Chu Li walked up the nine flights of bluestone steps and strode over the Taoist Temple.
The temple had an old, weary feel to it.
Chu Li had already seen a woman in the temple. She was wearing a dark blue gown and was holding a jade horsetail whisk. Her face was fair and clean and she was a complete beauty. Her age roughly matched Siao Qi's.
They both had the same unique trait in between their eyes, and they were both cold and serious.
There was only this lady in the temple, and no one else. This was undoubtedly Lady Siao's aunt, Siao Yueling.
He secretly praised her. He'd thought that she would be an old lady, he would have never expected that she was such a gorgeous lady.
He used the Omniscient Mirror for further observation. Aunt Siao Yueling may be young, but she was already a grandmaster. Her vigor was immense, and she was far stronger than the four Protectors of Lady Siao.
She sat before a coffee table with an antique vibe in the halls, quietly holding a jasper cup in her hands and sipping at hot tea. She had a voluptuous body.
There were three images of Gods in the main hall, which looked as if they were real. One of them was a middle-aged man with an elegant and outstanding vigor, while the other two were beautiful middle-aged women who were extremely beautiful. They looked like husband and wives together.
She sat silently on the chair and was deep in contemplation, looking like she was one of the three Gods.
The door of the main hall was opened. Chu Li and the other two walked into the hall along with Swee.
Swee flung her horsetail whisk.
"Master, Sister Xiao and her friends are here!"
"Hmm, come and have a seat."
Siao Yueling snapped out of her thoughts. She lifted her head and laid eyes on three people. Her eyes moved towards Chu Li, and her stare turned into a sharp glare. Chu Li felt as if he was sliced right through, and his organs almost showed.
"Aunt Siao Yueling!"
"Greetings, Great Aunt."
Siao Yueling waved her hand, though she continued to size up Chu Li.
"You must be Chu Li, I suppose?"
"Indeed, I am." Chu Li wrapped his fist.
"Come and sit, have some tea." Siao Yueling invited the three.
Chu Li accepted delightedly.
The three of them came to the coffee table and sat opposite of Siao Yueling. The mildly pleasant smell of sandalwood entered Chu Li's nose. It was like a surge of spiritual energy from her, forcing people to calm down and to throw aside all evil desires. All that was left wastranquility and silence.
There were already three teacups prepared, as if she'd already known that they were coming. She served the three cups of tea to each of them.
Chu Li received the teacup with both of his hands and sipped at the tea. The fragrant odor immediately diffused throughout his stomach and spread out from it. All the impurities in his body immediately disappeared, and his body felt light.
He was surprised. This was spirit tea! It was used to boost one's body condition and it cleansed one's body.
He had only seen this in the category of unique stories in a book. He would have never thought that he would have the chance to consume the legendary spirit tea himself. How incredibly generous!
Siao Yueling lowered her eyes. Her lashes were so long that it looked like delicate fans was fringing her clear and bright eyes. She opened her mouth and gently sipped at the tea.
Siao Qi and Su Ru were both concentrating on drinking their teas as well. Not a word was said, and it was so quiet that even a needle falling on a floor could be heard.
Swee's large eyes swept across the room over and over. She looked at every single corner of the room until she finally rested her eyes upon Chu Li, and curiously stared at him.
Chu Li was experiencing how amazing this herb was. It cleared the impurities in his body, and his inner energy was circulating much faster.
He knew of the unique trait of the herb. It worked the best the first time someone drank it. Its effect was the strongest at that point and begins to weaken afterward. But if it was consumed for long enough, it will change someone's body condition to the point where they could become a martial arts genius.
Chu Li drank very quickly. The tea in his cup had vanished. He placed the cup down and remained seated politely. He quietly glanced over at Siao Yueling and she did not mind at all. She continued to sip her tea with her eyes lowered.
After a brief moment, she finished drinking her tea and lifted her head, "Young Siao Qi, you've almost completed your innate mastery!"
"Still a little bit more to go," Siao Qi put down her teacup.
Siao Yueling looked at her and smirked, "How rare! The effects of the Andromeda is indeed great! Ha...you're like your mother...quite stubborn, really."
Siao Qi smiled.
This was the first time Chu Li saw her smile. It looked like the first day of summer, and she looked gorgeous.
Siao Yueling looked at Chu Li, "Chu Li...you're cultivating the Sentient Menace?"
Chu Li nodded.
Siao Yueling's long and thin brows moved.
"Aunt, I'm a little worried," Siao Qi expressed her concern, "The martial arts of the Temple of Tempest are tough and toxic. The guide may have traps that trick people into practicing the art with lethal consequences."
"Chu Li. Channel it and show me," Siao Yueling ordered.
As Chu Li circulated the Sentient Menace, his skin immediately glowed with a golden shine. His vigor instantly changed from gentle and calm into arrogant and harsh as his eyesight sharpened by the second.
"Very good..!" Siao Yueling nodded and showed a smile. "It hasn't even been a month, has it? Seems like your meditation is pretty good!"
Even if the followers of the Temple of Tempest had learned the Sentient Menace for years, they might yet be unable to activate it, and Chu Li had done it in less than a month. If the Temple of Tempest found out, they would definitely find a way to make him their follower, regardless.
Chu Li smiled; if he did not have strong meditation, he would not have been able to complete the Scripture of Wisdom's Root. And ever since he completed the Omniscient Mirror, his meditation levels had been getting even stronger. It was almost rare to see such a level in the world.
Siao Yueling gently slapped him.
