Chapter 26 – Upheaval (5)
Xiao Kuangyun was really wild, but within the Xiao Clan, he truly had the right to be wild. Not to mention his ear-piercing speech, even if he had called the entire Xiao Clan dogs, everyone in the Xiao Clan would have to obediently listen. There definitely wouldn’t be anyone who would dare to retort. It may even be possible that some would wag their tails accordingly.
“Before Elder Xiao Zheng died, he remembered his affection for his son, and left behind a dying wish. He hoped we would find the one with the best aptitude amongst the younger generation here to bring back to the Xiao Sect.”
Xiao Kuangyun picked up the roster that Xiao Yunhai had prepared overnight, looked all around him, and then arrogantly said: “Today, I will personally check that. In a while, anyone whose name I call will come in front of me and show your profound strength. However, aptitude isn’t decided by the level of your profound strength, but by your foundation and potential!”
“Before I came here, my honorable father had me bring a batch of Profound Opening Powder. The person selected not only will be brought back to the Xiao Sect, but will also receive this Profound Opening Powder as a reward! Good medicine can only be enjoyed by those with enough aptitude. It would only be wasted if used on the body of trash!” Saying this, Xiao Kuangyun’s gaze slanted towards Xiao Yunhai. “Clan master, bring out the Profound Opening Powder. Even though this is a gift to the Xiao Clan, you shouldn’t have any complaints about giving this to the one with the best aptitude as a reward, right?”
No matter how ridiculous Xiao Kuangyun’s words were, Xiao Yunhai still wouldn’t dare to have any reservations. However, upon hearing his words, Xiao Yunhai’s expression all of a sudden became pale, and a cold sweat broke out on his forehead. He didn’t move to retrieve the Profound Opening Powder, but rather stood there in a fluster.
“What’s the matter?” Xiao Kuangyun’s expression darkened: “Clan Master Xiao, you wouldn’t be unwilling to part with the Profound Opening Powder, right?”
“No, no, of course not.” Xiao Yunhai promptly shook his head with a terrified expression: “It’s only… only…”
With a *putong* sound, Xiao Yunhai immediately knelt on on one knee with both hands trembling. He said with a face full of terror: “I… I deserve to die… The Profound Opening Powder that Young Master Xiao gifted us yesterday, I left it in our Xiao Clan’s infirmary and made it clear to the person there that they must guard it well. But… but this morning, the person from the infirmary suddenly ran over to tell me that the Profound Opening Powder in the infirmary had unexpectedly… unexpectedly disappeared!”
Hua——The crowd below immediately broke into chaos.
To steal the treasure brought by the Xiao Sect… who could have the nerve?!
“Huh?” Xiao Che frowned slightly as a burst of suspicion appeared in his heart… Based on his ten some years’ understanding of Xiao Yunhai, he would consider him a cautious person. Knowing his character, for him to put the treasure that the Xiao Sect brought in the infirmary after receiving it from them instead of keeping it on himself was a bit unreasonable… Knowing that the infirmary only had Xiao Gu, who had wholly devoted himself to medicine and had practically no profound strength, the infirmary could be considered the most weakly defended area within the Xiao Clan.
Not only that, the Profound Opening Powder was brought by the Xiao Sect. Even if someone craved it, at the very least they should have waited until the people from the Xiao Sect left to act. Why would they unexpectedly pick such a dangerous time… Even if they stole it, would they even have a life to use it afterwards?
Xiao Lie’s entire body shook. He immediately glanced towards Xiao Lingxi, only to find that Xiao Lingxi also had a face full of astonishment. Noticing Xiao Lie’s pointed look, Xiao Lingxi promptly shook her head forcefully to indicate that she had nothing to do with this. Xiao Lie withdrew his gaze and inwardly took a deep sigh of relief.
Xiao Kuangyun violently stood up from his seat as his expression turned incomparably dark, his body radiating a baleful aura. He looked at Xiao Yunhai and said fiercely: “You’re saying that… there’s actually someone who would steal the Profound Opening Powder?”
“Your humble servant couldn’t protect it. I request Young Master Xiao administer punishment.” Xiao Yunhai lowered his head, a look of shame and fear across his entire face.
