"Master, I've finally found them." The doors of the small courtyard opened and Xue Ling strolled in gently whilst dressed in a flowing white gown. The temperature of the air seemed to drop as she walked in.
The more Xue Ling flaunted her beauty, the colder the air became.
At the moment, she was relentlessly striving to improve and was showing rapid growth in Crescent Cryptic.
She genuinely felt that her skills in the martial arts were not strong enough and because of this, she was unable to help her Master. Instead, she had become a burden, causing her to take every chance she could to improve herself.
With the help of the Concentration Talisman, her skills took a huge leap forward as she reached her full potential and was now at the edge of breaking through her limits.
She entered the small pavilion and handed over a pouch to Chu Li. "These are seeds for forget-me-nots."
Chu Li took the pouch, looked into it and nodded in satisfaction. "Let's try planting them."
Xue Ling went to prepare a pot of tea and picked it up with both hands as she asked, "What is the use of these forget-me-nots?"
"You haven't investigated?" Chu Li laughed sarcastically.
Xue Ling was slightly embarrassed, then she gently smiled with her lips curled upward. "They don't seem to have any other effects aside from minor intoxication. Why would anyone want them?"
Chu Li shrugged. "I have my uses."
Xue Ling didn't prod further. "Master, will New Moon Brothel really be established at Fairy's Capital?"
"Hmm, how should I put it?" Chu Li sipped his cup of tea before stepping out of the pavilion. He soon arrived at the Glory's Will Tree and planted two seeds next to it.
The two seeds which were similar in size to sesame seeds were planted within the blessed farmland. Xue Ling then scooped up some water and gently sprinkled it over them.
After this, Chu Li activated Life and Death Scripture and moved the spiritual force from the Glory's Will Tree over.
As the Glory's Will Tree grew, its spiritual force only became more purified. Its effect on spirit herbs and flowers had become even more apparent.
The combination of the spiritual force from the Glory's Will Tree and the spiritual force from Chu Li's Life and Death Scripture soon took effect and the blessed farmland quickly sprouted two small stalks.
"The brothel owner had her doubts. The power struggles within the Fairy's Capital is chaotic. She's concerned that the situation might be unstable there."
"There's still the Second Lady there. It wouldn't be possible to make it back after." Chu Li said as he activated the Life and Death Scripture.
The small courtyard he resided in now was identical to the Glory's Will Courtyard in the Jade Island Guardian. This gave him the feeling of being on the island itself.
"I shall speak with the brothel owner again." Xue Ling lowered her gaze to fall upon the growth of the forget-me-not plants.
Two hours later, the plants had grown to the length of a finger whilst bearing the appearance of common grass.
Xue Ling lifted her head to ask, "Are these really forget-me-nots? Could I have just mistaken them? They're just common grass."
Chu Li replied, "Give it a whiff and tell me if there's any scent."
Xue Ling leaned forward and breathed in. Her nose wrinkled as she replied, "It's a little odd."
"Is the scent different from that of common grass?"
"It's true that they're not the same."
Xue Ling rubbed her temple and continued. "No one would be able to tell the difference if this thing is planted within grass fields!"
Chu Li nodded. "This is truly its unique trait."
Xue Ling frowned. "But this plant does nothing at all. No one would even think of taking it seriously."
Chu Li nodded and said, "True it is not poisonous. It only gets people a little intoxicated."
Xue Ling cocked her head as she looked at him.
Chu Li grinned without saying any more.
These forget-me-nots quickly begun to bear seeds and gradually wilted, marking the end of their two-hour cycle.
Chu Li gathered their seeds, eventually filling a whole pouch.
When midnight fell, Yuan Kuohai was busy managing documents at home. Every piece of intel gathered from across the Ji Dynasty were piled up here. He needed to sort them out according to sects and to send a crucial report back to his bosses.
Outside his home stood two Grandmasters on guard. He was the only one in the house.
At this moment, Chu Li appeared out of the blue.
Yuan Kuohai lifted his head to look at him, clearly having been taken by surprise.
Chu Li passed a pouch to him. "These are the forget-me-not seeds. You can test it out by planting them yourself."
Yuan Kuohai took it from him as Chu Li continued, "Any news regarding Duan Lidao?"
"Duan Lidao hold on for a moment. Let me find it." Yuan Kuohai said.
He pressed a hidden switch after saying this and a secret room revealed itself.
He entered the secret room and retrieved a file before passing it to Chu Li. "This is all the information I have regarding Duan Lidao. He is quite impressive!"
Chu Li took it from his hands and flipped through it. After a while, his brows furrowed as he muttered, "Duan Lidao"
"This man is a lone vigilante who is known to only kill criminals. Around eighty criminals have fallen before his blade, maybe even more. His reputation is equal even to that of the White Shroud Shendao." Yuan Kuohai said.
"He hasn't committed any crimes thus far?" Chu Li asked.
Yuan Kouhai nodded. "A rare vigilante of justice."
