Chapter 213: Brother in Suffering

The Cloud Margin Pavilion was separated into the inner and outer pavilion. Naturally, the inner pavilion was an important place where only inner disciples could enter. There, the environment and facilities were much more optimal for cultivation. As for the outer pavilion, that was where the outer and common disciples resided, and it was considered the low-level zone of the Cloud Margin Pavilion.

The outer pavilion was located at the foot of the mountains. Numerous buildings stood tall, with some of them being special areas for different cultivation needs. Here, over 3,000 outer disciples and common overseers resided.

Even so, the environment of the outer pavilion was already much better than the academies of the various towns. As for the disciples, they were naturally far stronger than the regular town disciples as well.

Not a single one of these disciples were below the Astral Realm, and most of them were above mid Astral Realm. There were a large number of Transformation Realm disciples as well. These were all proud geniuses gathered from Cloud Margin City. All of them had only managed to become a disciple after going through a harsh selection process.

Xiang Shaoyun had just arrived with Long Hui. From far away, he saw a gate several dozen meters tall framed by two towering pillars. In between the pillars, the large words "Cloud Margin Pavilion" were carved.

Each of the three words emanated a majestic feeling capable of giving others an incorporeal sense of pressure. It was clear these words were personally carved by a supreme expert, leaving behind a trace of that person's presence in the words.

In fact, the words were carved by the first generation pavilion master of the Cloud Margin Pavilion. Standing in front the gate were eight sturdy fully armored guards. They were staring straight ahead with solemn expressions.

All eight of them were Transformation Realm cultivators. Just the fact that Transformation Realm experts had to serve as guards was proof of the Cloud Margin Pavilion's strength.

When the guards saw Long Hui coming with Xiang Shaoyun, they deferentially saluted Long Hui and greeted, "Greetings, Elder Long Hui!"

Long Hui nodded nonchalantly before sauntering through the gate with Xiang Shaoyun. Not a single one of them dared to say anything. This was the prerogative enjoyed by high-level elders, something common elders couldn't compare to.

"Young master, do you want to enter the inner pavilion with me or do you want to stay at the outer pavilion?" Long Hui asked.

"I'll look around the outer pavilion first," Xiang Shaoyun said. He only came to have a look around because he had nothing to do anyway. He had yet to think of what his next step would be. He was also trying to see if there were any good cultivation spots that would be helpful to him.

Long Hui brought Xiang Shaoyun to the outer pavilion overseer and told the overseer that Xiang Shaoyun was his distant relative and that Xiang Shaoyun was going to rest at the outer pavilion for a bit. The overseer naturally did not dare to slight Xiang Shaoyun after hearing so. He even wanted to set a feast to welcome Xiang Shaoyun in hope of buttering up to Elder Long Hui.

However, Xiang Shaoyun rejected the offer as he only wanted to stroll around freely. The overseer did not dare to say anything against it. After telling Xiang Shaoyun about the outer pavilion's forbidden zones, he left Xiang Shaoyun to his own devices.

Looking at the youngsters dripping in sweat as they trained, Xiang Shaoyun lamented inwardly, It has been a year. I wonder how Xia Liuhui and Lu Xiaoqing are doing nowadays. 

Xia Liuhui and Lu Xiaoqing were among the very few friends Xiang Shaoyun had made during his time at the Martial Hall Palace. The scene of the hardworking youngsters stirred his memories, causing him to think of them. However, as he arrived at the corner of the training field, his attention was attracted by a certain silhouette.

"What is he doing here?" Xiang Shaoyun muttered joyfully.

He then quickly walked toward that person. There, a spar was going on. One of the combatants just happened to be one of the friends Xiang Shaoyun was thinking about just a short while ago.

It had been a year, and Xia Liuhui was now an eighth-stage Astral Realm cultivator. His growth had been astonishingly outstanding. However, the opponent he currently faced was far stronger than him—a ninth-stage Astral Realm cultivator.

And as expected, facing such an opponent, Xia Liuhui was constantly suppressed. After a few exchanges, Xia Liuhui was already bleeding all over. He was completely disadvantaged in the spar.

His opponent said smugly, "Cheap dog, kneel down and kowtow to your grandpa, and swear to stay away from Lu Xiaoqing. I will then consider sparing you."

The opponent was a young man in black. His name was Ye Lingyun, an outer disciple of Cloud Margin Pavilion. He was a year younger than Xia Liuhui, yet he was already a ninth-stage Astral Realm cultivator. It was obvious there was a large gap between the two's talents.

"Screw that. Just kill me if you can!" Xia Liuhui was a much more resolute person nowadays, and he refused to agree no matter what.

"Is that so? Let's see how long you can last!" Ye Lingyun sneered as he started beating Xia Liuhui up again.

Xia Liuhui tried his best to resist the beating, focusing only on defending to reduce the amount of injuries he would suffer. Unfortunately, he was unfamiliar with the concept that defense alone would always result in eventual defeat. Thus, he was once again stepped into the ground by his opponent. The disciples in the surroundings also started heckling.

"This Xia Liuhui sure is weak. He can't even fight back? Pfft, someone from a small town is indeed useless."

"That's right. Just with his puny strength he dares to offend Ye Lingyun? He is probably tired of living."

"I heard Ye Lingyun had taken a liking to a junior sister who had come with Xia Liuhui. However, Xia Liuhui refused to let anyone approach her. That was how all this started."

"Yeah, I heard the same rumor as well. That junior sister is called Lu Xiaoqing. She is quite the beautiful one. A lot of brothers are interested in her."

...

Xiang Shaoyun who had arrived by now witnessed everything unfold. What he saw and heard ignited a raging fury in his heart. He once only saw Xia Liuhui and Lu Xiaoqing as regular friends that he would forget after leaving. But when he saw Xia Liuhui being a subject of bullying like this, he couldn't help feeling furious.

His anger was further compounded when he heard the reason, which also deepened his affection toward Xia Liuhui, making him feel like this was a good friend worth protecting. In fact, this person was worthy of being his brother! 

Brother, a heavy term not easily used. Touching his brother was akin to touching upon a taboo.

"Cheap dog, stay far away from Lu Xiaoqing in the future. She is a woman I have taken a liking to. She is not someone the likes of you can hope to touch. Disobey and I will beat you up each time I see you. You have to know that here in the outer pavilion, private battles are allowed. Here, might makes right. Understand?" said Ye Lingyun with his foot on Xia Liuhui's face.

"D-dream on!" Xia Liuhui spat with great difficulty.

"Looks like you haven't been taught enough yet. Well, maybe I need to make you eat some feces," said Ye Lingyun as he squatted down and lifted Xia Liuhui by the hair. Just as he was about to rub Xia Liuhui's face against the ground, he was interrupted.

"Remove your hands or die," rang a voice filled with murderous intent.

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