Chapter 27 – Upheaval (6)
The 66th courtyard was the courtyard that Xiao Lingxi lived in. Everyone in the Xiao Clan was well acquainted with it due to how easy it was to remember. Upon hearing Xiao Jiu say “66th courtyard”, the first thing they thought of was the courtyard’s owner.
The crowd separated and isolated Xiao Lingxi’s location, giving her no place to hide from everyone’s eyes. Xiao Lie’s expression changed greatly while Xiao Che’s brows furrowed. His expression all of the sudden became incomparably overcast as he stepped forward and stood in front of Xiao Lingxi. A wave of anger expanded with a rumble in his chest, threatening to explode.
Only when Xiao Jiu called out the words “66th courtyard”, did Xiao Che completely understand what the discordant feeling he had been experiencing up until then meant!
Before, there were too many people in the way, and they were also standing relatively close together. As a result, Xiao Kuangyun couldn’t clearly pinpoint where Xiao Lingxi was. However, now, he could naturally get a good look. At once, his eyes lit up and emitted a glow similar to that of an vicious wolf. This girl wasn’t as good looking as Xia Qingyue, but was still a genuine young lady in every way. She had natural-born bright eyes and white teeth, a compelling elegance, and a gentle, beautiful, and charming face. Especially her eyes, which, though currently full of panic and fear, were still like pools of sparkling spring water, clear, transparent, and thoroughly moving.
Xiao Kuangyun forcefully swallowed a mouthful of saliva as his heart flipped and shook… that Xiao Yulong didn’t lie to me after all! Even though this Xiao Lingxi is slightly worse than Xia Qingyue as far as looks go, she’s only slightly worse. However, her flavor will definitely be just as good. Also, when she matures, she won’t necessarily be worse than Xia Qingyue… After coming to this kind of backwater place, I unexpectedly met what could be considered two world cla.s.s beauties. This is simply heaven’s reward for my long and difficult journey!
Xiao Kuangyun began to feel that his initial refusal to come to this Xiao Clan was simply an extremely stupid decision… Fortunately, he was unable to defy his father’s order in the end and obediently came here.
“Xiao Lingxi… how could it be you?!”
Upon seeing Xiao Lingxi, Xiao Yunhai’s expression was first that of surprise, then shock, then finally disbelief.
“It wasn’t me! Clan Master… it really wasn’t me!” Xiao Lingxi forcefully shook her head, a terrified look on her entire face. She really did have the thought to steal the Profound Opening Powder last night, but after being caught by Xiao Lie, she obediently went back to her room and slept… She knew absolutely nothing about the theft of the Profound Opening Powder.
“Oh my, I didn’t expect that the reckless thief would be a little girl.” Xiao Kuangyun said in a mystifying fas.h.i.+on: “But I did just say that no matter who it was, I wouldn’t let them off lightly!”
“Ah! Xiao Lingxi, how could you… act so willfully and do this kind of reckless thing?! This box of Profound Opening Powder is the treasure that the Xiao Sect travelled thousands of li to gift us! With this, what could I… possibly do?” Xiao Yunhai sighed heavily with an appearance of extreme grief.
“Clan Master! It wasn’t me. It really wasn’t me who stole it! There must be… there must be a mistake somewhere! It really wasn’t me!” Xiao Lingxi shook her head over and over, her entire face already pale.
Xiao Kuangyun said with an angry and stern voice: “This box of Profound Opening Powder was found under your pillow. If you didn’t steal it, then are you telling me it grew wings and flew there? Young lady, I gave you a chance to admit your guilt before. It was you who didn’t take it. Now that we have conclusive proof and also countless people from outside the Xiao Clan as witnesses, you still want to deny it? It seems like you won’t confess if I don’t give you a heavy punishment!”
“Give you a heavy punishment”, those five words caused Xiao Lingxi’s entire body to waver. If it wasn’t for Xiao Che promptly supporting her, she may have already collapsed on the ground. Xiao Che’s hands clenched as a *pop* sound continuously rang out from his knuckles. His carefully watched Xiao Kuangyun, his entire body emitting, for the first time since his rebirth, true… killing intent!
