Chapter 42: Lanzhi’s Decision
Dongling, the minister’s residency.
Ren Fengyao expressionlessly watched as the leaves outside the window swirled from the autumn wind. His eyes were filled with gloom. He had been standing here silently for a long time, leaving Leng Canxing worried.
“Senior brother, if you are really so worried, you should go see her!”
Ren Fengyao did not respond. Leng Canxing sighed. “Those poisoned by Skypath cannot survive for more than half a month. Senior brother, it has already been five days. Although that Nangong Piaoran went to the Nanrong imperial palace to ask the empress for the antidote for sister in law, will he able to get it?”
“He should be. He is part of Xiaoyao, which has close ties to the royal family. The royal family receives much news and information from Xiaoyao, leading to a closely interdependent relationship. Through the royal family, it has expanded much of its influence and consolidated its status among the Nanrong martial arts circles, while the royal family not only attains information, but also uses them to carry out business in the shadows. So as long as Nangong Piaoran asks, the empress should agree.”
“If that’s true, what are you worried about, senior brother?”
“What if there is now antidote? What if Nangong Piaoran does not make it on time?” Ren Fengyao turned around, his eyes flashed with faint worry. “She only has ten days left, but Nangong Piaoran still has not met with the empress.”
“Senior brother, how do you know…” Leng Canxing started to say, then stopped. He scratched his head. “I forgot about those people you’ve stationed who’ve infiltrated into each country. Senior brother, if Nangong Piaoran really can’t make it on time…”
Ren Fengyao’s exceptionally calm expression silenced Leng Canxing. He feared this expression of his senior brother, just as others feared when his senior brother smiled. Sometimes, his senior brother would look very, very calm, but behind the calm was the crashing tsunamis of the sea. Behind the calm was a terrifying danger.
“If he cannot make it on time, then I will let Zhi nation company her. If she is gone, Zhi nation does not need to exist either.” Ren Fengyao spoke very calmly, but Leng Canxing was startled. His senior brother disliked warfare, but he did not fear it. If he choose to fought, he would fight crueler than no other.
Everyone said Ren Fengyao was a mild, polite man. He always smiled faintly, hard to anger, and never vied for power either. He assisted the emperor quietly, calmly handling inner matters. Impartial and just, he had become the enemy of many people, but he never sought revenge himself. He always had the image of a gentle, calm and harmless scholar. However, only Leng Canxing knew that in reality, his senior brother was not gentle. In fact, he could even be described as cruel. He did not care about himself, but would protect all people at his side, no matter the cost. He would absolutely crush without mercy those who dared to hurt those important to him. These days… Senior brother was definitely not a gentle person!
“Senior brother, heaven helps the worthy. The gods will definitely allow her to pass this calamity, so sister in law will definitely be safe and sound.”
“You know that I don’t believe in the gods or heaven, but in my own strength. I already sent second brother over. With his medical expertise, she should be able to last until Nangong Piaoran returns!” Ren Fengyao grasped the window sill with his hand tightly. His veins protruded conspicuously. Leng Canxing knew that he was still as anxious as before.
“Senior brother, with second brother’s skills, is the poison still incurable?”
“Skypath was secretly created by the Nanrong royal family under the labor of ten famous imperial physicians working together. It is not easy to cure. If second brother was given time, perhaps he would be able to create an antidote, but what she lacks is time.” Ren Fengyao closed his eyes. “Canxing, I regret letter her fly. She flew so far, I cannot reach her.”
“I neglected a fact. With my capabilities, the sky I left her was not clear and boundless, but rainy and tumultuous. There are still many things beyond my influence!”
“Senior brother, if you cannot bear it, then just go see her in West Zhi. You have never been an indecisive person.” Leng Canxing could not stand Ren Fengyao’s anxiety.
“I want to, but I cannot. Hidden powers in Dongling are starting to stir. Now is a critical period of time. I must remain here and keep watch until it is checkmate.” Ren Fengyao revealed a helpless expression, then smiled ineffably. “And I still do not want to meet her.”
“Why?” Leng Canxing could not understand.
“She has a terrible impression of me and doesn’t care about me at all. To her, I am only a dimwitted scholar loyal to the throne.”
Leng Canxing rolled his eyes, thinking to himself, you always give others this impression, so for sister in law to misunderstand is very normal!
Ren Fengyao smiled faintly. “She is a fox; to catch her demands skill and patience. I will spread out the net and wait for her to enter, then slowly tighten it. I will just let her continue to have this impression of me. Only if her guard is down will I have a chance. If I reveal my true self, perhaps I will scare her away, so I will give her time to do whatever she wants to do. I too will finish what I need to do.”
