Chu Li was stunned for a moment. He then shook his head and could not help but to laugh.
Mei Ao Shuang had found an opportunity to embarrass him.
There was no fear that Mei Ao Shuang would harm Siao Shi in any way. After all, she was Siao Qi's sister.
When Mei Ao Shuang could no longer see Chu Li, she looked to Siao Shi with surprise, "Second Lady, you're not afraid that I'll harm you?"
Siao Shi chuckles before taking off her veil to reveal her distinctly pretty features, "You're sworn friends with my younger sister, through life and death. What is there to fear?" Siao Shi states with confidence in her tone. "I'm here to ask a favor from you, Valley Leader."
"What's the matter?" Mei Ao Shuang's gown and gorgeous silky hair fluttered in the wind, as though in tandem with one another, "Before that, let me be clear, I don't want to be associated with the House of High Dukes in any way."
"It's not about the House of High Duke," Siao Shi said. "Valley Leader, you are familiar with Chen Ying's younger sister?"
"Yes, Chen Xue, she has admirable qualities." Mei Ao Shuang says while bowing gently.
Previously, not only did she want to take in Chen Ying, but also expressed her wishes to take in Chen Xue. When she thought about that, her blood began to boil and she could not help but to just grit her teeth in silent fury, she wanted nothing more than to beat Chu Li up severely.
"You're familiar with the rest too," Siao Shi said.
Mei Ao Shuang scoffed and said, "Their qualities were all impressive, it was a pity."
"Valley Leader, I'm sure you're familiar with their backgrounds," Siao Shi stated with a smile.
Mei Ao Shuang nodded.
Siao Shi sighed, "Chu Li will leave the House of High Dukes and follow me to the Imperial Residence of Prince An. He will not be able to take care of them."
"Hmph. He sounds more like a man in this matter," Mei Ao Shuang scoffed while shaking her head unapprovingly.
Siao Shi could tell that Mei Ao Shuang had a bad impression towards Chu Li. With no alternatives, she told her about what Chu Li had done before.
"So I was thinking if you could take them in, Valley Leader Mei. Their physiques are suitable to cultivate the Antique Study of Tai Hua Valley."
"There's too many." Just as Mei Ao Shuang started to look excited, she immediately frowned at the realization.
Siao Shi chuckled, "I've only heard about people complaining that they don't have enough disciples with good qualities but I've never met one that complains that there's too many."
"There are limited places in the valley," Mei Ao Shuang said, "If I take in forty over disciples out of the blue, I fear that I wouldn't be able to fit them all. Furthermore, with so many disciples, it is likely that teachings will be inattentive, so this may not be a good thing."
"If that's the case, I guess this won't work," Siao Shi shook her head and sighed.
Mei Ao Shuang quickly added, "If there's only ten, then it will not be a problem."
The ladies had laudable qualities.If she took them into the valley, they would certainly grow up to be useful people. It was, in reality, a rare opportunity.
Siao Shi shook her head gently and looked afar.
Chu Li had become a tiny black spot and became faintly discernible.
She sighed and said, "He won't agree."
"Fifteen?" Mei Ao Shuang frowned and said, "I really can't stretch any more than that."
"Then forget about it," Siao Shi smiled. "I had intended to reveal a secret to thank you for your help, Valley Leader Mei, it looks like there's no longer a need for that."
"What secret?" Mei Ao Shuang asked, her curiosity now piqued.
Siao Shi replied to her, "Nothing much, each of their physique happens to be suitable for the cultivation of the Ancient Study of Tai Hua Valley. If I tell you that they're born with it, you wouldn't believe me would you Valley Leader Mei?"
Mei Ao Shuang fell into deep thought for a moment then nodded slowly, "It's probably some thaumaturgy."
She had inquired before on the matter and had approached Chen Ying about it, but Chen Ying had brushed it off and said she was sworn to secrecy regarding the matter. From then on, she could only suppress her further queries.
Siao Shi's words were like feathers that swept her heart.
Siao Shi said, "The thaumaturgy will be the foundation for Tai Hua Valley to flourish. Unfortunately, it seems like you're not fond of Chu Li, Valley Leader Mei."
"He's just another man, another jerk. I dislike him!" Mei Ao Shuang scoffed.
Siao Shi smiled as she bowed, "All jerks are bad indeed."
Nonetheless, Mei Ao Shuang kept changing her expression. She was hesitant and indecisive.
If she were to recruit those forty over disciples, no doubt it would flourish Tai Hua Valley, but there would definitely be trouble that comes with recruiting so many at once.
Above all, it was not the size of Tai Hua Valley that was the real issue, it was that Chu Li was the most important person to the forty over disciples.
And Chu Li was from the House of High Dukes.
Once Chu Li gave the orders, they would probably return to the House of High Dukes. Tai Hua Valley and the House of High Dukes were great enemies. If she really did that, wouldn't she be helping the enemy?
