Chapter 451: Establishing a new imperial clan Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Long Feiye’s dark eyes were twin pools as deep and fathomless as the sea. Even a person with a wealth of experience like Mute Granny was hard pressed to figure out what exactly he was thinking about. By now, she had already told him everything she knew. When she thought of his status, she still had trouble believing him.
“Duke of Qin, back then, didn’t the East Qin imperial clan…”
If Mute Granny had recalled correctly, Miss Mu Xin had told her that the East Qin met an even more tragic end than the West Qin. After their capital city was captured, the palace was set on flames and burned for half a month straight, leaving no survivors. Long Feiye lifted his eyes, which flashed with a sudden, terrible hatred, and Mute Granny abruptly grew speechless with fear.
The enmity between the West and East Qin Dynasties had resulted in three years of civil wars. It wasn’t something so simple that it could be summed up in just a few words, and it was highly likely that Mute Granny only knew part of the entire story. Still, she knew that it was an impossible thing to overlook the hatred between both countries.
Although she’d long held reservations about the man before her, Mute Granny still spoke, “Duke of Qin, people’s hearts can change even if history doesn’t. But someone who shoulders the burden of all that hate from the past will never be able to change anything.”
Mute Granny was a reserved woman, but had somehow ending up telling Long Feiye all she knew. Perhaps it was his line about letting Han Yunxi live happily ignorant that had affected her. Hadn’t that been Miss Mu Xin and her mother’s wishes, too? Both of them had only wanted to be ordinary girls. They had no wild ambitions or had even understood the source of their country’s deepset grudges, much less bore any sense of responsibility for what their clan had suffered. Although the mission of the clan superseded everything else, they were simply women whose grandest wish was to have a peaceful world and a harmonious family.
Mute Granny had recalled that Miss Mu Xin had once said she wanted the secret of her royal lineage to end with her generation. She didn’t want her child to shoulder that kind of burden on her shoulders. Mute Granny trusted her own eyes and what this young man had said. He’d meant his words—and he treated Han Yunxi sincerely.
But people’s hearts can change! Especially a heart like his, still seething with such loathing. Long Feiye understood mentally what she’d meant. His heart really did harbor great hatred. Ever since his youth, his people had told him nothing but how treacherous, cruel, and craftily duplicitous the West Qin imperial clan had been. They constantly reminded him of how many defenseless innocents had burned to death in that raging palace fire, amongst them, many women and children. His father and paternal grandfather, for the sake of their undertaking, had paid enormous sacrifices during their lives!
Then there was his real mufei’s death. Years had passed since that day, but he would never forget the scene of his mother’s suicide. Hate had been fostered in his heart from a young age, only overshadowed by the heavy duty they all had left on his shoulders. Aunt Ru had once told him that he carried not only the burden of the great mission, but the weight of his father and grandfather’s lives. They couldn’t have died for nothing.
No one had any idea how much torment he had suffered inside his heart. Especially when Tang Li admonished him over and over again with good intentions, or when Aunt Ru had roundly cursed him during his period of doubt with Han Yunxi. His prolonged silence only served to worry Mute Granny, who spoke up again.
“Young man, I’ve spoke rightly, haven’t I? You…” Before she could finish, Long Feiye started speaking, as if to himself. His voice was light and cool, carrying an unhurried tone that didn’t carry the slightly trace of emotion. But his words were enough to leave her stunned.
“At first, your lordship was planning to kill her. But then I lost her. After searching around the world to bring her back, I grew terrified of ever losing her again.”
Would Han Yunxi cry if she heard such words? As far as she knew, Long Feiye had only lost his temper when she went missing. She would never know the depths of fear that man had kept hidden behind his anger. The Duke of Qin in Han Yunxi’s heart wasn’t afraid of anything.
There were people who could claim over and over again that their words were the truth, but no one would ever believe them. Then, there were the people who simply stated one thing and cleared all suspicion from their names. Without a doubt, Long Feiye belonged to the latter group. Mute Granny’s heart was still worried, however.
“Duke of Qin, you have a heart big enough to accept Yunxi, but what about your clansmen? And the loyal followers of the East Qin imperial clan?” she asked with all seriousness.
“They will never know the truth if I can help it,” Long Feiye said coldly.
Hiding it forever was the best possible choice. If there was no way to hide it, he didn’t mind eliminating such hindrances himself. There would be no rebellious soldiers allowed amongst his men. It was pointless to keep someone around who disobeyed their master! In the end, Long Feiye was more concerned with outsiders discovering the truth of the matter.
“You’re certain that Mu Yingdong knows nothing of West Qin?” Long Feiye asked her yet again.
“I’m willing to swear on my life that he has no idea. Mu Yingdong’s only thinking of the Poison Sect. He only wants a way to gain Medical City’s support to become the leader of Medicine City!” Mute Granny understood Mu Yingdong’s motivations very well.
“Then it’s only that man from the Shadow Clan who might make the connection to her!” Long Feiye’s eyes flashed with killing intent. He had toyed with the idea of murdering the white-robed man long ago.
“How did the Shadow Clan start suspecting Yunxi of being the West Qin heir?” Mute Granny asked worriedly. After Han Yunxi’s grandmother finally escaped the Shadow and Nether Clan’s clutches, no one had ever heard from the two noble clans again. Long Feiye, too, was puzzled about this very point.
Actually, the white-robed gentleman from the Shadow Clan had yet to reveal a straight answer about Han Yunxi’s ties to the West Qin at all, to anyone. But Long Feiye would rather kill an innocent man over letting that variable live on. With the relationship between the Shadow and Nether Clans, the latter would come knocking on Han Yunxi’s door as soon as the former positively confirmed her identity. This was the reason why Long Feiye had dedicated the past half of a year to studying the Seven Noble Families and chasing after their remnants.
