Chu Li saluted with closed fists.
"Master Chen, you're the Faction Leader's younger cousin brother. Could you spare bothering him?" Xu Anxia impolitely remarked.
He gazed at Chu Li and Chen Siyu's general direction, his heart harboring jealousy and animosity towards the former.
Chen Siyu furrowed her brows.
"Guardian Xu!" Chu Li smiled, "I won't harm my cousin sister."
"Do you know what kind of situation we're in right now? You're not even asking her to run! And you still planning on bringing her along to 'have a look'? Are you trying to kill yourself!?" Xu Anxia asked with rage.
"Don't tell me you're one of Zhao Lun's...?"
Chu Li couldn't help but burst out laughing. Jealousy and anger sure can ruin a man's rationality. Xu Anxia was secretly in love with Chen Siyu. How interesting.
"Guardian Xu!" Chen Siyu exclaimed angrily, "Don't judge without evidence!"
Xu Anxia saw Chen Siyu protecting Chu Li, and became even angrier.
"Faction Leader! Everyone's trying to protect you and keep you alive! Why are you being so silly?"
"Guardian Xu!" Chen Siyu's face soured.
"I've made my decision. Please leave." She coldly replied.
Xu Anxia looked at her piercing cold eyes. He swallowed the words he wanted to say, choosing instead to fiercely stare at Chu Li. He then proceeded to turn and leave.
Chen Siyu shook her head helplessly in Chu Li's direction. This was the state she was in, sorely lacking any form of prestige, rendering whatever that came out of her mouth useless. There would always be someone who would have suspected gone against her. This made it difficult for her to make any move at all.
Chu Li smiled.
"Jiang Chunyue Er, you stay here." Chen Siyu said.
"Lady, I want to go with you! Even if I die, I'd at least want to die with you!" Jiang Chunyue Er insisted.
"You won't die, you stay here." Chen Siyu rolled her eyes, "Don't follow us!"
"Miss Jiang Chunyue Er, there's no need to worry. You can prepare us some supper. It's midnight now and we'll be hungry after the fight. We'll come back for food." Chu Li said.
"...Okay." Jiang Chunyue Er unwillingly agreed. She knew, in the end, that her help wasn't needed.
Xu Anxia laughed coldly. Such a confident tone, yet could it possible that he had cultivated martial arts beforehand, or was he secretly a master of martial arts? What a joke!
The three of them entered the main hall. When they arrived, Zhao Lun was already close to defeating the three Clan Leaders. Blood smeared the corners of their mouths as they steeled themselves to hold their ground
"Faction leader!" Hu Hai saw Chen Siyu, Chu Li, and Xu Anxia's arrival. He was shocked. He glared at Xu Anxia for an explanation.
Xu Anxia redirected the stare to Chu Li.
"Ding" With another loud clang, The Rain Clan Leader's long knife flew out of his hands as he was blown away with a single strike.
"Bam!" The Rain Clan Leader fell under the feet of the three and coughed up a mouthful of blood.
Chen Siyu's expression suddenly changed. The others were shocked as well.Zhao Lun already had no problems againstthe three. At this rate, he needed not to worry about the last two. They were doomed!
Chu Li shook his head and suddenly appeared in front of Zhao Lun in a flash, his palm met him with a light push.
Zhao Lun sneered and countered with his log of a hand..
A rough noise rang around the courtyard and Zhao Lun was tossed out like astone. He landed slammed roughly into the main hall's arabesque door.
"Kacha!" The door splintered and broke into pieces.
Zhao Lun turned over and stood up, screaming at Chu Li.
Chu Li rested his left arm behind his back and struck with his right. He had stacked three layers of Infinite Sea of Azure and focused all of it on his right hand.
"Bam!" Zhao Lun flew backwards in a straight line, blood spit from his mouth like an arrow had been released from within. He slammed onto the green stone tiles outside the hall, only stopping after the momentum had dissipated through his rolls.
Chu Li shook his head. He bent down and disappeared after picking up the long knife, reappearing behind Zhao Lun. With a flash of light swinging from the blade, a fountain of blood gushed out of Zhao Lun that shot upwards. His cerebrum and brain followed suit.