“Senior brother, how much time will you give her?”
“Five years! Five years is enough!”
Five years?! Leng Canxing laughed inwardly. In five years, you’ll be thirty years old and will be able to…
Hoho! Senior brother sure has a way of words. Clearly, it was because he could not touch her for five years, but he acted as if he were magnanimously giving her time when in reality… To be able to see but not touch your beloved is a form of torment!
“Canxing, stop those dirty thoughts!” Ren Fengyao shot a bemused glance at Leng Canxing. Leng Canxing immediately curbed his thoughts. “Senior brother, I didn’t say anything.”
“Send a few more people to protect her. She still has a long journey ahead of her and will likely make many enemies. Canxing, no one must know she is still alive. I do not want more unknown variables.”
Canxing nodded. “Senior brother, after I send them, will she not notice?”
“If she notices, she will have to take a good guess for who sent them!” Ren Fengyao chuckled. He still had a long time to play with her, so she had to persevere.
The one who never paid attention to Ren Fengyao naturally did not know that there were now mysterious men in black following him. He was currently completely focused on how to face Xie Lanzhi.
It had been three days since the confession, three days of torture. He did not even dare to look at her. Every time Xie Lanzhi came to send medicine, he would look away guiltily, shying away from Xie Lanzhi’s gaze. Every day he drank tea, it felt like eternity. Fortunately, now that he was conscious, he could change the gauzes around his wound, otherwise it would be too embarrassing.
Wait! Gauzes? It was Xie Lanzhi who had bandaged him, and also she who had diagnosed the poison, so did she…
Before Ye Yin could finish his thoughts, Xie Lanzhi said sadly, “Do you really hate seeing me this much?”
Startled, he immediately looked up. “No, I don’t. I, I only…”
“Only what? Only because I’m not pure anymore, you won’t look at me anymore? Or did you never love me?” Xie Lanzhi looked at Ye Yin sorrowfully. “Was it all just my one sided wishful thinking? I’m so stupid for thinking I could receive your…”
Xie Lanzhi’s voice trailed off, her expression full of grief. However, Ye Yin suddenly laughed. “Lanzhi, you are a talented actor. You acted so realistically, I was tricked by you.”
Xie Lanzhi originally prepared a whole monologue to say, but was suddenly broken off by Ye Yin. She was a bit confused. How did this person think of a way to deal with her so quickly? But it seemed like he…
“Lanzhi, you already know, right?” Ye Yin smiled faintly and continued, “It was you who bandaged me, you who diagnosed me. As a skilled doctor, there is no way you do not know my secret. Lanzhi, oh Lanzhi. Was it fun to see me so pained these past three days?”
He knew? Xie Lanzhi froze, then slowly started to smile. This fellow was smart at everything, only a little slow at emotions. Otherwise, how would he have only figured out now that she had been messing with him*?
*Lanzhi still refers to Ye Yin with male pronouns
“I did fall for you before and made me feel despair. Now we’re even!” Xie Lanzhi’s scalp tingled, but she was unyielding as she eyed the smiling Ye Yin.
She knew how calculative this person was and feared if youth took revenge, so she had to strike first and get the upper hand and chide him!
Ye Yin slowly started to laugh. “Alright, we’re even!”
Today, the weather was nice. Sun rays shined down from outside the windows, tinting Ye Yin in a golden hue. Ye Yin appeared so radiant, Xie Lanzhi was about to swoon. This fellow shouldn’t have been born a woman!
Ye Yin appeared energetic. After young master Du brought back a renown doctor, Ye Yin had gradually improved. Most importantly, Ye Yin was not worsening day by day as he did before. Although he was still unwell, he would be able to last for a while, at least until Nangong Piaoran returned. However, Nangong Piaoran had already been gone for ten days. Why was there still no sign of him?
Suppressing her worry, Xie Lanzhi looked at the youth. No matter if he was a man or a woman, she still liked this youth. It was not love, but simply fondness. If she felt anything different before, it was gone now. She only liked the youth’s smiling face, liked listening and talking to him. It felt very serene and warm.
This was the true meaning of days passing by peacefully! Although she had been robbed of it before, now she had it back.
Xie Lanzhi watched the smiling youth as she secretly vowed to protect this youth with her life for this peace. She needed his warmth, so she needed him to live a long, long life.
The heavens had already taken too much from her, so she would never let anyone else take away what she wanted to protect.