Chapter 47: Raise Your Enemy
Ye Yin was aghast. “How could that be! I was certain you two would be together!”
“The world is fickle! She used to pursue me, while I, though in love with her, never said a word. In some ways, I became used to keeping my distance. Now that the thread has ripped, I feel a little disappointment. The disappearance is subtle, but is discomforting.”
“Brother Du, if you feel depressed, I can go find Aman…”
Du Luo shook his head, stopping Ye Yin. “Little Qi, you don’t have to waste energy worrying for me. When she said she would never like me again and would find a clansman even more brilliant than I, I did not feel sadness, only a little melancholy. It seems I did not hold strong enough feelings for her! Perhaps I was born unable to love. At the very least, I am unable to forsake my principles, my pursuits, for a woman. I can only be a wandering traveler.”
Ye Yin pursed his lips, thinking to himself, I already knew this long ago. You’re not the kind of person to look after his wife. He felt a little sympathy for Aman. But who would have thought that Aman would give up on Du Luo! She sure had resolution, able to cut off their relationship ruthlessly!
“Little Qi, Aman told me to pass along a message. She said she is still cooperating with you. If you need anything, as long as it does not hurt her clan, she is willing to help. She won’t break off relations with you just because of me, so Little Qi, you don’t need worry that I and Aman have broken up.”
Ye Yin rolled his eyes. “Why would I be worried about that? I am worried about you, okay? Who will ever care for you as Aman did? Brother Du, I am worried about your future!”
He laughed. “Little Qi, your brother here can’t live without women? I’ve lived quite fine without one all these years. You’re making a big deal out of nothing.”
Ye Yin pursed his lips. “You might not feel anything now, but when you’re older? Just wait, you’ll feel lonely.”
“I’m not young now either, but why do I not feel lonely at all?” Seeing Ye Yin about to speak again, Du Luo waved offhandedly. “Enough, you don’t need to keep nagging. I can take care of my own business. And don’t I have you, my friend? Once I’m old, I’ll visit all my friends, play with your children. I won’t be lonely. You should be taking care of yourself. What about your own relationship problems?”
“Relationship problems? Since when did I have those?” Ye Yin was baffled.
“Dumb girl!” Du Luo flicked Ye Yin’s forehead. He turned and exiting, leaving a dumbfounded Ye Yin behind.
Dumb girl, always keen about others, but not about herself….
The world is brilliant because of you, but also disturbed. Once the dust settles, whose will you be?
A group of riders galloped, heading to Fengyang pass without rest. Leading them was a luxuriously dressed man whose appearance was as beautiful as a woman’s. His face was haggard, evidence of their long trek.
Once the mountain pass was in sight, the man raised his hand, indicating for everyone to take a break. He too sat down below a tree on the side of the road. Though it was autumn, the heat was strangely strong. The intense afternoon sun was unbearable.
Nangong Piaoran looked up at the sky, wiping away the sweat on his forehead silently.
Gong Wu silently passed his master a gourd of water and pieces of rations. Accepting the water, he drank a few gulps and wolfed down the rations. His mind wandered to Yue city. How was that little fellow doing?
He originally planned to be back in twelve, thirteen days, because the young only had fifteen days time, but due to unforeseen circumstances, he had been delayed. And he did not obtained the antidote, only a recipe. He had found seventy, eighty percent of the ingredients, but was still missing quite a few. He sent men searching everywhere, but… Time would not wait!
It was already the eighteenth day. He hoped that the kid was as good as the message that had been sent said, otherwise he…
Nangong Piaoran closed his eyes, concealing the bloodlust in his almond eyes. To the side, secretly watching his master, Gong Wu sighed. The youth was indeed noteworthy, very talented, but was it worth his master suffering so? And he even…
He had followed Nangong Piaoran for as long as he remembered. He knew that his master was so outstanding, he would leave others speechless. His every move revealed his cultured upbringing. Though he would sometime give off a superficial image, it was not his true self.
His master enjoyed to play mind games with others. He was never interested in anything, but… But these days, he was working so hard for a youth that could be either friend or foe. Was it worth it?
When had he ever rode day and night? When had he ever sat on the ground? Though his clothes were still luxurious, he had not changed clothes for three days. Normally, he would change clothes every day, washing three times a day, but these days, in order to save time on the road, in order to give the recipe to the youth as fast as possible, he rode for three days without sleep. It was truly…
Sensing Gong Wu’s gaze, without opening his eyes, Nangong Piaoran said quietly, “Is something the matter?”
