It was early morning. The sky had barely begun to brighten when the master of the Xiao Clan, Xiao Yunhai, was woken from his deep sleep by the sound of urgent knocking on his door. “Clan master! Clan master, are you awake?”
Xiao Yunhai opened his eyes, took a glance at the light outside and then asked, with a frown: “This early in the morning, what happened?”
“It’s… it’s the Xiao… Xiao Sect! A letter from the Xiao Sect!” From outside the door came this excited, trembling voice.
“What? The Xiao Sect?!”
This master of the Xiao Clan, one of the most powerful people in Floating Cloud City, sprung up from his bed as if stabbed by a dagger on the butt. He haphazardly threw on his clothes and, not even bothering to straighten his hair, threw open the door hastily, grabbing the Xiao Clan disciple that was outside. He bellowed with wide eyes: “You said the Xiao Sect? The Xiao Sect?!”
“Yes! It’s definitely the Xiao Sect!” That Xiao Clan disciple swallowed with great difficulty, nodded with all his strength, and then presented the letter in his hand to Xiao Yunhai. “This letter has the eagle seal of the Xiao Sect! In this Blue Wind Empire, no one would dare to forge the Xiao Sect’s insignia.”
As soon as he saw the sky hawk seal on the letter, Xiao Yunhai’s entire body shook. He fiercely grabbed the letter, then, with violently shaking hands, quickly but carefully tore it open to reveal the paper within.
Although the Xiao Sect’s name had only one word of difference if compared to his Xiao Clan, that one word was like the difference between the clouds and mud! The Xiao Clan barely counted as the leading presence in Floating Cloud City, but on the Profound Sky Continent as a whole, it was simply a nameless existence. However the Xiao Sect is one of the four strongest sects in the Blue Wind Empire! They have the same level of prestige as the Heavenly Sword Villa, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace, and the Burning Heaven Clan. They were an existence that the Xiao Clan could not even hope to look up to.
To put it bluntly, a useless servant in the Xiao Sect would not even find it necessary to respect the Xiao Clan’s master.
However, there was a connection between the Xiao Clan and the Xiao Sect. That is because the person that founded Floating Cloud City’s Xiao Clan one hundred and sixty years ago, Xiao Bieli, was at the time a person from the Xiao Sect… To be more precise, he was an abandoned disciple, and, as rumor had it, the son of one of the elders at the time. However, Xiao Bieli was the result of that elder raping one of the Xiao Sect’s serving girls while drunk. Since childhood, his appearance was ordinary and his talent was lacking. Furthermore he attracted a large amount of gossip, causing that elder a great amount of displeasure. Upon reaching adulthood, his profound strength was the lowest among all of his peers. To let him remain at the Xiao Sect would only cause that elder more humiliation so he found an opportunity to send him to that piece of shit place, the rural Floating Cloud City and helped him establish the Xiao Clan. From then on he paid no more attention to Xiao Bieli and cut off all contact between them and the Xiao Sect.
But Xiao Bieli nevertheless was born in the proud Xiao Sect. He spent his entire life painstakingly cultivating his profound strength, hoping to gain recognition, and thus one day earn their approval and one day return to Xiao Sect. After he died, this desire was passed down through the Xiao Clan from one generation to the next, and became ultimate goal of every generation of the Xiao Clan. Especially among each generation’s clan master, all without exception hoped that they could rely on the tiny bit of Xiao Sect blood in them to establish a relationship, no matter how fragile, with the Xiao Sect. But after all these years, the Xiao Clan never produced a person that could fulfill this wish. Talk of the Xiao Sect to them was like that of the Celestial Palace, something that they couldn’t even hope to reach.
However, today, the Xiao Sect had taken the initiative to send a letter! This couldn’t fail to send Xiao Yunhai into joyful hysteria, the excitement making him feel as if he was in a dream.
After reading the letter’s contents word by word, Xiao Yunhai’s face was completely red, his breathing erratic. He pointed a trembling finger outside, hoarsely saying: “Quickly… quickly inform the elders to immediately gather at the main hall! Tell them we need to discuss big news concerning the future of our Xiao Clan… Go quick!”