“This is ridiculous!” Xiao Kuangyun violently took a breath as his chest heaved. His complexion became more and more dark; he had evidently been extremely angered: “Someone actually dared to steal our gift to the Xiao Clan. Good! Very good! I’ve really underestimated this Floating Cloud City! You all are actually… quite bold!”
Xiao Kuangyun’s anger and killing intent had extended to almost the entire Xiao Clan. This caused everyone’s spines to shiver and their hearts to convulse. They didn’t even dare to breathe loudly and, unable to cope with their panic, hung their heads low for fear that Xiao Kuangyun would look at them.
Xiao Che half closed his eyes, his gaze directly on Xiao Kuangyun’s eyes. A short while later, he poked Xiao Lie and asked in a small voice: “Grandfather, the clan master didn’t offend this Xiao Kuangyun yesterday, right?”
Xiao Lie was startled, then shook his head: “Xiao Yunhai was always prudent. He shouldn’t have gone that far.”
“Then that’s strange.” Xiao Che rubbed his chin and then said quietly: “This Xiao Kuangyun’s anger is clearly fake. If the clan master had offended him, and he had planned to steal it himself and then blame the clan master, then that would make sense. If that’s not the case… don’t tell me this Xiao Kuangyun is acting out a monkey’s show by himself?”
“… Watch your mouth.” Xiao Lie didn’t understand the meaning of his words and so quietly warned him.
Xiao Kuangyun’s eyes became sinister and his expression darkened to the color of a storm cloud: “Yesterday, when I took out the Profound Opening Powder, there were only members of the Xiao Clan around. I don’t think that you Xiao Clan people would be stupid enough to let the fact that you’ve obtained a high grade medicine spread to the ears of outsiders. In addition, your Xiao Clan’s defensive abilities can’t be considered weak in Floating Cloud City. If someone wanted to break it, it wouldn’t be easy… Then, the thief should be from your Xiao Clan!”
Xiao Kuangyun’s words caused the expression of all of the Xiao Clan members to change. The sound of whispers grew even louder. Xiao Yunhai also quickly nodded: “Right! Young Master Xiao sees clearly. After I knew the Profound Opening Powder had been stolen, I also thought that it was stolen by someone from our Xiao Clan. The infirmary’s Xiao Gu is almost sixty years old and is unconcerned with worldly affairs. He simply wouldn’t have any kind of desire for the Profound Opening Powder, so it shouldn’t be him that stole it. Everyone else should probably be viewed with suspicion.”
“Hmph! The insignificant Xiao Clan simply isn’t worth mentioning in the eyes of our Xiao Sect! Any lowly person from our Xiao Sect could single handedly wipe out your entire clan! This time, we graced you with our presence and trekked thousands of li to your Xiao Clan. That gave you an immense amount prestige and was a great show of kindness… yet you instead gave me such a large surprise! This is practically a slap to the face of our Xiao Sect!”
A slap to the face of the Xiao Sect… this incomparably strange and large accusation caused Xiao Yunhai’s face to immediately turn ashen.
Xiao Kuangyun’s eyes were like that of a viper, sweeping from one face to another. Everyone touched by his gaze lowered their head as if trying to avoid being struck by lightning. No one dared to look him in the face… However, this absolutely didn’t mean that Xiao Kuangyun’s eyes had were incredibly penetrating, or that his aura was that fierce. It was only because he was backed by the enormous Xiao Sect.
Xiao Che’s gaze turned to Xiao Yunhai’s face and his expression became even more downcast. He said in low voice that only he could hear: “This Xiao Yunhai’s demeanor is also unexpectedly fake… What exactly do they want to do?”
In Xiao Che’s two lifetimes worth of memories, particularly those from the life on Azure Cloud Continent, he had experienced countless designs of good and evil and skirted past the boundary between life and death multiple times. The amount of people he had encountered was even more innumerable, from the most ordinary of people to the overlords of the world. Not even a profound practitioner that was hundreds of years old would necessarily be able to compare to the viciousness seen by his eyes.
Xiao Kuangyun once again swept his gaze around. His tone suddenly became mild: “Forget it, even though it’s truly regrettable, I can’t be bothered to get upset with you people from this small place. The person who stole the Profound Opening Powder, I’ll give you fifteen seconds to obediently come out and hand over the Profound Opening Powder. I may show you mercy for the first offense! If you continue to be obstinate, then don’t blame for me for being impolite.”
