The two of them went ashore on their boat on a small island.
This island was twice the size of the East Garden, surrounded by willow trees as far as the eye could see. Every single one was lush green, full of life and vigor. Its greenish color, like that of the East Garden, made them feel comfortable, as the atmosphere was one of familiarity.
Chu Li approved if this in his mind. Even though Gu Litong was nothing special, in actuality he had some talent for himself. He smoothened the vigor of the plants and made it so that it affected one's mood.
The two of them landed on the island, where there were already two people on the shore waiting for them. Gu Litong and Zhou Yuting were standing next to each other in front of them. Neither of them carried friendly expressions.
Chu Li gave them a closed fist salute, "Brother Gu Litong and Zhou Yuting, how have you guys been?"
Zhou Yuting coldly stared and ignored him, choosing only to salute Su Ru as a greeting.
Gu Litong smiled and returned his greeting, "Brother Chu looks much more vigorous than before, how admirable!"
Chu Li smiled., "You flatter me. Has the Moonlight Orchid died yet?"
"With Brother Gu Litong's help, it's not going to be this easy for it to die!" Zhou Yuting sneered.
"If it were you, in this case, it would probably be dead by now!" Chu Li smiled.
"Brother Zhou Yuting, do you even know about the Moonlight Orchid?"
"Of course I do!" Zhou Yuting vouched for himself.
"I've been following Gu Litong around when he was investigating the Moonlight Orchid!"
"You're nothing but a half-wit. There's no point even if you did watch him, so kindly keep your mouth shut." Chu Li said.
"You" Zhou Yuting widened his eyes.
Su Ru covered her smile as she shook her hand, "Alright, stop quarreling. Let's quickly go check on the flowers!"
"Chief Su Ru, please follow me." Gu Litong patted Zhou Yuting on the shoulder to comfort him as he smiled at Su Ru.
The four of them passed through several flower parterres, and all the structures here were different from the ones in the East Garden. The flowers were arranged in combination, which certainly dazzled whoever walked past. It may not be as relaxing and fresh as the East Garden, but it was definitely richer in color.
The East Garden was built around Siao Qi's personality, who had a pathological fear of germs. She was neat and particularly tidy, calm, and most of all rational while she faced problems as well. In that similar vein, the West Garden reflected the personality of the Eldest Master as well. He was more emotional than he was rational, and it was a sure thing that his rational thoughts were being dominated by his emotions. The Elder Master must have been impulsive while he worked, Chu Li thought to himself.
The four of them saw the Moonlight Orchid near a small pagoda.
It was on its last legs. Its leaves, which were supposed to white as the snow, had already wilted into a cardboard brown.
Su Ru could not help but to furrow her brows. She could not bear to look at the wonderful Moonlight Orchid in its now pitiful state.
Chu Li's senses were already linked to the Moonlight Orchid when he was a hundred meters away from it. Their spiritual energies linked, and his spiritual energy merged with that of the Moonlight Orchid. They were one and the same, and he sensed what the Moonlight Orchid sensed.
Su Ru saw Chu Li emotionlessly staring at the Moonlight Orchid, "Chu Li..?"
Chu Li turned to looked at Gu Litong and Zhou Yuting.
Both of them coldly stared at him.
Chu Li sighed, "You guys don't deserve to hold your posts in the West Garden!"
"What do you mean, Chu Li!? What are you insinuating!?" Zhou Yuting shouted in anger.
"The Moonlight Orchid is being sabotaged by humans!" Chu Li said.
"Nonsense! No one came in here! Neither visitors nor people from the West Garden!"
Zhou Yuting yelled. He then sneered, "You're really speaking off the cuff, aren't you? You could tell that it's caused by humans just by looking at it?"
"What made you think that I was able to stay in the East Garden without this little skill? Am I right..Brother Gu Litong?"
"Say it clearly, then. How is it damaged?"Gu Litong asked coldly
"It was you, wasn't it? Brother Gu Litong." Chu Li said.
"A crude joke!" Gu Litong sneered as he said, "Isn't it childish and hilarious to blame someone like this??"
"Seems like you won't even shed a tear until you see your coffin." Chu Li sighed, "Bring me the spade!"
Zhou Yuting scoffed, "What are you trying to do?"
