He could feel that the Glory's Will Tree was growing steadily; its roots were slowly extending to all sides and will soon join together with the other trees. Their spiritual energies and roots will intertwine to become one, further accelerating the growth.
The trees were planted separately in different corners of the courtyard southeast, southwest, and south forming a triangle The Glory's Will Tree was in the middle of the triangle, with a distance of 12 meters.
Chu Li sensed that it will only take two days for The Glory's Will Tree to complete its rooting. With the spiritual energy support from the other three trees, it will no doubt grow incredibly fast and will begin to sprout after 10 days.
Right now, it still looked like a wilted branch, without any vital sign.
Xue Ling glanced at the branch whenever she walked by serving the dishes. She shook her head, not understanding why Chu Li was so fixated on it. Planting trees was still acceptable, but she could not fathom sticking a wilted branch into the ground and treating it like a baby and staring at it.
She laid out all the dishes on the stone table in the gazebo, and came to Chu Li, "Master, the food is ready."
Chu Li waved his hand in acknowledgment.
He was in the midst of sensing the Glory's Will Tree, and suddenly realized that it not only absorbed the three trees' spiritual energies, but was faintly breathing on its own and exhaling its energy into the air. This trace of exhaled energy differed and was purer than any other energy he had encountered before. As the three trees at each corner took in the Glory's Will Tree's exhaled energy, Chu Li could feel their vigor growing and strengthening.
Deep in his own thoughts, he was unaware that time was ticking by.
Fifteen minutes later, Xue Ling looked at Chu Li and reminded softly, "Master, the dishes are getting cold!"
Chu Li turned his head and glared at her. Xue Ling was not intimidated, and looked back at him defiantly, her eyes round and bright.
"You" Chu Li sighed and shook his head. He stood up and patted the soil away from his hands.
Xue Ling brought over a basin of water and Chu Li rinsed his hands clean before walking into the gazebo. He picked up the jade chopsticks and said to Xue Ling, "If you did not sleep enough, go take an afternoon nap."
"Alright," answered Xue Ling as she poured away the basin of water. She entered the gazebo and stood quietly beside him. She smelled nice.
Chu Li took a small bite, and sipped some wine, thinking about the pure spiritual energy he felt earlier. He wondered if he was able to use the Glory's Will Tree's spiritual energy to help him cultivate, purify and strengthen his own inner energy.
His mood lightened up thinking about it, and finished his wine in one gulp. Xue Ling filled his cup again with wine.
"Hey, you are eating!" Su Ru pushed the door and walked in, her apricot gown flowing along with her movements as she walked up into the gazebo. Casting a glance at the stone table, she commented, "that looks like a sumptuous meal!"
Chu Li smiled and asked, "Have you eaten, Chief?"
Su Ru waved her hand lightly, and answered, "I just finished actually. I came by to take a look at The Glory's Will Tree." She walked over to where the wilted branch was planted and observed it.
Furrowing her brows, she asked, "is it alive?"
Chu Li smiled, "yes, you will be able to see it tomorrow."
"Will there be any complications?" Su Ru was trying to analyze it, but no matter how she looked at it, it still looked like a wilted branch without any chance of survival.
Putting down his cup and chopsticks, Chu Li walked to her side and smiled, "it can't possibly grow so fast."
"That's true," laughed Su Ru. She was too impatient.
The case of the Glory's Will Tree was extremely important. If it does survive, it could help to grow the Spirit Medicine faster, and in return help Lady Siao's cultivation to improve dramatically and be stronger. This is directly related to the Guardian of Jade Island and its standing.
Su Ru walked back into the gazebo, and said, "continue your feast."
Xue Ling greeted her, while Chu Li also returned to the gazebo. He sat down and continued eating.
He asked, "Chief, I don't understand something."
"There's something you don't know? That's surprising," Su Ru smiled.
Xue Ling walked out of the gazebo and brought back tea to serve Su Ru. She took a sip of it, and said, "what is it?"
Chu Li asked, "Is Lady Yueling just young, or is it because she's well cultivated in her skills?"
"She's Lady Siao's aunty, older than her by 10 years."
