Chapter 32: Divine Flower Garden
Standing within the courtyard, Yong Meilin was incapable of determining what to do with her body. At first, she strolled around aimlessly within the courtyard but her impatience got the better of her. Eventually, she stood on the spot and tapped her finger on the robes she were wearing. Her face switched between beet red and deathly pale.
Waiting for a guy was something she had never experienced before. Every time she thought about the words he had said, she was strangely embarrassed. Although Yong Meilin was known to tease men and flirt shamelessly, she had never experienced any true relationship with men. Also, she had never met someone who was completely ignorant such as Xu Min.
Even today he had completely ignored her beauty and instead had been training hard. Hs body language showed no signs of caring about her. He even went as far as to tell her that he was going to take a bath while she was waiting for him! Knowing that he was taking a bath had made her even more restless and incapable of knowing what to do with herself.
After what seemed like an eternity to Yong Meilin but had been only around fifteen minutes. Xu Min arrived at the front door once more. This time, he dressed in his fine clothes and his hair was still damp from the bath. A breath of fresh flowers wafted out from the house itself and enveloped Yong Meilin. Her senses were assaulted by the scent and her mind was somewhat drawn aside. Shaking her head, she finally returned to her normal personality and within her eyes was a slight anger burning. This anger existed because she could not say no to her grandfather’s order. It was also an anger aimed at herself as she was completely incapable of staying strong in front of this odd boy. She knew that something about her was excited. She was excited about being together with someone who was different and eager to get to know him even better.
Xu Min had no idea as to what went on within Yong Meilin’s head. All he could see was her attempt to be friendly and a burning anger within her eyes. This made him to believe that she was doing something she definitely did not wish to do.
Xu Min personally did not dislike Yong Meilin but he did not like her either. The reason he went along with her request was mainly due to the man who had visited him the night before. He was fairly certain that it was this man who had ordered Yong Meilin to act the way she was doing.
Another reason to accept Yong Meilin’s offer was for the protection that the Alluring Treasure Pavilion could give him. It could provide protection against the many cultivators who had already become hostile towards him after his display at the Hall of the Champions.
When he said the things he said, he had not intended to cause as much of a ruckus as he did. All he wished to do was to cause the smug and self-satisfied face of Yong Meilin to become a little bit forced. He wanted to trouble her just as much as she was troubling him. After all, he had not forgotten how the woman had tried to scam him earlier. Although he ended the trade with respectful greetings, it had only been achieved by not being fooled by her beauty.
“Took you enough time,” Yong Meilin said with an indignant voice. As soon as she saw the young man and just as the words escaped her lips, she lifted her hands to cover her mouth. Her eyes widened in shock as to how she had said her thoughts out loud. She looked tentatively at the young man as she feared his reaction.
Hearing the words did indeed make Xu Min feel taken aback, but not in a bad way. Laughter rung through the courtyard as the young man smiled a cheekily at the beauty in front of him.
“Sorry, sorry,” he laughed. “I was certain you didn’t wish to go with me smelling of sweat.”
Hearing the reply, Yong Meilin let go of an harrumph but her mind was put at ease. She was supposed to be making sure that the young man did not leave; however, if she insulted him right away it was most likely going the wrong way.
“Well if you know, then let us get moving,” she answered. Once again, her haughty personality shone through and she once more felt like kicking herself hard. The young man showed no signs of truly caring about her personality but instead started walking slowly and looking around at the surroundings.
When he first came to visit the Alluring Treasure Pavilion, it was in the middle of the night when the sun had set behind the city walls. The second time he had arrived when he had entered the Hall of Champions, it was once more during night time. Walking through this part of the city during the day was the first time Xu Min had seen the city in daylight. He was in no rush and the more people who saw him walking with Yong Meilin the better.
Yong Meilin was a well-known figure throughout the entire Ri Chu City. Today, her beauty was even more stunning than when she was selling items at the auction house. Every man who saw her instantly recognized her. They also saw the young man who was walking with such carefree and happy pace while Yong Meilin was matching him at his side.
Yong Meilin knew that everyone recognized her and saw how she was walking with a young man, but what could she do? It was an order given to her from her grandfather. There was simply no way she could say no. Instead, she decided to allow everyone to know that this man was protected by the Alluring Treasure Pavilion.
Deciding upon this, she turned towards her companion and smiled at him. Her smile made a chill run down Xu Min’s spine. Although he smiled back, he suddenly felt a certain degree of danger.
“I was planning on bringing you to the Divine Flower Gardens. It is a part of the city where the temples are located and a beautiful flower garden is erected to see the beauty of life. Within this beautiful garden is one restaurant which I wished to bring you to. It is known to produce the most delicious delicacies of our city. I am sure a traveler like you would like to try out these delicacies with me.”
