The sky was just starting to get dark, and Leisure Cloud Pub was already filled with sounds of laughter, it was almost fully occupied.
The group of ladies were like butterflies in a garden, gracefully moving from table to table, serving their customers in the pub.
Zhuo Feiyang wore a sapphire-blue clothing, his face handsome as always, a sword sheathed on his belt, just like a royal figure. He brought Bai Zhijie along with him, and they slowly stepped inside the pub.
Two beautiful girls came to welcome them. Zhuo Feiyang waved them away, "Give us a good seat."
"My Lords, we are very sorry, we are out of empty seats in the lounge. The only places left were the private rooms."
"No more seats?"
"We are truly sorry... Our pub accepts reservations, you could pre-book a seat, and we will reserve it for you."
"I will have my meal here today, no matter what! Help me find a seat!"
"My Lord, we treat our every customer with utmost hospitality, we are really sorry..."
"Pa!" Zhuo Feiyang slapped on the girl's face out of the blue.
The girl covered her face in pain, and looked at Zhuo Feiyang in shock.
Because the pub was under the Yi Public House's custody, no one had dared to cause them trouble yet, not even a single quarrel, not to say a fist fight. She did not expect that the handsome man in front of her would dare to hit her like that.
"Now we have a seat, don't we?" Zhuo Feiyang smirked.
His action drew a lot of attention. Everyone creased their brows and looked at Zhuo Feiyang, but none of them chipped in to deliver justice, in fact they were only interested in the drama. They were intrigued by this person's courage to stir trouble even though the place was opened under the name of the Yi Public House. Now that's a scene to watch!
"Senior Zhuo! What do you think you're doing!" Zhao Ying rushed in front and stared fiercely at him.
Her looks were stone cold, she did not expect Zhuo Feiyang to be this kind of bad. He had hit the girl, this was against the laws of every single rulebook, he must be crazy!
Zhuo Feiyang calmly replied, "Sister Zhao, you're here again!"
"Why did you hit her?!" Zhao Ying locked her eyebrows, and started chiding him, "The girls didn't learn martial arts, how could you hit them like that?"
"I don't even care if they didn't learn it, in my eyes, they were mere servants of Chu Li!"
"This is irrational!" Zhao Ying pointed her finger and accused him, "The beef between you and Senior Chu was a personal matter of your own, why would you involve the girls?"
Zhuo Feiyang scoffed back at her, "He's nothing but a coward, so I'm forced to act this way!"
"Senior Zhuo, senior Chu did not accept your challenge because he was afraid of hurting you. Do you really think that you could defeat him?!" Zhao Ying said mockingly.
Zhuo Feiyang smiled coldly, "It seems that you look up on him a lot, sister Zhao!"
"Senior Zhuo, there are so many things to do on the outside, countless bad guys to catch, but why are your eyes only set on a tiny matter of fall-out?" Zhao Ying sighed helplessly, "A big man like you should think of how to contribute to the society and do good, and not seeking vengeance day and night. Brother Zhuo, let it go!"
The words sounded nothing but only harsh to his ears, as Zhuo Feiyang sneered, "What nonsense about contributions and stuff, I only want to settle a score!"
"Sigh..." Zhao Ying shook her head, seemingly disappointed with his behavior.
"Tell that Chu Li to come and find me, accept my challenge invitation!" Zhuo Feiyang turned and walked away.
Zhao Ying gave him a last stare, and walked towards the girl who had taken the hit, "Sister Chen, are you alright?"
She was Chen Ying. Her face was beautiful, her complexion fair, her facial features fine. She does things responsibly, and she was a smart and effective worker, hence she was tasked to welcome the guests.
Chen Ying caressed her face, and smiled as if nothing had happened, "It's just a slap, nothing I couldn't handle, sister Zhao, don't tell Master Chu about this!"
Zhao Ying hurriedly replied, "No, of course we must tell him!"
Chen Ying shook her head and sighed, "Don't do it!.... This is nothing, just a slap, it's not worth bringing it up. If you had told him about this, their feud would certainly intensify. If anything, bad happens as a result, I will be at fault!"
Zhao Ying looked at her, seemingly confused.
Chen Ying smiled back at her, "Really, I'm fine."
Zhao Ying hesitated for a second, she needed to think it through.
But she was completely disappointed with Zhuo Feiyang. She did not realize that he was such a bad person, who dared to hit a girl that was defenseless!
When Chu Li returned to East Garden, it was already dusk.
