Chapter 2 – Losing Control
At this time, he was wearing a red wedding robe in a room plastered everywhere with “double happiness” red cloth. Last night, his grandfather Xiao Lie and his aunt Xiao Lingxi personally arranged this handiwork. His bedroom had been transformed into a wedding room.
Suddenly, the door opened and an ethereal figure hastily came in. Xiao Che immediately stood up and smiled, “Little Aunt, is grandfather back?”
Xiao Lingxi was Xiao Lie’s daughter from when he was middle-aged. Although she was Xiao Che’s aunt, she had only turned fifteen this year and was one year younger than Xiao Che. She was still quite young but her beauty was already charmingly touching. Her profound strength was at the early sixth level of the Elementary Profound Realm but even though she was not on par with Xia Qingyue if compared, it wasn't that bad since she was an important asset to the Xiao Clan and was held in high regard.
“Oh, Che'er, you have finally woken up.”
A gentle voice spread across the room as Xiao Lie entered. Seeing Xiao Che already out of bed with a normal complexion, Xiao Lie relaxed a bit. Behind him followed his housekeeper Xiao Hong and the number one doctor in Floating Cloud City—Doctor Situ.
“It’s good that you have woken up and you do not look ill anymore but let Doctor Situ examine you. Today is your wedding day and we cannot have the slightest error. Doctor Situ, please go ahead.” Xiao Lie stepped aside during his speech.
Doctor Situ put his medicine chest onto the table and sat in front of Xiao Che, lifting his hands to finger the pulse on Xiao Che’s wrist. After a while, he took his hands off Xiao Che.
“Doctor Situ, how is Xiao Che’s condition? Is it serious?” Xiao Lingxi asked worriedly, with fearful nervousness etched on her face.
Although he did not speak, Xiao Lie appeared solemn and had a fierce look on his face…. How could he not be aware that Xiao Che’s sudden collapse was strange?
Doctor Situ’s face slowly lit up and eased into a smile, “Elder Xiao you do not need to worry, your grandson’s physical condition is excellent. He has no major ailments or even the slightest cold. Perhaps your grandson fainted because he was so nervous and excited that his blood rushed to his head. After all your grandson is marrying Xia Clan’s daughter, the number one beauty in Floating Cloud City. Hohoho.”
Although Doctor Situ tried to conceal his contempt, his words revealed his regret. A talented woman marrying a useless good-for-nothing with no future was truly hard for someone to accept.
“That’s great news.” Xiao Lie sighed in relief and nodded in thought, “It must be hard on Doctor Situ to be pulled over so early in the morning. Hong, escort Doctor Situ to the living room to rest.”
“It’s fine,” Doctor Situ replied with a wave of his hand and lifted his medicine chest, “Since your grandson is alright, I will take my leave. Congratulations to Elder Xiao on meeting Floating Cloud City’s most outstanding grand daughter-in-law. I do not know how many people must envy you right now. Ha ha. Farewell.”
“You must remember to come to the wedding for a drink. Hong, escort Doctor Situ out.”
“Che'er, are you really alright? Do you feel unwell anywhere?” Xiao Lie was still not assured after Doctor Situ left and scowled in thought. When Xiao Che suddenly collapsed, his temperature dropped and his vitality faded away. This could not only be a result of being too excited. Looking at Xiao Che’s present healthy condition, he indeed looked fine right now but Xiao Lie still could not shake off that small doubt deep in his heart.
“I really am alright Grandfather, you can rest assured.” Xiao Che said with an easy expression. His nose couldn't help but suddenly sour as he looked at Xiao Lie and he see a worried face with a head full of white hair.
Xiao Clan consisted of five elders and although Xiao Lie was the Fifth Elder, he was the strongest in the clan. Five years ago he entered the border of the Spirit Profound Realm’s tenth level. He was now at the peak of the Spirit Profound Realm’s tenth level and had an opportunity to break into the True Profound Realm, a level that countless people dreamt of.
Xiao Lie was only fifty-five years old this year with the strength of the tenth level in Profound Spirit Realm, but all his hair had already turned white. Every time Xiao Che saw this head full of white hair, his heart became bitter at the sight.
The reason why Xiao Lie had white hair since his middle-age years was known to all the people living in Floating Cloud City. His only son, the father of Xiao Che, Xiao Ying was called the number one genius of Floating Cloud City. At the age of seventeen, he broke into the Nascent Profound Realm. At twenty, he reached the fifth level of the Nascent Profound Realm. At twenty-three he broke through the Nascent Profound Realm and entered the True Profound Realm, shocking all people of Floating Cloud City. He became the Xiao Clan’s pride, as well as Xiao Lie’s pride and joy. Almost everybody believed that when Xiao Ying became middle-aged, he would be the best candidate qualified to inherit the leadership of the Xiao Clan.
Unfortunately, perhaps because god was jealous of the talented, there was an assassination attempt on Xiao Ying’s life only a month after Xiao Che was born. A few days before that, Xiao Ying also saved the life of Xia Clan’s daughter. After this rescue, Xiao Ying only could fend off the assassins with half his usual strength and drew his final breath. His wife’s heart broke in grief for the loss of her love and went to meet him soon after. Xiao Lie’s hair became white overnight due to the heavy blow of losing his son. Nine months later, Xiao Lingxi was born. Her mother also suffered from the tortured pain of losing her only son and died of depression a month later.
Nobody knew how Xiao Lie lived his life the years after both his son and wife passed away. His pale white hair contained immeasurable grief, hatred and a deep unspeakable sorrow.
To this day, Xiao Lie still had not found his son’s murderer.
Later on, he put all his hopes and wishes onto Xiao Che… But the brutal truth of him being born with damaged profound veins entered and left his life out of the blue like a bolt of lightning.
