In this short moment, Wenren Lurui stared at Li Qiye in astonishment. She couldn’t gauge him at all. In her eyes, this seemingly ordinary man was an unfathomable abyss shrouded in mist. No one could see just how deep he was.
She became afraid. The closer someone stood to him, the closer they found themselves standing on the precipice. A careless step would result in falling down, never being able to escape again.
“Don’t worry, I won’t expose you by telling your father and brother.” Li Qiye chuckle: “You can protect his reputation and status.”
After a long time, she calmed down and took a deep breath: “Since you know already, why are you involving yourself in this trouble?”
Li Qiye couldn’t help but laugh: “Trouble? This matter might seem insurmountable to you, a problem that could swallow up the sky but in my eyes, it’s no big deal and can be easily solved.”
“And as for why?” He continued: “I am only coming through here by chance and I’m bored enough to find some entertainment.”
Luriu became quiet again and didn’t know what to say at all due to the mystifying nature of this man and her own unawareness.
Li Qiye looked at her and said: “I’m actually curious, was he your senior brother or junior brother?”
She eventually sighed and had to respond: “He’s my eldest senior brother and was taken in by my family at a young age.”
Since Li Qiye guessed everything completely, Luriu didn’t feel the need to hide it any longer. She might as well tell him everything.
“Our Wenren Clan has been in an alliance with the Dongfang Clan all this time. Moreover, it is a marriage alliance as well. Only when our two clans are together that we are able to oppose the ambitious Soaring Hawk State. Because of this, I was engaged to the Dongfang Clan’s eldest son when I was still a child…”
Her clan dominated Renowned while the Dongfang Clan ruled over a city named East. The two clans were quite close with their marriage pact.
Meanwhile, the other ruler in another territory within the island chain was Soaring Hawk. It was much stronger than the two clans so in order to contend against this third faction, the two clans needed to form an alliance. No alliance bond was stronger than a marriage.
Wenren Luriu was betrothed to Dongfang Cong, the eldest son of the Dongfang. Alas, she hated this marriage, the source of her internal conflicts.
Moreover, as she grew up, she found herself liking her eldest senior brother, Gu Qiyu. The two were childhood sweethearts and were together all the time. Naturally, feelings eventually arose and turned into love.
Gu Qiyu was taken in by the Wenren Clan when he was a child. His talents were exceptionally on top of being diligent, resulting in his great cultivation. Though he couldn’t become the successor for the clan, he would be one of its pillars in the future.
He knew that his junior sister was engaged to the Dongfang Clan as well. Because of this, he didn’t move forward in spite of their feelings for each other.
However, as time continued to pass, the marriage date was fast approaching.
In spite of Luriu’s protest, the marriage was decided by the ancestors from the two clans. It wasn’t something a young lady could oppose nor control. Even her father couldn’t object to this marriage.
Her disgust with the marriage only worsened since she had someone else in mind as well. She garnered courage out of nowhere and actually left the clan to escape out of Renowned.
The Wenren Clan naturally became angry when the marriage was so close and the bride was nowhere to be found. If anything happened to this marriage, the pact between the two clans could crack.
Because of this, it sent out many disciples and tried its best to find Luriu. Of course, the eldest senior brother shouldered this responsibility as well.
He and Luriu grew up together and had feelings for each other so he understood her quite well. He knew where she was hiding so he was one step ahead of all the other pursuers.
His mission was to take her back to the clan but he couldn’t do it when actually staring her face to face.
In the end, he helped her escape into a very remote area. During the perilous getaway, they finally took the next step and became husband and wife.
After settling her in, he came back to the Wenren Clan and guaranteed her that he would publicly win her hand in marriage.
However, it was easier said than done. He needed to contribute greatly to have the chance. Five years ago, during a skirmish between Soaring Hawk and the Wenren, Qiyu wanted to be the shining example so he rushed into the battlefield to kill many opposing experts.
Alas, though the Wenren Clan won that battle, Qiyu also died on that day. He couldn’t wait until the day when he could marry Luriu and she wouldn’t be able to for his return either.
After the five years anniversary, Luriu snuck in with her daughter to commemorate her husband but the disciples there unexpected found her. She had to run away and managed to meet Li Qiye.”
“Love is difficult.” Li Qiye said after hearing her story: “What is your plan?”
She mused for a bit before answering: “I’ll apologize with my life towards the Dongfang Clan so that Huaiyu can live on.”
“No, you can live on instead of treating your life so frivolously.” Li Qiye shook his head: “It’s not that desperate yet, no need to think about dying.”
“You don’t understand.” She disagreed: “Someone has to die for this matter to end. The Dongfang Clan requires an answer from my clan. Otherwise, the alliance might break and they could even become enemies.”
Li Qiye simply smiled. He has seen this many times before with a runaway bride. Both the clans thought that they have lost all face from this. Thus, something has to be done for the alliance to stay intact.
“Don’t worry.” He smiled: “As long as the two sides work together and talk, there will be a turnaround.”
She smiled bitterly in response: “There’s nothing to talk about. My father can’t be in charge either. Even if the ancestors in the clan want to protect me, it will still be impossible. The best method is for me to die as an apology!”
She took a deep breath and solemnly said: “I have expected this end long ago. As long as father and the others can protect Huaiyu and that my death will end this feud, I don’t mind dying. You should know now that no good thing will come from involving yourself. A scapegoat is necessary so if you continue to pretend, our Wenren Clan will be more than happy to oblige.”
With that, she spoke with good intent, not wanting to implicate Li Qiye: “It’s not too late to make a decision now. Once the people from the Dongfang Clan come, then you won’t be able to escape death at that point.”
“I can’t die even if I want to.” Li Qiye couldn’t help but laugh.
Such attitude left her speechless. It looked like he didn’t care for her goodwill.
“Your region must belong to the Crouching Dragon Continent.” Li Qiye asked leisurely while she stood there in a daze.
“Yes, all of the island chains belong to this continent. Our two clans and the Soaring Hawk State are all under the jurisdiction of the Crouching Dragon Cliff.”
“How many locations are under the control of the cliff now? Who is currently in charge?” He asked again.
This sudden question surprised her since it was common knowledge to any cultivator at Crouching Dragon.
1. Wen City and Dong City would be the pinyin names. They take the first character of the clan’s surname
1. Crouching Dragon used to be Sleeping Dragon. I'll mass edit Sleeping Dragon to Crouching Dragon later