On his way back, Zhuo Feiyang looked dejected. Chu Li's strong words kept reverberating in his mind, and it seemed have taken a toll on him.He could not get his mind off the way Zhao Ying had reacted when they had met just now. He got more and more worried as those thoughts cycled through his mind. Had he lost Zhao Ying already? That was his biggest fear of all.
His mind wandered off to the memories of the day he and Zhao Ying first met.
It was his second day of serving the Federal House. That day, he needed to head to the lecture hall to report himself, and sign up for the course. Just as he entered the hall, of all the twenty plus people inside, his eyes met with Zhao Ying's. At that moment, something sparked within his heart, his eyes lit up, his heart started racing. It was as if the world had stopped spinning at that precise moment.
From that moment onwards, he decided, that she was the girl he had been looking for his whole life!
Zhao Ying was a quiet girl in the hall. She seldom spoke. She was a reserved girl by nature, and because she was the only female in the hall, everyone had their eyes on her.
The memories halted there, as Zhuo Feiyang's mind snapped back into reality. He shook his head slightly, as he remembered that Chu Li that bastard liked Zhao Ying too. What was he thinking? A frog trying to be a prince? He would not match Zhao Ying at all, how foolish!
He thought that it was funny, but at the same time, he did not let his guard down. That fellow could notpractice the inner strength, but he was smart. Zhao Ying had always been kind-hearted and innocent, what if she had fallen into one of Chu Li's traps? That was why Zhuo Feiyang was so determined to defeat Chu Li.He came up with lots of ideas as to how, and he would not stop. Even when there was not a decent opportunity to strike, he would strive to create one.
But reality could be harsh at times. Every single time he attempted to beat Chu Li, he would always end up on the losing end, conceding crushing defeats. Never once had he succeeded, and with every attempt, he brought more shame to himself.
That bastard Chu Li was a step closer to Zhao Ying with his every failure, but it was his weakness and inability that had contributed to that. He could not stand it any longer, the experience was excruciating!
What if Chu Li was already very close to absolute victory, and would soon win away Zhao Ying' heart once and for all?
He dragged his deflated self, back to his own home. That night, he rolled and rolled on his bed, but sleep eluded him. The very next day, he woke up at the break of dawn. He decided to head to the training grounds of the Grand Hall of Martial Arts early. When he arrived, he saw Zhao Ying training there.
The morning sunlight was soothing and gentle, it wasn't too hot nor was it too cold. Zhao Ying was dressed in an azure green. Her every movement seemed to sync with the swaying rhythm of the morning breeze, it was every bit graceful. Under the Sun, she looked as if she was glowing with a righteous aura, the kind that would be a fatal attraction. Around them were many other people who were training as well.
Zhuo Feiyang scanned around him for a brief second, then called out to her, "Sister Zhao!"
Zhao Ying did not stop with her sword training, as she unwillingly replied, "So, you're here, brother Zhuo."
Zhuo Feiyang unsheathed his sword, and said, "Sister Zhao, let's spar for a bit, shall we?"
Zhao Ying hesitated for a second, then withdrew her sword. "Spar?" she said.
If it was a long time ago, she would have accepted that challenge without hesitation. But now, she was aware of her sword skills' improvements, Zhuo Feiyang might not be her match.
Zhuo Feiyang nodded, "My Delusion Split sword skill had made some big improvements lately, let's just spar for a bit. Take this!"
As soon as he finished speaking, he threw a strike at her. Zhao Ying did not have a choice but to return the strike. She drew out her long sword and engaged in a battle with Zhuo Feiyang.
Zhuo Feiyang started having some doubts. Initially, he did not give his all for fear that he might hurt her. But as the battle ensued, he could see that she had no problems at all in coping with his skills. Therefore, he upped his game, slowly using more force with every strike.
Towards the end, he had exhausted all his skills and tricks. The "Delusion Split" technique was stretched to its limits, but Zhao Ying seemed to be untouched still. In fact, she looked like she was the one who was holding back, to preserve him some pride.
This made him feel disappointed in himself. He struck back at her with greater force.
Zhao Ying noticed that something was amiss, but did not give it much thought. Her "Flying Swallow" technique was elegant yet deadly, as she handled each of her opponent's strike with ease. She felt that she had more control over the match as time progressed.
The two of them soon exchanged over hundreds of strikes. Zhuo Feiyang's sword struck more and more forcefully, with mounting fury.
Secretly, he deployed one of his latest tricks. It sparked an increase in his strength. His face became as blush as a drunkard, the blood vessels in his eyes almost popping. His sword skills improved insurmountably, his anger terrifying.
