"Stop crying. Meeting you was my bad luck. I will help you."
A helpless but warm voice rose. Like a gush of spring wind, it warmed people's heart.
It warmed Bai Xiao Qi's heart.
The girl abruptly looked up and saw a familiar man. In an instant, her cries turned into laughter. She felt as if her heart was being embraced, it was warm, and she had never felt so secure.
Looking at the girl drowning in tears and snot, Ling Xian grinned. Even though he was somewhat unwilling, at this moment, he was not regretful.
To have made this cute girl laugh, it was worth it.
Feeling the warmth in that smile, Bai Xiao Qi's face reddened. Suddenly realizing that she was just crying, she quickly wiped her face with her sleeve, as if not wanting Ling Xian to see her cry.
Ling Xian smiled with warmth and wiped off Bai Xiao Qi's tears. Then, he extended a hand.
The long and white hand was right in front of the girl's face.
At this very moment, Bai Xiao Qi felt like her world had turned sunny. As if this hand was magnetic and gravitational, she was drawn towards it and once again felt hope.
Putting her own delicate hand into Ling Xian's, Bai Xiao Qi stood up with his support. She then smiled, "Why did you come back? I thought you didn't want to help me?"
"I didn't know at first. Nobody willingly walks into trouble." Ling Xian beamed and lightly brushed Bai Xiao Qi's nose. "But, you were crying your heart out. If I still don't return, then I would be a stone-hearted man."
Feeling Ling Xian's touch, Bai Xiao Qi blushed and slapped his hand away. "You are stone-hearted! I cried for so long before you came back. Hmmph, bastard."
Ling Xian's bright eyes were teasing her. "Bai Xiao Qi, if you curse at me anymore, I will leave."
"Hmmph, "Bai Xiao Qi pouted. "Then go. If you dare to go, I dare to cry."
"Okay, I won't leave. I will stay and help you." Ling Xian shook his head.
"Good." Bai Xiao Qi's lips curled up slightly, feeling warm.
"Alright, we need first to find a place to live. Then, you need to tell me everything." Ling Xian began to walk.
Bai Xiao Qi nodded and quickly followed. Her clever and cute ways made it appear like she would follow him anywhere he goes.
"Haha, it's okay. It was a couple fighting. Everyone, stop looking."
"Yeah, a couple was having a quarrel. Everyone disperse."
"Young man, that girl was so sad just now. Don't make her cry like that again."
The crowd laughed and then quickly left.
Hearing them talk about him, Ling Xian flushed with embarrassment. He quickened his step and wanted to leave as soon as possible.
Bai Xiao Qi's cheeks were red as well. Seeing that Ling Xian quickened his pace, she lightly smiled and sped up as well.
Just like that, the two of them walked along the street for a while and finally entered an ancient restaurant.
"Let's go. Second floor."
Ling Xian smiled and led Bai Xiao Qi to the second floor. He casually ordered a few dishes and sat at the table beside the window.
"Xian Ling, what are we doing here?" Bai Xiao Qi frowned, unsure of Ling Xian's intentions.
Ling Xian's lips curled up. "You are naïve. Restaurants are great places to go if you ever want to find out about most recent gossips or news."
"So you are saying, you can find out what has been happening to the Bai Clan by being here?" Bai Xiao Qi's eyes brightened.
"I make no promises. But let us patiently wait," Ling Xian snickered.
Bai Xiao Qi's ears stood up as she carefully listened to other people's discussions in the hope of finding out what happened to her clan.
However, by the time all the dishes were served, she still did not hear anything about her clan. She was frustrated. "Xian Ling, didn't you tell me we would find out something? It's been half an hour."
"What are you being impatient for?"
Ling Xian did not even raise his head as he enjoyed the side dishes. "Though we haven't heard about the Bai Clan, we heard about many other things."
"But those are useless conversation unrelated to me." Bai Xiao Qi pouted. With that delicate face of hers, she was extremely cute.
It was a pity that Ling Xian did not raise his head as if the dishes before him were more attractive than Bai Xiao Qi.
Seeing this, Bai Xiao Qi stomped her feet and cried, "Xian Ling, are you listening to me?"
"I heard you. Maybe this news is useless to you, but it's very useful to me." Ling Xian smiled. Though he was focused on the food, he heard everyone else's conversations loud and clear.
Though he hasn't heard any rumors about the Bai Clan, he now has a clear picture of the Trading Island.