Hearing the words, Xu Min was slightly taken aback as he was uncertain as to why they suddenly wanted to bring him around. He once more thought about how the elderly man’s eyes had widened in surprise. It was obvious that they truly valued him based on his relationship with the green snake.
“I would love some delicacies; however, there is a slight problem,” Xu Min said with a sigh. Hearing this, Yong Meilin looked confused at the young man and waited for the explanation.
Xu Min lifted his arm and on his arm a green snake appeared out of nowhere. This green snake looked at Yong Meilin with very curious eyes.
“This little fella likes to eat a lot,” he said, “And I am not sure if beasts are allowed within the restaurant. If they are not then I am afraid I cannot go either. Wherever I go, he goes too.”
Hearing the determination within Xu Min’s voice, Yong Meilin was slightly taken aback but it needed more than that to shock her. She nodded her head, “Depending on who the guests are, beasts are allowed inside. You are allowed to bring the beast inside. I was told about your snake by my grandfather,” she explained. Although she had not mentioned to her grandfather before, she had an idea that the two had met. If they had not met, it would make no sense why he would have known about the snake beast.
Hearing how Yong Meilin honestly answered and that she had thought about Cao Cao, Xu Min felt a slight gratitude towards her. Xu Min had never had anyone whom he could trust completely. From a very young age, the ones he thought he could trust had turned against him. But Cao Cao was different. Cao Cao was like a small child who had latched onto him and who was so honest that he would never betray him. Not to mention, they had been linked together by his father. The two of them depended on each other.
Following the woman, the two of them quickly came to what was the Divine Flower Gardens. It was a large park filled with flowers of various kinds. Some were medicinal herbs while
others were simple flowers. All of them were beautiful in the sunshine that shone down.
The garden was large and small roads were crisscrossing within going to different locations. Some of them went towards the temples while others went towards gates for the city. Even some went towards the restaurant they were walking towards.
Everywhere they walked, gossip started to be spread. Both Yong Meilin and Xu Min were smiling and pretended not to notice that they were being gossiped about. Both of them were chatting together with smiles on their faces, their conversation boring about anything from the weather to the flowers they passed on their walk.
For anyone who was viewing them, they seemed like the perfect couple. They were smiling at each other and both looked stunningly beautiful in the sunshine surrounded by the blooming flowers.
Soon, they made their way towards the restaurant they saw in the distance. The two of them sat down and ignored the obvious stares. Their chatting was seemingly intimate. At first, Xu Min had just nodded and said yes and no. He was participating in the conversation but paying it no actual heed.
Having tried various subjects, Yong Meilin finally found one which the young man found interesting. Talking about cultivation sparked a gleam in his eye. With an eager voice, he participated in the conversation.
“Why would you train your body physically rather than just cultivate your inner energy?” Yong Meilin asked curiously as she looked at the young man in front of her. She was remembering the muscular but lean upper body she had seen earlier that day.
Although she did not see many men half naked, she had seen quite a few. She saw the guards and younger generation of the Yong family trained at the training facilities within the Yong family residence.
These men trained various martial art stances and how to refine the energy of the heavens and the earth into Qi. However, they were not doing any physical training to temper their body or to make the body capable of withstanding the excessive amounts of energy which had to travel through the body itself.
“Imagine Qi being this wine,” Xu Min said as he raised a cup of wine which he had between his fingers. “The Qi is strong and the amount of Qi is what determines how strong a person is. However, Qi relies on your body just like this wine relies on the glass to contain it. Without the body, the Qi will dissipate and turn into nothing but essence of the heavens and the earth once more.”
Thinking about it that way, Yong Meilin was slightly confused. She understood what Xu min meant, but she did not understand why it was important for him to keep doing physical exercise.
“The stronger your body is, the more Qi you will be capable of activating,” Xu Min continued his explanation. “But strength can also be used without Qi. Every time you reach a higher star, your body will automatically enhance its strength. But if you can raise this strength manually, your body will become much more durable, tougher and stronger. You saw how I was capable of tossing around other humans as though they were nothing at the Hall of Champions,” Xu Min continued. “That was because my strength is far superior to that of a One-Star Warrior.”
Hearing this, Yong Meilin somewhat understood what he meant. She could not help but wonder as to why other cultivators did not do the same thing. Knowing what she was thinking about, a wry smile appeared on Xu Min’s lips but he said nothing. He knew that only few cultivators had the patience to train their body physically as it slowed down the speed with which one would refine the inner energies. This was something that not many experts were willing to do.
Just as Xu Min was about to say something, a waiter arrived with trays filled with food. Suddenly, a green snake appeared coiled up around Xu Min’s neck. He quickly slithered onto the table where he started eating one of the delicacies after another. This caused Xu Min to laugh at the lack of manners and Yong Meilin to be surprised by the carefreeness shown by both man and snake alike.