Chapter 37: Letting Her Soar
At Dongling, inside Ren Fengyao’s study, Leng Canxing was full of admiration after reading the information on the desk. “What a cunning scheme, senior brother. Senior brother’s wife is just as exceptional as you!”
Looking out the window, his hands folded behind his back, Ren Fengyao turned around with a faint smile. With a gentle look in his eyes, he said, “Even I did not expect her to do this well. It seems West Zhi will be in her grasp shortly.”
“Yes. I did not expect her to start from Wutian, to gain control little by little, starting off by convincing Zhi city to surrender and rumors about the Tiandu and Jilang county lords at the same time, which caused the West Zhi emperor to be preoccupied. She then used a woman’s secret to eliminate the Lequan and Jiangyou county lords and and completely take over the two counties. Everything is interlocked. Furthermore, what will happen if Tiandu and Jilang war against each other? Xingjiang county can be considered already in the palm of her hand.”
“She had two motives in spreading those rumors. First, she wanted to draw West Zhi emperor’s attention away from movements in Yue city. Second, she wanted to take control of Xingjiang county through legitimate means. Once the Xingjiang governor dispatches troops to assist Jilang county, Yue city will have the excuse to absorb all of Xingjiang’s soldiers, taking over Xingjiang effortlessly. Before the West Zhi emperor even realizes, she will practically have West Zhi completely in her grasp. All that is left is for the West Zhi emperor to step down, his fate already sealed!” Ren Fengyao sighed, his tone full of pride and admiration.
Leng Canxing eyed Ren Fengyao, then suddenly said hesitantly, “Senior brother, there is something I do not know if I should say.”
“What is it? Just say it!”
“Senior brother, she does not merely want West Zhi as you know; she want to help Wen Yuanbo reunite the country. Therefore, she wants all of Zhi. Based off of the capability she has displayed, Zhi country unifying will only be a matter of time. Senior brother, will you……” Leng Canxing hesitated before continuing, “Senior brother, with your stance, will you let her accomplish her goals?”
Ren Fengyao was calm. “Why not?”
“Senior brother, don’t be foolish, your stances are opposing. You are the prime minister of Dongling! You must consider Dongling first! All these years, all the countries have been watching Zhi country carefully, all wanting to divide and conquer Zhi nation. If not for their internal strife, they would have made their moves long ago. Now those problems are gradually disappearing. Perhaps in a few years, they will have the means to deal with Zhi nation, but for now…… Now Wen Yuanbo has suddenly appeared along with Ye Yin. If they succeed in reuniting and restoring Zhi nation, everything will come to naught, so all the countries will not allow the unification of Zhi.”
“I know that, so?”
“Senior brother, Dongling is one of the countries that desires Zhi nation. Every time Zhi nation has a new monarch, each nation sends spies to investigate. Only once they are certain there are no threats, they will be relieved and allow Zhi nation to continue to war. This time, didn’t the emperor also send the prince to East Zhi, no? Senior brother, you are the only one aware of this secret information. As the prime minister of Dongling, are you going to allow her to successfully help Wen Yuanbao reunite the country?
“Why not?” Ren Fengyao calmly repeated.
“Senior brother, I just told you that you were the prime minister of Dongling, meaning you must prioritize Dongling’s interests first. Your stance and hers conflict.” Len Canxing exasperatedly emphasized on the two words “prime minister”. He always felt a sense of defeat towards this senior brother of his. How was he always so indifferent?
Softly sighing, Ren Fengyao spoke. “Canxing, you are the one who forgot our stance. Canxing, did you forget Master’s instructions? No matter where we disciples go in the future, whether serving the emperor or traveling around the world, we cannot forget our priority is to protect the commoners. Did you forget this?”
Leng Canxing was startled. He paused, then suddenly began to laugh. “Haha! I really did forget, but now I understand. Senior brother, what will you do if everyone’s interests conflict?”
“If everyone’s interests conflicted, then of course I would prioritize the interests of those most important to me,” the two said at the same time, then smiled at each other. Although their master may be very selfish, he was a passionate person. Their master once said, if someone cannot take care of those most important to them, then how can they help everyone else! People can have great goals, but then must not abandon their small ones.
“Senior brother, do you intend on concealing this matter from the emperor? What if he finds out in the future?”
Ren Fengyao raised a brow. “Don’t you know how I responded about Zhi nation at court? Everything is up to him to decide, why does it have to do with me? Although he dispatched the prince to investigate East and West Zhi’s current circumstances, I don’t expect the prince to discover anything. If he cannot discover anything, it will not be my issue. I learned of all this through the Hidden Order. The Hidden Order is a private force that does not take orders from any country, so why should I report anything that the Hidden Order finds?”
“Senior brother, no matter what happens, you are the prime minister Dongling. You should still think on behalf of Dongling!” Leng Canxing was amused.
“Indeed, I am the prime minister, but have I not considered Dongling’s interests? What dangers to Dongling have I not taken care of with all my might? I do not wish for war, I have no interest in the conquering of another nation, which is why I will not reveal the situation in Zhi nation,” Ren Fengyao said calmly.
