The night was shrouded in mist, and the moonlight was piercing through the vapor.
Six boats covered in black cloth stealthily landed on the Guardian of the Jade.
A large man landed on the island and carefully carried fifty sacks into Chu Li's courtyard.
The moonlight was shining brightly into the courtyard. The man stood at the center and ordered his men to put the sacks down. His voice was deep and gentle, as he was afraid of distracting his men.
In a flash, the large man disappeared. The boats had left the island and the night went on, silent.
Xue stood next to Chu Li, her gleaming eyes were moving all over in an attempt to size up the sacks.
She may not have known what was in the sacks, but she could tell that it was a secret, as it was done discreetly. She knew that she needed to keep her mouth shut.
Chu Li pointed at the piles of sacks.
Xue bent down to untie the stacks. Her backside formed an elegant curve capable of moving hearts.
Chu Li shifted his gaze and concentrated on the sacks.
Some of the sacks were carrying dark red mud, and some were carrying dried leaves and grass. There was also some black sand, and some of them had a nasty odor.
Xue withstood the odor and opened the sacks one by one without flinching. She looked towards Chu Li after she finished.
Chu Li analyzed the sacks and gave off a satisfied look. Everything he needed was here. He ordered Xue to layer the materials in the sack in a specific order in the courtyard and to water them with two pails of water.
The both of them worked the entire night. Chu Li was giving orders to the side and Xue was working non-stop. Her white gown was tainted and she smelled horrible.
She did not show any visible frustration. She did whatever Chu Li asked her to do with no complaints.
Chu Li smirked.
This girl's endurance was unexpectedly high!
Chu Li stopped his meditation early in the morning and left the guest house. He greeted Xue and watered the land.
Xue came from the east room, lifted two pails of water, and began splashing water onto the land. She had drenched a six meter wide square of land.
Chu Li asked her to water them again after two hours. What mattered most today was watering the land, and she needed to do it every two hours.
She clenched her teeth and nodded.
Chu Li delegated the job over to her and continued in his training of the Sentient Menace.
Xue watched him from the side while she watered the land every two hours. She stood around a corner and watched Chu Li train, memorizing all thirty-six moves relatively quickly.
In the afternoon, Xue cooked up so much food that it filled the table.
Chu Li sat at the stone table in the pagoda.
"Xue! You come and eat too!"
"Master! I am but a maid, I cannot share a table with you!"
Xue refused his offer.
Chu Li lifted his head and looked at her.
"There's only the two of us, no need to be so uptight about the rules!"
"I cannot ignore the rules."
Chu Li smiled as he could not help it.
"Alright, anything you like, I guess."
He knew of Xue's story. She was once the young daughter of a prefectural magistrate, but after the magistrate was assassinated by the sects, so she and her mother relied on their uncle since then. She was only ten, but she already had fostering hatred for the sects, and she was eager to learn more about martial arts.
The magistrate she was in was under the Public House, so she was able to enter easily and become a maid in the island 'Guardian of the Jade' until she turned twenty and finished building her foundation. She was doing her best in cultivation.
She may not have been a genius in martial arts, and her progress was indeed slow. It would take a long time before she would be able to challenge the Tower of Ranking. She watched Chu Li cultivate and wondered what form of martial arts he was training, and if she could do it herself.
Chu Li was enjoying his meal with his great appetite. Halfway through the food, he raised his head.
"The arts I'm training isn't suitable for you."
Xue's expression changed.
Chu Li looked at her.
"This heart technique is Buddhist. It's certainly not suitable for a woman to train. Studying it without the adequate level of Buddhist austerities is suicide, so don't try anything."
"Master, you have enough Buddhist austerities?"
"Ah, so you know not of where I came from!"
"Chief didn't say a thing."
"I grew up in a temple, and I've been cultivating my Buddhist austerities. That's why I'm able to practice this art, but not you. There's no benefit to you learning this. Aren't you cultivating the Crescent Cryptic?
Xue lightly nodded.
"That heart technique is powerful, but it's hard to train."
Chu Li said.
"It'll be fine!"
Chu Li looked at her.
"You're going to go through a lot if you train this!"
The Crescent Cryptic was not the most common of heart techniques. It was meant to cultivate the purest and darkest inner strength. Its power was unusually strong, but the process in which to cultivate it was slow. The speed of it was about one-third of a normal heart technique, but the payoff was in the doubled strength compared to normal heart techniques.
The Crescent Cryptic was typically suited for geniuses to train, it was better if the more normal users avoided it. Even though Xue was determined, her aptitude was average. If she continued to train it, she would suffer the consequences unless there was outside help.
Xue pursed up her red lips and did not speak a word.
Chu Li smiled and said no more. He knew that she was not going to give up unless she faced the consequences herself, thanks to her personality. He had no choice but to let her experience the failure herself, and give up on her own will.
Xue's cooking was much better than Lee Yue's, and her talent in cooking was more apparent than her talent in martial arts. She was not suitable for martial arts at all.
But he knew how truly determined Xue was, and how she was almost consumed by it. She tried her best to become stronger and to protect her family. He did not want to dampen her will, and letting her feel failure herself was the best way to do it.
"Master, have you never challenged the Tower of Ranking?
"Then are you able to?"
Chu Li laughed.
Xue looked at him silently. Her expression showed no sign of changing.
"I don't want to challenge the Tower of Ranking because I don't want to be a Protector."
Chu Li said.
"Okay?" Xue nodded. She said no more.
Chu Li felt the disdain she displayed without even having to activate Omniscient Mirror. He waved off his hand.
"And that's it. Have your meal and don't forget to water the land!"
Xue bowed and left.
Chu Li gazed at her back as he smiled. She was a person who made people worry.
He went to the Tower of Wisdom after his meal. He read for two hours, returned to train Sentient Menace until nightfall, and then went back to the East Garden.
He had decided to finish reading all the books in the Tower of Wisdom. He spent two hours reading every day, and since he was unable to leave the Public House, he might as well have tried his best to finish all the books.
The few days after that was spent in the Guardian of the Jade. He was either watering the soil, loosening the soil, or adding sacks of material into it. The dark red soil began to turn black, and it ended up black as ink. The initial horrid smell turned into a relatively more pleasant smell. It reminded him of the smell of red sandalwood.
This meant that the construction of the spirit land was successful! All the soil that was mixed together turned into an actual land of spirit!