He had spent his whole day cultivating the Sentient Menace skill move, and his body ached. The feeling of steel baton hitting on his own flesh was not memorable at all. Recently, one of the Pearl Beauty trees had become ill, and required care. If he did not return, Lee Yue Li would be very worried that he would not be able to sleep or eat properly.
The waning sunlight bathed the lake, the breeze blew past, and the lake water moved slightly in a reddish hue.
He got down from the boat and walked inland. When he entered the small courtyard the first thing he saw was Zhao Ying. She was seated at a table alongside Lee Yue Li, and they were in a dee discussion about something. Once the two saw him entering the place, they stopped talking.
Chu Li smiled at them, and asked, "Why, talking bad about me?"
"Brother, why did you stop going to the pub lately?" Zhao Ying asked. She was wearing a turquoise green dress, and it highlighted the fairness of her complexion, she looked stunning.
Chu Li smiled, "Don't I have you there? I am not a tiny bit worried with you handling the business there!"
Zhao Ying looked to be guilty, and she sighed.
Lee Yue started, "Brother, Zhuo Feiyang couldn't let it go, he delivered another challenge invitation here. This time, he raised the stakes to a hundred thousand taels!"
As he spoke, he handed over the crimson red invitation letter to Chu Li.
"Ten thousand taels?" Chu Li raised an eyebrow, and then grinned, "Looks like he's not going to stop until he gets to battle me. What a giant sum this is!"
"Don't tell me you're going to accept it?" Lee Yue quickly stopped him, "It's ten thousand taels, he must be really confident about it!"
Chu Li laughed.
Zhao Ying sighed, "Brother, it's not that you need the money!"
Chu Li smiled and said, "Who said so? Money this kind of stuff, the more the merrier!"
"You could even find yourself such a beautiful assistant, what else do you lack of?" Zhao Ying glared at him.
She had never met this beautiful assistant before, but according to people, the girl was gorgeous, and was an ice-cold beauty, the kind that would be irresistible and envied by every other man. They said that if cutting their lives short by twenty years was the price to pay to get her, they would do it for sure!
Chu Li pretended not to hear it, and dropped the topic immediately, "It looks like Zhuo Feiyang is ready to take my life, hmmm, alright then, I will accept this challenge. Zhuo Feiyang had become smarter, why even bother using all those little dirty tricks earlier, he should have straight away throw out this huge sum of bait instead, I would gladly accept it!"
"Brother-----------!" Zhao Ying widened her eyes.
Chu Li smiled, "Sister, cultivating martial arts is the most expensive. Just think of it, how much does it cost to buy an Energy Boosting Pill?"
"Only ten taels."
"That's only for stores inside out Public House, what about on the outside?"
"You'll need twenty taels."
"Besides the Energy Boosting Pill, we have the Pill of Enhancement, and the Violet Chi Pill too. In short, as a Protector, it's important that we always have the pills on us!"
"Even that, it wouldn't cost us ten thousand taels!"
Chu Li shook his head, "Sigh, you ya..., wait till you go outside and explore the martial arts world, do you even know how much a good sword costs?"
"A hundred taels?"
"That would only buy you a typical sword. If you want one with better quality, a thousand taels. If we're talking a premium grade sword, ten thousand taels, or even more!"
"There's no need for such a sword of such high quality, right?"
Chu Li laughed, "You for one should know the importance of a good sword. It determines life or death. Don't tell me you feel that a life doesn't cost ten thousand taels?"
Zhao Ying stuttered for a bit, then she stopped talking.
She as a swordswoman, understands the importance of a good sword too.
Chu Li said, "Then I guess it's set, I'm going to accept this challenge. But I have one condition, it must take place at the Hall of Martial Arts!"
"Haih..." Zhao Ying sighed.
"Plus, he was daring enough to hit my people at the Leisure Cloud Pub, how can I not take any action?" Chu Li scoffed.
Zhao Ying stared at him meanly, "Now that's the real reason why, isn't it!"
Chu Li shook his head, "Zhuo Feiyang has lost his mind. If I don't battle with him, I don't know what else he will do next. This is a problem that I need to solve sooner or later!"
At the training ground in front of the Hall of Martial Arts, there was a crowd, but the atmosphere was silent.
In the middle of the training ground stood two men, they were Zhuo Feiyang and Chu Li.
The youth champion, Zhuo Feiyang had challenged the Imperial guard, Chu Li. Even though Chu Li was still young, he had already achieved Rank 6, and he was a top guard amongst the Imperial fleet. At such a tender age, it was much harder to achieve Rank 6 as an Scribe, compared to a Protector.
