Chapter 5 – The Wedding Ceremony
Xia Qingyue appeared between the arms of two bridesmaids. She wore a red phoenix coronet on top of her head. A fine curtain of beads hung down from the phoenix coronet to completely cover her entire face while also hiding her current expression. Her soft and shiny black hair fell gently behind her shoulders. Her straight scarlet robe was decorated in the “four happiness" cloud pattern and the belt displayed her slender narrow waist nicely. On her belt hung a charm made of exquisite jade while pearls dangled at its tassels, matching her golden shoes. These significant details made her magnificent outfit even more dazzling than ever.
Xia Qingyue slowly came to Xiao Che’s side in the arms of the bridesmaids and every step she made was light and elegant, as if she were walking across the clouds. An ordinary person would look like they were walking but if they were in her body, they would look like a fairy riding on top of a cloud. Her usual posture was already that beautiful and Xiao Che saw such a feast for the eyes.
Xia Qingyue finally came to the front of the carriage and the two bridesmaid walked away bowing backwards. In accordance to the Blue Wind Empire’s wedding tradition, the groom would bring the bride onto the bridal chair. Xiao Che stepped forward and stretched out a helping hand at Xia Qingyue. Xia Qingyue elegantly lifted her hand… However, as Xiao Che took Xia Qingyue’s hands in his palm, a piercing cold energy unraveled onto Xiao Che’s hand and his entire right arm stiffened in pain, half-immobilized.
The biting cold sensation slowly disappeared as Xiao Che put his arm down with a silent indifferent expression. Aside from a frown between his eyebrows when the icy cold hit him, he did not make any other expression nor the slightest sound.
If one opened Xia Qingyue’s curtain of fine beads, one would see her beautiful eyes flash in surprise and then hastily become cold once more.
Xiao Che sat on the horse and the wedding procession went on with great strength and vigor. The Xia Clan’s wedding team followed in the direction of the Xiao Clan shortly after.
After another hour and a half, the procession returned to the Xiao Clan’s main entrance. This long journey was smooth and calm, to the disappointment of those who looked forward to the development of any drama.
Xiao Lie was already at the doorway and stood to welcome their guests. Sadly, the number of people who came for Xiao Che can be counted with one hand. Most of the guests came for Xiao Lie and the Xia Clan. With Xiao Lie’s fame and Xia Clan’s connection, many guests were seen. Outside the entrance of Xiao Clan house, people who came to see the event was next to infinite, the streets were so filled up that not even a water droplet could get through. All these people came for the marriage of the number one beauty in Floating Cloud City.
Xia Qingyue’s bridal carriage slowly stopped in the middle of the noise. A corner of the curtain was opened as her maid Xia Dongling gently spoke: “Miss, we have arrived.”
Afterwards, a hand reached out and Xia Dongling gently lowered her arms. As soon as she got out of the carriage, the deafening atmosphere suddenly quieted to replaced by deep breathes that followed one after another.
It was almost noon. The soft sunshine reflected against her phoenix coronet while her robe charmingly glittered against the breeze making one’s eyes blur if they look too long. Her hair was wrapped up high into a bun on top of her head and the phoenix coronet that framed her head was that of four layers. The top layer was adorned with fine golden hairpins while the bottom had several golden phoenix engravings. The satin red golden phoenix coronet extended into a fringe of swaying pearl tassels. Although her face was not laid bare, with her eyes and lips partly hidden yet partly exposed, her beauty was exquisitely flawless.
The sound of irrepressible breathing overlapped against one another as many people stared straight ahead, unable to snap back into reality. That is the power of Xia Qingyue’s charisma, for this all happened without the revealment of her face! Based on her aura and posture alone, she still seemed like a fairy that had walked out straight from a painting. Her beauty was so immense that none could take their eyes off her.
Xia Dongling wrapped a red silk sash around Xia Qingyue’s hand. Naturally, the other end of the sash was tied to Xiao Che’s hand. As he got off the saddle, Xiao Che smiled as he walked over to lead Xia Qingyue across the brazier. They cruised over the doorstep of the Xiao clan and stepped directly into the hall.
As they entered through the main entrance of the Xiao clan, the noise did not abate. Xiao Che’s expression did not change as he kept pace but he naturally wanted the wedding to end as soon as possible.
This was Xiao Clan’s center hall for important meetings. The only people who were allowed to use this place for a wedding are the leader of the Xiao Clan and it’s Elders. For this wedding the room underwent a large scale transformation. It was truly a vision that should be seen. As far as one could see, the pillars were all embedded with yellow topaz and the walls had been painted with dragons that were inlaid with rare precious pearls. A red carpet spread across the center of the hall in a straight line and stopped at a short golden staircase. A subtle golden light filled the atmosphere, making the already beautifully decorated hall more dazzlingly eye-catching. The Xiao Clan was not willing to invest such a large amount of money for Xiao Che and mostly came from the Xia Clan. Xia Hongyi was willing to spend as much as needed for his darling daughter’s wedding.
