By the time he got back to the Public House, it was not noon yet. The speed of his returning journey was marginally faster than initial journey. The Art of White Tiger was indeed phenomenal.
He had gained another six hundred thousand taels. His wallet became thicker.
Xue Linge routinely prepared him several dishes, which looked delectable. She also prepared him a jar of wine.
Chu Li was famished by the time he got there, so he ate to his heart's content. He felt at home.
He was eating heartily at the small kiosk, when the door of his small courtyard was pushed open. Su Ru walked in. She was dressed in a chestnut yellow, and she had a faint fragrance with her. She stared fiercely at Chu Li.
Chu Li was surprised to see her but smiled, "Chief, fancy having lunch together?"
"Chu Li!" Su Ru straightened a face and scoffed at him.
Chu Li asked, "Is this about Ding Weisong?"
Su Ru snapped, "What did you promise me?!"
"Chief, can you please hear me out?" Chu Li smiled back at her.
"Talk to me!" Su Ru sneered, "I would like to see how you explain this!"
Chu Li smiled, "If I told you that I did not hire Ding Weisong to kill me, would you believe me?"
"Him-------?" Su Ru fixed her stare, and scoffed, "He has the guts to?"
Feng Shicai might be a big name in the martial arts world, and a top-notch innate master too, but for the Yi Public House, killing him was as easy as stepping on an ant.
Chu Li was one of them. If he had died, the Yi Public House would not stand by and do nothing. It looked like Feng Shicai was very sure that the Public House would not be able to track down Ding Weisong, hence could not trace it back to him!
"Chief, I hope you don't underestimate those people in the martial arts world. They're all hot-blooded and cruel. I am the cause of Feng Wen's death, how can Feng Shicai let me off the hook?"
"True, Feng Wen was his only son." Su Ru accepted what he had said.
Feng Shicai was a slick old man. But no matter how slick he might be, he had his own weakness. Feng Wen was his only son, no matter how useless he was, Feng Wen was still his own flesh and blood. But then, Feng Wen died in Chu Li's hands.
The pain and sorrow of losing a child, Su Ru could understand a bit of that. Feng Shicai knew that he could not kill Chu Li with his own hands, hence it was logical for him to order someone else to do it for him.
"Ding Weisong was really hired by him?"
Chu Li nodded resolutely, "One hundred percent!"
"This Feng!" Su Ru shut her lips tight and scoffed loudly.
Even though she knew what it was like to lose a child, she could not stand the action of assassinating an Scribe of the Yi Public House. Not to mention a Rank 5 like Chu Li, it was intolerable! What did he think the Yi Public House was?
Chu Li said, "Let's not rush to capture him. With him around, we could bait those monks from the Temple of Tempest out."
He half-expected the Temple of Tempest to lay out another trap for him. By keeping them occupied, he could have more freedom.
"Does Cheng Wenhui have the Art of White Tiger, then?" Su Ru smiled.
Chu Li nodded hesitantly.
Su Ru's eyes widened. She exclaimed in astonishment, "He does?"
Chu Li answered, "He had indeed cultivated the Art of White Tiger. But shame was, he only managed to cultivate one of the six diagrams. If not, he would have been much more powerful."
"Ding Weisong was already very strong, capable of escaping from the combined forces of you and Zhao Ying." Su Ru said, "Zhao Ying is now an innate master, you know!"
Chu Li said, "The Art of White Tiger was a great deal. But for him to cultivate it and get defeated like that, it was an embarrassment to its name. By the way, does the Lady want the second volume?"
Su Ru shook her head, "The Lady is not interested with it."
Chu Li smiled, "Without combining both volumes of the Art of White Tiger, it would not be a complete secret technique. If one only cultivates the first volume, there won't be much effect."
Su Ru asked curiously, "So the reason you could not cultivate the first volume, was because it wasn't complete?"
Chu Li said, "If one could not even finish cultivating the first volume, then it's better not to try at all. To completely cultivate the whole manual, the mindpower needed would be much higher. If my Buddhist austerities aren't strong enough, I will self-destruct under its powers. The Cave of White Tigers' elders were being very thoughtful, to separate it into two volumes.
"Oh..." Su Ru became more intrigued.
Chu Li smiled, "Xue Linge, bring out the pen and ink!"
"Yes." Xue Linge brought out the paper, ink and pen. She grinded the ink bloc to make ink. Once she was done, she handed them to Chu Li.
Chu Li started drawing the six diagrams of the Art of White Tiger. The tiger on each diagram looked very vivid, as if they were alive.
Chu Li put down his pen, and smiled at Su Ru, "Chief, these are the six diagrams."
"Your drawing skills aren't too bad." Su Ru complimented him. She watched the six tiger diagrams, and then closed her eyes.
"Argh!" suddenly she screamed, her hands wrapped around her head.
Chu Li grinned as he watched her.
Su Ru only put down her hands after a long while. Her face looked pale, and she feebly asked, "What happened?"
Chu Li asked, "How did it feel?"
"Once I begin picturing the first diagram, my head felt like it was going to explode."
"You don't have enough mindpower, it's best you don't force yourself."
"Fine," Su Ru sighed, giving up hope. "Then, you should continue cultivating it. I hope you can finish mastering the Sentient Menace move soon, and then go out there, and kick some evil monk ass!"
Su Ru waved her hand, as she turned around and left the place.
The night was serene.
Chu Li cultivated the Art of White Tiger twice inside his house. Then, he walked outside and cultivated the Sentient Menace move. After 72 moves, he could hear his blood flowing with force in his meridians.
The Sentient Menace move had taken a huge step forward.
The effects of the Art of White Tiger were extremely strong, but he had a certain worry. He did not know when it would fail him. If that happened, it would be difficult for him to master the Sentient Menace skill move.
The four followers of the Temple of Tempest that he had killed were not able to finish cultivating the latter stages of the Sentient Menace too. And it seemed like no one in the temple had completely mastered the move as of now.
Two rounds of Art of White Tiger, followed by one round of Sentient Menace. He kept repeating the same routine, walking in and out of the house. He focused solely on his cultivation for the whole day. By late evening the following day, his body was emitting a golden glow. He looked like a golden Buddha statue, standing proudly under the waning Sun.
Xue Linge watched him with her mouth agape.
Chu Li wrapped his hand around his fist, he started smiling.
Xue Linge hurriedly asked him, "My Lord, have you mastered it?"
Chu Li shook out his wrist, stretching his arm a little, then smiled, "Only the second stage!"
"That is still quite an accomplishment." Xue Linge praised him with delight.
She had witnessed first handedly how much pain Chu Li had suffered, and how many baton hits he had to endure. Finally, his efforts bore fruit today, as he had finished cultivating the second stage. It served as a reminder for her to up her efforts too.
Chu Li stopped smiling. The next stage would be the tendon. Once he had mastered that, his physical strength would vastly increase, and same goes to his speed. By that time, he might stand a chance to defeat the innate masters from the Temple of Tempest.
"Xue Linge, thrust me with that sword in the kiosk."
Xue Linge took the sword and then leapt out form the kiosk. She landed in front of Chu Li, thrusting the sword at his shoulder.
"Ding..." a metal clang sound rang out. The sword could not make its way through his skin.
Chu Li smiled, "Try harder."
"Ding..." Xue Linge increased her force.
"Ding...Ding...Ding..." Xue Linge repeatedly thrusted the sword for ten times.
She kept increasing her force. By the end of it, she was sapped of energy, but still could not pierce through Chu Li's skin!