Sponsored chapter by Neko & alyschu.
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Yun? Xiao Che was stunned. In the Azure Cloud Continent, the surname his master had given him was also Yun, this was a truly strange coincidence.
“Aside from your biological father’s surname is Yun, I do not have any other information; for example, I have no idea what his name was or where he came from. Xiao Ying met your father during the days he traveled throughout the Blue Wind Empire. That year, your father had saved Xiao Ying’s life when he was being attacked by a strong profound beast. Later on, the two started to travel together and after finding out that they were compatible, became sworn brothers right before they went their separate ways.”
Xiao Lie slowly raised his head as if he was reminiscing about the past and fondly said: “After Xiao Ying came back, he described your father to me and kept on praising him; saying that he was not only handsome but was also forthright and uninhibited. Furthermore, he had an incomparable and astonishing talent, and was truly an exceptionally unmatched man. At that time, Xiao Ying’s talent could be said to be matchless in Floating Cloud City; when he frankly admitted that his talent wan’t worth mentioning when compared with your father’s.… I didn’t believe that so I asked him which realm he had reached, but Xiao Ying just smiled and stayed silent about it. He said that I wouldn’t believe him even if he told me.”
“No one knows my son’s personality better than myself. He would never say a lie. At that time your father was confirmed to be a exceptional talent; at a young age, his profound strength had already reached an astonishing level. You can clearly see his magnanimity and bearing when such an exceptional talent was willing to become sworn brothers with Xiao Ying, who was beneath him in profound strength. That was why it was not surprising that Xiao Ying kept praising your father, and was so honored to have become sworn brothers with him.”
“After that, Xiao Ying got married and had a child… and two months after the child was born, he saw your father again… together with your mother.”
Xiao Lie’s emotions had now significantly changed. Xiao Che held back his breath and continued to listen silently.
“… But at that time, both your father and mother were completely drenched in blood, and in their hands was you, who was also drenched in blood. You were only about two months old as well at that time, unconscious in your mother’s embrace. When Xiao Ying stopped them and brought them to a secret location. Their bodies were entirely covered with wounds, and all their profound strength had been depleted.… They stayed only for awhile before insisting on leaving, because the people chasing after their lives were too powerful, so powerful that even the entire Floating Cloud City could not possibly contend against. If they stayed, they will only implicate Xiao Ying with a burden.”
“Xiao Ying couldn’t stop them from leaving and he knew he had no capability to fight against the enemies that even your parents could not handle. At that time, he saw an inflexible and stubborn will in your parents’ eyes… Obviously, your parents has exhausted all their energy trying to escape and they already had no hope of running from the people that were after them… Therefore, Xiao Ying used the excuse of carrying you… and secretly swapped his own son, my grandson, into your bloodied blankets… and hid you within his son’s blanket.”
Xiao Che’s gaze suddenly shuddered while Xiao Lingxi gave a small “Ah” cry.
“… At that time, your parents were in a hurry to leave, so after taking back the protected baby from Xiao Ying, when would they have the time to check if it was actually their son… After your parents had left, Xiao Ying found me, knelt down in front of me, and begged me for forgiveness… He said he was still young, so even if he lost a son, he could still give birth to many more; however if you had died, his brother, who is also your father, will completely lose his bloodline. If that happened, no one would be able to avenge him!”
“Even though the pain in my heart was like being pierced by a thousand arrows at that time, however… facing such an affectionate and righteous son, how could I bear to blame him? Other than us father and son, no one else knew that my grandson had been swapped with you. At that time, the two months old you had already suffered bodily damage and finally recovered after half a month… The reason why your profound vein ended up being deformed was also clearly due to the damages you had taken. In the middle of that level of aggression, it was fortunate that only your profound veins had been damaged and not your life.”
Xiao Lie’s voice faintly paused. He tried his best not to show any signs of pain as he clenched his hands and continued: “Not half a month after that, Xiao Ying was assassinated and the veins in his entire body had been shattered… When I had heard about it and rushed there, with his last breath, he told me that the person who had assassinated him was the very one who was also after your parents at that time. He didn’t know where the person had gotten information about him offering shelter to a young couple who carried a baby and were covered in blood. The person that had assassinated him went there to try to force him into revealing where your parents had escaped to… Before taking his last breath, Xiao Ying was actually smiling, because the words that the person who assassinated him had said… proved that he had not found your parents yet, which meant that they could possibly still be alive!”
“…..” Xiao Che heart started to stir, like a huge overflowing unquenchable wave that was unable to be suppressed. Looking at Xiao Lie’s white hair, he felt an sour and immeasurable crack in his heart.… No one was aware of his deep sorrow of losing his son and his daughter in law. He had even lost his only grandson, the last of his bloodline, long ago. At the knee, was another’s child who was exchanged with the life of his grandson. No wonder he had white hair when he was still in his middle ages… Under wave and wave of emotional setbacks, if an ordinary person took his place, not only would white hair appear… but perhaps he would have already collapsed long ago.”
Xiao Che had only discovered the sorrowful truth today; that the source who had brought all these troubles was unexpectedly he, himself!!