Xiao Lie and Xia Hongyi sat on the highest seat of the hall, smiles plastered all over their face as they watched Xiao Che and Xia Qingyue enter. On both sides of the red carpet were three rows of rose sandalwood chairs, all already filled with people. Xiao clan’s leader, Lord Xiao Yunhai was there as well along with the other four Elders of the Xiao clan. As Xiao Che walked in with a happy smile, their expressions stilled on the surface but in the depths of their heart, they sneered in disdain.
The Xiao Clan was a clan that practiced in the ways of the Profound for many generations. To have Xiao Che with a crippled Profound Vein born in the clan was a shame for the Xiao Clan. If he were not the grandson of the Fifth Elder, Xiao Lie, he would have already been expelled instead of remaining inside like he was now…. And if it weren’t for the fact that he was about to wed the high-profile daughter of the Xia Clan, they would not even have bothered to show up in person let alone be present at the scene.
Regarding Xiao Che, if they hear his name, they could only think of the word “trash” and not pay attention for they do not even remember how he looked like. In the Profound Sky Continent, one did not deserve dignity if one does not have the skill to back it up. It was a harsh reality and a universal truth followed by many, even towards members of the same clan.
The expressions on the faces of the younger Xiao generation were unsurprisingly consistent as well. They all had their sights on Xiao Qingyue and their eyes belied their insuppressible infatuation. As their eyes transferred towards Xiao Che, their eyes almost erupted with naked envy. The Xiao Clan’s outer disciples had always looked down on this permanently disabled person and never in their dreams thought that he would actually marry Floating Cloud City’s unattainable number one treasure. The uncomfortable feeling that those two people in the marriage hall evoked was similar to eating dead flies raw.
The person in charge of the wedding was logistics manager Xiao De. The wedding ceremony began at the cry of his voice.
The master of ceremonies first introduced the bride and groom and then read names from a list of distinguished guests that have came to visit. As he went on, Xiao Che’s expression remained neutral but in his heart were clashing waves of water. Whatever else the master of ceremonies said after that was something Xiao Che could not bother to listen to for he was repeatedly ruminating over a problem that he actually care about.
What was that sudden weird feeling he felt at Xia Clan when his hands met with Xia Qingyue’s? Was it some kind of Profound power? But he had never heard of such a mysterious power in Floating Cloud City. For Xia Qingyue to reach the 10th level of the Elementary Profound Realm at the age of sixteen was truly an amazing feat…. but she was still at the lowest point of the 10th Elementary Profound Realm; how was it possible that she could soundlessly release such an ice cold aura that actually completely immobilized his entire arm? What was that astonishing mystifying power which was displayed at such a level?
Or…. was this the hidden strength of the Xia Qingyue who had reached the pinnacle 10th level of the Elementary Profound Realm?
The voice of the master of ceremonies stopped. After a brief pause, his voice became eight octaves higher:
“First bow to heaven and earth!”
Xiao Che’s mind rapidly rotated as he glanced at Xia Qingyue through the corner of his eye while bowing in the direction of the doorway, to the heavens and earth.
“Second bow to the elders!”
The two people made an 180 degree turn towards the seated Xia Hongyi and Xiao Lie and bowed. Xiao Lie firmly nodded and smiled lovingly at Xiao Che and his new granddaughter-in-law. Xia Hongyi also smiled and beamed in content.
“Husband and wife, exchange bows!”
Xiao Che’s body turned towards Xia Qingyue and at the same time Xia Qingyue also turned to face him. This swift action that did not withhold any hesitation nor delay made all members of the younger generation of the Xiao Clan clench their teeth. In their thoughts, they believed that Xia Qingyue did not willingly enter this marriage with that crippled bastard but was instead forced to come by the Xia clan. To their disappointment, even up to this moment, there was no resistance at all from Xia Qingyue. There weren’t even rope lines of her supposedly failed escape that they imagined to have happened.
The two people bowed and as they both bent towards one another, Xiao Che saw cold eyes peeking through the gaps of the bead curtain…. cool icy eyes that revealed no traces of emotion.
Usually at moments like this, the crowd would burst into enthusiastic applause, loud laughter and cheers. But only a few people authentically clapped for the married couple, it was quite awkward.
“Indeed the Fifth Elder should be congratulated.” The First Elder Xiao Li who was sitting next to Xiao Yunhai said with a cynical strangeness in his words.
“I congratulate you in representation of all the Five Elder’s well wishes.” Even the First Elder Xiao Li who was sitting next to Xiao Yunhai heard the strange cynical scorn in his words.
Second Elder Xiao Bo laughed with the same strangeness that came from the leader of the Xiao clan earlier and slowly continued: “Fifth Elder, getting such a talented granddaughter-in-law has added glory to the Xiao Clan. As for the Xia Clan getting such a son-in-law, haha, is also quite acceptable. Congratulations.”
The atmosphere in the hall immediately cooled. If one were not an idiot, they would clearly hear the apparent irony in the words “congratulations” that came out of their mouths.