He hadn't achieved the state of enlightenment yet, hence his inner strength could not overcome his physical form. But all in all, that kind of sword skills was rare, and it attracted a crowd watching beside them.
Zhao Ying' sword technique gradually reached its peak. As she faced blow after blow of fierce strikes, she became more and more agile. She indulged herself in the battle, and everyone around them thought they saw a smile flash across her face.
Back when he sparred with Chu Li, Chu Li would always defeat her within a couple of moves.It was very difficult to master the elegant flow of the "Flying Swallow" technique. Whenever she faced anyone from the Raging Tiger Ravine, the urge to kill would overwhelm her, and she would not be able to fully showcase her technique.
This "Flying Swallow" technique was unique. When using it, the more relaxed you are, the more powerful it would become. Your sword would be gleaming with force, and a simple strike could be as deadly.
"Ding..." Zhuo Feiyang stood rooted to the ground. Out of the blue, his sword was struck out of his very own hands.It landed with a clang, as he turned and walked away, his face visibly stunned.
Zhao Ying did not realize what had happened until later. She hurriedly called out to him, "Senior Zhuo..."
Zhuo Feiyang pretended to not hear it and continued walking away in big steps. Before long, he reached his boat and quickly leaped on it.
Bai Zhijie was already on the boat, waiting for his orders. He gave a few commands coldly, and could only manage a faint, bitter smile back at Zhao Ying. The boat rowed away.
Zhao Ying stood by the bank, and could only watch as Zhuo Feiyang departed. She let out a sigh. Zhuo Feiyang had always been narrow-minded. Whenever he lost to her, he would become agitated. Could it be that Senior Chu was right, that he looked down on women, and could not allow himself to be inferior to women?
On the previous occasion when they had sparred, it came down in a similar fashion. He purposely held back his strength to give her a chance. But when he lost at that time, he did not feel embarrassed at all. So, why the reaction today?
She shook her head in disbelief. She returned to the training ground to resume her routine. The "Flying Swallow" sword technique was truly phenomenal. But she was still far from mastering it completely.
The few days following the event, she isolated herself from the outside world to cultivate her inner strength. Occasionally, she would spend some time out in the training grounds working on her sword skills. She found it to be relaxing, and a relaxed mind would speed up improvements in her inner strength training.
Zhuo Feiyang never appeared after what happened the other day. He too started isolating himself for training.
On the tenth day, Zhao Ying finally broke the 36th forcefield, it would come to full innate mastery on the day after tomorrow. Hence, she decided to meet with Chu Li, so they could pay a visit to the Raging Tiger ravine together.
When she reached East Garden, she knocked on the main door, but there was no answer. She had no choice but to leave and return. She thought to herself, that they must have traveled to town.
Senior Chu had always stayed inside East Garden, refusing to make any contact from anyone outside. Even his previous colleagues had not been in touch with him since. This was because everyone looked down at him, and laughed at him.
As she realized his difficulties, she started to sympathise with Chu Li. Senior Chu Li had endured way too much mocking, he had suffered too much!
In town, Chu Li and Lee Yue were indeed touring the town with a businessman. They circled around the central street and finally reached their destination, a house near the river.
This river flowed in the heart of Chong Lee Yuning town. It was around 10 feet wide. Its water was clear as crystal, and rows of willow trees grew along its banks. The branches of the willow trees swayed with the rhythm of the breeze.
"My Lords, this house belonged to a wealthy man. Unfortunately, he had succumbed to an accident while out at sea. The accident tore his family apart, leaving them no choice but to liquidate all his properties, including this house." The businessman that accompanied them was a middle-aged man. He bore a humble and modest look. The man shook his head and sighed, "This world is unpredictable, anything could happen. The accident was beyond anybody's control. Sigh... Just because the owner died, everyone assumes that the fengshui of this property is bad. That's why people seldom inquire about this house, and hence its low price."
They lived in an era where everyone practiced martial arts. People also held strong beliefs on the ways of Buddhism. In fact, many if not all were followers of Buddha.
Chu Li nodded in agreement.
The house was huge. Only the rich few could afford it. And it was precisely the rich, who always had concerns over things like fengshui. They knew that even with all the riches in the world, they still could not bend fate. Hence, they were fearful towards it.
Fengshui was of utmost importance to a property. They were not ready to take this risk. Moreover, there were still many decent options in town, there was no urgent need to break a deal immediately.
"Tell me, what's the price?" Chu Li asked.
"Hehe, I will sell it at ten thousand taels!"
"Why, isn't that cheap?!"