Chapter 12: The Second Challenge
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
As Su Ru left, her sweet mild fragrance left along with her. The whole East Garden began to lose its color from her absence, which made Chu Li feel weirdly depressed.
He picked up the two seeds and used his spiritual force to gently accelerate the growth. It would now sprout and grow incredibly quick as soon as he planted it. Within two days, it would break out of the soil and present its green sprouts
Chu Li realized that this was an exceptional batch. Their speed of growth was at least double the usual rate. A month had been shortened to ten days, and ten days passed by in the the blink of an eye.
A white fog, thin as silk had engulfed the huge lake. The entire scene looked almost dreamlike.
Su Ru appeared along with her pleasant aroma. She gracefully stood in front of the Moonlight Orchid parterre as she smiled and looked at Chu Li. “Have you completed the task?”
Chu Li pointed towards the six jade boxes on the stone table.
“That’s rather quick” Su Ru was shocked.
“Practice makes one perfect, I suppose.” Chu Li replied, “The appeal on attaining rank six conjures a strong determination within me. You could even say I risked my life for this one.”
“All this to attain rank six is indeed worth the fight. Now that you have attained rank six, proceed to the middle floor of the library. I’m sure something there will pique your interest,” Su Ru said.
“Understood,” Chu Li nodded and smiled.
The fourth floor of the Wisdom Tower was called the ‘Floor of Unique Scriptures’. Stored within it were treasured books and broken ancient scriptures containing long-forgotten secrets that would look like gibberish to laymen.
“Chief, may I enter the Martial Arts Hall?”
“The Hall..?” Su Ru was startled by the sudden request. “You still haven’t given up on martial arts?”
Chu Li smiled.
“You may, obviously. Afterall, you are now rank six, therefore you are entitled to obtain even the finest of all skill manuals.”
“However, you’ll still need to build a strong foundation to cultivate higher level martial arts.” Su Ru said, regrettably.
In comparison, there was no difference between learning martial arts and academic study. It was just like learning advanced mathematics. Without the necessary foundation, it would be no different than trying to read nonsense.
“There’s always another way, isn’t there?”
“Uh… There definitely is, but it’s best you don’t go down that path.”
“Well, you have now piqued my curiosity.”
“The rank system is recognized throughout the Public House. Once you achieve rank six, you’ll be able to peer into the secret scriptures of the God’s Boundary. While the manual is important, you cannot cultivate it without the sufficient sources.”
Chu Li nodded.
Learning martial arts was the same to him as studying medicine during his previous life. It required a good teacher, lots of practice, and diligent observation of others at work. One could not become a good doctor just by reading medical books alone.
“Chu Li, I believe you are a clever person. By right you don’t need excessive advice from me, but still I feel the need to warn you. Do not train without foundation!”
“Much appreciated, Chief.”
“…oh Chu Li,” Su Ru smiled and shook her head; she felt as if Chu Li would not heed her advice.
The Martial Arts Hall was a tower made of pure bronze that looked just like the Wisdom Tower. It stood in the middle of a broad training field while sunlight reflected gloriously off its bronze exterior.
The training field was paved in red soil. Hundreds of people practised their martial arts on it, livening up the entire area.
Chu Li came to the hall alone as Li Yue was worried about the safety of the Moonlight Orchids. He chose to stay on the island to care for them as a precautionary step.
As he passed the main entrance of the Martial Arts hall, a sandalwood appeared in his way. Two gorgeous women in lake green gowns standing guard behind it welcomed him in a demurred manner.
Chu Li presented his waist tag to the shock of the ladies as it was rare to see someone as young as Chu Li to reach rank six. Quickly and politely, they presented him a bronze waist tag.
Upon inspection, Chu Li could see that the bronze waist tag had four white clouds carved into it.
In a polite fashion, the two ladies proceeded to guide him to the upper floor.