On this island, there are five ruling forces called the Five Clans. They are the Bai Clan, located in the east. The Yan Clan that dominates the south. The Nan Gong Clan resides in the west. The Ou Yang Clan controls the north. Finally, the Chu Clan is in charge of the central area.
The five clans are highly capable and highly resourceful. They equally divided the island in five and had ruled for thousands of years. No other political forces dared to challenge them and take a chunk of land for themselves.
Amongst the chatter, Ling Xian acquired an important piece of information:
Though the five clans appear harmonious and even when outside enemies attack, they defend together; behind the scene, they were not a fan of each other. For resources and for land, they often attacked each other.
This piece of news made Ling Xian frown. He wondered if the other ruling forces were giving the Bai Clan a hard time.
"Bai Xiao Qi, do you think there is a chance that the other Clans are attacking?" Ling Xian sipped on his alcohol.
Bai Xiao Qi thought about it then shook her head in denial. "Impossible. Though under the spotlight the five clans often fought, due to the treaties we signed a long time ago, the other clans wouldn't dare to make arrogant moves against us."
Ling Xian remembered this and smiled. "Since you are so certain, then let's continue to listen."
Then, he once again lowered his head to enjoy the dishes.
Seeing this, Bai Xiao Qi clenched her fists in anger. "What are you listening to? You are lying to me! There is no information here!"
However, as soon as she spoke, chatter came from the east. Despite their effort at lowering their voices, Bai Xiao Qi was a foundational cultivator and could hear them clearly.
As for Ling Xian, he had long been listening.
"Did you hear? Something big is happening to the Bai Clan!"
"Shhh, lower your voice. Don't let others hear."
"Aye… to be honest it is a little hard to believe. The Bai Clan has been ruling for thousands of years, yet it's about to lose its grip."
"I heard the mysterious clan is making its move. They are helping the second elder of the Bai Clan to knock the Clan Leader off his seat."
"That's what I've heard too. But I do not understand. The Clan Leader of the Bai Clan is highly intelligent and experienced. No matter which mysterious Clan Leader is attacking, they cannot just take him off his seat. On top of that, would the other four clans really just sit and watch?"
"Aye, you are not understanding the situation. Though on the surface, the five clans are harmonious, they have been trying to steal each other's land all this time. As for the four other clans, it doesn't matter to them who ends up being the Leader of the Bai Clan. They really are hoping the Bai Clan would fight internally and hurt themselves."
By now, the situation was pretty clear.
Bai Xiao Qi gritted her teeth. If Ling Xian weren't imposing his spiritual energy on her, she would be smashing things by now.
"My second uncle! That bastard!"
Bai Xiao Qi was furious. She never thought that his own uncle would hurt the Clan to acquire power.
"Calm down." Ling Xian frowned, "At least the Bai Clan is not wiped out. Your families may still be alive."
Bai Xiao Qi's eyes brightened with joy and pushed down her anger. She whispered, "My father and my mother may still be alive?"
"I can't promise that."
Ling Xian shook his head. "But think about it. The Bai Clan's leader position is stolen by your uncle. His goal has been reached. It is very likely that he didn't kill your father because of his emotional attachment."
He did not speak of this confidently. Because the possibility of this was very low. He said it to calm Bai Xiao Qi down.
"Then let us go home quickly and save my parents." Bai Xiao Qi cried, her eyes heavy with worry.
Ling Xian helplessly laughed, "My lady, you are highly overestimating me. Do you not know of your own clan's capability? Even if there has been an internal wall, there is no way for a completion leveled cultivator to enter and leave at will. How will I save anyone?"
This was completely true. Though he was strong, the Bai Clan was far too powerful. In the entire 36 islands, they were on top!
At the very least, there was ten completion leveled cultivators and maybe even some original levels hiding within. How can Ling Xian fend off all of them?
Bai Xiao Qi remembered all the completion leveled cultivators of the family and her heart calmed down. "Then what do I do? Could it be that I have no way of saving my parents?"
Ling Xian exhaled deeply and said, "Let us do this step by step. Don't worry. No matter what, I will keep you company."
"Xian Ling, thank you." Bai Xiao Qi was getting teary as she stared at the handsome youth. She felt safe and secure as if she was leaning on a giant post of support.
"Stop thanking me. I hope the situation is easier than I am imaging it to be." Ling Xian sighed. He then casually left behind a few hundred spiritual stones and said, "Let us go. We need a place to stay and investigate the details before we decide what to do next."
Then, he stood up and walked down the stair.
Bai Xiao Qi wiped away her tears and followed him closely. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2020 So Far