Chen Siyu's pretty face was suddenly overcome with a shade of pale white. Stifling a scream, she bit her lip down hard.
Chu Li shook the long knife with a blank expression. Drops of blood splattered onto the floor, fresh as a butcher's knife.
He returned to where he originally stood, and returned the long knife to the Rain Clan Leader.
The Rain Clan Leader, He Shou, looked at Chu Li with a perplexed expression.
His face was square and quite reddish. He had a pair of old and melancholic snowy white eyebrows, betraying the fact that this man had been through a lot.
Chu Li smiled, "Clan Leader Ho, I apologize for using your long knife. I appreciate you lending it to me."
"If I may know your identity?"
"Elder Ho, I'm but the Faction Leader's young cousin brother, Chu Li Chen!" Hu Hai smiled, "I can't believe it, Master Cousin Brother has such impressive martial arts! Very impressive. It's really true that heroes come from the younger generations!"
They were all seniors who had built up the faction from the ground. They had killed for their positions, and even though Chu Li was cold-blooded, they did not think of it as something special. Only Xu Anxia was avoiding eye contact with Chu Li; he dared not look at him.
He thought of what he said before and he was too embarrassed to face anyone.
"So he's Master Cousin Brother." He Shou regrettably sighed. He swallowed a drug and shook his head with a bitter smile, "I'm really old now. It's not effective as before."
Chu Li smiled, "You're still in your robust years Clan Leader Ho. You're at your peak!... I can't always stay with my young cousin sister's side, she'll still need the help of all the elders here!"
"Hehe... but of course!" He Shou smiled, "Assisting the faction leader is our responsibility. Naturally, we'll do our best!"
Chu Li saluted with his fists closed. "I, Chen Li, thank all the elders here!"
"Hehe, don't mention it" The crowd was an abundance of closed fist salutes.
Those who practiced martial arts will have respect for the strongest. Chu Li was still so young, but he moved like a demon and had a power-centric personality. It was only natural that they did not try to pick a fight with him.
They saw how calm Chu Li was as he killed. He was definitely cold-blooded.
Xu Anxia was a little scared. He may have killed before, but he had never tried to cut down a person's brain. He felt that Chu Li was brutal and lacked any form of kindness, and he made a mental note to not provoke him ever.
Chu Li signaled Chen Siyu with a glance.
Chen Siyu broke into a smile, "All the four Clan Leaders, and the two Guardians, please follow me to the backyard. It's too messy here. This place is unsuitable for discussion."
"Hehe, I shall leave it to you then." Hu Hai smiled.
Six of them went to the backyard. It was quiet and fragrant there, much better than the main hall. This was a place where conversation flowed naturally, where they might have mistaken each other for family.
Jiang Chunyue Er gracefully served supper.
There wasn't a single person here who wasn't seriously injured. They consumed the drugs and felt the effects slowly permeate their body. All they needed, in actuality, was a rest. The numbers advantage they possessed withheld from Zhao Lun many opportune strikes. If they had engaged one by one, Zhao Lun would have killed every single one of them in a single strike.
"Faction Leader, we're still far too weak!" Hu Hai finished the meat porridge in a single gulp, after which he put down the white porcelain bowl and wiped his mouth, "We've been defeated by only one Mountain's Split. How embarrassing!" He regrettably remarked.
Chen Siyu furrowed her brows, "The foreign minister has something to do tonight, would it be better if I brought along the two foreign minister?"
"The skill level of the foreign minister is almost on par with ours. There was no way we could stop Zhao Lun!" He Shou put down his bowl and shook his head, "Do you have any suggestions, Elder Hu?"
"I've no idea." Hu Hai shook his head, "What can we dowhen we our martial arts skills are inadequate?"
They were already too old, and had already completed cultivating their martial arts. It was already tough enough for them to maintain their martial arts at such high standards, not to mention the difficulty they would face trying to improve. If they tried to improve beyond their current state at the moment, it would be equivalent to reaching for the heavens.
He looked at Xu Anxia. "Then we'll need to rely on Xu Anxia!"
