Chapter 49: True Identity Pt. II
“What are you thinking about that you are in such a daze?”
“Him? Were you moved? Did you develop feelings?”
Ye Yin turned around with annoyance at the last words, rolling his eyes at the joking Du Luo. “Just now, Nangong Piaoran asked me what my true identity was.”
“True identity? He suspects you? How did you respond?”
Ye Yin smiled coldly. “He already knew, how could I deny it?”
“Do you know how he addressed Lanzhi?”
“What? Lady Xie? Lady Lanzhi? It couldn’t be Madam, that would be a little too much.”
Ye Yin chuckled. “You would call Lanzhi ‘Lady Xie’ or ‘Lady Lanzhi’ because you know her name is Xie Lanzhi, not Rouge. But Nangong Piaoran? How did he know her name was Xie Lanzhi? Lanzhi only told me her name after he left, did you realize?”
“He has spies around you.”
“Yes. If he even knows Lanzhi’s true name, he naturally would have been informed of Hua Jianli’s visit. My identity would be obvious.”
“Perhaps he overlooked that.”
Ye Yin’s lips curved into a cold smile. “No. A man as smart as he would definitely not overlook this. He intentionally gave me a sign, to warn me that he knows everything. He was testing me. Under such circumstances, how could I not confess I was West Zhi’s new prime minister? He forced my hand!”
“What is the point of forcing you to confess you are the new prime minister?”
“I do not know. Perhaps to him, it is more fun to play in the open!”
Letting out a long breath, Ye Yin continued, “He rushed back to Nanrong. Perhaps something happened that made him return in such a rush.”
“I know.” Du Luo spoke softly. “It seems Xiaoyao was attacked.”
“Xiaoyao was attacked? When? Was it serious?”
“That, I am uncertain of. However, Nangong Piaoran was also attacked a few times on the way here. Perhaps Xiaoyao was already attacked at that time!”
Ye Yin was even more baffled with this piece of information. “If Xiaoyao was attacked so early on, why did he continue on unconcerned?”
“Little Qi, you still don’t understand? The interest Nangong Piaoran has in you is far more than you realize!”
Ye Yin curled his lip. “How could that be? He doesn’t know that I’m really… How could a normal man be interested in another man? Brother Du, stop saying such alarming things.”
Du Luo chuckled. “Little Qi, you seem to have misunderstood me. The ‘interest’ I spoke of is different from the ‘interest’ you were talking about. You were overthinking!” His tone was somewhat mocking. “Also, Little Qi, are you feeling guilty?”
Ye Yin didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Normally, it was also he ensnaring Du Luo with his words, but today, the tables had turned. He would have to be more quick witted in the future.
“Little Qi, why aren’t you responding? Did I hit the nail on the head?”
Ye Yin threw a pillow at him, which he easily dodged. Then he left with a wide grin. His voice came from outside the door.
“Little Qi, you should be a more honest person in the future, stop bullying your older brother.”
Nightfall descended. The study of the Dongling prime minister residence was quiet. The flickering lamp illuminated a refined man who left out a long sigh of relief. She was finally safe!
Sitting before him, Leng Canxing noticed Ren Fengyao’s smile. He felt a hint of warmth. It had been so long since he last saw his senior brother’s genuine smile!
Though his senior brother was always smiling faintly, the smile was always fake. It appeared kind and amicable, but behind the smile was a thick wall of ice. In reality, it was hard to get close to his senior brother. He appeared to have good relations with everyone, but at the same time, they all maintained a distances. No one had ever touched his heart before, but now… Senior brother was alive!
“Senior brother, was sister-in-law’s poison cured?”
Ren Fengyao nodded. “Luckily, second brother and that young master Nangong were there, otherwise… Fortunately, she is fine!”
Leng Canxing laughed. “This time, second brother took some of your credit. But anyways, senior brother, that Nangong Piaoran seems to care very much about sister-in-law. Aren’t you afraid that…”
“What is there to be afraid of?” Ren Fengyao seemed to understand what he was implying.
“Senior brother, are you pretending to be dumb? ‘Skypath’ is the imperial Nanrong’s banned drug. It was due in large part to Nangong Piaoran that sister-in-law was able to survive the poison. For sister-in-law, he spared no effort to do his utmost. What if sister-in-law falls for him? She does not know you secretly helped her behind the scenes. When women fall, they fall hard. Senior brother, are you really unafraid?”
Ren Fengyao raised a brow, his deep, jet black eyes gleaming profoundly. He smiled. “What do I have to fear? Currently, Nangong Piaoran has no time to spare worrying about Ye-er. I reckon he will stay in Nanrong for a long period of time!”
“Senior brother, what did you do?” Leng Canxing was shocked. “I knew it! There was no way you would allow such an outstanding individual stay at sister-in-law’s side. So you pulled something!”
