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You'll only be able to enter this side quest area if you've first picked up Baker Bei's quest from Seamstress Lan in Tien's Landing, saved him from a group of thugs, and then agreed to talk to Ai Ling on his behalf. There isn't much to do here except deal with Ai Ling and pay a visit to her office upstairs, which has some worthy loot.
1 - Arrival
After saving Baker Bei from yet another beating at the hands of Ai Ling's thugs, you can convince the guard outside to let you inside this boathouse.
2 - Bookstand
The text on this bookstand is entitled Horse Lord Tactics
3 - Ai Ling
When you first arrive, Ai Ling enters into conversation with you, explaining that Bei had promised to marry her when they were kids. Now it's up to you how to resolve the years-old mess. For the most Open Palm points, call everyone involved into the boathouse (which happens immediately) and convince Ai Ling using your conversation skills that the promise should no longer hold up. Ai Ling then leaves Bei and Lan alone, which prompts Lan to offer her dowry to you (250 silver pieces - refuse to accept it for even more Open Palm points). You'll earn a hefty 1000 experience points for reaching this outcome and will have the option to help Ai Ling find a suitable husband now that Baker Bei is taken.
Secondly, for less Open Palm points, you can threaten Ai Ling when you first enter conversation with her. This results in a battle to the death, after which you can return to Lan in Tien's Landing
to tell her the situation has been resolved (but do not tell her about the promise). She still offers you her dowry, which you can turn down for extra Open Palm points.
Thirdly, for a small dose of Closed Fist points, threaten Ai Ling when you first enter conversation, do battle with her to the end, then return to Seamstress Lan in Tien's Landing
and reveal Bei's promise to marry Ai Ling. Lan will still offer her dowry to you for your help.
Finally, for the most Closed Fist points, arrange for a meeting with everyone involved, but then recommend that Lan and Ai Ling fight to the death for the right to Baker Bei. This will get both Seamstress Lan and Baker Bei killed, after which Ai Ling will attack you for causing all of the bloodshed. Kill her and let the trio debate about who will marry who in death.
If you convinced Ai Ling to leave Baker Bei and Seamstress Lan alone...
You'll be able to offer to Ai Ling your services as a matchmaker during the ensuing conversation. There are three choices: Big Tian just outside the boathouse in Tien's Landing
, Yaoru in the Teahouse
, and Chumin the wood craftsman in Tien's Landing
. If you've spoken to all of these, you'd know that Chumin was the logical choice (as Tian is a bit of an oaf and Yaoru is too self-centered). However, should your skills be up to the task, you can convince Ai Ling to accept any of them. Simply go to the man of your choosing and bring them back here for a few rounds of "convincing Ai Ling". Afterward, you'll get a bit of silver and experience as a reward.
4 - Chest
Check this chest for some extra silver and an Inferior Intimidation Gem
5 - Vase
Smash this vase to find the Boathouse Key
needed for the nearby office gate.
6 - Office Gate
You'll need the Boathouse Key
from the vase at area #5 to gain access to the office beyond.
7 - Ai Ling's Office
This office contains a scrollstand, a cabinet, and a vase. The text on the scrollstand is entitled The Land of Howling Spirits
, the cabinet contains 750 silver pieces, and the vase contains some silver and an Inferior Intuition Gem