Phoenix’s Requiem - Chapter 442
Chapter 442: Annals Of The Li Kingdom
When Yun Ruoyan next opened her eyes, it was bright in the day, and Li Mo had left her side. She stretched, flung off her blankets, and got up from bed in a new, fragrant nightgown.
“Ruoyan, you’re awake!” Li Luo entered the room with a batch of clothes in her hands, followed by a servant girl carrying hot water.
“Where’s Li Mo?” Yun Ruoyan asked.
“Su Bei came by early in the morning. It seems like something came up, and they’re both in the study now.”
Li Luo helped Yun Ruoyan wash up, after which Yun Ruoyan headed to the study. By then, Su Bei had already left, and Li Mo was poring over a document within. As he heard her footsteps, he raised her head to see Yun Ruoyan in a pale red dress, so beautiful it looked as though she had stepped out of a portrait.
In the past, because she was weak, she had veiled herself and hidden her beauty. Now, not only did she have Li Mo’s protection, her cultivation was advanced enough to defend herself, and there would hardly be a match for her on the Chenyuan continent. She no longer needed to hide her beauty, and, even six months pregnant, she still looked as radiant as an angel.
“Yan’er,” Li Mo called out, and Yun Ruoyan walked over and took his hand.
“What are you working on?” she asked, smiling.
Li Mo hugged Yun Ruoyan. “Yan’er, you might not know this, but there have been some dramatic changes to the Li kingdom while we were gone.”
“Oh? What changes?”
“The emperor passed away, the crown prince is under house arrest, the empress has been deposed, and the current ruler of the Li kingdom is the second prince, Li Qianyuan.” Li Mo’s tone was cool; although he was officially the Slaughtering King of the Li kingdom, he was unrelated to the royal family of Li, and had no interest in fighting for the throne.
On the other hand, Yun Ruoyan was quite shocked. “In that case, what happened to Li Qianhan? Is he alright?”
The only member of the royal family whom she knew well was the third prince, Li Qianhan.
Li Mo frowned. “Yan’er, you’re more worried about my nephew rather than your family?”
“He’s your nephew, isn’t he? That means I’m his aunt, so of course I’d be concerned. I know I don’t have to worry about my family—after all, my brother and father are still around. Li Qianyuan’s on good terms with the Yun family, so while the Yun family’s standing might not rise, I’m sure it wouldn’t have fallen.”
Yun Ruoyan still remembered that, during her grandmother’s birthday, Li Qianyuan had sent her a priceless mother-of-pearl scepter. Li Qianyuan’s mother was familiar with the Yun matriarch, and Li Qianyuan and his mother had both visited the Yun family while she was a child.
“You’re exactly right, Yan’er,” Li Mo praised. “According to the news I received, Yun Lan was a major factor in helping Li Qianyuan ascend smoothly to the throne. As for Qianhan, no one would dare touch him knowing his relationship with me.”
Li Qianhan was the closest to Li Mo, and he had made it clear that he had no intention of seizing the throne.
Li Mo continued, “A year ago, the Farsighted King stoked a rebellion, and your brother, Yun Moxiao, was appointed the general of the troops dispatched to quell it. He’s still on the battlefield, but after winning countless battles in a row, he should be able to make it back in time for the birth of our child.”
“I’m aware of my brother’s talents,” Yun Ruoyan replied, smiling. “But why did the Farsighted King end up rebelling?”
Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo had helped put down a rebellion by the Farsighted King in the past, but that Farsighted King had turned out to be a shapeshifting demon who had assumed the Farsighted King’s form. What had caused the true Farsighted King to rebel? Frowning, Yun Ruoyan asked, “It’s not that demon again, is it?”
“No, it can’t be. Your brother’s already dealt with that demon. This time, it’s the real Farsighted King who’s stirring up trouble. As for why, I suppose we’ll find out when Yun Moxiao brings him back.”
Yun Ruoyan nodded.
“There’s something else,” Li Mo continued apologetically. “Su Bei came by in the morning and told me that beastkin are vanishing from the beastkin valley for unknown reasons, and I’ve sent him over for the moment. I’ll accompany you to see your grandfather in the morning, but in the afternoon, I have to head to the beastkin valley to check out the situation for myself.”
“Is it serious? How many people have vanished?” Yun Ruoyan asked. If it weren’t, Su Bei wouldn’t have disturbed Li Mo the day after he returned.
“More than twenty.”
“In that case, you should hurry over immediately. I can head to my grandfather’s house on my own,” Yun Ruoyan said, extricating herself from his lap. If she weren’t six months pregnant, she would likely already have been pulling on Li Mo’s hand to get him to leave.