Ren Fengyao humphed. “I didn’t do anything! Do you think I’m some kind of omnipotent god? I cannot interfere with matters in Nanrong that much.”
Perhaps because he was in a good mood, Ren Fengyao explained. “Nangong Pioaran returned because Nanrong is currently in turmoil.”
“Turmoil? Isn’t Nanrong just fine? A few days ago, you mentioned that the empress even had intentions of invading Zhi nation. How could it be, that just a few days later…”
“Canxing, what do you know about Nanrong?” Ren Fengyao asked instead.
Leng Canxing furrowed his brows. “Nanrong is the only country in the continent of Ziyun that has a woman in power. They appear to only allow women on the throne, traditionally.”
Ren Fengyao brought out a pair of scissors and cut off a flower. “Nanrong did not have such a tradition at the start. Approximately sixty to seventy years ago, emperor Yanshou of Nanrong, also the current emperess’s great grandfather, suffered much from the old succession tradition, thus he passed down this order.”
“What did he suffer?”
“The year he ascended the throne, all of his brothers died during the fight for the throne. He did not want to see his sons suffer the same fate. His two sons fought most viciously. Not only did they involve of a lot of people, the two ended up in an impasse. One ended up dead, the other, insane. Brokenhearted, despite the protests of his chancellors, he let his only daughter succeed the throne and even passed down the imperial order that hereafter, Nanrong would only have empresses. Perhaps he thought women were peaceful and would not battle for the throne.”
“What kind of mindset is that? It is very common for brothers to fight for the throne! And women…”
Ren Fengyao smiled. “Even you think women should not ascend the throne?”
“Oh?” Leng Canxing paused. “No, I just believe that they cannot become anyone major. Few would be pleased with a woman on the throne.
“How come women cannot become anyone major? Don’t forget about the one at my side, she is doing just fine!”
Leng Canxing curled his lip. “She doesn’t count! She is a person as strange as you, senior brother, an exception!”
“She is still a woman. Nanrong’s current empress, Nangong Ling, is also quite a woman to be feared. Not only does she have a firm grip on ruling Nanrong, she also has great ambition.” Ren Fengyao gazed into the distance. “What a pity that despite her resourcefulness and ambition, she is still a woman, so the chancellors under her share the same sentiment as you, satisfied with merely her gender, wanting to overthrow her and put a typical man on the throne.”
Canxing suddenly understood. “This is the turmoil senior brother was talking about. Nangong Piaoran works under the empress. He hurriedly rushed back in order the assist the empress?”
Ren Fengyao shook his head. “Yes, and no. Do you know Nangong Piaoran’s true identity?”
“Nangong Piaoran? Besides the leader of the Xiaoyao guild, he has another identity? Oh right, you mentioned before he has a close relationship with the imperial Nanrong family. Then…” Leng Canxing muttered to himself, “He has the same last name as the empress. Is he her brother? This would explain his serious relationship with the palace. I understand now. The person the chancellors want on the throne instead the current empress is Nangong Piaoran. He is hurrying back in order to ascend the throne. Those attacks on his journey were assassins of the empress. As long as he is dead, she will not be threatened!”
Ren Fengyao smiled, shaking his head again. “You are close, but not completely right. The reason why he is hurrying back is indeed related to the Nanrong throne, but… he does not necessarily want the throng. He is not the empress’s brother, and his assailants were not sent by the empress.”
“Currently, the empress only has one sibling, her little sister Nangong Yu. She does not have any brothers. However, the previous empress, her mother, had two older brothers. They each had two sons, one of which is Nangong Piaoran. The chancellors will choose one of the four cousins, including Nangong Piaoran, to ascend the throne. It seems that Nangong Piaoran is the greatest threat.”
“That means the assailants were sent by one of the other candidates. If Nangong Piaoran were out of the picture, their chances of winning the throne would increase,” Leng Canxing muttered.
Ren Fengyao nodded. “Indeed. However, it seems that Nangong Piaoran does not care for the throne. It is extremely likely he is the rumored secret strategist of the empress.”
“Senior brother, how do you know this?”
“Intuition!” Ren Fengyao proclaimed.
In-intuition?! Leng Canxing stared. Senior brother believed in his intuition? This reason was too fake! He cast an angry glance at Ren Fengyao, thinking to himself, if he didn’t want talk, then fine. There was no need to make up an excuse to trick him. What intuition?!
Ren Fengyao ignored the glare, only letting out a sigh. “She is about to make history! Who knows how the history books will reflect on this prime minister.”
Year 783, Zhi nation’s most famous prime minister in history, Ye Yin, appears. Together, he and the Dongling prime minister Ren Fengyao would be dubbed the minister pair of Ziyun!