However, facing his hopeless grandson, Xiao Lie never showed any signs of disappointment nor fury. In his point of view, being born with broken profound veins meant that fate had been unfair and that he should not be condemned because of such injustice. He should not be indifferent or ridicule Xiao Che but instead should love him more to compensate for it. Over the years, he had always been seeking any possible ways to repair damaged profound veins. However, profound veins were the lifeline of one’s profound strength, how can it be so easily repaired?
Although Xiao Che was ignored by others and was faced with the mocking eyes of others while growing up, he still felt lucky to have such a grandfather.
Looking at Xiao Lie’s piercing white hair, Xiao Che’s eyes gradually sharpened… Since the gods gave me this second chance and let me have both my memories, even if it is to only comfort my grandfather, I have to live vigorously! So what if my profound veins are broken! I am a medical saint’s successor; as long as I find the right medicine, in a short span of three weeks, I could fully restore my profound veins back to normal.
“You’re alright, that’s wonderful to hear.” Watching him, Xiao Lie was finally rest assured. Glancing at the brightening sky he spoke, “Che'er, the hour is nigh. Go make your preparations while I go arrange the wedding team… Oh right, do you want to ride horseback or sit in the carriage?”
If he was yesterday’s Xiao Che he would definitely have answered “the carriage”. Although he was the only grandson of an Elder, without that status, he could be called a good-for-nothing with a world’s difference between him and Xia Qingyue. On his bridal path to the Xia Clan, there was no doubt that he would suffer countless finger pointing and also bear numerous glances of envy and regret. One could imagine what feelings would surface if one met face to face in front of such negative emotion. Xiao Che laughed with a slight smile, “Of course I’m riding on the horse! You do not have to worry about me grandfather. Xia Qingque may be nobility, but she is already fated to be our Xiao family’s daughter-in-law. I will openly wed her home with dignity and honor to not let you lose face."
There was a delay in Xiao Lie’s expression, for he would never have thought that his grandson would say such a thing. His face then broke into a gentle smile and he slowly nodded, “Good.”
With just one word, his deep satisfaction came through. Xiao Lie stepped out of the room and gently closed the door.
As soon as Xiao Lie left, Xiao Lingxi stood in front of Xiao Che and curled her lips. Her face warped in unhappiness she spoke, “So you actually are excited for this marriage and made me worry for you in vain. You obviously have not met Xia Qingyue that many times but you are already fond of her… Oh right, she is our Floating Cloud City’s number one beauty, huh!”
Xiao Che quickly waved his hands back and forth, “How's that possible! Xia Qingyue is quite beautiful but I think Little Aunt is prettier. If I really fainted because of her, then I would not know how many times I would have fainted in this lifetime because Little Aunt always accompanies me everyday."
“Hehe…" Xiao Lingxi's face immediately broke into a sweet smile as she giggled, “You know just the thing to say to make me happy. It's fine if Xiao Che fainted in his rush to marry her because Xia Qingyue is beautiful as she is talented. Xia Clan is also the wealthiest clan in Floating Cloud City so there is quite a lot of people who dream of marrying her. However, in the end, she is going to marry my family’s Xiao Che.”
At this point, Xiao Lingxi wore a proud look on her face. Then her eyes became wistful as her voice gentled, “I feel like this day came so quickly… Little Che is already about to be married…”
“Pound-pound,” a knock on the door was followed by the voice of old housekeeper Xiao Hongcang, “Young master, it is almost time to go and meet your bride.”
“Ah…. already?” Xiao Lingxi glanced at Xiao Che’s clothes and suddenly looked anxious, “Uncle Hong, wait a little while longer and we will come out right away.”
She walked in front of Xiao Che and a pair of soft hands began to quickly tidy his wedding clothes, “This outfit is quite hard to put on. Your clothes are in a mess because of the events earlier. Stand still, I will finish this right away.”
A pair of snow-white delicate hands began to work hurriedly. She flipped his collar back to the proper position and re-fastened his loose belt… Her actions were jerky but she took it seriously and paid careful attention to what she did. Xiao Che silently looked at her and his eyes gradually became misty….
Today he was going to marry Xia Qingyue but he knew for sure that Xia Qingyue was not marrying him because she sincerely loved him. If it weren’t for their fathers; Xiao Xing and Xia Hongyi’s agreement that March, Xia Qingyue would not even have bothered to take a glance in his direction. The only people in this world who were kind to Xiao Che were his grandfather, Xiao Lie and his little aunt, Xiao Lingxi.
During his earliest childhood, Xiao Lingxi stuck to Xiao Che like a piece of candy. She followed him wherever he went and it was hard for him to shake her off. If she did not see him for a while, she would cry loudly. However, when Xiao Che turned ten years of age and it was confirmed that his profound veins were damaged, Lingxi seemed to grow up overnight. She knew the consequences of having broken profound veins and then understood the concept of her identity as his “little aunt”. This started her regime of training in the ways of the profound to protect the life of the weaker Xiao Che.
After the Azure Cloud Continent’s twenty four years of “dreams”, Xiao Che felt that his time here with Xiao Lingxi’s kindness was as luxurious as it was precious.
Although Xia Qingyue was about to become his wife, she would only be like the sky’s coldest moon; something to only be seen but not touched.
If I marry a girl like Little Aunt, it would be perfect… These kinds of thoughts uncontrollably popped up in Xiao Che’s state of mind.
After completing the complex motions of dressing Xiao Che, Xiao Lingxi let out a sigh of relief. Tippy toeing, she lifted her hand and tousled his hair. With an expression of tender affection clearly printed on her face, her pink lips slightly parted like petals of a flower.
With a supernatural speed, Xiao Che instinctively tilted his head and pressed his mouth against Xiao Lingxi’s lusciously pink lips….