiao Shi call me here?" Chu Li tried his best to change the topic.
Xiao Shi went quiet for a moment as she stared at the ground. Then, she looked up at him and asked, "King An wants to kill me, doesn't he?"
Chu Li was startled.
Xiao Shi looked pitiful as she continued, "You won't lie to me, right?"
Chu Li went silent for a moment and sighed. "I'm afraid so. He does want to kill you."
"But why?" Xiao Shi's face darkened as she responded. She was probably hoping that her hunch would just be laughed off.
Xiao Shi had initially thought that marrying into the Imperial Residence would allow the Public House to hold out for a bit longer.
Brother Xiao Tieying was not the right person to be a High Duke, while Sister Xiao Qi and herself were both women. Meanwhile, their Youngest Brother was nowhere to be found, interested only in martial arts.
No matter how she thought about it, Xiao Shi did not have a choice if she did not want the Public House to fall. However, she never thought that King An would want to kill her!
"The Emperor's throne," Chu Li said softly.
The expression on Xiao Shi's pretty face suddenly changed. "He wants to go after the Emperor's throne?"
When the Emperor decided to create the marriage contract with the High Duke, it had meant that King An had no chance of succeeding the Emperor. But from the looks of things, he has not given up yet.
The Emperor was an Enlightened Master, no one knew how long he had lived for at this point. And the fact that this King An actually dared to disobey this man's orders - Unbelievable!
Chu Li continued to stand there whilst looking at Xiao Shi. "Who would not want to fight for the throne?"
The position of the emperor did not only mean you were a being of supreme power, but it also provided one with the opportunity of becoming an Enlightened Master.
All the Emperors from the Great Ji Dynasty were Enlightened Masters. You would definitely become an Enlightened Master if you ascended to the throne, in addition to gaining a long lifespan.
How could one dismiss the temptation for the Emperor's throne? Even if the Emperor had chosen the next in line, the other Princes would not back down and try to fight for it.
Xiao Shi furrowed her brows and remained silent. She gently stood up and held onto the handrail as she gazed into the distance. A light breeze blew gently against her hair.
After a while, she turned and looked at Chu Li. Then, she gave him a warm smile. "It seems like I am going to die."
Chu Li grit his teeth. "Not necessarily. You could fake your death, actually die, or… he could die!"
Xiao Shi's bright eyes immediately widened. No matter how much she hated King An, she would never have thought of killing him.
But Chu Li was daring!
Chu Li said, "If he does not die, then your death will become a reality - even the Public House will fall!"
Xiao Shi had a weak body, she could not cultivate and spent most of her time reading or playing her musical instruments instead. She had read a lot of history books and was familiar with the tricks that these men would use.
She knew that Chu Li was not exaggerating.
Since King An had the intention of fighting for the Emperor's throne, Xiao Shi and the Public House were mere obstacles to his success. He needed to remove them as fast as possible.
Xiao Shi sighed. "The person who kills King An will have to die. If the Emperor is enraged, it would not mean the death of one or two people, but thousands will be killed in the aftermath. You better not do anything stupid!"
Chu Li furrowed his brows and remained silent.
He was worried about the same thing too. It was not hard to kill King An, but the consequences of doing so, on the other hand, were extremely unpredictable.
Xiao Shi continued, "Even if you have the deed of death exemption, it is almost impossible to avoid the extermination of the entire Public House. I am already a dead person, do not worry too much about me."
Xiao Shi smiled.
She already thoroughly understood the concept of life and death and was fed up with the suffering and effort that it took to stay alive. Xiao Shi felt that it was better to die early and break away from all the hardships.
"Even if Lady Xiao Shi dies, King An will not let the Public House go unharmed," Chu Li replied.
If Chu Li killed the Second Lady of the Public House, the Public House would certainly not forgive him. Their influence might drag him down during a decisive moment in his campaign, so it would be better for him to make the first move and annihilate them completely.
With the temperament of King An, Chu Li definitely dared to do such a thing.
Xiao Shi's pretty face was starting to crease with worry, she had no idea of what to do. After a while, she sighed and shook her head. She could not think of any other way.
