Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Chen Kong spared Chu Li a glance.
Chu Li smiled. “Old Chen, your prince really has let his imagination run wild.”
“You’ve guessed it then?.” Chen Kong smirked.
Chu Li shook his head. “He’s trying to get a peek of my secret manual, right? He’s a no brainer. You too, Old Chen. If I really had the secret manual, why would I let anyone know?”
Chen Kong heaved a sigh and shook his head. “It’s rare to see the young prince so motivated. I didn’t have the heart to dampen him.”
He himself did not believe it either. He understood how Chu Li worked. Chu Li was discreet in his work, so if he were to obtain a secret manual, he would not let anyone know. No matter how true the news sounded, it would still have to be lies.
“What kind of master would an opportunist be?” Chu Li rebutted. “Even if I really do have the secret manual, could he have cultivated it with what aptitude he had? It’s better for him to just cultivate the martial arts of the imperial residence. They’re passed down from the imperial house after all and are definitely not inferior to those from the Cloud Slashing Treasure Manual.”
“The prince likes to rely on sheer luck,” Chen Kong answered. “He won’t stop until he hits a wall.”
“The next time he comes around, I’ll hide somewhere far away,” said Chu Li. “I can’t be bothered to talk to this person!”
“Just reject him right away,” Chen Kong said.
“As if he’ll listen!”
Chen Kong smiled. “Anyway, how’s Zhu Tianhua?”
“He’s doing great,” responded Chu Li. “The Imperial Residence of King Cheng really messed up by pushing away such a master!”
Chen Kong glared at him unhappily. “If it weren’t for you, the young prince wouldn’t have fallen into your scheme and forced Zhu Tianhua away.”
Chu Li said, “I didn’t resort to any scheming. I only aided him in slightly. He repaid his debt by coming over, so what more is there to say? This is really all due to the fact that the Imperial Residence of King Cheng is stingy and unable to part with a hundred thousand tael of silver!”
“Alright, it’s obvious we have differing points of view. I’m leaving!” Chen Kong had nothing else to say in return. He turned and left.
Chu Li smiled as he watched them depart.
When he returned to Tianshu Courtyard, Leng Qiu and Leng Qing were still there as well as Song Liuying and Xue Ningyu.
They were beaming as they listened to Leng Qiu describing her earlier battle.
That few stabs and thrust in the fight were exaggerated to sound as twisted and terrifying as possible.
Meanwhile, Leng Qing was shaking her head while Song Liuying and Xue Ningyu listened with eager smiles on their faces. They were all in their own house, and Chu Li was there with them, so they need not worry about anything happening. As a result, the mood was light and relaxed as they listened to Leng Qing’s account of her fight as if she were talking about a movie.
The women turned to look at Chu Li as he entered. Each of them bore a bright and radiant complexion.
“Why did Leng Tao come over?” scoffed Xiao Shi.
Chu Li said, “He’s got his moves on my secret manual.”
“The secret manual again!” Xiao Shi cried in exasperation. “These people are out of their minds!”
Chu Li smiled. “It’s going to be a while before the whole thing blows over.”
“Why don’t they think before they act? If there really was a secret manual, it certainly wouldn’t be theirs to have,” growled Xiao Shi.
“Profits can make one do the most foolish of things. It can’t be helped,” Chu Li responded.
“Head Chief, is everything alright?” Song Liuying asked.
Chu Li shook his head. “The Secret Guardians Hall has already announced that anyone who dared to steal the secret manual would be seen as the hall’s enemy. This should be enough to scare away most people.”
“I can’t believe the Secret Guardians Hall is so strong-willed,” Song Liuying said with a smile.
Xiao Shi snorted, “Don’t tell me they want a piece of the secret manual?”
Chu Li smiled. “They know I don’t have it.”
“Still, don’t think too highly of these people!” Xiao Shi said.
The sun was shining brightly in the morning sky.
Qiao San was sitting very still with his legs crossed. He was dwelling on something, his thoughts appeared one after another in a steady stream. His breath was as slow as he could manage so as to make sure he would expend the lowest amount of energy and hold on until the young lord came to save him.
“Bang!” A warm electrifying voice rang from outside of the house, “Qiao San!”