“Senior brother, are you not angry because the emperor brought up marriage?” Leng Canxing asked cautiously.
“Am I?” Ren Fengyao did not answer, only smiling as he countered.
Leng Canxing’s mouth twiched. He said in his heart, of course you are. If you were not angry, how would you not even give a hint to Dong Fangchao? Even if it was for that person’s behalf, are you really not even going to mention it at court? You and Dong Fangchao are very good friends. Even if you didn’t plan on intervening with Zhi nation’s situation, you would still definitely give Dong Fangchao at least a hint, not let him run blindly. And not just about Zhi, you barely speak at court, allowing those people to bicker, only watching Dong Fangchao get flustered and weary. If you are not angry, then it would be strange indeed!
Seeing Leng Canxing’s expression, Ren Fengyao understood what he was thinking. “Canxing, I already have an offical wife, and had a marriage ceremony. She has not violated anything and is still alive, so I have no need to remarry. Furthermore marrying once is enough, I do not plan on having concubines!
Leng Canxing glanced at Ren Fengyao, thinking to himself, senior brother is actually mad, sigh! The emperor should have done anything instead of attempting to marry off his little sister to senior brother. Just look at how angry he is!
Noticing Ren Fengyao glancing at him, Len Canxing hurriedly shrugged and said, “Senior brother, do you not interfere with Zhi matters because of her, or because you do not want to witness war?”
Ren Fengyao was silent for a moment, then let out a long breath. He stood up, walked to the window, opened it, and said, “Both. Publically, I do not wish for Dongling to go off to war. The moment Dongling attacks Zhi nation, not only will we have to deal with Zhi nation’s resistance, we will also have to deal with Xili’s soldiers. This past century, because Zhi nation acted as a buffer, Dongling and Xili have lived in harmony. Without Zhi nation, then Dongling and Xili would have have endless bloody conflicts. Diplomacy would be dead! At that time, Dongling and Xi would definitely be in stalemate. At that time, the only one to benefit would be Nanrong.”
“Nanrong? Why not Beiqi?”
Ren Fengyao calmly said, “Beiqi cannot. Beiqi has been heavily dependent on Dongling these past few years. The ruler of Beiqi is very old and the royal family only has cowardly princesses. The only prince is not even of age and is sickly! Beiqi cannot defend itself nor perform diplomacy. On the other hand, Nanrong over the past few years has garnered resentment. Nanrong’s navy is unparalleled and is now focused on training 6 armies. A country engrossed in strengthening their military does not plan to keep silent. Even if Nanrong has an empress in power, she is just as ambitious as a man. Given the opportunity, she would definitely take advantage of neighboring countries. At the side of the empress, there is a gifted tactician. Although this person does not have an official position, he has great authority in court. It’s a pity that this person is always on the move. The spy I dispatched to Nanrong never once saw him. When the spy tried to find the tactician’s past history, the spy only found out that he roams inside the empress’s imperial chambers year-round. His relationship with the empress is very ambiguous.”
“Has his highness not noticed how Nanrong has started to stir?”
Ren Fengyao only shook his head. He gazed at the flourishing jasmine flowers outside the window. After a while, he spoke. “Perhaps, he does not care. Chao is a good ruler, but he is also ambitious, so he wants Zhi nation. But if we fight a war, the people will suffer. Whether Dongling or Zhi nation, the war will harm many innocent people, and….”
Ren Fengyao stopped talking. Leng Canxing walked to Ren Fengyao. “And what?”
Ren Fengyao slowly began to speak, “And she wants Zhi nation, so I will not let anybody interfere. I will help her get anything she wants. Since she wants to fly, I will give her the sky for her to soar, to fly higher and further away. In truth, I am curious how far she can fly.”
Leng Canxing watched Ren Fengyao for a long time. “Senior brother, you have truly fallen for her!” He could not see Ren Fengyao’s expression, but he knew that Ren Fengyao’s midnight black eyes were full of tenderness.
“Canxing, let me tell you something. In the future, you absolutely must not be curious about a woman. Curiosity is the beginning of trap.” Ren Fengyao did look back, wearing a faint smile.
Leng Canxing nodded. He understood what Ren Fengyao meant, but curiosity is not something that can be controled. If he could control his curiosity, then his wise and farsighted senior brother would not have fallen into this trap.
Smiling as he shook his head, he walked to Ren Fengyao’s side. Leng Canxing followed Ren Fengyao’s gaze to a kite sailing in the sky. He could not help but ask, “Senior brother, you said you will give her the sky to fly in, but aren’t you afraid of her flying away and never coming back?”
His gaze still on the kite, Ren Fengyao slowly said, “She cannot fly away. She will return because the string is in my hand.”
“But……” Leng Canxing drifted off. He did not know where his Senior Brother’s confidence came from, but he knew that nothing in the world was absolute.
Even if the kite flies higher, as long as there is a string, it will return to the owner’s hand. But what if the string breaks? What will happen then?