Chu Li shook his head. He had never heard of it.
"It's a martial art study secretly passed on by the Deer of the Cliff," Su Ru put down her cup and sighed. "It's impossible for an outsider to learn!" She stared at Chu Li, her eyes with emotion.
Chu Li did not even need to use the Omniscient Mirror to tell that she was implying something. He suddenly smiled before saying, "I'm not sure if Aunt Siao Yueling would pass it to me."
"That'd be pretty tricky."
Su Ru smiled. Chu Li was very astute.
"Then I'll need to have Chief Su Ru talk to Lady Siao for a bit."
"Will need to have Chief Su Ru talk to Lady Siao for a bit, then." Chu Li smiled as he said.
Su Ru rolled her eyes when she heard this, "Hmph. I'll talk to the Lady about this."
"Thank you, Chief!" Chu Li gave her a closed fist salute and smiled.
Su Ru scoffed and rolled her eyes in response, "Although, I'd appreciate it if you could help Lady Siao worry a little less,"
Chu Li's person was only as such due to Lady Siao's careful cultivation. The Glory's WIll, Andromeda, Dream of Pearls, and all the other spirit herbs. All of them were closely related to Chu Li. To Lady Siao, Chu Li was even more important than Su Ru herself.
"Are there any Codices of Formations in the Public House?"
"There is, but you won't have access to it." Su Ru shook her head.
"Maybe I'm good with formations."
Su Ru scoffed when she heard this, "I cannot risk it. You're doomed the moment you become obsessed with it!"
"It's not that serious." Chu Li broke into a playful smile, in sharp contrast to Su Ru's stern tone.
"There are far too many drawbacks with the Codex. If you become obsessed, you'll no longer bother to eat nor drink - you'll be consumed by it. Soon, you'll lose your motivation to survive, and then your life. You have no idea how many have died because of this!"
Normal people saw the Codex of Formation as a heavenly book; they could not understand it at all. Only those with incredibly high intelligence could even attempt to understand it. Once they had begun reading it however, they would only delve deeper and deeper, like they were in quicksand. In the end, they would just be buried alive in the obsession.
"Then why is the Temple able to pass on the formations?" Chu Li asked curiously.
Su Ru scoffed at the question.
"It's said that the senior monks that have refined Buddhist austerities become enlightened and gain immortality. Their intelligence knows no bounds, allowing them to research and sturdy the Codex safely. These monks had already transcended life and death and devoted their life to the temple. You have no idea how many senior monks have died to the formation because of the Temple!"
Chu Li nodded slowly when she heard the information.
Su Ru glared at him as she continued, "Chu Li, don't think that you're able to read the Codex just because of you have relatively refined Buddhist austerities! Do you actually believe that it's as refined as that of the senior monks of the Temple, who have spent their entire lives building it? It was dangerous even for them to study the Codex! Don't go around thinking that luck will always be on your side. Is the Sentient Menace not enough for you!?Do you really think that they can control the formations!? No! They can barely do a thing about it!"
Chu Li replied sharply as soon as she heard Su Ru mention the Sentient Menace, "I know the reason why my progress of cultivation is slow."
"Slow? Your progression isn't by any means slow!"
Su Ru scoffed.
Chu Li's progression with the Sentient Menace was astounding. It was perplexing that he dared to call iit slow.
"Actually, it hasn't been cultivating very well lately, and nothing else works."
Su Ru shrugged and did not seem at all surprised.
"That's just how cultivation is. There are times where it's fast and times where it's slow, but it's fine as long as you're able to complete it. Don't go too fast. Just go through the motions."
"But I've already found the meridian's end."
"And?" Su Ru scoffed.
"I need a torso tuning technique." Chu Li smiled meekly.
"Torso tuning!?" Su Ru furrowed her brows when she heard this, "Don't be silly!"
"I need other torso tuning techniques to support my cultivation of the Sentient Menace." Chu Li said seriously.
