A bright moon hung in the sky, its moonbeam cool and refreshing.
Chu Li sat on a small boat. The moonlight shone onto the surface of the lake, causing it to glitter. Xue Ling sat on the other end of the boat.
Chu Li sat cross-legged with a zither on his lap. Beside him was a white jade cup with golden yellow fine wine that rocked gently with the movements of the boat.
"Cong Cong...," Chu Li plucked the strings on the zither.
Xue Ling's thin eyebrows furrowed, revealing an embarrassed expression.
Chu Li's zither was ear-piercing, the sound was not in tune at all. Obviously, he did not receive a professional training on playing zither, he just played it blindly on his own.
Chu Li was enjoying himself, he learned calligraphy and painting when he was still in the temple, but he never learned to play zither. When he saw Siao Qi playing zither during the day, he developed a sudden interest to play zither in this beautiful scenery with moonlight, lake, beauty, and wine. It would be an elegant interest.
It was a pity that no matter how talented he was, he will not be able to produce a beautiful sound from the zither, the sound he played was ear-piercing and unbearable to listen to.
Chu Li smiled, he found it very interesting.
Xue Ling, on the other hand, felt that his zither was a fly in the ointment, she could hardly endure any more of the noise so she rapidly stood up and said, "Master, let me!"
Chu Li lifted his head and smiled, "You know how to play zither?"
"I know a little."
"Very well, you can play the zither," Chu Li gave the zither a light push and it was as if there was an invisible hand holding it, it floated and slowly descended in front of Xue Ling.
Xue Ling stretched out her hands to receive it, she let out a long sigh of relief. Her ears finally did not need to suffer!
"What song would Master like to hear?"
"A song that suits the beauty of the scenery at the moment will be fine," Chu Li smiled lazily and looked up at the night sky. The night was tranquil and the surroundings were quiet. The Guardian of Jade Island was ablaze with lights and in contrast, it was very quiet here.
He came here to adjust his mood, in order to deal with the killing intent produced by Sentient Menace. Adjusting one's mood was like adjusting the strings on the zither, the degree of tightness must be just right.
The sound of zither echoed in the quiet night, it spread along the surface of the lake and over into the distance.
The Protectors of the Guardian of Jade Island heard the sound of zither but they did not complain. Chu Li was the Lady's confidant thus as long as he did not go overboard, they will turn a blind eye to his actions and pretended to not see or hear anything, this was the right decision.
Chu Li closed his eyes and swayed gently to the music. He listened to the music and felt his soul became lively and relaxed.
In his mind, he did the image perception of the Art of White Tiger again. A tiger appeared in his mind as if it jumped out of the void and demonstrated various postures and forms, a forceful energy from the night sky poured into his body.
Music from the zither softly sounded, Xue Ling lowered her head and focused on plucking the zither, exposing her snow-white neck.
Chu Li suddenly floated slowly into the air, sitting on the air a foot away from the ground. There was no wind but he floated on his own, his blue robe fluttering.
Xue Ling saw the strange phenomenon but she was not surprised as she was used to it. Her hands did not stop, they continued to pluck the strings on the zither. In the sound of zither, Chu Li's blue robe shook more vigorously like it was blown by a fierce wind. Xue Ling sat opposite of him, but she only felt the gentle night breeze caressing her face.
After two hours, Xue Ling was still strumming the zither gently, her eyes fixed on Chu Li. His face looked serene like he was sleeping deeply but he was sitting cross-legged in the air and this had nothing to do with sleeping.
"Hu," Chu Li suddenly cried out lightly.
His soft cry echoed throughout the Public House.
Xue Ling's eyes glinted. She caught a shadow of a fierce tiger flashed on his body, the shadow disappeared after flashing twice, leaving her to wonder if her eyes tricked her.
Chu Li opened his eyes and floated down onto the boat, slowly rehearsed the 72 styles of Sentient Menace.
Xue Ling saw and knew that this was a critical moment for him, thus although her hands were tired, she still continued to play the zither.
In the midst of the gentle sound of zither, Chu Li rehearsed twice and slowly ended it.
Suddenly, his body released golden rays of light. Just as suddenly as it appeared, the golden rays retreated back into his body and disappeared, leaving no trace of it and he resumed the guise of someone who did not know martial arts.
