Li Qiye only smiled and patted Huaiyu’s head after seeing her indignant expression.
“Go play outside.” Luriu looked at her daughter with pity and said: “I need to talk to Young Noble Li.”
She was still a little girl after all. Despite feeling wronged earlier, she immediately cheered and ran outside. She was curious about all the new things since she used to stay with her mom in a remote location. This was her first time visiting a lively city like Renowned and a big clan like the Wenren. Thus, this outside world was new to her.
Luriu became sad again and sighed after seeing her excited daughter zooming outside. She calmed down and told Li Qiye: “Young Noble Li, you can still leave now before seeing my father.”
“Leave? Why should I?” Li Qiye sat down and calmly said.
Luriu looked at him and slowly explained: “No need to pretend. We know that this is only a misunderstanding since my silly daughter dragged you into this problem. Though I can’t leave, I still have a way for you to escape safely.”
“No rush. To have a beautiful wife and cute daughter out of nowhere is a nice development like a pie falling from the sky. It would be a shame if I don’t eat it.” He leisurely smiled.
Luriu became angry but she didn’t know whether he was kidding or not. She took a second look at this ordinary man with an extraordinary calmness. It was as if he was a majestic mountain and nothing could move him. She had a hard time gauging his intention.
Nevertheless, he didn’t look like a scoundrel. It seemed that whatever he did, he would carry it out in a leisure, natural, and elegant manner.
“Young Noble Li, even a pie falling down from the sky might not be a good thing.” She said slowly: “You are throwing your life into this mess if you keep on pretending. It’s just that you have no clue what is going on.”
Li Qiye couldn’t help but laugh: “Though I don’t know what is going on, I can still easily guess. This is the age-old story of a rich daughter running away from marriage.”
Luriu was surprised. She didn’t expect him to still be so calm. There was no opening from his expression and gestures.
He continued on: “This is all too common so it's easy to guess. To put it simply, your Wenren Clan and another clan had a marriage alliance but you didn’t wish to marry so you ran away with your man before giving birth to a daughter. Am I right?”
She had no response because he was completely right.
“Let me guess what kind of man he is?” Li Qiye glanced at her and smiled: “Since you ran away to be with him, it shows that you love him very much. But your daughter still takes on her maternal surname instead of her father, there are three possible explanations for this. First, the father’s name is Wenren too. Second, his background is extremely humble, not worth taking his surname. Third, your clan knows who he is so you don’t want others to find out his last name!”
He paused for a bit at this point: “However, if you dared to do this, it shows that you don’t look down on him that much. In Renowned, there is no second Wenren Clan so the only explanation is the third, he is someone your clan knows.”
Her expression shifted because he was right again. He realized this and said flatly: “If it is the third choice on top of you running away and hide, it shows that your father and brother know who he is.”
“Since you took all of this risk, it shows that you are a courageous and daring woman. Thus, how could you be afraid of your clan knowing your lover’s name? Nevertheless, you chose to do so. This shows one thing clearly. This person is very important. You are trying to protect him and his position and reputation.’
“So, if he is a strong man in a prestigious position, there’s nothing wrong with him marrying someone he likes. Moreover, from what you’ve told your daughter, he is extraordinary and single. But the most important thing is that your daughter has never seen her father, at the very least from when she began to have memories. It shows that the two of you haven’t been together for at least five years. You two dared to birth to a daughter but why not stay together? One plausible explanation is that he was working hard to win the recognition of your clan so that the two of you could make your relationship public.”
He smiled and stared at the shaken woman: “What kind of man would want to win your clan’s recognition on top of being powerful and prestigious? Let me take a guess, it must be a disciple from your Wenren Clan but his last name isn’t Wenren!”
She turned pale after hearing this. Li Qiye knew that his guesses were right so far and continued on: “I’ll keep going. Your daughter’s name is Huaiyu so it’s as clear as day that your lover’s name has the word “Yu” in it. You gave her this name because you miss him.”
With that, he looked at the white flower in front of her dress and said: “To add to all of these speculations, I know that there is a particular group in the Grand Sea, a branch of the dragonfish belonging to the demon race. This race is elusive due to inhabiting in the depth of the sea. It has a particular tradition. When a member of this race dies, his family, every five years, would wear a spectral flower to remember him. Your daughter is seven now and you are wearing this special flower, it means that your husband came from the dragonfish branch. Moreover, he has died five years ago. Your appearance in Renowned means that he was buried here. You brought your daughter here to commemorate him. Furthermore, he was buried in your clan’s cemetery. That’s how you were spotted.”
“You…” Lurui was indeed frightened and took several steps back with her wide-open eyes staring at Li Qiye.
“Who, who sent you here!” He got it right completely.
Li Qiye chuckled and denied: “Does someone need to send me? Rich experience, extensive knowledge, and some bold guesses. Not that hard to figure out.”
She looked at him as if he was a ghost and felt that there was no place to hide before his peering eyes. Under his calm eyes, she seemed to be completely naked.
It took her awhile before she removed her glare. This Li Qiye knew too much.
“Don’t bother.” He saw her eyes slightly moving and knew her intention: “Trying to silence me is very unwise. If I dare to sit here, it means that I’ve never been afraid of you or anyone for that matter!”
She eventually took a deep breath and regained her wits: “What do you want?”
“What do I want?” He shook his head: “Why does everyone thinks I am plotting something? To be frank, you have nothing worth my effort. In terms of beauty, you are indeed a little pretty but if I want women, I just need to signal and women ten times as beautiful as you would come running to serve me. As for treasures, you don’t have any worth mentioning, same with your clan.”
Lurui had no response. She might not be a supreme beauty but she was definitely number one in Renowned and enjoyed great fame. Moreover, her clan was quite prestigious but Li Qiye spoke as if it was not worth a single coin.
1. Huai = ] to think of; to cherish; mind; heart; bosom. Yu = jade