“Young Lord?!” Qiao San leaped up and yelled, “Young Lord! Young Lord! I’m here!”
His voice was weak. It probably did not even reach a few meters.
He was desperate and impatient. He did not know what to do except to start knocking furiously at an old tree.
He had survived two days without food and water. Since he was a Grandmaster, his health had not depleted much. He still had quite a lot of energy in him to knock feverishly on the old tree.
“Qiao San!” the voice echoed from afar.
Qiao San became more anxious.
He felt that the voice was further away than before. It seemed that the young lord was walking further away from where he was.
“Young— Lord—!” He gathered his hands around his mouth and shouted with all his might.
“Qiao San…” The voice sounded even further away from where he was. It was barely discernible and almost could not be heard anymore.
“Young Lord…” Qiao San put his hands down dejectedly. Then, he lifted his head to look at the bright sun.
The Lord had played a cruel joke on him. The young lord was so close to finding him but had failed to do so. Was he going to die trapped in here?
“Qiao San…” The voice sounded a lot nearer. Qiao San’s spirit was revived. He immediately regained his strength and shouted, “Young—Lord—! I’m here!”
He leaped on the tree branches and yelled out loud, again and again.
It was not long before his voice became hoarse from all the shouting. He could barely manage a whisper.
“Qiao San…” A warm and electrifying voice sounded as nearby, then far away once again.
Qiao San’s heart was going through a flurry of emotions. He was like a cat on a hot tin roof, going through an emotional roller coaster.
This went on for quite some time.
He went from being hopeful to despair then back to being hopeful again. In the end, he had no strength left in him. His body went limp, and he felt that he was better off dead. It seemed that the young lord really could not find him.
He laid on the ground without moving, his eyes losing the life they once had. Everything around him was disconnected as he started to fade into darkness.
“Bang!” A loud crash jolted him awake.
Qiao San felt that something in his surroundings was changing. The sounds became clearer as if he had regained his hearing.
“Qiao San!” A warm and electrifying voice called right by his ear.
Qiao San flipped over and sat up, opening his eyes in disbelief. He gazed in awe at Zhuge Tian who was standing five steps away. “Young Lord!”
Zhuge Tian peered lazily at him. “Not dead, huh?”
“Young— Lord—!” Qiao San burst into tears of joy and leaped over to hug Zhuge Tian.
Zhuge Tian smacked Qiao San’s head displeasingly.
Qiao San laid on the ground and laughed out loud. Since his throat was damaged, his laughter was exceptionally hideous.
“Have you lost your mind?” Zhuge Tian said in annoyance. “Let’s go.”
“Young Lord, how did you find me?” Qiao San immediately asked.
“Who knows?” Zhuge Tian said. “Slowly, I guess.”
“Then how long did Young Lord search?” asked Qiao San.
Zhuge Tian answered, “From last night.”
Qiao San felt warm inside and wanted so badly to go on his knees as a display of his loyalty and gratitude.
“Young Lord, what happened here?” Qiao San looked around.
Zhuge Tian walked with his hands behind his back, stepping on treetops as he glided towards the mountain. “Formation.”
Qiao San leaped onto the tree too, following closely behind. He frowned and said, “There are only two people in this world that know of this formation. We didn’t offend them, why did they come over and establish a formation?”
“Perhaps they have a grudge with the hill master,” Zhuge Tian responded listlessly. “We must have mistakenly entered the formation… I think the only reason we got in was that we didn’t realised it was what it was. Talk less, it’s such a pain listening to you!”
“Hehe, yes.” Qiao San was still enjoying the feeling of having escaped by the skin of his teeth. Everything around him looked wondrous and beautiful.
The two of them quickly returned to Zhuge Tian’s courtyard.
Zhuge Tian took one look at the courtyard and frowned. “Help me find another courtyard. I don’t want to remain here any longer.”
“Why?” Qiao San was surprised. “Didn’t you prefer this place the most?”
“I thought it over as I was trapped in the formation,” Zhuge Tian replied. “I shouldn’t waste time like this. I’m not achieving anything by staying here.”
Qiao San stared at him in confusion.
Zhuge Tian continued, “I’m the young lord of Crouching Bull Mountain. I have such powerful cultivation level. Why can’t I issue orders?”