Gong Wu lowered his gaze. “Master. Your servant does not understand.”
“What do you not understand?” Of course Nangong Piaoran knew what Gong Wu was thinking. He had seen the glances Gong Wu had sent him, but did not raise the topic.
“Young master, is doing all this worth it?”
“It’s not about worth. I always keep my promises. You know I have never eaten my words.”
“But master, you don’t need to work so hard. In order to hasten your journey, you have already not slept for three days. Master, is it worth doing all this for just a weak scholar?”
“Weak scholar?” Nangong Piaoran raised a brow. He smiled profoundly. “Gong Wu, you should not underestimate him. He is no weak scholar. Could a weak scholar kill Qi Chengfeng? He knows how to fight. Though I do not know how skilled he is, the fact that he was able to kill Qi Chengfeng speaks for itself. Also, according to people I left in Yue city, a few days ago, the new emperor Hua Jianli secretly left the palace to visit him. If my conjecture is correct, he will become the future prime minister of West Zhi. The fact that West Zhi was able to exchanged hands so quickly must also be due to his scheming.”
“Then he is our enemy. Master, why are you still…”
“He could not be considered an enemy. West Zhi is nothing. I do not plan on becoming enemies with him either.”
“But the empress…”
“Her?” Nangong Piaoran frowned, silent. After a while, he spoke. “If we really do become enemies in the future, I hope we are evenly matched. Otherwise, it will be boring. If he will become my future enemy, then I will still help him to become my rival!”
Gong Wu pursed his lips. His master looked down on everything. He wouldn’t even accept a weak enemy. Ever since he was little, he liked to purposely incite others. To raise his own enemy was really… incomprehensible!
“Whether or not he becomes my enemy in the future, he needs to live. Fortunately, Du Luo was able to seek out the doctor Mr. Zhuo Ran, otherwise, he would have already…” Nangong Piaoran frowned. “This Mr. Zhuo has a mysterious identity. The men in Yue City were unable to find out anything about him. They don’t even know where he come from. It’s as if he appeared out of thin air. Furthermore, according to Du Luo, this Mr. Zhuo will take care of all the medicinal ingredients I was not able to find. Who exactly is this Zhuo fellow? Why would he treat Ye Yin so well? The remaining ingredients are particularly rare. Perhaps…”
“Master, what do you suspect?”
“Gong Wu, do you remember what happened when I told you to investigate Ye Yin’s background?” Nangong Piaoran’s eyes flashed coldly.
“We could not find anything about his origins.It was as if he appeared out of nowhere, as if someone is purposely hiding all his information. Perhaps… perhaps young master, you suspect this Zhuo Ran is…”
“Humph! Extremely likely! I already knew that Ye Yin has someone secretly backing him, I just don’t know who. The person backing Ye Yin must have a strong tie to this Zhuo Ran. But what would this person’s relation to Ye Yin be?” Nangong Piaoran frowned, deep in thought, but unable to think of any new leads. He could only leave aside his questions. “Enough. We need to get to West Zhi before nightfall. Let’s go.”
It is said that autumn rain is continuous. Once it starts to rain, it seems to last forever. By the time Nangong Piaoran had arrived in Yue City, it had already been raining continuously for two days. After hurriedly washing and changing into new clothes, Nangong Piaoran visited Ye Yin by himself.
Seeing his master’s hastily leaving figure, Gong Wu frowned. His master was as hasty as if he were meeting his lover. Not a good sign. This fellow named Ye Yin seemed to have too strong of an influence on his master!
Nangong Piaoran never expected to see such a picturesque scene when he arrived. Fine raindrops falling outside. A refined youth sat next to the window draped in a pure white fox fur coat, looking out at the bleak rain with melancholy, entranced and lost in thought.
The youth’s originally rosy cheeks were no more, replaced with two sunken grooves. Though his delicate features remained, gone was his radiance. His eyes seem to bulge in comparison to his sallow cheeks, but their lustrous gleam still remained. He reached out, his fingers outstretched, as if trying to touch the rain. His slender fingers appeared dry and thin, but were still beautiful.
Within the few days they had not seen each other, as he had anticipated, the youth still had not died, but unexpectedly, he was extremely shaken seeing the youth. It was as if the world was only marvelous due to this youth!
Seeing Nangong Piaoran, the youth slowly burst into a smile. He did not call out Nangong Piaoran, only looking at Nangong Piaoran with a smile, his eyes bright. Seeing the faint smile, Nangong Piaoran almost felt his knees give way.
People always said he was alluring, but this youth was so entrancing, he could steal your soul away!