“Xiao Ba, start counting!”
After Xiao Kuangyun finished speaking, he let out a cold snort and sat back down on his seat. The black dressed young man on his left stepped forward and started the countdown in a low voice.
Xiao Yunhai immediately turned around and said in a loud voice: “The vermin that stole the Profound Opening Powder, did you hear that?! Young Master Xiao is magnanimously tolerant to give you a way out. Quickly mend your ways and come apologize! If not, not to mention Young Master Xiao, the entire Xiao Clan will never forgive you!!”
“… Twelve… eleven… ten… nine…” The black clothed man called Xiao Ba continued to count down.
Everyone in the Xiao Clan turned to look at their neighbors, one after another guessing at who was reckless enough to dare steal something the Xiao Sect had brought. Although Xiao Kuangyun’s mouth had uttered “mercy”, from his expression, no one believed that they would earn his “mercy” after voluntarily admitting guilt.
“… Four… three… two… one… time’s up!”
Xiao Ba’s voice dropped off, and he then stepped back. Xiao Kuangyun once again stood up, his gaze dark and cruel as he sneered: “I already gave you a chance. Since you don’t know a good thing when you see it, don’t blame me for being ruthless after I catch you! Xiao Jiu!”
In the wake of Xiao Kuangyun’s shout, another black clothed young man stepped forward and then immediately raised his palm. A whirlpool of profound strength began to condense in his palm.
“Xiao Clan Master, the Profound Opening Powder was stolen with the black box, right?”
“Yes, they were stolen together.” Xiao Yunhai nodded. His face revealed a suspicious look, as if he didn’t understand why he was asking this question.
“Very good… On the black box containing the Profound Opening Powder is a mark of our Xiao Sect’s unique profound strength——The eagle mark! As long as we use our Xiao Sect’s unique profound strength, we can very quickly determine the whereabouts of every eagle mark in the vicinity.”
As soon as Xiao Kungyun finished speaking, Xiao Jiu’s hand suddenly lowered as a growl of “it’s there” escaped from his lips. His body then turned into a gale as he rushed towards his right like lightning. His speed was exceedingly fast; in a blink of an eye he had disappeared from everyone’s sight.
“*Chuckle*, it seems we’ve already found it.” Xiao Kuangyun sneered, a deep sense of self-satisfaction flashing through the depth of his eyes… as if he was very pleased with his own performance.
“Wonderful. As expected of the Xiao Sect, not one drop of water can leak out.” Xiao Yunhai’s face also revealed a happy expression, which then darkened once again. He solemnly said: “Young Master Xiao, the nature of this matter is too vile. Not only did it provoke Young Master Xiao’s wrath, but also caused our Xiao Clan to lose quite a bit of face. So no matter who the thief is, even if it’s my son, Young Master Xiao need not have any apprehension. You must severely punish them!!”
“Hmph! Of course. No one who has offended my Xiao Sect has met a good end!”
At this time, a gust of strong wind blew over. Xiao Jiu had already hurried back, his hands holding a wooden box. The eagle mark on the wooden box was still faintly radiating light. This wooden box really was the box holding the Profound Opening Powder that Xiao Kuangyun had given Xiao Yunhai yesterday.
“Young master, I found it.” Xiao Jiu delivered the wooden box into Xiao Kuangyun’s grasp and then stepped back without a sound.
All the whispers stopped. The surroundings became so quiet that even the drop of a needle could be heard. The atmosphere turned completely cold. Everyone widened their eyes and held their breath, waiting to see who was the one that had enough courage to dare steal the Profound Opening Powder… They could all guess how tragic the fate of that person would be.
“Xiao Jiu, where did you find this box?” Xiao Kuangyun asked with a sneer.
“The 66th courtyard, under the owner’s pillow.” Xiao Jiu clearly replied with an expressionless face.
The 66th courtyard…
Everyone’s gaze all at once converged in one direction, unbelievingly staring at the girl who looked as if she had been petrified.
Upon hearing the words “the 66th courtyard”, Xiao Lingxi was stunned on the spot. Seeing pair after pair of eyes turn towards her, she stepped back and hysterically shook her head, crying out involuntarily: “It’s not me… it’s not me!”