"Xue Ling, thank you," Chu Li sat down with his legs crossed, picked up the white jade cup, took a sip of wine and smiled.
The sound of zither stopped abruptly and Xue Ling took her hands off the zither's strings. Her hands were shaking slightly, "Master, did you cultivate successfully?"
"It went up a level," Chu Li smiled and nodded.
Xue Ling's cold face broke into a faint smile, "Congratulations, Master!"
"It was thanks to your help I will help you out tonight," Chu Li smiled.
If it was not for her music keeping his state of mind clear, his Art of White Tiger will not level up when he was cultivating it.
As the Art of White Tiger advanced a level, he achieved the mastery of Sentient Menace's third level without effort, he successfully accomplished the training of muscles and now he had reached the state of meridian training.
Completing the training of muscles allowed his strength to increase one fold and he became incredibly strong with infinite strength.
Xue Ling did not utter a word and just stared at him with curiosity.
"I will give you a hand."
Xue Ling did not quite understand.
"Well, it is almost midnight and you are supposed to train by now, isn't it?"
Xue Ling looked up at the moon, "Then let's go back?"
"We will do it here," Chu Li stood up and sat down at the center of the boat, he pointed to his opposite side and said, "Sit there, with your back towards me."
Xue Ling was curious but she did not ask. She pushed the zither away and stood up, went to Chu Li's opposite and turned around. She sat down slowly with her back towards him. Their distance just a foot away.
A faint fragrance assailed his nostrils and her beautiful back entered his view. Chu Li kept his eyes away from her slender waist and round bottom, "I will assist you in channeling your inner energy, so just relax."
"Okay," Xue Ling was even more curious.
Chu Li put both his palms on her back and refined inner energy flow from his palms into her body, it flowed and circulated along the route of heart technique of Crescent Cryptic.
Xue Ling can feel the flow of Chu Li's inner energy and she was surprised by it.
The flow of his inner energy was too fast, it circulated the Crescent Cryptic perfectly. The speed was more than 10 times faster, it was like the difference between walking and riding a horse!
In just a short while, her energy centre in her abdomen felt sore from being distended.
Chu Li took his hands away slowly, "Try to practice once on your own."
Xue Ling channeled her inner energy and her inner energy flowed smoothly as if it can cultivate on its own and soon it had circulated along her meridians once. The progress of her cultivation tonight worth a month of her self-cultivation!
She turned her head and stared at Chu Li with widened eyes.
The two were within reach of each other so she can feel Chu Li's breaths on her face and this made her feel uneasy. She swiftly moved away.
She asked hurriedly, "Master, your inner energy channeling has always been so fast?"
"Is this the difference between a genius and a mediocre person?"
"More than that," Chu Li smiled, "The speed of one's inner energy, the width and tenacity of one's meridians, the capacity of one's energy centre as well as one's comprehension. There are many aspects regarding one's cultivation."
"Lady Siao Qi said that my aptitude is mediocre, is my aptitude really so bad?"
"Lady Siao Qi would never lie."
"I used to think that I can make it up with hard work, but," Xue Ling shook her head lightly and her eyes glazed over.
"Working hard is better than not putting in any effort at all."
Xue Ling scoffed, "I practiced for a month and it's only worth a day of Master's cultivation, no matter how hard I try"
She helplessly shook her head, feeling dispirited.
"Your aptitude is average but you have good fortune," Chu Li encouraged her, "If you are being lazy, I will not help you, so it is true that being hardworking can make up for your lack of talent. Work hard, Xue Ling!"
Xue Ling brightened up and pressed her lips together tightly, "I will not give up!"
Later in the evening, Chu Li helped her during her cultivation.
The cultivation of Crescent Cryptic was difficult, Xue Ling's spiritual energy was not strong enough thus, it was very difficult for her to cultivate. However, to Chu Li, he had no such problem, therefore, the progress of her cultivation was super-fast and it advanced at a tremendous pace.
In addition to helping her cultivated Crescent Cryptic, Chu Li also imparted her Minute Pulse Cleansing Technique to toughen her meridians, so that it can withstand Chu Li's powerful inner energy channeling.
Chu Li helped her by channeling his inner energy to her for two reasons: one was to return the favor for helping him just now, and secondly, it was because he wanted to train her. As his own maid, if her martial arts was too weak, it will bring trouble in the future, and she can only help him if her martial arts was strong.