Chapter 446 - Han Li’s Challenge
"Something happened to Jiao Enterprise?"
When Ai Hui received this news in the early morning of the second day, he was slightly shocked. He had been thinking about the uses for [Yin Yang Sword Formation] for the whole night and came up with some new ideas.
Ai Hui was rather bold in his path to pursue swordsmanship. He had not received a systematic education on swordsmanship and this kept him from being bound by too many restrictions. As he kept on learning, he found a new path of swordsmanship that belonged to him. He valued his own ideas. Even if his ideas lasted for merely a second, he would still try to gain some insights from them.
"Yes, Mayor is already on his way there and will be back soon. Please wait for a moment," the guard replied politely.
"Yesterday night I saw a blaze in the direction of Jiao Enterprise," Shi Xueman whispered to Ai Hui.
"Ai Hui, Lou Lan saw it too," Lou Lan said with a solemn tone too.
"Alright, got it," Ai Hui nodded his head.
His facial expression turned grave. Was it a coincidence that a fire broke out at this point of time? He remembered that Jiao Enterprise was one of the enterprises that had bought the snow lava.
Was someone creating trouble?
Ai Hui went into deep thought. However, he had limited knowledge of Clearwater City and could not think of anyone who would do this kind of thing.
He decided to wait for the mayor to come back before thinking about it again.
After a while, the mayor and his counterparts had returned. To Ai Hui’s astonishment, Gong Peiyao and Venerable Volcano had gone along with the mayor too. Ai Hui realized that Qiao Meiqi and the Gong Residence had an extraordinary relationship. Their relationship was far deeper than what outsiders had expected.
Ai Hui stood up and welcomed them, "What happened? Did you make any discoveries?"
With a gloomy look on his face, Qiao Meiqi shook his head and replied, "No, I have not made many discoveries. The corpse has been incinerated. I suspect the victim might have overturned the snow lava and burned himself in it. The snow lava has disappeared without a trace. However, there are some remnants of the snow lava’s aura in the air."
"Only Jiao Shien is dead, everyone else in Jiao Enterprise was not harmed," Venerable Volcano interjected, "All the bricks and slabs at the scene have been incinerated. The aura of snow lava in the air is very strong. The fire should have been caused by the snow lava."
"Snow lava can’t create such a huge fire," Ai Hui furrowed his eyebrows.
"I don’t know about that. A fire liquid like snow lava is very dangerous. If it’s not a fire elementalist that handles it, a slight moment of carelessness can lead to a terrible tragedy," Venerable Volcano shook his head.
"According to the employees of Jiao Enterprise, after Jiao Shien spoke to them, he stayed in the main hall by himself. This is his daily habit," Gong Peiyao added at this point in time.
"Don’t worry, I will fork out the resources that Jiao Enterprise owed you. I have known Old Jiao for many years, so I will still help him out at this point of time," the mayor said.
Ai Hui did not reject Qiao Meiqi and asked, "Is it possible that someone is plotting something in the dark?"
The mayor and Gong Peiyao looked at each other. Following which, the mayor replied, "We are worried about this as well. Due to Han Li’s appearance in Clearwater City, we suspect it has something to do with Madam Ye."
"Who is Han Li?" A blank look appeared on Ai Hui’s face.
"You make a fool out of him at the market and you still act as if you don’t know him?" the mayor chuckled.
Ai Hui came to a realization. "Oh, it’s him! However, this is really my first time hearing his name. Mayor, pardon me for being ignorant, but can you give me a brief introduction about this guy?"
Upon seeing that Ai Hui really did not know who Han Li was, Qiao Meiqi began to explain to him, "Han Li is a rising swordsman and he is from Karakorum Sword League. He is widely regarded by many as the one who will most likely become the second master swordsman. Reportedly, he is much more powerful and talented than the Silverwheel Swordsman, Chu Zhaoyang."
Ai Hui was stunned when he heard the name "Chu Zhaoyang".
Shi Xueman laughed silently to herself on one side. With a calm and collected tone, she asked, "He is more powerful than Chu Zhaoyang?"