This was the secret that the Temple of Tempest did not pass on. It was not recorded anywhere and even those who obtained the secret guidebook of the Sentient Menace could not continue their cultivation by themselves because they did not know the trick to it.
"Which torso refining technique?"
"There's no specific one." Chu Li replied. "But of course, the more exquisite, the better."
"In that case" Su Ru pondered for a moment before replying, "You can go and check the Training Hall. Not many people succeed in torso refining. It takes a lot of effort and it almost usually doesn't give you the desired outcome."
Chu Li furrowed his brows and gave it some thought. He wondered if the top martial art guidebooks had documented torso tuning techniques.
"I'll go and have a look today." Chu Li replied.
Su Ru stood up immediately, however, and reminded him, "Remember, don't leave the Public House!"
Chu Li smiled and did not say a word. In truth, he did not feel like leaving the Public House, but he had no other way. Which was why he did not make any promises.
Su Ru stared at him and quietly left.
Xue returned after sending Su Ru off. "Master are we going to the Hall today?"
Chu Li shook his head, "We'll go to the Hall of Martial Arts fist, and then the Tower of Wisdom."
"Okay!" Xue answered excitingly.
Chu Li lowered his head and started to think about which torso tuning technique to choose, but, as he was scratching his brains, Su Ru appeared again and summoned him, "Chu Li! Follow me! Lady Siao has called for you!"
Chu Li ordered Xue to go to the Hall of Martial Arts herself before following Su Ru to the Tower of Stargazing.
When the duo reached the third floor, they saw Siao Qi in her white gown, practicing her swordsmanship. The swordplay was not fast, but it moved fluidly and Chu Li found himself deeply impressed. There was an indescribable charm in her swordsmanship, which had improved leap and bounds from before.
She was probably trying to find the path to Grandmaster using her blade; The sword technique she was cultivating was extremely unique.
Siao Qi sheathed her sword and turned her sparkling eyes towards Chu Li:
"You wish to learn Shrinking Ground?"
Chu Li gave her a closed fist salute and replied "When pursued by the Temple, retreat is the best option."
He was in a dire situation. He had already experienced how scary The Temple of Tempest was; if not for The Omniscient Mirror rendering him unaffected by formations, he would have suffered a very unfortunate fate.
Luckily for him, he had come up with an idea. He asked them about the trick to cultivating the Sentient Menace. Naturally, they would not tell him, but the answer appeared in their heads regardless. It ended up being quite a productive discussion.
But the lesson he learned this time was of great importance to him, if his levitation were better, he could have taken the two women with him and escaped.
"The Shrinking Ground is a study secretly passed down from the Deer of the Cliff. Even I didn't learn it. Do you really think that you should have that chance?" Lady Siao asked nonchalantly.
Chu Li smiled, "I think that Aunt Siao Yueling has taken quite a liking to me."
"How thick skinned!" Su Ru rolled her eyes at him.
Siao Qi shook her head and merely looked at him peacefully, "I'll give you one chance. You shall go and visit the Temple of Wonder - but only once."
"Lady Siao, the Temple of Tempest is after him!" Su Ru suddenly exclaimed.
"I'm willing to bet that the Temple of Tempest isn't even ready yet. Besides, if Chu Li were to set off alone, he could probably arrive in a day," Siao Qi replied.
The Infinity Sea of Azure's strength was dependant on one's inner strength for power, and of that regard, his inner strength was definitely of a high enough calibre.
Chu Li saluted once more, "I will be sure to request Aunt Siao Yueling for it!"
"Well, I also have this letter and the Grass of Freedom here." Siao Qi pointed at the window on top of the bundle wrapped in cloth, "Do help me send these to Aunt Siao Yueling."
Su Ru looked at Chu Li and hesitated. She was still worried.
Siao Qi glared at her for her disobedience. Thus, Su Ru could only take the package and hesitantly pass it to Chu Li.
