Chapter 22 – Upheaval (1)
Not long after Xiao Lingxi left, Xia Qingyue returned. Today she had traded her red clothes for a water-blue dress embroidered with a phoenix design. In her hair was a sapphire pin, from her ears dangled a pair of pearl earrings, and around her neck hung a sapphire blue pearl necklace. The visible neck skin was lustrously snow white, transparent to the point where it seemed that even the bones underneath could be seen. It radiated light and was an extremely beautiful sight to behold.
Xiao Che stared at her with an overwhelmed expression, his eyes intensely lighting up. This kind of uniquely beautiful scene, wasn’t it just like a picture of a fairy descending to the mortal realm…?
Xia Qingyue walked through the door, every step light and graceful as if she were stepping on clouds. Her snow-white face and pale neck were not only beautiful to the extreme, but also exuded a kind of nobility and cold proudness that would bring people to shame… No one who saw her would believe that she was merely the daughter of a small town merchant, but would rather think that she was an aloof and untouchable empress.
Xiao Che stared at her in a daze as his heart sighed a thousand times… This room was the only place that she could have changed! He must have been sleeping soundly and actually missed the beautiful scene of her changing! Ahhhhhhh, it was simply unforgivable!!
“Blue clothing suits you even better than red,” Xiao Che heartfeltly praised as he watched her, delighted beyond compare.
Xia Qingyue was not moved in the least by his admiration. Seeing the empty soup pot on the table, she walked over and picked it up, preparing to go outside.
“Did you make that chicken soup?” Xiao Che asked out loud.
“Did it taste bad?” Xia Qingyue asked in an ice cold manner, her back facing him. However, within the depth of her eyes was a subtle emotion that even she, herself, did not understand.
“It was really good. That was when I knew that you’re exceptional even when it comes to making soup.” Xiao Che said with a smile. He stood up and stretched, then said earnestly: “In order to repay my wife Qingyue’s chicken soup, tonight on the bed… I’ll put in even more energy.”
“……” Xia Qingyue had already become accustomed to his occasional flirting. She said expressionlessly: “The Xiao Sect people will arrive this afternoon. The leader is the youngest son of the Xiao Sect’s master, called Xiao Kuangyun. I heard master say that this Xiao Kuangyun’s profound strength cultivation can only be considered average among the younger generation of the Xiao Sect, and his reputation abroad is extremely poor. However, he is excessively spoiled because he’s the youngest son. There’s no one in Floating Cloud City that dares to provoke him. It’s best to try to avoid meeting him face to face.”
“Xiao Kuangyun? Alright, I understand. Thank you for warning me, Qingyue my wife.” Xiao Che said, beaming.
Today was the day of arrival for the people from the Xiao Sect.
News of the Xiao Sect’s arrival not only affected the Xiao Clan, but had also immensely affected all of Floating Cloud City.
Floating Cloud City was situated at the bottom of Blue Wind Empire in every respect. On the other hand, the Xiao Sect was situated at the very summit of the Blue Wind Empire. The number of levels between the two were innumerable. People from the Xiao Sect… and also the youngest son of the Xiao Sect’s master coming here in person was no different than the emperor visiting the lowest rural family. All of Floating Cloud City had been enveloped in a kind of nervous atmosphere. Some people faintly looked forward to it, hoping to use any kind of method to establish even the tiniest bit of connection with the Xiao Sect. Even more people were alarmed in their hearts. Upon finding out that this afternoon is when they would arrive, they all locked themselves inside for fear of accidentally offending the other party… If the Xiao Sect’s people wanted to kill them, it wouldn’t be much different from stepping on an ant. For them, laws were just a joke.
The Xiao Clan’s main courtyard had been put in neat and tidy order, with not a spec of dust to be found anywhere. As early as two days ago, the Xiao Clan’s largest and most luxurious courtyard that Xiao Yunhai had always lived in had again been swept and decorated. Even the bedsheets, blankets and furniture had all been replaced. In addition, Xiao Yunhai had moved himself to the smaller courtyard next door. Even the next few days worth of food had been personally arranged by him… Although he was weary to death, his heart stayed incomparably exuberant! That’s because he was one hundred percent confident that his son Xiao Yulong would be the one selected by the Xiao Sect this time! At that time, his son would soar into the sky! And he, himself, would become someone that no one would dare provoke in Floating Cloud City… No! Rather, within a radius of hundred li!
(TL: li = .5 kilometer)
Starting from ten in the morning, Xiao Yunhai had personally led all of the elders to wait at the clan entrance, ready to greet the guests. They waited all the way until noon… then… until the afternoon… it wasn’t until five in the afternoon when a Xiao Clan disciple ran back shouting from a distance: “Clan Master! They… they’ve arrived!! Xiao Sect’s people have arrived… That loftiness… it’s definitely the Xiao Sect!”
Everyone’s body shook. Xiao Yunhai took a quick step out, bellowing in a low voice: “Quick! Immediately notify everyone to make ready. I definitely won’t forgive anyone who messes up and offends the noble guests! Fellow elders, follow me out to meet them at once!”
Xiao Yunhai madly rushed out. Only after forging straight ahead for more than a li did he finally see four people unhurriedly walking in their direction.
Of the four of them, in the lead was a young man that looked to be about twenty years old with luxurious clothing, a normal build, and mediocre features. His white face contained a trace of sallowness, his appearance that of an excessive hedonist. As far as looks went, he wouldn’t stand out in the midst of a crowd. However, even such an ordinary face was full of wild arrogance and haughtiness. His hands were behind his back as he walked, his eyes looking upwards, not even glancing at the occasional passerby, as if even a look would dirty his eyes.