Upon noticing the change in Ai Hui’s facial expression, Qiao Meiqi thought Ai Hui was annoyed by his words. He hurriedly said, "Chu Zhaoyang isn’t really that impressive. Those who said he is the second best swordsman in the world are merely ignorant individuals. After witnessing Brother Ai’s swordsmanship, I feel that Han Li is not a big deal after all.
At this moment, a long and loud whistle suddenly sounded off outside the mayor’s residence.
"I’m Han Li from Karakorum Sword League. I heard that the renowned Lightning Blade has arrived in Clearwater City and I’m here to learn a thing or two from you! The path of swordsmanship is solitary and arduous. It inspires me to see someone like Brother Ai, who takes on the same path as me. I hope that Brother Ai can be generous enough to give me a chance to spar with you."
Everyone in the mayor’s residence froze. Qiao Meiqi stared blankly at Ai Hui.
Gong Peiyao and Venerable Volcano looked as if they had seen a ghost.
Ai Hui was very surprised when he heard Han Li challenging him. However, he did not bother with him and shifted his gaze to Gong Peiyao and asked, "Is the Gong Residence on bad terms with Madam Ye?"
"The Gong Residence has no interest in the disputes between aristocratic families," Gong Peiyao answered with prudence.
Gong Peiyao was no longer the little girl of the past. Now, she looked extremely mature and experienced.
Even though Gong Peiyao did not give a direct answer, Ai Hui understood the meaning behind her words. Apparently, the Gong Residence was trying to stay out of the disputes between aristocratic families by not kowtowing to Madam Ye.
However, even if the trees longed for peace, the wind would never cease. Why would Madam Ye let off a powerful family like the Gong Residence that had a massive influence over the aristocratic families?
After Ai Hui had gotten to know Madam Ye personally, he knew that the seemingly virtuous and dignified widow was actually a ruthless and decisive individual.
However, that was the Gong Residence’s business and Ai Hui did not have any intentions to meddle in it.
The Gong Residence’s attitude made Ai Hui understand why the mayor and the rest thought that Han Li had come to Clearwater City to stir up trouble. When the chief of Karakorum Sword League became the division leader of Sky Edge Division, the Karakorum Sword League automatically became a force that Madam Ye could trust and rely on. The Gong Residence had anticipated that Madam Ye would not be willing to take things lying down.
Han Li’s voice was surging with elemental energy and it could be heard throughout the city.
Everyone was staring at Ai Hui. They were very curious about whether or not Ai Hui would accept the challenge.
Standing outside, Han Li was not discouraged. He yelled the same words once more. Upon hearing his thunderous voice, a lot of people came out of their houses to see what was going on.
Han Li was an exceptionally talented swordsman that became very famous recently after defeating numerous experts in Skyheart City. Similarly, Ai Hui was of greatly renowned as well. One year ago, he’d single-handedly inflicted heavy losses on the Grass Bandits in Jadeite Forest. The famed snow lava was brought about by Ai Hui as well.
Everyone jumped on the rooftops of their houses and flew towards the mayor’s residence. Not only could they enjoy a show, the show had some heavyweight stars as well.
Under numerous gazes, Han Li remained calm and grasped his sword hilt tightly as a look of determination swept across his eyes. Ever since he saw Ai Hui executing Karakorum Sword League’s [Yin Yang Sword Formation, no, a [Yin Yang Sword Formation] that was more complicated and exquisite than the one in Karakorum Sword League, he knew Ai Hui’s swordsmanship was comparable to his.
At this moment, he had thrown all his missions to the back of his mind.
He only had one desire in his mind and that was to have a good fight with Ai Hui. He wanted to see what another swordsmanship expert was like.
In Karakorum Sword League, his swordsmanship was unbeatable. Currently, other than Karakorum Polaris, no one could match up against him in terms of swordsmanship.
It was so difficult for him to encounter a swordsmanship expert. As such, he was extremely excited. He could only think of two things.
Sparring! Discussion on swordsmanship!
Undying determination, everlasting passion, this was his path of swordsmanship.
Inside the mayor’s residence, Gong Peiyao looked at the unconcerned Ai Hui and asked unwittingly, "Ai Hui, you’re not intending to accept the challenge?"