"We only need to dig it for a bit to find out!" Chu Li angrily said, "Did you think that it was perfect?"
Zhou Yuting looked at Gu Litong.
Su Ru, meanwhile, was seething, "Zhou Yuting, are you going to do something or not?" She coldly prompted him.
"Yes." Zhou Yuting unwillingly answered, and brought them a small and delicate iron spade.
Chu Li took the spade and shoved it into the earth as hard as he could. He then started to dig slowly. He had dug out a few black chunks of dirt in a few moments and handed it to Su Ru and said, "Chief, it's this thing!"
"Isn't this mud?"Su Ru said.
She knew how Chu Li planted it. He dug up some mud from the bottom of the lake and mixed it with some hummus. That was the dirt used for the Moonlight Orchid, and this black clump of dirt looked exactly like mud.
Chu Li shook his head, "This isn't any normal mud, something was added to it."
"Horse urine!" Chu Li scoffed. "The Moonlight Orchid is the most sensitive to horse urine. Whoever buried these things must've understood the Moonlight Orchid very well, don't you think? ...Brother Gu Litong."
Gu Litong merely scoffed, and did not say a word.
"You are the one who buried this, aren't you!?"Chu Li confronted him.
Gu Litong mildly shook his head, "It wasn't me."
"It can't be...Brother Zhou Yuting!?" Chu Li broke into laughter, "But Brother Zhou Yuting isn't that smart!"
Zhou Yuting replied angrily, "What nonsense are you spouting!? I haven't even said that it was you who did it! ...Even then, who do you think you are to say that it was the horse urine?"
Chu Li smiled, "Well, that wouldn't be too hard. We'll just have to show this to the seniors of the Thousand Herb Garden!"
"Great! We'll gather the senior to inspect it, then!" Zhou Yuting exclaimed.
Gu Litong scoffed, "No need!"
"Brother Gu Litong?" Zhou Yuting was confused, "We can't just let him say whatever he wants!"
Chu Li smiled as he shook his head and looked at Gu Litong.
"I buried it." Gu Litong confessed.
"Ah--?" Zhou Yuting widened his eyes in disbelief.
Chu Li sighed, "What for?"
"It was worth it to kill one Moonlight Orchid just to gauge your abilities."Gu Litong scoffed.
"Gu Litong Gu, how dare you!" Su Ru spat coldly.
Gu Litong laughed, "Chief Su Ru, I'll have only killed one Moonlight Orchid, that's it. I'm willing to pay the thousand-silver-piece penalty!"
Su Ru's face expression was as cold as ice as she stared at him.
Gu Litong squinted and smiled at her, not caring about the disdain she clearly displayed. He knew that the West Garden needed him, and no matter how great Chief Su Ru was, she could not do anything to harm him under the protection of Master Siao.
He was not afraid at all, which was why he admitted to it so calmly.
"Gu Litong, your methods are despicable beyond belief!" Chu Li said.
"You and I are one and the same!!"Gu Litong scoffed and smiled in satisfaction.
Chu Li sighed and looked around him, "I'm not even sure if the plants were ill because of natural causes or because of you. You may have even made them ill just so you could treat them. Others may have no clue but you know what you've done. Is this why you're called a genius?"
"Y-you!" Gu Litong's expression completely changed.
Chu Li sighed. "You and your unjust schemes. Such a waste!"
Chu Li turned to Su Ru, "Let's go, Chief. The Moonlight Orchid is fine now."
"Let's go." Su Ru glared at both culprits for as long as she could before whipping her body around as she left.
Zhou Yuting's form shrunk, and Gu Litong's expression was never worse, but he stiffly maintained his line of sight and harsh mannerisms. He looked fearless, knowing he had someone for support.
As soon as he saw the two fly away, Zhou Yuting whispered to Gu Litong, "What're you doing, Brother Gu Litong! Nothing good will come if we offend Chief Su Ru!"
"There's nothing to be afraid of!" Gu Litong scoffed, "We have Master Siao. She doesn't have the world under her palm!"
"Chief Su Ru's has quite the high prestige in the Public House you know"Zhou Yuting shook his head, "The second she says something, we're both doomed!"
