Chapter 4 – The Wedding Procession
Floating Cloud City was the smallest city of the Blue Wind Empire. It was so small that it wasn't even suitable to be called a city; perhaps calling it a town would be more appropriate. Floating Cloud City was not only the smallest city but was also the most geographically remote in terms of location. The population, economy, and even the average profound strength was the lowest of the low. These days, Floating Cloud City’s residents often mock themselves for being a forgotten corner in the Blue Wind Empire.
Floating Cloud City was particularly lively today for it was Xiao Che and Xia Qingyue’s big wedding day. Nobody would care if it was only Xiao Che’s wedding but Xia Qingyue’s marriage was Floating Cloud City’s biggest sensational event.
The Xia Clan was not a clan that solely trained in the arts of the profound. It was a clan that specialized in business for generations. Although they could not be said to be wealthy among others of the Blue Wind Empire; on Floating Cloud City’s list of the most prosperous clans, Xia Clan was at the top. However, this did not mean that the Xia Clan was weak. With their abundant wealth, they could naturally afford to hire experts to protect their vast fortune. The leader of the Xia Clan had two children: Xia Yuanba and Xia Qingyue. Both his son and daughter had no interest in the family business. They solely focused on training in the ways of the profound. Xia Hongyi had never opposed their decision and instead allowed them to continue their path. After Xia Qingyue surprised Floating Cloud City with her talent, it was even more unlikely that he would prevent her growth. Due to Xia Qingyue’s amazing god-given gift, Floating Cloud City’s major families were on their best behavior in their presence…. After all, it was widely acknowledged that Xia Qingyue may reach the Earth Profound Realm or even the Sky Profound Realm someday in the future. At that point, the Xia Clan would not only have the most wealth, but would also be the most dominating force in Floating Cloud City.
However, that Xia Clan had let the city’s most brilliant girl marry Xiao Che, a good-for-nothing with no possible future. Who knows how many people regret that decision…. Of course, there were more people with feelings of envy and jealous hate.
Since it was the Xia Clan marrying off a daughter, the spectacle was indeed not too shabby. As soon as Xiao Che went out, he saw a long line of red carpet that began from his door’s entrance. This red carpet was the Xiao Clan’s starting point and it extended in twists and turns towards the direction of the Xia Clan.
As soon as the Xiao Clan’s wedding team appeared, Floating Cloud City’s street started to bustle with noise. The street was full with spectators on both sides of the street. As Xiao Che kept pace with the team, various whispers from the crowd entered his ears.
“Look! That is the grandson of Xiao Clan’s Fifth Elder. I heard rumors that his profound veins are damaged and he would never in his life be able to breakthrough into even the first level of the Elementary Profound Realm."
“Oh, this is the first time I’ve seen him in person.”
“It’s normal if you haven’t seen him before. With such a stubborn bull for a grandfather and the fact that he is a good-for-nothing himself, would you even have the face to go out? Oh, for Xia Qingyue to actually be married to such a person, the heavens must really be blind!”
“It is said that his father Xiao Ying and Xia Hongyi became sworn brothers when Xiao Ying saved Xia Qingyue’s life after using most of his profound strength. Xia Hongyi then promised that on his daughter, Xia Qingyue’s sixteenth birthday, she would become Xiao Ying’s daughter-in-law. Not long after, Xiao Ying fell to an assassin. Due to his previous exertion, he was unable to fight back. The news hit Xia Hongyi like a meteorite and he felt extremely guilty…. Now that Qingyue had finally turned sixteen today and although Xiao Ying’s son is a moron, Xia Hongyi was not willing to break his promise because of his heavy feelings of remorse and gratitude. If not for that, how could that guy even marry Xia Qingyue.”
“What! Xia Qingyue is our Floating Cloud City’s greatest treasure. If he did not have his status of being the Fifth Elder’s grandson, he could not even measure up to the mud on the floor. I am probably one hundred times stronger than him! This world is so unfair!”
“The goddess of my dreams is about to marry such trash, I'd rather die than accept this fact! Ahhhhh!”
The Xiao Che on horseback had bright serene eyes that conveyed a deep character. He had on an elegant expression and exhibited a light grace. His long hair fluttered behind his dazzling red wedding robe and his entire body emitted an air of elegance. The sounds of murmuring from the crowd contained all kinds of malicious undertones. However the envy, resentment, prejudice, ridicule, scorn, and disdain from the crowd seemed to not faze him at all. He seemed to be unconscious of the crowd as a beautiful smile was still plastered on his face. It was not known how many girls lost their hearts as their eyes misted over in adoration.
Although Xiao Che’s profound strength was the lowest of the low, his looks were actually not that bad. He could even be said to be beyond Xiao Yulong. Coupled with the fact that he rarely went out due to his low profound strength, he looked very white and delicate…. Just like a living doll!
So even if the countless youths hated Xiao Che enough to make their teeth itch, in the depths of their heart, they also had to admit that he looked as if he was truly worthy of Xia Qingyue.
“I thought that Xiao Che would ride in the carriage today but unexpectedly he is riding horseback. With that temperament…. it seems as if the rumors were not true.”
“Tch! The trash that people typically look down on is about to marry our Floating Cloud City’s greatest treasure. Of course he should be proud! How could he be afraid of losing face?” rang a bitter voice.
“I heard that Yuwen Clan’s young master as well as other young masters from other families are taken with Xia Qingyue. Do you think they will come to stop this procession?”