Chu Li did not flinch, allowing Siao Yueling to slap his chest with her fair and delicate hand.
A loud noise rang out, and Chu Li was in his seat.
A deep noise could be heard, but Chu Li was sitting steadily.
Siao Yueling retracted her hand.
"How do you feel?" she asked.
Chu Li contemplated in thought for a while, "It felt like I was falling into the sea." he was surprised that the gentle slap from a hand that was as fair as jade could bring out such fierce inner energy. It was as though a huge wave had come towards him, attempting to tumble him around.
"Bam!" Siao Yueling sent out another palm.
Chu Li recoiled, and took three steps back to the coffee table, gently landing against the ground.
"How about this?"
"It felt like a tornado."
"Any part of your body feel anything?"
"No specific parts, so far."
"Lucky," Siao Yueling let out her held breath and smiled at Siao Qi.
"Don't worry, he's not on the wrong tracks."
"That's good," Siao Qi nodded.
"I tried to stop him from practicing it, but he was very stubborn. The martial arts of the Temple of Tempest aren't easy to learn," Siao Yueling smiled.
"The Sentient Menace is great. It's unfortunate that only people with profound Buddhist austerities can practice it," She looked towards Chu Li. "You got their secret guidebook, how many levels were there?"
"Thirty-six moves," Chu Li answered, "And six layers."
"There are actually nine layers to the Sentient Menace," Siao Yueling corrected. "It's said that if you cultivated it to the highest layer, you can actually become as hard as metal and turn into the Buddha. Which is why it's also called the endless buddha austerities. You should not underestimate it and give it a try."
"Nine layers" Chu Li understood something.
The entire time he had been cultivating, he could feel that something was missing. He felt no satisfaction when he cultivated and he could not find the reason as to why, but now it was apparent. He'd been missing three layers.
"You're quite lucky," Siao Yueling smiled, "I have a whole set of the Sentient Menace. You can try to train it. If you feel that you've started to become reckless and feel a little bloodthirsty every now and then, you must stop."
"Yes!" Chu Li said as he wrapped his fist.
"You've already consumed the tea, and now is the time for you to put it to work! Siao Qi, show me how much you've improved!" Siao Yueling gracefully stood up and flicked her horsetail whisk. The gentle strand touched the coffee table and it slid twenty feet away, halting at the corner of the hall and creating an empty space.
As Siao Qi drew her sword and struck, a cold flash shined.
Siao Yueling flicked the whisk as if it was part of her arm, it was extremely lighy and it slithered like a snake.
Siao Qi's sword flashed like snow. Her gentle strikes made some noise while they shot forth like lightning.
Chu Li praised her in secret. The swordplay was amazing. If he had to fight her in a contest of pure swordsmanship, he would probably lose, even with the help of the Omniscient Mirror. It seemed that he was not satisfied with the Delusion Split. He would need to find another sword technique when he reached home.
The whisk and the longsword clashed against each other. The whole hall was filled with threads from the horsetail whisk, and the flashes of the sword were like a snake of lightning darting among the threads. The snake began to move slower and was bound in the end.
The whisk was twisted and pulled backward. Her sword was snatched from her hand and flung up.
Siao Qi leapt into the air and grabbed her sword, landing gently.
"Not bad! You did get better!" Siao Yueling nodded in satisfaction and smiled. "Next time, you come here when your innate mastery is complete!"
"Very well," Siao Qi nodded and sheathed her sword.
Siao Yueling waved off her hand,"You may leave now."
"Aunt Siao Yueling, I shall depart!" Siao Qi wrapped her fist.
Swee carried a wooden box and handed it to Chu Li. Chu Li took it and wrapped his fist towards Siao Yueling as a sign of appreciation.
Siao Yueling smiled, "Remember to train based on the Buddhist Austerities. If you have any question just seek the answer from Buddhist Scriptures."
"Understood," Chu Li opened the wooden box and took out an old, yellowish book. Its material composition was unique. It was not made of paper or cloth. He carefully touched it. It was fine but very tough.
He flipped through it once, closed his eyes for a moment and flipped through the book again. He then he placed the book back into the wooden box, closed it and returned it to Swee.
Swee looked at him, surprised.
"Swee, return it. Be careful on your journey, I won't be sending you," Siao Yueling said.
"Aunt, I shall return now!" Siao Qi bowed and stepped out of the temple's door.
The three of them left the temple. The twenty or so Protectors had already surrounded the temple. When they saw the three return, they shrank their formation and surrounded Siao Qi during the descent.
Chu Li glanced behind to have a last look on the way down the branches, but he could no longer see the temple.
They came and left in a hurry. Siao Qi never dragged out whatever she did. She had left after checking on her Great Aunt for a brief moment, as if their relationship was very cold.
But Chu Li knew that the feelings Siao Qi had towards Siao Yueling were very deep. She was her mental support, and checking on her for a moment was enough for her to feel relieved enough to deal with matters in the Public House without feeling burdened.
The seventy-two forms were shifting in Chu Li's mind, fusing and linking with one another.
The first six layers had thirty-six poses while the last three layers had another thirty-six poses, though they were far more complicated and harder to cultivate. He was also very curious; if his body was hard as metal, could he then be likened to Buddha?
After they descended from the mountain, they found their horses and spent half a day to arrive at the front of the woods.
"It's here!" Su Ru whispered.
Chu Li slowly nodded.
"Okay, let's all have another rest," Su Ru said.
The group of Protectors felt as if something was weird, but they did not think much of it. They stopped their horses and looked around, putting their guard up.