“Young Master Xiao, please calm down!” Xiao Yunhai immediately stepped forward and knelt on one knee. He said beseechingly: “Xiao Lingxi stealing from the Xiao Sect is truly unforgivable, but… but she isn’t a bad person. In my Xiao Clan she is very well liked. The fact that she would steal the Profound Opening Powder also involves some complications…”
“Complications? What complications?” Xiao Kuangyun asked with a dark expression.
Xiao Yunhai used his eyes to indicate Xiao Lingxi and Xiao Che, who were standing together. He said with a remorseful expression: “Xiao Lingxi is the only daughter of our fifth elder, and she has a nephew called Xiao Che who is older than her by a year. This nephew of hers had the misfortune of being born with deformed profound veins…With deformed profound veins, no matter how Xiao Che grows in other areas, it’s still the same as having his life mostly ruined. Xiao Lingxi extremely cherishes Xiao Che and has always been searching for a way to restore his profound veins… This is something that everyone in the Xiao Clan and Floating Cloud City knows. All those present here can attest to that. The reason Xiao Lingxi would have the audacity to steal the Profound Opening Powder is obviously because she heard that the Profound Opening Powder has the power to restore destroyed profound veins. Thus, with the intention of saving her nephew, she committed this reckless crime.”
“Although the crime has been committed, and the evidence is conclusive beyond a doubt, I beg Young Master Xiao to be lenient with his punishment on account of the fact that our Xiao Lingxi is still young and has a sincere heart. Our entire Xiao Clan would be grateful for Young Master Xiao’s great kindness.”
Even though Xiao Yunhai’s posture was low, every one of his spoken words were sincere. They struck straight at the heart, causing everyone to feel touched. His words also allowed those who didn’t understand how Xiao Lingxi would have the audacity to steal the Profound Opening Powder to suddenly realize… It turns out that the Profound Opening Powder also had the ability to restore damaged profound veins. No wonder…
Everyone in Floating Cloud City knew that Xiao Che’s profound veins had been damaged since birth. The fact that Xiao Lingxi had always cherished him and unceasingly worried about the state of his profound veins was also something that everyone in the Xiao Clan knew. With this, the fact that Xiao Lingxi would steal the Profound Opening Powder was no longer reckless, but rather reasonable.
More than a few people secretly looked down on the way Xiao Yunhai always fawned over Xiao Kuangyun. However, now, a kind of heartful admiration towards him started to grow in everyone’s hearts… In order to protect a Xiao Clan disciple, this Xiao Clan Master still begged for forgiveness with all his strength even though he faced a raging member of the Xiao Sect. His words were also pa.s.sionate, and he even knelt on one knee.
Only Xiao Che was sneering in anger… What a flawless performance! On the surface, it was someone begging for forgiveness for the sake of Xiao Lingxi, but in truth, it was completely legitimizing the accusation against her! If he was an outsider, it’s possible that even he would think that everything was Xiao Lingxi’s doing.
“It turns out there was this kind of situation.” After listening to Xiao Yunhai’s words, Xiao Kuangyun’s expression clearly mellowed quite a bit. He said lightly: “Hmph. My n.o.ble self isn’t some vicious and merciless person. Since she committed this blunder for the sake of her nephew, in light of these feelings, as long as she obediently admits her mistake and apologizes, I can still consider it gently…”
“It wasn’t me! It really wasn’t me who stole it!” Xiao Lingxi forcefully shook her head. She gritted her teeth and shouted in a slightly hoa.r.s.e voice: “If I did it, I would definitely confess… But I really didn’t steal the Profound Opening Powder! I especially don’t know why it would appear in my room… It must be some kind of mistake! Clan Master, please believe me. It really wasn’t me!”
Xiao Lingxi shouting in this way not only didn’t move anyone, but instead had the opposite reaction due to Xiao Yunhai’s previous obfuscation… She is the one with the most reason to steal the Profound Opening Powder, and it was also found in her room. These facts could already thoroughly determine her guilt. That Xiao Yunhai would plead for leniency on her behalf without regard to danger or dignity was already extremely benevolent and moving, yet she still won’t confess.
Xiao Kuangyun’s expression that had just mellowed once again darkened. He said with a sneer: “Where was there a mistake? Our Xiao Sect personally found this Profound Opening Powder in your room. Are you saying that our Xiao Sect member purposefully framed you, a young lady from this small Xiao Clan? Eh?”