“Yeah right! Xiao Che is nothing but his grandfather is Xiao Lie. The experts of our Floating Cloud City all have to respect him in his presence. His son is already dead and he only has one grandson left. He tended to his grandson from the very beginning of his life. If anyone were to cause trouble, they would meet Xiao Lie’s wrath! Whoever dares to do that will lose his head! Moreover this is not a forced marriage, who would dare to cause trouble to incur the wrath of the Xia Clan? I estimate that right now, all the lovesick youths who would actually disrupt the procession are firmly locked in their own house.”
The wedding procession went on in a casual manner, not too fast but not too slow. The journey of over five kilometers took nearly one and a half hours.
As soon as he saw the Xia Clan’s main entrance, he heard a wild cry. A tall sturdy figure ran over to Xiao Che. This person was not that old, but he was at least two meters tall. His body was as strong as a bull and the ground trembled when he came over. As Xiao Che watched him approach, he gulped bitterly and spoke with wide eyes, “Yuanba! I have not seen you for only a month, how could you already have grown that much taller yet again!!”
This man…. it was more accurate to call him a boy for he is Xia Qingyue’s little brother, Xia Yuanba. He became fifteen this year… yes he was really only fifteen years old! However, if you take a look at his body, nobody would even imagine that he had just turned fifteen! Two meters tall…. Xiao Che on his horse was the same height as Xia Yuanba standing up. Yuanba weighed over one hundred seventy five kilograms. This number was definitely not that high because Yuanba was fat, but was instead because of his big strong muscles. His muscles were of a dark tan metallic luster and broadcasted his astonishing strength. His profound strength was only average, at the fourth level of the Elementary Profound Realm, but his physical strength was a force to be reckoned with. He could fight on par with those at the sixth level of the Elementary Profound Realm.
Xia Yuanba was Xiao Che’s best friend—his only friend. From a young age he had always called Xiao Che his brother-in-law, and they often played together when they were children. The days before he turned eight, Xia Yuanba was actually a dark and skinny child. He was often bullied but ever since he turned eight, it was like he ate something wrong and had an enormous growth spurt. His height, weight, and appetite all soared and the increase in his strength was absolutely stunning. Now at the age of fifteen… though his face had not fully matured since it was still quite childish, his size…. was of a monstrous proportion!
After hearing Xiao Che’s exclamation, Xia Yuanba rubbed his head in embarrassment, “This…. even I cannot help it. My father tells me to go on a diet everyday. However, letting myself starve and go hungry would be far worse than the feeling of being killed by another.”
“…” Xiao Che became speechless. At that moment he was only fifteen years old. Once he became an adult… he didn't dare to imagine that!
Xiao Che knew that Xia Yuanba had a huge appetite. Fortunately he was born in the Xia Clan. If he was born in an ordinary family, his consumption would dissipate their entire fortune.
“Hehe, brother-in-law, today you can finally become my brother-in-law.” Xia Yuanba’s smile was honest because he had been happily looking forward to this day. In his opinion, with such a strong sister for a wife, nobody would dare look down on Xiao Che.
“Hurry up and come in, my sister is already ready.” He slapped his head, “Oh, I’ll go open the door.”
After that, Xia Yuanba turned in the direction of the Xia Clan entrance and ran like a mobile mountain of meat.
The procession came in the Xia Clan’s entrance. At the door, Xiao Che saw a smiling Xia Hongyi. He quickly dismounted and stood before Xia Hongyi. He respectfully greeted, “Uncle Xia.”
“Haha, after all this time you still call me uncle?” Xia Hongyi laughed. His stature was not tall for he looked like normal slightly overweight middle-aged man. Although if one were to look at him and the words “simple and honest” came to mind, nobody in the entire city of Floating Cloud would dare look down upon him.
Xiao Che’s eyes brightened and politely replied, “Father-in-law.”
He had always been respectful towards Xia Hongyi for Hongyi was the sworn brother of his father. From a young age, he suffered through the scornful glances of many people but Xia Hongyi had always tenderly cared about him. Even though he was born with a crippled profound veins, Xia Hongyi had never violated the agreement he made with his father; the agreement that Xia Qingyue would marry Xiao Che once she became sixteen.
“Haha, good!” Xia Hongyi nodded. He reached out his hand and patted Xiao Che’s shoulder, "Che'er, starting today, I will give Xia Qingyue to you. Although you are not a big hero, you are Xiao Ying’s son so I can have a peace of mind when I give you my daughter. Your father Xiao Ying was an amazing man. Becoming his sworn brother is something I would never regret in this lifetime for he was a passionate and righteous man. You are Xiao Ying’s son. Even though your profound veins are damaged, I do not believe that you will stay an ordinary person in the future.”
“Treat my daughter well. For those who talk nonsense and can only flap their mouths in malice, screw them all.”
Xiao Che’s eyes smoldered in anger. He firmly nodded his head slowly, “Father-in-law, have no worries. Although people hold me in contempt now, once my profound veins are fixed, a sleeping dragon will be awakened from the abyss. I will make those people who look down on me and those who think that the Xia Clan took in a wastrel for their son-in-law obediently shut their traps.”
Xia Hongyi was surprised at his outburst…. He had always known Xiao Che to be weak-minded with a mild temper and an unconscious inferiority complex. Xiao Che’s fearless utterance, sharp eyes and calmness made him see Xiao Che in a brand new light… one that was completely different from his previous attitude.
“Good!” Xia Hongyi nodded and patted Xiao Che on the shoulder again, “I knew that Xiao Ying’s son would not be an ordinary child. I will wait for the day this dragon surfaces. Alright now, Qingyue is waiting for you; go on.”