"We'll talk again after he reaches the innate mastery boundary." The Hurricane Clan Leader muttered.
His body was thin, with an average body posture. His face looked thin and gloomy, and his eyes never stopped darting around. He looked like he was in thought at every moment.
Xu Anxia felt embarrassed and lowered his head.
He may have been a Guardian, but he was the best of the worst. He was still unable to break through the door to innate mastery, and had been stuck in the same place so long that he was getting impatient. However, it was no use panicking; he was always so close to breaking through.
"But we have Master cousin brother with us. We feel much more relieved!" Hu Hai smiled.
Chu Li shook his head, "I enjoy adventures and the experience I gain from it. I can't stay in the same place for too long. I'll leave after staying a little longer."
"Our main focus now is still increasing the capabilities of the Startling Cloud Association," said Chen Siyu.
"We don't have a genius in our faction. Xu Anxia is the closest one we've got." Wang Xuanyi Xingzhi shook his head as he said.
"I heard that the Equal of Heaven Faction has two outstanding youngsters just like Xu Anxia; They even have the possibility of reaching the innate mastery boundary! If they achieve the innate mastery boundary first, then our aptitude really is too weak!" He Shou added.
They continued with their porridge just as the discussion on faction issues wore on.
Chu Li did not interrupt their conversation, but instead activated the Omniscient Mirror to read their minds. They all had their own unique thoughts.
Chen Siyu chose to quietly listen to what they had to say. Her demeanor finally began to reflect that of a Faction Leader.
After finishing the porridge, they talked till midnight, and left the premises one by one.
Chen Siyu returned to the backyard and let loose a heavy sigh after she sent them off. She was finally rid of the worries in her heart. The four Clan Leaders had finally started to obey her. The days after this was sure to be better. She had successfully crossed the hardest obstacle
The next day, the Startling Cloud Association sent out notices about Zhao Lun's intrusion of the Xu Residence during the night, and his resultant death. Zhao Lun's family was allowed to come over to retrieve his corpse; The Startling Cloud clearly distinguished between kindness and hatred. His family members would be spared from the chaos.
Everyone in Cloud State Town knew about the Mountain's Split. Supposedly, a lot of people were waiting to laugh at Xu Zhichun, and were burning to know if he was actually able to defeat him. But now, Zhao Lun was killed and the Startling Cloud Association cemented itself as the number one faction in Cloud State Town.
The Cloud State Town returned to peace in the following days.
Chen Siyu was formally appointed the position of Faction Leader, and The four Clan Leaders were very careful now, thanks to Chu Li's intimidation. The concept of the strongest and deadliest was etched into their hearts; Chen Siyu had Chu Li, a powerful martial artist as a yardstick, and the clan leaders had no choice but to humble themselves.
Ten days had passed, and the Hurricane Clan Leader had perished by assassination in his sleep. He had been decapitated, and before he died, he had written a letter to the Equal of Heaven Faction before he died.
The Startling Cloud Association knew whose handwriting this belonged to, and fear struck their hearts.
Chu Li's martial arts was terrifying. Killing them was an easy task, but Wang Xuanyi Xingzhi had been the spy within them all along. His presence was so familiar, that his betrayal had managed to go unnoticed.
They had the rousing suspicion that he was being framed. The Faction Leader wanted Wang Xuanyi Xingzhi out of his position for it to be given to his men and relatives; he wanted to take over and completely control the Startling Cloud Association.
While they were still discussing the truth of the situation, Chu Li silently left and returned to the Public House.
Before he left, he gave Chen Siyu his address, and instructed that if anything should happen, she should immediately send someone over to Chongming Town to contact him. His response would come immediately.
Chu Li specifically reminded her to task the delivery boy to send it straight to his residence and not through the Public House. It would, especially, help Chu Li avoid attention, or else it would become incredibly troublesome to explain.
Chen Siyu understood what he meant. Once Chu Li was tracked down and seen entering the Public House, the Startling Cloud Association would become everyone's enemy in the martial arts world.
The address Chu Li gave her was his other small residence. He had secretly purchased it, and hired a maid as well. He never regularly visited the place, either, so the maid did not know that he was the owner.