“There’s the black-robed man who tried to kidnap you last time, too…” Long Feiye remarked, thinking out loud.
Long Feiye was still making inquiries into that man with the unique constitution, the strange man who had somehow tracked Mute Granny to his Hidden Pavilion and knew something about the old woman. But if Mute Granny had been hiding the truth about West Qin all along, then that black-robed man must have come because of the ties between Mu Xin and her Poison Sect man. There was a constant network of traps and snares in place at the Hidden Pavilion to capture that man if he showed up again.
“It’s not easy to hide something like this; fortunately, not many people know,” Mute Granny sighed with emotion. If not for the Shadow Clan’s reappearance and the Duke of Qin’s probing and subsequent curing of her poison, she would have died with the knowledge never passing her lips.
Long Feiye nodded. He finished another cup of tea before looking over at her. “Granny, you know the most of all.”
When Mute Granny recalled the killing intent that had previously flashed through Long Feiye’s eyes, then heard these words, her heart thumped as she lowered her head. The Duke of Qin was right. She was the only person in the world with so much knowledge of the truth.
“Yunxi has been looking for you this entire time,” Long Feiye added.
Mute Granny didn’t speak, lost in her silence.
Long Feiye continued, “Your lordship told Yunxi that you had disappeared after falling over a cliff. Tomorrow I’ll have my men send you away from here and past the western borders. Never come back again.”
Mute Granny only nodded her assent quietly. Long Feiye rose to his feet as the weight on his heart finally eased. Now that he knew the truth and confirmed his suspicions, his actions were quick and decisive.
Long Feiye poured Mute Granny a final cup of tea before leaving the room. He still had to go back to the estate and hand over the rest of the antidote to Han Yunxi. He hadn’t seen her in so long that he had absolutely no idea what she was up to now. Long Feiye had already made it past the stone door, which was sliding shut behind him, when Mute Granny spoke up yet again. She knew there was no point to her question, but she still wanted to know.
“Duke of Qin,” she asked, “Will there come a day that the East Qin Dynasty revives anew?”
Han Yunxi was the sole surviving heir to West Qin, but she had no idea of it. As a servant of West Qin royalty, Mute Granny figured she should at least ask this much for her mistresses’ sake.
“Your Highness Duke of Qin, if East Qin really does re-establish its empire one day, please show mercy for Yunxi’s sake.”
Even if West Qin never found a chance to revive, it had its own share of supporters from various descendents of loyal nobles, retainers who’d pledged their lives to the dynasty, and leftovers of the previous imperial court. The old grudges left in history still existed. If East Qin ever tried to rise again, those factions would definitely retaliate!
Long Feiye wasn’t planning to answer this question, but he had hardly walked two steps before he stopped. With a cold snort, he replied, “Your lordship isn’t planning to revive the dynasty. Your lordship’s goals are something bigger than that—establish a brand new imperial clan!”
Shocked by his words, Mute Granny remained rooted to the spot as the door to her secret chambers shut. She was still reeling from the revelation after Long Feiye was long gone. She could tell that the Duke of Qin wasn’t a mere fish destined to swim contentedly in a pond, but instead, he had ambitions of his own. That domineering, arrogant air in his eyes was evident of such aspirations. But to create an entirely new imperial clan! Who would have ever thought he would do that!?
To go beyond the narrow, limited views of his former dynasty’s grudges and to cast aside the burden they had forced on him—here was a true man showcasing his convictions! It was impossible to imagine just how much confidence and breadth of heart the Duke of Qin possessed to aim so high while so weighed down with so many obligations.
Mute Granny fully accepted him, heart and soul!
In fact, a secret delight even sprang up in her heart. She found it fortunate that Yunxi had met such a man. If Miss Mu Xin knows of this in the underworld, she would probably be gratified as well. Mute Granny used both hands to respectfully raise the last cup of tea that Long Feiye had poured for her sake, and downed its contents.
After that, she took off her outer robe and tied it around a ceiling rafter. She was simply only a servant who had been waiting patiently for her mistress for years. But in the end, she was left with no more chances to see her again. What was the point of leaving a person like herself around when she knew so much of the truth?
Why was there a need to live my life beyond the borders, far away from the home I knew?
She stepped on a stool and placed her neck in the noose as she muttered to herself, “Yunxi, granny wishes that you’ll never know of hatred in this lifetime. May you never bear any grudges against the Duke of Qin. I hope that one day’s dawning will see you ascending the throne to a new empire in full honor and glory!”
Her hands brushed gently against the painting of Mu Xin she’d always kept on her person. Then Mute Granny shut her eyes, kicked away the stool and….hung herself to death!
By the time Tang Li had entered the room, Mute Granny was already dead. He and Chu Xifeng had been standing guard outside the entire time, so they had no earthly idea what Long Feiye and Mute Granny had talked about. He quickly retrieved her body from the noose and tried in vain to revive her while sending a report to Long Feiye.
By now, Long Feiye had already reached the Duke of Qin’s estate. He was extremely calm upon receiving the news and simply ordered, “Have Tang Li bury her secretly and maintain the guards at the Hidden Pavilion.”
The Hidden Pavilion held a fake Mute Granny as bait in order to lure out the black-robed man.
It was already late at night when Long Feiye finally reached the Hibiscus Courtyard. He headed for Leisurely Cloud Pavilion without alerting a single soul….