"So she's well cultivated," Chu Li commented. Siao Yueling and Siao Qi looked as if they are the same age, not only do both of them look young but they were also very elegant in their behavior.
"Well, Aunt Yueling is a natural talent, she is no less than Lady Siao."
"Which sect is she from?"
Su Ru rolled her eyes at Chu Li, "why are you asking?"
"I know Aunt Yueling is a grandmaster, and that is not achievable in the Public House so she must have joined some sect, am I right?"
Su Ru nodded her head. "Seemed like you know about the general procedure about rising in power, but this was not how she did it nor did it work on her. It's a secret, the lesser you know the better," she said.
Chu Li looked at her in curiosity. Su Ru shook her head.
"Since it's a secret, then it is most probably not because of the speed of her cultivation progress nor could it be a unique encounter could it be that Aunt Yueling was with a sect since young? To reach grandmaster level at such a young age, she must have come from a popular sect, one of the top four maybe. It will be impossible for her to come from The Temple of Tempest or from The Temple of Titanium, leaving the Deer Cliff or Mountain of Amethyst. With what she's wearingit must be The Deer Cliff?"
Su Ru glared at him and said, "Okay, you are smart!"
Noting that she did not deny what he said, he nodded and began to think.
The House of High Duke and Martial Art Sects never bond well. The Imperial Household has long used the House of High Duke to restrain the power of the Martial Art Sects. Should both of them had worked together, the Imperial Household will never let the House of High Duke off easily.
Chu Li furrowed his brows, "this move"
He shook his head. This is not a good move. Even if the Imperial Household knows nothing about it, they would have guessed something and the Yi Public House may be punished harshly.
"There is nothing much we can do," Su Ru sighed and explained, "Aunt Yueling's personality is very different from Lady Siao. She has been very independent in mind since young. Our Great Ancestor spoilt her and no one could control her at all. She secretly escaped the Public House and disguised herself as a peasant, and in a stroke of fate, joined the Deer Cliff."
Chu Li shook his head. Siao Yueling's actions were akin to setting the Public House on fire.
"Since then, our Great Ancestor announced that Aunt Yueling is dead." Su Ru sighed again. "It was big deal at that time. Aunt Yueling had lots of admirers; one of them being the younger brother of High Duke Lu, from the Ren Public House."
"What happened after that?"
Su Ru continued, "Aunty Yueling's actual name was Siao ***, but she changed it to Siao Yueling after joining Deer Cliff. Since then, she refused to change back to her actual name, or acknowledge herself from the Public House. She also claimed that Siao *** was dead."
"Siao ***" Chu Li seemed lost in his thoughts. "Ren Public House's princess (County Lord) is Lu Yurong?"
After the attack by Ren Public House, he did some research on them and understood that it was most definitely Lu Yurong who ordered the assassination. The County Lord from Ren Public House is known to be a brilliant and smart person.
Su Ru clarified, "Lu Yurong's father had nothing to do with Aunt Yueling."
Chu Li looked dubious.
Su Ru rolled her eyes at him and grunted, "why do you want to know all this? It may do you more harm than good."
Chu Li smiled, and finished his cup of wine. Xue Ling refilled his cup againand stood behind him quietly.
Su Ru sighed. "Lu Yurong's father retreated in isolation to cultivate. She was raised by her uncle, who fell for Aunt Yueling and was obsessed with her. When he heard news of her death, he got depressed and passed away."
Chu Li was startled.
"Both public houses were not enemies at that time. It only happened after Lu Yurong's uncle's death."
"Did Lu Yurong try to kill Aunt Yueling?"
"She only hated her, but she did not make any moves. It was only after she got wind that Aunt Yueling is actually still alive that she started to plan her revenge. She believed that her uncle is a victim as Aunt Yueling was his favorite person; and perceived that it is our fault to hide the truth in order to protect ourselves."
"She was not exactly wrong."
"Sighso now both public houses are enemies, and it's just getting worse." Su Ru shook her head. "The Ren Public House is growing stronger under her leadership, they are growing more and more powerful, and not to mention more arrogant! What are your thoughts now that you know all these?"
Chu Li shook his head, still speechless.