"We live in the West Garden. Who in the world has the guts to act unbridled around here?" Gu Litong twitched his mouth, "Moreover, even if you decided to ignore the monk, you will have to consider respecting the Buddha. With Master here, they won't try anything stupid, so just relax!"
"Haa" Zhou Yuting's bitter expression showed. His sixth sense told him that all was not fine.
They boarded the boat, and Chu Li used his inner strength to propel it forwards. The small boat shot out like an arrow loosened from its bow, and The West Garden disappeared from their sights almost in an instant.
Su Ru's was rather gloomy. She stomped her feet as hard as she could.
"Gu. Li. Tong!!!"
Chu Li's green gown was coasting along with the wind. He was calm, as evident from his expression, "Chief, you don't have to lower yourself to his level. Someone as nasty as he is isn't worth our time!"
"There is no point to me living if I don't punish him!"Su Ru scoffed.
"Bickering with him will only lower your standing. Let me do it!" Chu Li said.
"You?" Su Ru turned to look at him.
"It's not hard to deal with him. I'm just holding back to preserve Master Siao's honor, but this time he was far too rude to you. I can't take it anymore!" Chu Li retorted.
"How do you plan on doing it?" Su Ru furrowed her brows, "You're not allowed to kill each other in the Public House, you know. If you break the rules, I won't be able to help you!"
Chu Li smiled, "I'm not that stupid!"
"What can you do to him, then?" Su Ru rudely jabbed the question at Chu Li.
She had already thought of a lot of ideas, but they were all useless.
If she complained to Master Siao, he would definitely stand by Gu Litong and stay alert. He would probably have believed that the East Garden was trying to get rid of his trump card, and was surely not going to believe their accusations.
Even if they had someone else investigate Gu Litong's deeds, he would be safe as long as he continued to stay in the West Garden under the protection of Master Siao. The other Public House guards would be unable to do anything!
She was just unable to think of any better ways. She had even tried her best to come up with a practical idea, and she could not stand it the more she thought about it.
Chu Li smiled, "Leave it to me, I will show it to you in a few days!"
"You better don't do anything stupid!" Su Ru reminded him.
"Don't break the rules!"
"Of course!" Chu Li smiled as he nodded.
The bright moon hung high in the sky, shining down on the quiet yet peaceful area.
Zhou Yuting and Gu Litong lazily walked into the New Moon Brothel.
They stood on the lower ground of the building, looking up at the tower stretched into the clouds. The sound of musical instruments and gentle laughter could be heard permeating from the facade, and it was as if the place was a palace in the heavens. Everyone who walked in would be able to forget all the worries they had in the world.
Zhou Yuting and Gu Litong would go together once every few days, and would be drowned by the pretty ladies.
There were the formal ones, the alluring ones, the innocent ones, and the charming ones. They all had their own unique personality traits, but all of them were beautiful. They were the rare treasure that God gave to men.
It may have been quite costly here, but they had always been happy to spend. If they did not visit for five or six days straight, they would feel incredibly uncomfortable and empty. Even if their bodies did not move, their legs would beat them to the punch. They were already unable to control themselves.
Both of them had their preferred tastes. Gu Litong and Zhou Yuting separated as soon as they entered the New Moon Brothel to look for their favorites.
Zhou Yuting swaggered onto the third floor and waved his hand over to ask the guide something.
He arrived in front of a house and knocked on the door, only to have no response greet him. The interior was also covered in a sheet of darkness, since there was no source of light coming from the inside.
Zhou Yuting's heart fell. Could it be possible that Yu Jiao was sleeping with someone else?
But he had already booked her completely and did not allow her to accept any other customers!
"Anybody in there!? Come out!" He stood in front of the door and angrily shouted.
A delicate and pretty woman gently came to him, "Master Zhou!"
"What's going on?" Zhou Yuting pointed at the room, "Where is Yu Jiao?"
"Oh, Sister Yu Jiao got married!" The delicate woman told him, "Did you not know, Master Zhou?"
"M-married?" Zhou Yuting's expression changed in an instant, "When did she get married?"
For a prostitute to get married...it must have meant that she was redeemed, and had left the New Moon Brothel!
He had been trying his best to save up to redeem Yu Jiao, but the price was too high. He needed a hundred thousand taels, a hopeless amount for him. Even if he added up the amount he had with Gu Litong, they would still be far from hitting the target.