Chu Li lifted his chin up proudly and took quick steps up the stairs straight towards the fourth and highest floor. He was met with two middle-aged Protectors that were guarding the entryway who glanced at Chu Li’s waist tag as he passed by.
The two Protectors were rank nine Protectors.
No one dared to break into this place even if the guards were just two rank nine Scribes. If one was caught attempting to break in, the individual would forever be denied access inside the tower.
The fourth floor had a cold and quiet atmosphere.
It had less people and even lesser book racks. Unlike the lower second and third floors that were filled with books, the fourth floor had only five large shelves containing about a hundred books each.
The books here were not permitted to be taken out of the premise. Copying down content from the books were also prohibited in the library. The only choice was to memorize the contents or return to reread them if one had forgotten. While the second and third floors below were lively and noisy, the fourth floor was only occupied with five people; its environment even duller than a library.
Chu Li then looked through all the manuals from a shelf. All of them were scriptures about passive abilities or martial arts of the God’s Boundary. Every time he flipped open a new one, it seemed to bring with it a history of gore and conflict.
He thoroughly went through as many as he could. Within a day, he had memorized half a shelf’s worth. At this rate, he planned on memorizing every single one of the manuals within five days.
He returned the last manual into the rack and did a good stretch. When he stepped out of the library, Chu Li had memorised every single book from the highest floor. He planned to return to decide on what to practice later on.
He then left the hall and walked through the field. Suddenly he was stopped halfway to his destination.
Zhuo Feiyang appeared in a long blue robe as he sneered at Chu Li. Standing beside him was Zhao Ying looking at the both of them worriedly.
Chu Li frowned as he looked at Zhuo Feiyang.
“You named Chu! What’re you doing here, you scumbag?” Zhuo Feiyang scoffed.
Chu Li paid no heed. He gave him a glance and continued to walk.
Zhuo Feiyang had made it to rank seven with ease, and that bolstered his confidence so he felt that he could finally have his revenge now.
“Chu Li! Are you scared?” Zhuo Feiyang said.
“I AM scared!” replied Chu Li with a nod. “I’m scared of a shameless person like you. I may not have the guts to face you, but I can still avoid you!”
“One more match!” Zhuo Feiyang exclaimed, “Don’t think too highly of yourself. You’re merely garbage that can’t even practice martial arts!”
“And you expect me to accept your challenge just because you said so?” Chu Li shook his head. “Zhuo Feiyang, if you have this much free time why don’t you go home and practice. Stop embarrassing yourself like this, you’re degrading the image of all who call themselves ‘genius’.”
Zhuo Feiyang’s face turned sour. He clenched his teeth, as he knew he was no match for Chu Li in a verbal battle. In order to beat Chu Li, he had to beat him until he moaned for his mother’s mercy. Quickly, he pulled out a challenge letter from his waist pocket and threw it towards Chu Li. “Catch!”
The letter darted across rapidly like a ruthless secret weapon
Chu Li caught the letter with his hand. He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I decline!”
“Chu Li! You are a coward!” said Zhuo Feiyang in rage, “You don’t deserve to be a man!”
“Zhuo Feiyang, You don’t have the right to decide whether I deserve to be a man or not. That’s right, don’t you remember our last bet? You’re now my Protector!”
Zhuo Feiyang faced the skies and laughed loudly.
Chu Li continued to stare at him blankly.
Zhuo Feiyang then stopped in the middle of his laugh, slowing it down a sarcastic grin. “Chu Li, are you a fool? Me? As your Protector?”
“You made the bet and you lost. Are you unwilling to honor your words?” Chu Li provoked.
“Even if I did, the Public House would not approve of it!” Zhuo Feiyang smiled in delight. “You want me to be your Protector? Do you actually think that you deserve it? I’m a rank seven Protector!”
“So you are unwilling to honor it?” Chu Li replied and conjured a smile.
Zhuo Feiyang’s smile faded after hearing that response.