"As long as my younger sister is here, there will be no war with the House of High Dukes." Siao Shi's assurance seemed to have read Mei Ao Shuang's thoughts, "Chu Li won't be willing to put Chen Ying and the others in a tough position, so you need not worry about that too,"
"The thaumaturgy is with Chu Li?" Mei Ao Shuang said.
Siao Shi said, "Why not ask him yourself, Valley Leader Mei."
"If he agrees to train ten disciples for me every year, then I will take them in." Mei Ao Shuang said.
Siao Shi shakes her head in disagreement, "I'm afraid that won't happen."
"Is this not within his capacity?" Mei Ao Shuang scoffed.
Siao Shi continued, "Whether he can or not, I am not too sure either, you'll have to ask him yourself."
"Then let's go ask him!" Mei Ao Shuang responded with imperativeness.
The small boat suddenly made a turn and sped back to where they were.
Chu Li was at the side of the lake when he noticed the small boat sailing back.
Siao Shi's, whose eyes were clearer and brighter than the lake water, looked at him with a smiling face and nodded her head indistinctly.
A sense of delight had bubbled within Chu Li. It seemed there was hope yet!
"Chu Li, the Second Lady has mentioned that you have a secret skill that can transform one's qualities to be more suitable for the cultivation of the Antique Study of Tai Hua Valley," Mei Ao Shuang said coldly.
Chu Li pondered then nodded, "It's an antique study lost in history, I won't pass it on to any outsiders."
"Then we have no business here!" Mei Ao Shuang exclaimed, "Second Lady, please step off the boat."
Siao Shi smiled and calmly responded, "Don't rush. Let's have a proper talk."
Mei Ao Shuang stared at Chu Li, her anger surfacing once again, whereas Chu Li responded with complete silence.
After a brief moment, Chu Li broke the silence unwillingly, "Art of White Tiger. Have you heard of this, Valley Leader Mei?"
Mei Ao Shuang humphed, "Of course!"
The martial arts in Tai Hua Valley and the torso tuning technique spanned way back as both had a deep relation with one another. So of course, she had heard of the Art of White Tiger.
Chu Li said, "The Art of White Tiger is what they're cultivating."
Mei Ao Shuang responds immediately with doubt, "Impossible!"
Although she had never practiced the Art of White Tiger herself, she had certainly heard about it. The Art of White Tiger was said to give endless powers but was exceedingly tough to perform; what more have fifty people cultivated it?!
Chu Li smiled.
He was instantly assured. He had seen through Mei Ao Shuang's thoughts.
Mei Ao Shuang continued, "It's impossible that all fifty-people cultivated it!"
Chu Li said, "The great opportunity was a mere coincidence and it won't repeat again in the present world. They're the only ones left who can practice the Art of White Tiger."
Mei Ao Shuang stared at him closely, as if trying to see through to the bottom of his heart.
Chu Li put his hands out and said, "It's fine if you don't believe me, Valley Leader Mei. I'll just look for a more suitable place to have them settle down. It was only because their physiques are suitable for the Ancient Study of Tai Hua Valley and that you were sworn friends with the Third Lady, so I intended to have them sent here. But since you're not willing to, we won't force it then!"
When Mei Ao Shuang saw that he suddenly became so unyielding, she seemed to believe him instead. She scoffed coldly and asked, "How are you going to find a place for them?"
"I'll bring them into the House of High Dukes." Chu Li responded, "My island is still vacant, it'll be a good time to bring them in."
"You're wasting God's gifts recklessly!" Mei Ao Shuang gritted her teeth tightly and stared at him hatefully, her gown fluttered despite the absence of wind.
Siao Shi, noticing the tension building up within Mei Ao Shuang and that she was going to make a move, she coughed softly, "If they're going to cultivate, Tai Hua Valley will be a far better place than the House of High Dukes."
Chu Li put his hands out, "I can't just march in with a sword and force Valley Leader Mei into an agreement. After all, she's sworn friends with the Third Lady!"
With every response, he made sure to mention about them being sworn friends which annoyed Mei Ao Shuang as she knew that he was being sarcastic, but she was speechless against it nor could she refute it.
Siao Shi said, "Valley Leader Mei, how about you accept them into the valley, for my younger sister's sake."
She handed a long ladder over. Mei Ao Shuang knew very well that she should quickly make her exit down the ladder, but she was still aggrieved over the entire exchange.
Chu Li turned around and looked towards the far side of the surface of the lake.
Siao Shi continued, "They're quite pitiful too, they all know that they're Chu Li's weakness. If anyone were to scheme a plot against Chu Li, they'll go after them first. This time Chen Xue and Deng Xin were plundered, if it wasn't for Chu Li who managed to rush there immediately, it would've resulted in a contingency!"
"Chen Xue?" Mei Ao Shuang quickly asked.
Siao Shi nodded gently.
Mei Ao Shuang stared at Chu Li tightly, "Alright, I'll take them in!"
Chu Li said, "Valley Leader Mei, let's be clear on one thing, I'll visit whenever I see fit, you can't stop me from doing that. I hope that today's situation won't occur again!"
"You..." Mei Ao Shuang gritted her teeth so hard that it could be heard.