If the real Xiao Che’s life wasn’t used in exchange for his own, why would Xiao Ying get assassinated? How would Xiao Ying’s wife have followed her love? How would Xiao Lie’s wife then die of depression? How would Xiao Ying’s son be laughed at as if he was a failure? Their entire family could have been safe and secured, could have lived happily and peacefully. With Xiao Ying unrivaled talent in Floating Cloud City and his father’s incomparable power and prestige in Floating Cloud City, his position in the Xiao Clan would have been extremely high. Perhaps he would have been the master of the Xiao Clan by now. Xiao Lie wouldn’t have to suffer from other people’s supercilious looks and instead be in a superior position. Not only would the four elder’s not humiliate him, if they faced him, they would probably be as timid as a rat….
Xiao Ying had used his son’s life to save him.… While he let himself, and his entire family suffer a cruel fate.
However these past sixteen years, Xiao Lie had never released any anger or hatred on him, the “main offender”, but instead he protected and kept him safe without a word. He gave him unconditional love, even after knowing that his profound veins were disabled and even knowing that he would be a useless good for nothing for the rest of his life, he still loved him like usual. Perhaps, that was common for a grandfather to treat his own grandson like this; however, to treat another person’s child like this, especially the one who had caused the ruin of his family, would demand an extremely large heart and open-mindedness…
Xiao Che’s inner heart trembled and his nose soured … Like father like son. Being such a great man, it was no wonder he had such a righteous son like Xiao Ying. He could never repay this debt that he and his parents had owed them during his entire lifetime.
Xiao Che placed both of his hands on the side of the stone table as his fingers gripped it more and more tightly. Seeing the sorrowful eyes of Xiao Lie in front of him, for a moment, he didn’t know how to thank this person he had called grandfather all these years. After a while, he finally said with a trembling voice: “Grandfather, I… I… Your affection and kindness, for my entire life, I will always… will always…”
“Heh heh,” Xiao Lie gently chuckled and affectionately replied: “Che’er, I have looked after you since a young age. Even if you’re not one of my own, since long ago, you were no different from my biological grandson in my heart. You also had said that even if we weren’t related by blood, we would still eternally be like family. Since we’re family, all these that had happened, ought to have happened. I have no need for your gratitude or repayment as long as you are safe and sound from now on; even if I were to be locked in here my entire life, I would still be free of worries.”
Xiao Che closed his mouth as his words of gratitude could no longer be spoken and after awhile, he then heavily nodded. That’s right, he’s my grandfather, now… and will be forever! While he’s still around, I need to be filial to him. When he’s not around, I’ll mourn for him and do whatever a grandson ought to do.
As he watched him, Xiao Lie gratifyingly nodded his head and continued: “You must want to know more about what had happened that time. However, Xiao Ying didn’t say much about your parents. As for why they were being hunted, Xiao Ying only told me that it was because they had one of the ‘Heavenly Profound Treasure’ on them. He even informed me that three words ‘Heavenly Profound Treasure” were a grave taboo, and must never be said in the presence of outsiders.”
Heavenly Profound Treasure? Xiao Che firmly beared this name in mind.
“From the time after your parents had left, I’ve never received any information from them these past sixteen years. I once thought that if they were still alive, they would have found out that the baby they carried away wasn’t their own son, and would come back here to exchange the child they had when it was safe… I waited a year after a year, but they never came back. But… this doesn’t prove that they’re not in this world anymore… Since you were a young child, I’ve always told you to never remove that pendant from your neck. That was because when Xiao Ying swapped you with his own son, it was the only thing on your body. If your parents are still alive, perhaps it may possibly become an opportunity and help you guys recognize each other…”
Indeed, if they were still alive, they would’ve come back to Floating Cloud City already and exchanged their child. However they had not come back for an entire sixteen years, so the probability of them still being in this world… was fundamentally uncertain.
If they were actually still in this world, then was Xiao Ying’s child from that time, still alive?
As night darkened, the time for the Star Concealing Grass to lose it effectiveness gradually approached and it was about time for Xiao Che to leave.
“Grandfather, little aunt… I should go now.” Although he was reluctant to part, he had no option but to say this difficult sentence that he didn’t want to say.
Xiao Lie nodded his head and took a look outside: “You must quickly leave this place, if you were to be discovered, it would become even more troublesome.”
“Ah? You…. you’re leaving?” As fast as lightning, Xiao Lingxi raised her head up, and grabbed him tightly with both her hands.
As he felt the reluctance in Xiao Lingxi’s gaze, Xiao Che’s heart felt bitter.… He really wished he could take Xiao Lie and Xiao Lingxi away with him… However, with his current condition, what right did he have to take them with him? Even if they did leave, what was he suppose to use to protect them in the outside world? It would instead be them protecting him…
He stood up and took ahold of Xiao Lingxi’s hands. He looked into her eyes and stated word for word: “Little aunt, I have to go… However you need not worry, I will return. Within three years, I will be back! By that time, I’ll take the injustice and pain you two suffered and return it to them a thousand fold… I’ll make the entire Xiao Clan kneel and beg you two to leave this Reflection Gorge!!”