Xiao Kuangyun said this sentence with full of anger and confidence… That the grand Xiao Sect would purposefully frame someone from the Xiao Clan, which didn’t even amount to anything in their eyes? It would be a joke to anyone who heard it.
At this time, the Xiao Clan’s First Elder Xiao Li stood up. He pointed at Xiao Lingxi and said with a stern voice: “Xiao Lingxi! You made such a large mistake, and thus humiliated the entire Xiao Clan. The clan master still personally pleaded for leniency on your behalf, and even Young Master Xiao was thinking of dealing with you mercifully. Yet you unexpectedly still don’t know a good thing when you see it! You have really… disappointed us too much!”
“Ah, more than disappointing, it’s simply extremely heartbreaking.” Second Elder Xiao Bo shook his head and said with a sad expression: “She would go as far as to waste the clan master’s persistent pleas for leniency… Ah! Xiao Lingxi, what kind of existence is the Xiao Sect that they would deliberately and wrongfully accuse you? If you could change your ways after making a mistake, that would be best. But you acting like this in front of our various friends from Floating Cloud City shames us greatly.”
“I… you… you…” Upon seeing pitiless and cold gazes one after another, Xiao Lingxi’s lovely body trembled, and teardrops leaked from her eyes. Her mind was completely blank. She wasn’t able to utter a complete sentence.
At this moment, Xiao Che lightly squeezed her small hand with his. Standing at her side, he said with a warm voice that only she could hear: “Little aunt, don’t be afraid… For the moment, don’t say anything, because it doesn’t matter what you say right now. It doesn’t matter if they believe you or not. I will always believe in little aunt… Leave the rest to me.”
Leave the rest… to me…
His profound strength was miniscule, and his body was frail. He had grown up under her constant protection. Yet it was precisely this weak body that stood in front of her. When he said these few simple words, her frantic, helpless, and ice cold thoughts quickly and unexpectedly became peaceful and warm… It was as if they had returned to their childhood, where, whenever she was bullied, he would always fly in from afar to stand in front of her and, using his hands, feet, and teeth as the most vicious weapons, prevent her from receiving even the tiniest scratch…
Xiao Che… She quietly murmured in her heart.
“*Cough* *cough*…” Xiao Che stepped forward a few steps and faked a few coughs, attracting everyone’s attention. He bowed slightly and said with a smile: “Young Master Xiao and the other three friends that travelled here from the distant Xiao Sect. Allow me to introduce myself… I am Xiao Lingxi’s nephew, the Xiao Che that is considered by everyone to be without redeeming features. I have a few questions I want the ask the clan master concerning the stolen and subsequently recovered Profound Opening Powder. There shouldn’t be any problems with that, right?”
“Oh… You are Floating Cloud City’s infamous piece of trash?” Xiao Kuangyun indifferently glanced at him and sneered with a sound of disdain: “You shouldn’t be thinking of making excuses for your little aunt, right? *Chuckle*, that’s fine, I actually do want to see what you can find out with your questions.”
“Che Er…” Xiao Lie, whose face had long ago turned ashen, lightly uttered. The response he got was from Xiao Che’s right hand behind his back, which indicated for him to be silent.
“That’s good!” Xiao Che nodded as his gaze turned towards Xiao Yunhai: “Clan master, I have a few questions I want to ask you about the Profound Opening Powder…”
Not waiting for Xiao Yunhai’s reply, Xiao Che had already started to ask: “The first question… Clan Master, you, be it your cultivation of profound strength or mental fort.i.tude, are preeminent amongst our Xiao Clan. Even more so, your temperament is steady and prudent. If not, you wouldn’t be able to become our Xiao Clan’s clan master. This matter, everyone in the Xiao Clan, and even everyone in Floating Cloud City, all know without exception. Then the question is, this excavator… Oh, that’s not right. With Clan Master’s prudent disposition, after receiving the gift from the Xiao Sect, the best course of action would be to keep it by your side, because only when it’s by your side is it the safest… But Clan Master instead left it in the infirmary, which could be said to be the least secure location. Can Clan Master explain this?”