Under Yun Ruoyan’s urging, Li Mo set off immediately for the beastkin valley. Before he left, he instructed Li Luo to stay by Yun Ruoyan’s side to protect her.
Yun Ruoyan first headed to the Lin family. Lin Zainan was absolutely overjoyed to see Yun Ruoyan again, but Yun Ruoyan couldn’t help feeling a twinge of pain at how much older her grandfather had seemed to become in just three years.
“It’s good that you’re back, good that you’re back,” Lin Zainan murmured, caressing her head.
“Sister Ruoyan’s even brought a baby back with her,” Lin Qingxue added, smiling at her from the door. She had been rather melancholy for the six months after Zhuo Yifeng’s disappearance, and it was only recently, when she’d returned to her familiar home, that she had begun to smile again.
“The Lin family is truly blessed,” Lin Tianming said, hobbling to the door with a walking stick. After almost two whole years of recuperation, he was finally able to walk again, albeit only with a walking stick. Regardless, considering that he had staved off death for decades, that he was granted a new lease of life at all was the greatest fortune he could have received.
“Three blessings, Father,” Lin Qingchen corrected. “You’ve returned to our family safe and sound, Sister Ruoyan’s about to have a baby, and Grandfather’s eightieth birthday will be next month.”
“Grandfather’s eightieth birthday is next month?!” Yun Ruoyan exclaimed. She had forgotten such an important occasion! “In that case, we have to have a grand celebration. It’s perfect timing to release news that Uncle’s returned to the Lin family.”
“We were intending to have a large celebration, but I don’t think that’s possible given current circumstances,” Lin Tianming said.
“What’s the matter?” Yun Ruoyan asked.
“The previous king has just passed away, the new king’s not first in the line of succession, the Farsighted King’s still fomenting rebellion… It’s not a good time to be too ostentatious,” Lin Zainan replied. “I’d like to have a celebration with just us. If the Slaughtering King’s free, let him join too, haha.”
“As you wish, Grandfather.” Having just returned to the Li kingdom, she hadn’t deeply considered the points that Lin Zainan had brought up.
After having lunch at the Lin family, Yun Ruoyan then prepared to head to the Yun family. After realizing that she wasn’t Yun Lan’s daughter, her feelings toward the Yun family were far more ambivalent than before. Now that Yun Moxiao wasn’t home, she really didn’t want to return.
“Ruoyan, it doesn’t look like you want to return to the Yun family,” Li Luo noted on the carriage ride there, unaware of Yun Ruoyan’s true parentage.
Yun Ruoyan forced a smile, then changed the topic. “Sister Li Luo, I haven’t had a chance to ask you how your relationship with my brother is going!”
“Ah?” Li Luo hesitated for a moment, clearly unexpecting the change of subject. She had been prepared to address that question upon Yun Ruoyan’s return, but she hadn’t brought it up until now, and Li Luo thought that she had already forgotten. “It’s… about the same as before.” Li Luo lowered her head, her cheeks faintly blushing red.
Yun Ruoyan’s eyes lit up. “What do you mean? Tell me more!”
“I promised your brother that, if he could return safely from the battlefield, I would agree to his request.”
“What request?” Yun Ruoyan leaned in even closer to her side.
“To… marry him,” Li Luo whispered.
“Wonderful, wonderful!” Yun Ruoyan smiled, her negative thoughts about returning to the Yun family instantly vanishing. “How tough my brother has it! Someone else would probably have given him a few children by now, but to think that it’s taken three years for you to agree to marry him! Sister Li Luo, you have to take responsibility for my brother now.”
“I’m very glad he’s never given up on me, and I believe there’s no one for me but him,” Li Luo replied. “Now, I’m just worried about whether his family will agree.”
“That’s not something you have to worry about,” Yun Ruoyan replied. “Sister Li Luo, believe in my brother. If he dares propose to you, he surely has a plan for dealing with the Yun family. When he succeeds in quelling the rebellion, his standing in court will rise, and he’ll be able to argue against Father from a better position. Furthermore, I’ll have Li Mo bring up the marriage himself. As you know, Father still thinks highly of Li Mo.”
Yun Ruoyan would never forget how eager her father seemed when Li Mo had first proposed.
“At any rate, you don’t have to worry about my family opposing this marriage. Just wait for my brother to return,” Yun Ruoyan concluded.
The carriage quickly stopped in front of the Yun manor. Li Luo helped Yun Ruoyan out of the carriage and toward the front gates, only to be blocked by the guards standing outside.
“Who are you? Don’t you know that this is the Yun manor? Go on, leave!”
“Are you new? Don’t you recognize me?” Yun Ruoyan didn’t recognize the guard’s face.
“I’ve been here for two years now, and I’d recognize even a rat that belonged to the manor! I’ve never seen you around—scram!”