Following behind him was an elder in black clothing, his features calm like water. Even further back were two similarly black clothed youths. An silver eagle pattern was embroidered onto each of their shoulders.
Xiao Yunhai took a deep breath and then quickly walked up to welcome them. He cupped his fist in greeting, his body leant forward, and carefully and respectfully asked: “Excuse me, are you four the noble guests from the Xiao Sect?”
The young man in front stopped, glanced at them lazily, then said with half closed eyes: “That’s right, this noble one is the Xiao Sect’s Xiao Kuangyun.”
Xiao Yunhai’s attitude immediately became even more respectful. He reverently said: “It turned out to be four noble guests, that’s great! We have been looking forward to your arrival for a long time. Your humble servant is Floating Cloud City’s Xiao Clan’s current clan master. The five behind me are the Xiao Clan’s five esteemed elders. For four noble guests to come out all this way for our Xiao Clan, we are extremely grateful and humbled.”
“There’s no need to continue with the nonsense.” Xiao Kuangyun’s gaze flickered across all five elders. He then lazily shook his arms out: “Lead the way.”
“Yes, yes! Please follow me.” Xiao Yunhai promptly nodded and then turned his body to personally lead the way back to Xiao Clan.
“I’m afraid I don’t recognize this senior…”
“Xiao Moshan.” The black clothed elder replied indifferently. His face was without emotion, much like that of a corpse.
Xiao Yunhai didn’t dare to speak any further, his heart full of apprehension. He could make out Xiao Kuangyun’s level of profound strength cultivation, but couldn’t sense even a sliver of profound strength from this Xiao Moshan’s body. This could be because this Xiao Moshan hadn’t cultivated, which was clearly not possible. Either that, or his profound strength cultivation surpassed his ability to detect it by far.
By the time they returned to the Xiao Clan, a large group of people were already standing at the entrance. Upon seeing the respectful attitude of Xiao Yunhai in the front, their hearts thumped. Their eyes all fell upon that haughty young man, and then they all tripped over one another to welcome them.
“May I ask if this is the young master from the Xiao Sect?” A heavyset, middle aged man at the very front asked respectfully.
“Who are you?” Xiao Kuangyun slanted his half open eyes to look at him.
“I… I am the governor of Floating Cloud City. My lowly name is Situ Nan. When I heard that the noble guests from the Xiao Sect were arrival, I came… came to greet you.” Situ Nan’s voice started to tremble and cold sweat ran across his forehead. As Floating Cloud City’s governor, he had seen many important figures, but none of the important figures that he had seen amounted to anything in front of this young master of the Xiao Sect. The arrogant young man in front of him was only mediocre in terms of appearance, but just a word from him would spell his death.
“This humble servant is Yuwen Ba. I’ve been good friends with the Xiao Clan clan master for many years. I came… came to admire the gracefulness of the Xiao Sect young master. I also brought a few meager gifts, I hoping the young master will accept them.” The Yuwen family head, equally famous among the Xiao Clan and Floating Cloud City, also rushed forward, his face full of respect. His hands offered a small and delicate jade box.
Xiao Kuangyun passed his gaze over that jade box and then swept his hand towards the two people behind him. “Receive it.”
One of the people behind him immediately stepped forward and expressionlessly took the jade box into his hands.
Seeing that the Xiao Sect young master had actually accepted his gift, Yuwen Ba’s face filled with happiness. Other people looking to establish some small bit of relationship with the Xiao Sect scrambled forward to present their own gifts… Xiao Kuangyun didn’t refuse anyone and accepted all the gifts without question. Then, with slanted eyes, he carelessly spoke: “All of you withdraw. It’s already a bit late today. If there’s anything else, we’ll talk about it tomorrow.”
“Right, right! Young Master Xiao traveled over land and water to come here. He must be exhausted. We’ll come back tomorrow once Young Master Xiao has rested.” Governor Situ said as he nodded his head.
Only then did the crowd disperse.
Xiao Yunhai and the five elders respectfully introduced Xiao Kuangyun to the Xiao Clan. Xiao Yunhai said to them: “The four noble guests from the Xiao Sect have traveled at this way and must be exhausted. Would you like to have short rest first? An elegant residence has already been prepared.”
“There’s no need, my body isn’t that weak.” Xiao Kuangyun swept his gaze across the Xiao Clan as the corners of his mouth stretched, exposing a hard to hide disdain. He then unenthusiastically said: “If it weren’t for Elder Xiao Zheng’s death, I wouldn’t even have known there was this kind of place. I heard that the ancestor of this place was a piece of trash that our Xiao Sect had expelled. However, no matter how trashy, it’s still someone from the Xiao Sect. Even if he’s a piece of trash that the Xiao Sect didn’t want, he was still able to become a lord in this kind of place. To be able to grow like this over these many years, it’s still not bad.”
“Yes, yes. Thank you for the compliment, Young Master Xiao.”
Faced with Xiao Kuangyun’s naked contempt and disdain, Xiao Yunhai still nodded his head to express his thanks. How could he dare retort even a bit?
“The dead are important. The reason I personally came here is also to fulfill Elder Xiao Zheng’s final wish. We clearly stated our purpose to you in our letter. Tomorrow morning, have everyone in your clan assemble in this courtyard. Not one of them must be missing. I will personally select one to take with us back to the Xiao Sect.” After saying this last sentence, Xiao Kuangyun held his head high as if he were announcing heaven’s fortunate edict.