He finished his cup of wine in one gulp and put it down, and pondered, "I presume the Imperial Household is aware of Aunt Yueling?"
"How can the Imperial Household not know if even the Ren Public House is aware?" Su Ru twitched her mouth, "which is why we are being put out in the cold, otherwise, the Ren Public House dare not come bullying us like this now!"
"What about Lady Siao's mother?" Chu Li asked. "She was also a disciple from the Deer Cliff, no?"
"You know about this too?"
"Didn't Aunt Yueling addressed her as Junior Sister?"
"Yes, Madame was also from the Deer Cliff."
Chu Li gave a wry smile. If the Yi Public House is not a taboo subject by the Imperial Household, who else could it be?
"It's also a coincidence," Su Ru shook her head again. "Lady Siao's father disguised his identity when exploring the martial arts world, met Madame and it was love at first sight."
"What happened after that?" Chu Li frowned. "Did they return to the Public House?"
Su Ru replied helplessly, "No. Madame left after learning about Master's true identity but she was already pregnant. She died from childbirth and Lady Siao was brought back and raised by the Great Ancestor."
Chu Li signed. By now, he could have pretty much guessed Lady Siao's situation. Her father probably did not take a liking to her, and since the Great Ancestor had already passed away for so long, she must have had a hard time.
"Luckily, the two Masters and Second Lady are close to Lady Siao," Su Ru smiled. "That is very fortunate for her"
Chu Li nodded in agreement, "Yes, it is"
The rules of the world determined that the eldest one would inherit the authority and power. The Eldest Master would no doubt take over --given that even the Fourth Master will not have the rights to do so, what more the ladies? There is even a Second Lady before Siao Qi she was only the Third Lady after all.
Chu Li's circle of activity was very limited. He has only heard of stories and rumors of Siao Qi's siblings and never met them before. The Eldest Master was smart and formidable
The places he could go was very limited. He had never met any of Lady Siao's siblings; He had only heard stories about them. The Eldest Master, Siao Tieying, was wise and authoritative; when the High Duke retreated in isolation for cultivation, all affairs pertaining to the Public House was managed by Siao Tieying. He was the person in charge.
The Fourth Master, Siao Baihe, has anexcellent aptitude. He did not care for life affairs other than martial arts. It was said that he left the Public House to travel. All disciples of the Public House will need to explore the martial arts world at least once to defeat your enemy, you must know them.
The Second Lady, Siao Shi, does not know martial arts but is renowned for her beauty and was named the most beautiful lady in Great Ji. She rarely left the Island of Symphony, and even when she did, she would don a white veil over her face.
And there was The Third Lady, Siao Qi. She has remarkable wisdom, and helped the Eldest Master as a right-hand man in managing the Public House's affairs.
"Lady Siao's martial arts skills are not from the Deer Cliff?"
"Of course not!" Su Ru shook her head. "It's an ancient martial arts study that Madame received through a unique encounter. The cultivation itself is tough. If it weren't for the Andromeda, she would still be practicing very hard on it. It was much easier with the Andromeda!"
Chu Li nodded, again seemingly deep in his thoughts.
Su Ru rolled her eyes at him again, "It is not good if you are being so curious!"
Chu Li laughed and said, "It's good for me to know, at least I can now act on things freely with a better understanding. Otherwise, I am always lost and confused and these will restrain me from performing my best."
"All of these better rot in your stomach," Su Ru said. She turned her head and gave Xue Ling a strict glare, scaring her back.
Chu Li laughed and said, "what are the other spirit herbs that Lady Siao is trying to plant?"
"A few others but they are a challenge to grow, and even when they do, they grow very slowly." Su Ru added, "I'm in the midst of preparing their seeds, I will have them send over to you in a few days."
Chu Li nodded in acknowledgment.
"How is your Sentient Menace cultivation coming along?"
Chu Li shook his head, "It's slow! I think my cultivation method could be wrong, I need to correct it."
"Don't rush. The Sentient Menace is a skill that needs to be cultivated over your lifetime!" Su Ru stood up preparing to leave. "It's alright, there is no need to send me off. Finish your meal, it's getting cold!"