"Have a safe journey.'"
Chu Li smiled, "No need to worry about me, Chief."
"As if you haven't made me worry before..." Su Ru sighed.
"Leave now, don't let anyone see you!" Siao Qi interrupted them and instructed him.
Chu Li nodded, took the bundle, and kept the letter in his clothes. He saluted for the final time before leaving the Tower of Stargazing. He immediately left the Public House and blended into the crowd, leaving Chong Ming Town altogether.
He activated the Infinite Sea of Azure and his inner strength increased up to twice his usual amount. He was incredibly fast, like a gust of wind, he whizzed past the area.
He reached the Temple of Wonder by evening.
The sunset painted the Temple of Wonder in a pale red, increasing its atmosphere of solemness and inactivity.
Chu Li walked to the front of the temple and gently knocked on the door. Swee appeared in a moment and sized him up. After this, she invited him into the temple and walked with him into the main hall.
There was a pleasant smell that was lingering in the hair. Siao Yueling was kneeling in front of the statue of God in her green robes, her beautiful figure unmoving. Chu Li quickly averted his eyes.
Swee knelt on the playing map by the side and stopped moving.
Chu Li quietly sat in the main hall. Time felt as if it was frozen; there was only the sound of tired flocks of birds outside flying back to the woods to seek shelter for the night.
Chu Li sensed everything in the Temple of Wonder and all the plants around it. He saw a garden behind the temple with all the colored and fresh flowers inside blooming.
After a while, Siao Yueling stood up and gently walked to him. Her eyes were like stars while her face signalled that she wanted to smile but was surpressing the urge to.
Chu Li bowed and saluted. He handed the letter to her and passed the bundle to Swee.
Siao Yueling read the letter and looked at him with a smile, "You want to learn Shrinking Ground?"
"The Temple of Tempest is coming after me. If I don't have the highest level of levitation, it will be very hard for me to escape." Chu Li said seriously.
"Such hegemonic monks!" Siao Yueling scoffed. She quietly left the main hall and moved to the stone table in the courtyard. She sat down as Swee served them some tea.
Siao Yueling looked up at the red clouds in the sky as she let out a slight sigh.
"The Shrinking Ground is the secret study of the Deer of the Cliff. I won't pass it down to you."
Chu Li was expecting this.
His request was a little absurb. It was the secret study of the Deer of the Cliff, after all. If it was taught to outsiders, the Deer of the Cliff would no longer be special. No matter how strong Siao Yueling was, she could not just disobey their rules, considering she was one of their followers.
"However, Shrinking Ground isn't the only top leveled levitation skill in the world!" She advised.
Chu Li shook his head, "All the others are too far from my reach."
He knew about a few other levitation skills i, but all of them were either the secret study of the royal family or of a popular sect.
"I assume you know about Narrowed World?"
"Narrowed World? I've never heard of it." Chu Li shook his head.
"Narrowed World was an ancient martial art study." Siao Yueling said, "I got it when I was young but unfortunately wasn't able to complete it. You can have a try since you're performing in-form at the moment. You might be able to make the cut." Chu Li smiled bitterly as she said this.
"If Aunt Siao Yueling can't make it, I probably"
"You're a man, have some spirit!" Siao Yueling snapped. "If you don't try, you'll die regardless. But if you succeed, you'll have hope of surviving. The next chase and kill from the Temple of Tempest will be like a strike of lightning! Fast and unavoidable."
"... Understood." Chu Li grit his teeth before sighing. Then, he saluted her with a clenched fist.
'Thank you very much, Aunt Siao Yueling!"
"Swee." Siao Yueling waved her delicate hand to signal for her associate..
"Naturally, I can't just give you Narrowed World for free."
Chu Li continued to salute with his fists, signalling her to order him as she pleased.
"I have a friend, and this friend is currently facing a little problem. You shall go and protect this person for a month." Siao Yueling said.