Bai Zhijie, Zhao Ying and Lee Yue were all present too, standing amongst the crowd. They too were watching those two men intently.
It was a pleasant morning, about 9 o'clock. The sunlight was moderate, and everything around was bright and clear. The breeze from the lake blew past the crowd and gently caressed their skin.
Chu Li was enjoying the breeze, and a smile etched out on his face. The images of every single willow tree on the island appeared in his mind all at once, his aura was turbulent. It was as if the massive amount of energy were ever ready to be summoned into action by him.
"This Scribe, Chu, he knows martial arts?"
"Nonsense. If he doesn't, why would Zhuo Feiyang even bother challenging him?"
"But he doesn't look like one."
"Indeed. He really doesn't look like one. His eyes were not gleaming with energy, and his limbs looked feeble, just like a normal person. Could it be that the two of them have some sort of a feud, and Zhuo Feiyang challenged him to release his anger?
"Then why would the Scribe accept it, isn't that an act of seeking his own death?"
"Could be that he was forced, right?"
"I heard about it. The Scribe Chu Li started a new pub, called Leisure Cloud Pub. Their business was good, but Zhuo Feiyang went and made a mess, and worse off, he even hit someone. Do you think he could bear with it?"
"Zhuo Feiyang's actions were just too much!"
"Who said it wasn't, but nobody dared to stop him, so Zhuo Feiyang took everything in his own way."
"Sigh..., I've already see through how this world works. Whoever has a bigger prowess in martial arts, gets the final say. I think it's best we take our martial arts practices more seriously from now on!"
"That's right, only those who are strong in martial arts can do whatever they want to. If you're not strong enough, you better keep quiet and do nothing!"
The crowd were busy exchanging comments, and they all sympathized with Chu Li.
A Rank 6 Scribe could be considered a moderately high ranking among the governing ranks, and held certain powers. But when facing a challenge, it still depended on whoever was stronger in martial arts. In this world, martial art was number one.
This fact made many solidify their decision of being a Protector. Many sought after the great power of practicing martial arts.
Chu Li coughed lightly, and looked at Zhuo Feiyang. Zhuo Feiyang stared at him so fiercely, as if he was ready to tear his lungs out any moment. "Zhuo Feiyang, you really want to bet on ten thousand taels?" I know you're rich, but it's not like you have a lot of ten thousand taels either!"
"If you're thinking of bailing, it's too late now!" Zhuo Feiyang smirked.
Chu Li shook his head in response, "No, I'm only worried that you will regret it!"
"Chu Li, stop talking so much! It won't be long before you'll be the one weeping!"
"I hope you won't cry when you lose!"
"Hmph!" Zhuo Feiyang turned his head, his hand gripping hard on the sword handle. He closed his eyes, and stopped making eye contact with his opponent.
Chu Li smiled, and indulged in the beauty of mother nature. He felt connected to the flora around him. Eh? There's Torso Refiner herb here too? He sensed that there were some growing in the bushes just outside the training ground.
There were the Fruit of Dragons too, which were also a kind of magical medicine. It could be consumed together with the Ground Dragon Grass, and would increase the flexibility of one's limbs. It was a shame that the effects were not that strong. It would be incredibly useful for normal people, but would not help a tiny bit for those who practice martial arts.
Suddenly, the crowd parted. All of them held their fists together and greeted whoever the visitors were. Two old men slowly walked past.
One was tall and plump, while the other short and skinny. They formed a stark contrast between them.
The tall man looked to be in all smiles, but the short man straightened a face, and his sight as cold as ice. He glanced across the crowd, and it felt like a blade had just sliced through everyone there.
The two were elders of the Hall of Martial Arts. This time they were here to be eye witnesses as to who would win or lose. A proper battle would be like this, while the last time Chu Li and Zhuo Feiyang battled, they did not set proper regulations, which was why Zhuo Feiyang would not admit his defeat.
Chu Li held his fist together and greeted them, "Elder Zhu, Elder Ho, I'm honored to have you here!"
The tall one grinned and said, "There's something to watch, and I like it!"
The short one replied in a low voice, "Where are the bank notes?"
Zhuo Feiyang took the bank notes and gave them to the tall man. He counted them, then smiled, "Just right, exactly ten thousand taels. And these are from the Qin Ho Bank. Great, both of you may begin now!"