“Ah… Yes!” The Xiao Clan disciple immediately answered and ran off in a panic.
Xiao Che carefully opened the door, crimson blanket in hand, only to find that Xia Qingyue was already sitting beside the bed, awake and dressed. Her beautiful eyes that were as calm as water, watched him without even a tiny ripple.
Xiao Che immediately tossed the blanket on the table. With a face not red and a heart not racing, he calmly asked: “Wife, you’re up so early. Did you sleep well last night?”
“You’re not going to first tell me where you went last night?” Xia Qingyue faintly asked, her beautiful eyes narrowing slightly.
“No need.” Xiao Che stretched his body and then started to straighten his hair using the mirror: “Because I know you definitely aren’t interested.”
Xia Qingyue: “……”
Although he fell asleep at the rear mountains with Xiao Lingxi last night, when he woke up, his mood was unusually good. After he straightened out his clothes and hair slightly, returning to his pretty boy image. Xiao Che stood up to leave and said: “Let’s go. It’s the morning of the first day, we have to go pay our respects to grandfather… This you won’t refuse, right?”
Xia Qingyue stood without a word and stepped out of the door ahead of him. Xiao Che loosened his shoulders and quickly followed her out.
Xiao Lie woke up early every day, and today was no exception. Upon entering Xiao Lie’s courtyard, the first thing they saw was him watering his flowers and plants. As he saw Xiao Che and Xia Qingyue enter, he gently smiled. “You came.”
Under Xiao Lie’s attentive gaze, Xiao Che quickly reached out and held Xia Qingyue’s small hand in his own. Xiao Qingyue’s hand was soft and smooth, yet also cool to the touch, perhaps because she was trained in the Frozen Cloud Arts. Xia Qingyue’s entire body stiffened. Right before she was about to yank her hand free from Xiao Che, she noticed Xiao Lie’s gaze, and had no choice but to quietly tolerate it. She let Xiao Che walk to Xiao Lie with her, hand in hand.
Her father was always very respectful towards Xiao Lie and she was no different. In front of just Xiao Che, she could show him not a single bit of affection, but if she were to shake off Xiao Che’s hand in front of Xia Lie, then she can only imagine how ugly his face would become.
This despicable scoundrel…
“Grandfather, you’re up so early today again.” Xiao Che led Xiao Qingyue over and naturally greeted Xiao Li with the courtesy of a junior.
“Qingyue pays her respects to grandfather.” Qingyue lightly curtsied, her posture gentle and dignified. The fact that it was her first time being led by the hand, and used by such underhanded methods, left her both angry and helpless. If it weren’t for the fact that her profound strength would be detected by this elderly man at the apex of the Spirit Profound Realm, she would have definitely used the Frozen Cloud Arts to freeze Xiao Che until he grimaced.
“Haha, you two also woke up very early.” Seeing Xiao Che and Xiao Qingyue’s intimate appearance, Xiao Che’s face revealed a cheerful expression. “Che Er, Qingyue, even though the age of sixteen is a bit early to get married, it also set a part of my heart at ease. Qingyue, you should already know about Che Er’s condition. Frankly speaking, this wedding honestly was not fair to you. But our family will spare no expense to make it up to you. Right now, my greatest wish is to see the two of you peacefully live your lives.”
Xia Qingyue had not managed to reply before Xiao Che hurriedly said: “Grandfather, don’t say that! I, Xiao Che, am your grandson. There isn’t a woman under heaven that I’m not fit for. Where did we wrong her? After joining the family, of course she’d come pay her respects to grandfather and then carefully take care of me as the days pass. If she doesn’t do it right, then I’ll divorce her and find a better wife. Don’t you agree, Qingyue my wife?”
“…” If it weren’t for the fact that Xiao Lie was standing right in front of them, Xia Qingyue would definitely have forever frozen Xiao Che’s mouth shut with a gust of the Frozen Cloud Fairy’s Secret Arts.