"Why should I accept the challenge?" A puzzled look appeared upon Ai Hui’s face.
Gong Peiyao was speechless. Unwilling to accept Ai Hui’s answer, she asked again, "Aren’t you worried that other people will think you’re not as good as Han Li?"
Ai Hui cast a glance at her and replied, "What have other people’s opinions got to do with me?"
Gong Peiyao was stunned by Ai Hui’s words and she did not know how to react.
"You’re still young. When you’re older, you will understand that time is money. You won’t give your money to someone who has nothing to do with you, right? Then why are you wasting time on them?" Ai Hui continued with a solemn tone.
Gong Peiyao was dumbstruck.
Shi Xueman, who was holding back her laughter, turned her face around.
Qiao Meiqi looked startled. Apparently, this was the first time he’d heard someone interpret the phrase "time is money" like this. He was unable to refute Ai Hui at all.
After holding herself back for quite a while, Gong Peiyao clenched her teeth and asked, "How then will you come to accept the challenge?"
"Pay me money," Ai Hui said as if it was a matter of course, "Shouldn’t he pay me money if he is wasting my time? My time is very precious and the price for my time is very high. I am an expensive individual!"
"What if I pay you money?" Gong Peiyao gritted her teeth.
Ai Hui’s eyes lit up and put on an aloof look on his face, "Hmm, that depends on how much you pay me. I am an expensive individual. You see, if he wants to learn a thing or two from me, I have to charge him a school fee. If you want to see me and him fight, that means I am putting up a performance for you and I have to charge you a performance fee. When an expert of my level performs for you, it’s a disservice to me. Since it’s a disservice to me, the performance fee will be higher. I can’t accept a low performance fee. It’s not that I look down on you and think that you don’t have enough money."
"How much?" Gong Peiyao asked annoyed.
"Since we have known each other for so long, I shall give you a discount. The price of two liters of snow lava. As long as you can pay up now, I will beat him up on the spot for you," Ai Hui replied.
Gong Peiyao was shocked. The price of two liters of snow lava was equivalent to one hundred thousand essence elemental beans. She naturally did not have such an amount of money.
She cast a piteous look at Shi Xueman, crying for her help
A smile appeared in Shi Xueman’s eyes as she replied, "Don’t look at me like that, he was always this self-interested."
This was the first time Gong Peiyao had came across such a weird fellow. She continued angrily, "What about your honor? What about your reputation?"
With his face filled with contempt, Ai Hui replied nonchalantly, "Can these two things be exchanged for money? They can’t, right? If they are things that can’t be exchanged for money, what’s the point of having them? Lou Lan, let me ask you, do you want honor and reputation or do you want money?"
Lou Lan crooked his head and thought about the question. After a while, he replied with a serious tone, "Lou Lan wants Ai Hui."
"Hahaha, Lou Lan is still the best," Ai Hui beamed with joy.
"Lou Lan, what about me?" Shi Xueman chirped in.
Once again, Lou Lan crooked his head and answered with a solemn tone, "Lou Lan wants Xueman."
"Xueman likes Lou Lan too," A sweet smile that could melt icebergs appeared on Shi Xueman’s face.
"Lou Lan, what about me? What about me?" Gong Peiyao hurriedly reached out her arms and asked.
"Yaoyao, you’re welcome to play with me anytime," Lou Lan replied with a solemn tone.
Gong Peiyao’s face was filled with jealousy as the maturity she displayed earlier vanished into thin air. She shrieked frantically, "Ahhhhh! Why don’t I have a sand puppet like Lou Lan!"
At this point of time, everyone had already forgotten about Han Li who was still standing outside the mayor’s residence.
A smile appeared on Qiao Meiqi’s face as he looked at all of them having fun together. A look of admiration flashed across his face as his gaze landed upon Ai Hui.
In the past, Qiao Meiqi could not understand why Shi Xueman and the rest would follow a nobody like Ai Hui. However, after getting to know Ai Hui personally, he had to admit that he was a very interesting individual.
Han Li’s challenge to Ai Hui resounded through the air for the third time.
Everyone looked at each other and laughed. That’s right, why should they waste their time on someone who had nothing to do with them?