“Talk to me when you finally reach rank six. I’ll honor it, but I’ve never said when I’d do that.”
“So if I reach rank six, you’ll be my Protector?”
“Of course I would, but only if you achieve rank six.” Zhuo Feiyang laughed. “But we’ll have to wait twenty years for that to happen. By then, I’d have already attained rank four, maybe even rank three. Which means you won’t even deserve to be my Scribe!”
Chu Li shook his head.
Zhuo Feiyang laughed hysterically. “thus Chu Li, you’re a scum who will never make it to the top. Trash like you only deserve to kneel under me! Ha! Hahaha!”
Chu Li assessed him from head to toe.
Zhuo Feiyang felt uncomfortable with Chu Li’s reaction. “What? Don’t like the sound of it? Then accept my challenge!”
“Nevermind, move away,” Chu Li shook his head. “If you don’t move, I will punch you myself.”
“Don’t you feel embarrassed, Chu Li?” Zhuo Feiyang asked.
“And you’re not?” Chu Li smiled.
He walked dead straight forward as he said it, knocking right into Zhuo Feiyang on his way.
Zhuo Feiyang took a step back and scoffed, “You scoundrel! I’ll let you off just for today!”
Chu Li smiled as he shook his head and left.
Zhao Ying frowned and said,”Brother Zhuo, just let it be.”
“Zhao Ying! The bastard does not deserve pity. He’s a wolf! You must kill him or else he’ll take a bite out of you as soon as he gets a chance to!”
“In the end, Chu Li can’t even train his inner strength. If you challenge him like this, it’s incredibly unfair!”
Zhuo Feiyang stared daggers at the back of Chu Li and shook his head.
“Come on, let’s just practice,” Zhao Ying sighed.
Zhuo Feiyang frowned and became silent.
“Brother Zhuo?” said Zhao Ying coldly.
However, Zhuo Feiyang’s mind was somewhere else as he pondered.
“Brother Zhuo Feiyang!” Zhao Ying shouted.
Zhao Ying did not like Zhuo Feiyang nor Chu Li. She was only a kind-hearted maiden who had sympathy for the weak. No matter what, Chu Li was still not in up to their league, he would only suffer if he fought.
Zhuo Feiyang lifted his head up and smiled courteously before frowning again. “I always feel like Chu Li has always something up his sleeves waiting for me. It’s not good!”
“Zhuo Feiyang, you really are so narrow-minded. It’s unbelievable that you still call yourself a man!” Zhao Ying said mockingly.
Zhuo Feiyang shook his head. “My intuition has never failed me. Heck it has even saved my life several times!”
Zhao Ying turned around and left.
Chu Li stood, hands on his back, at the front of the boat. The wind from the lake caressed his face as he floated by. If Zhuo Feiyang wanted a shot at revenge so badly, he would be wise to honor it eventually. However he had to make sure that he did not embarrass the Third Lady while doing so, or else it would just be a victory that was not worth its while.
It all mattered. He needed to lay low to make sure no one paid any attention to him.
Challengers had the right to choose the location of their battle. Based on Zhuo Feiyang’s proud personality, he would definitely choose the Martial Arts Hall for an audience.
Chu Li returned to the East Garden and wrote two invitations. He wanted Li Yue to help him deliver them.
Li Yue read the invitations and looked at Chu Li.
Chu Li smiled. “Thank you, Brother Li.”
“What are you playing this time? …challenging Zhuo Feiyang again?” asked Li Yue.
Chu Li smiled and nodded.
“…Alright. I bet he’ll accept the challenge in a heartbeat.”Li Yue shook his head. “You sure you can do this?”
“I’ll know after I try.”
“Isn’t it too risky?” Li Yue sounded worried all of a sudden. “He is now rank seven after all!”
“Winning and losing in battles is normal. It’ll be fine.”
“Sigh… You truly are ambitious!”
Li Yue shook his head. He then left with the invitation cards.