“Hahahaha.” Xiao Lie burst into laughter, helplessly shaking his head. He looked at Xiao Che with a pampering look: “Oh you, Qingyue had only just joined the family and you’re already bullying her like this. Qingyue, don’t listen to his nonsense. Che Er, this brat, hasn’t had a honest mouth since he was young. You two should not have eaten this early right? Knowing that the two of you would come, old Hong already had the kitchen send over breakfast. Come, let’s eat together.”
“Yes grandfather… That’s right, should we call for little aunt to come as well?”
“She had always loved to sleep since she was young. Since it’s still early, let’s not bother her.”
The dining table inside the house was indeed already ladened with three just-cooked portions of breakfast. Xiao Che never let go of her hand and dragged Xia Qingyue, who was with great efforts trying to look natural, to sit shoulder by shoulder on one side of the table. Xiao Lie began to take his seat opposite them. He had only touched his his seat when the sound of hurried footsteps came from outside, accompanied by a coarse voice:
“Fifth Elder! Is the Fifth Elder here?”
“What is it?” Xiao Lie stood up and slightly wrinkled his brow.
“Clan… Clan master’s order. All elders are to immediately go to the main hall to discuss news concerning the future of the Xiao Clan. You must immediately go!”
“…” Xiao Lie stood up, grabbed the jacket offered to him by Xiao Hong and then spoke to Xiao Che and Xia Qingyue: “Looks like it’s an emergency. You two eat first. There’s no need to wait for me.”
There wasn’t a single time in Xiao Lie’s memory where an such urgent summon came so early in the morning. He draped his jacket over his body, then quickly left.
Xiao Lie had only just left, but Xiao Che’s hand left Xia Qingyue’s as fast as lightning. His body also jumped backwards with a *woosh* as his eyebrows slanted slightly. He said with a grim face, “Qingyue my wife, you are very clever, so you should definitely understand that the reason I held your hand was to give grandfather some peace of mind. I definitely don’t have any other intentions. Even though I didn’t get your approval beforehand, you definitely wouldn’t lash out in anger, right?”
Xia Qingyue’s expression had indeed become a bit icy. She coldly spoke: “If you dare to randomly touch my body again, then I won’t be this polite anymore.”
“Hey! You wouldn’t go that far, right?!” Xiao Che watched her with wide eyes and a depressed look on his face. “I only held your hand and you’re already so angry… We are still a genuine couple. Even if you’re only married me to repay a debt of gratitude, we’re still husband and wife. Since we’re a married couple, it’s normal for me to touch everywhere, not to mention the hand… No, rather, that’s how it’s supposed to be! You’ve been married to me less than a day and yet have always been cold and indifferent. You wouldn’t even let me sleep on the same bed on the wedding night. Now even holding your hand causes you to get so angry… *Sobs* What kind of wife did I marry? It’s practically even worse than taking an empress for a wife…”
“…” Xia Che’s temperament was more and more giving Xia Qingyue a feeling of helplessness. The first time she saw him, she felt that he was cold and proud. Gradually, she also felt that his disposition was not ordinary, and even held a touch of mystery. Many times, he gave her the feeling that this wasn’t in fact a sixteen year old, but rather an adult man with many years of experience… Save for his uncouth nature that would be revealed whenever he wasn’t careful.
And now, even though he clearly had shamelessly violated her, he still acted as if he had done no wrong. Instead, like a little brat, he brazenly complained, firmly turning her from the victim to the villain. For a moment, she was dumbfounded and didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry. Even the anger in her chest had unwittingly dissipated by a large amount.
“Forget it, let’s sit and eat.” Xia Qingyue said powerlessly.
“In other words, my wife Qingyue isn’t angry anymore? He he, that’s more like an obedient wife. Come, let’s eat a lot!” Xiao Che immediately climbed across the table and then sat back down, next to Xia Qingyue, passing the green bean cake on his plate to hers.
“……” Xia Qingyue began to suspect that the request she had made to her teacher to stay by his side for one month was both an erroneous and dangerous decision.