Chu Li smiled. "Lady Xiao Shi, this plan has two phases."
Xiao Shi looked at him lazily.
"First, you will have to marry into the Imperial Residence. Second, we will kill King An. Once King An has died, Lady Xiao Shi will become the Lord of the Imperial Residence and the Public House will stand."
"Ptff! You really have a strong imagination!" Xiao Shi laughed out loud.
"It might actually work. But this is the only option we have," replied Chu Li.
"Let's not talk about the first step for now and talk about the second step. If you killed King An, the Emperor is going to kill you. Do you think you can escape the Emperor's wrath?"
Chu Li said, "I will think about a way to pin the blame on someone else."
"The Emperor is an Enlightened Master, you can't get away with it!"
"What's so great about an Enlightened Master?"
"I don't think you understand just how powerful he is. When you become Emperor, all the truths of the world will be revealed to you. Everything is extremely clear to him, there is nothing that you can hide from him," said Xiao Shi.
Chu Li stood up and started to pace about.
Xiao Shi's bright eyes remained fixed on him.
"Is there any other way to avoid the Emperor's hunt? It's a big world, he could not possibly kill anyone he wants to," Chu Li asked.
"We can only go to the Tempest Temple. There is also an Enlightened Master there - the Emperor won't dare to go to the Tempest Temple. If they were to fight, then the only casualty would be the Great Ji Dynasty," said Xiao Shi.
Chu Li immediately understood what Xiao Shi meant.
Even Enlightened Masters had different levels, there would always be a winner and a loser. If the Emperor were to lose and die, then there would be nobody around to control the martial arts world. It would instantly cause chaos and the world would fall into ruin; the transition of a dynasty would be sure to follow.
The Emperor would not dare take such a risk just for King An.
"Is there any other option than the Tempest Temple?" asked Chu Li.
"We can only go to another dynasty. There is the Li Dynasty, Bo Dynasty, Qiu Dynasty, and the Zheng Dynasty. These four dynasties are no laughing matter, even when compared to the Great Ji Dynasty. All of them have their own Enlightened Masters, so the Emperor will not dare to go there either," said Xiao Shi.
Chu Li seemed like he had thought of something as he nodded. "If masters from the other dynasties came here to kill King An and returned back to their own dynasties, then the Emperor would probably do nothing about it, right?"
"There is not much that he can do. However, the masters from the other dynasties can't even enter the Fairy's Capital!" Xiao Shi shrugged.
Chu Li nodded and gestured for her to continue.
"Grandmasters are like a crane in a flock of chickens, they have no way to hide their abilities. All the Grandmasters that enter the Fairy's Capital are monitored. A Grandmaster from a different dynasty would surely be kept under tighter watch."
Chu Li slowly nodded.
He had already formed a vague plan in his mind. Chu Li decided to think about it in detail again when he went back.
"There is something else that we need to deal with before Lady Xiao Shi marries into the Imperial Residence of King An. The Ren Public House will not let you enter the Imperial Residence - they are going to fight for you," Chu Li said.
If the Ren Public House were to snatch Xiao Shi away, then they would frame bandits for the deed and Xiao Shi's reputation would be ruined. She would not be able to marry into the Imperial Residence of King An anymore.
Chu Li was worried that Lu Yurong and King An would make the first move. King An's injury had been inflicted by Lu Yurong, she might be unafraid of King An if she wanted to do anything.
"The Ren Public House?" Xiao Shi scoffed.
The capabilities of the Ren Public House exceeded that of the Yi Public House's. If they really wanted to snatch her, then the Yi Public House could do nothing to stop them. They would only be able to win via a miracle, or by mobilizing without the Ren Public House realizing.
"I shall prepare to escort Lady Xiao Shi to the Fairy's Capital to await the day of marriage. We will immediately meet up with the High Duke's Public House at the Fairy's Capital," Chu Li interrupted.
"Will this work?" Xiao Shi furrowed her brows.
"We will have to try and see. We will make our move two days from now!" said Chu Li.
Xiao Shi slowly nodded.