"How fortunate for King An!" Chu Li huffed.
After Duan Lidao's life was saved by King An, he had given his word to help him carry out a single task.
As of today, this favor had been used to eliminate Chu Li.
Yuan Kuohai sighed. "This man is fiercely skilled with the knife. A single slash from him can easily end one's life. He does not ever need to strike twice - very similar to the White Shroud Shendao.
Chu Li said slowly, "Very well, I'll be cautious."
He handed the folder back to Yuan Kuohai and disappeared the next second.
The auburn sunset was stretching out over the High Duke's Public House as Chu Li and Xue Ling left the small island.
As they boarded a boat, a small raft from afar floated towards them. Yang Xu was steering the raft, and a slender figure stood atop the raft's bow whilst dressed in a lunar white gown with a white veil covering her face. It was Xiao Shi.
Yang Xu waved her hands urgently. "Chief!"
Chu Li urged the small boat to head towards them, stopped just a few feet away from them. Then, he greeted them with a fist salute.
Yang Xu smiled as she spoke, "Chief, what a coincidence this is! The Lady was just on her way to the island."
Chu Li replied, "If the Lady wished to ask me anything, then merely has to give a small notice for me to welcome her."
Xiao Shi asked calmly, "Can I not just visit to have a look? Where are you all going?"
"Just making a trip to the city."
"I intended to do so as well, so let us journey there together!"
"That will be fine." Chu Li smiled as he replied.
Xiao Shi pouted. "You seem as though you're being forced agree to this against your will!"
"I'm afraid that there might be people are still targeting you. Visiting the city would give them an opportunity to strike." Chu Li smiled.
"If I am assassinated in the city, then others will truly begin to doubt my house's power. Is that what you're afraid of?" Xiao Shi shook her head as she spoke.
Chu Li chuckled a little, not denying it.
Anyone paying close attention to them could easily realize the fragility of the current High Duke's Public House. Meanwhile, the martial arts factions have already begun to prepare to strike back.
"Ah yes, big brother threw a huge fit today. It seems that a faction was eliminated. It caused quite a commotion." Xiao Shi continued to say.
"Eliminated?" Chu Li narrowed his eyes and asked.
"Yes, big brother said this faction was a mixed bunch, but the attacks on them went too far and many innocents ending up perishing in the process."
"Who did it?"
"Investigations didn't reveal anything, hence my brother's anger." Xiao Shi shook her head as she replied.
Chu Li frowned. The elder Master would also be angered if he heard about this.
Yang Xu asked, "Second Lady, could it be the work of the White Shroud Shendao? I heard that this White Shroud Shendao specializes in eliminating factions. As of now, around ten factions had fallen to him."
Xiao Shi found the possibility of this unacceptable. "What purpose has he in coming to our side of the land?"
Xue Ling glanced at Chu Li. Chu Li shot a glare back, warning her not to speak anymore.
Xue Ling kept her red lips sealed tight, afraid that she might accidentally say something damaging.
The White Shroud Shendao's reputation had recently grown and he was becoming an increasingly eminent figure. Yet, none of them knew that the White Shroud Shendao was, in fact, her master. This was because her master was so skilled in concealing his strength. It certainly was tempting for her to proudly spit it all out.
They soon reached Leisure Cloud Pub without any disturbance.
The location surrounding Leisure Cloud Pub was peaceful outside, in contrast to the merry spirits within.
Many women moved about whilst dressed flamboyantly and brightly, giving the pub a charmingly yet alluring vibe.
One would feel like time inside the bar passed rather quickly when sitting here chit chatting and drinking wine. The mood inside was amazing when compared to other similar restaurants as well. It didn't even matter if you had a few maidens for company, nothing could really come close to what this place had to offer.
Chu Li waved his hand, gesturing to Chen Xue and the others that there was no need to approach him. They would make their way in themselves.
It was Xiao Shi's first time here.
She had already heard of the many young girls saved by Chu Li as mentioned by her little sister and how each one of them was given a fresh start in life after getting rescued. Indeed, Chu Li had certainly helped the lives of many.
From the looks of things now, they were certainly living better lives.
As he looked at the many women in Leisure Cloud Pub, Chu Li's thoughts eventually drifted to Chen Ying.
He wondered how she was doing at Tai Hua Valley and whether or not she had used up her Concentration Talisman.
He felt that he should construct another Concentration Talisman to deliver to her during his two days stay here. This was also so she could quickly develop into a top-notch Master that he could rely on in times of need.
As the grand wedding approached, he knew he would soon step foot within the Imperial Residence of King An. Because of this, Chu Li grew more worried about the lack of allies on his side.
That night, Chu Li stayed up the entire night, but Duan Lidao hadn't appeared at all.
The next day, as he was training in the small courtyard, Xue Ling pushed the door gently and softly said, "Master, the one who eliminated the factions has been found. Yue Jintao is Duan Lidao!"