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Yun Lian stared at Jian Chen with wide open eyes of shock. Changyang Xiangtian, the fourth master of the Changyang clan was a name that practically everybody in this region had heard about. He was an idol that practically every youth wors.h.i.+pped and strived to be.
Not only was he a Heaven Saint Master, he was also the Imperial Protector of the Gesun Kingdom. Each t.i.tle he owned was more than enough for everyone to see him as an ent.i.ty worthy of respect. These two t.i.tles were as good as halos that enveloped his entire person. Therefore, every youth recognized him as a G.o.d that overlooked the country from his domain, and n.o.body could encroach upon that domain.
Jian Chen smiled when he saw the astonished look on Yun Lian’s face. “Come inside then.” He spoke as he led the still surprised Yun Lian inside the manor.
“So you were the fourth master of the Changyang clan, Changyang Xiangtian. I should have realized that. Aside from the fourth master of the clan, who else could possibly be a Heaven Saint Master at such an age?” Yun Lian muttered as she looked at Jian Chen with eyes of adoration.
The newly established Changyang Manor’s architecture was beautiful. If the old building was night, then the new building was day. Even the interior had become far more imposing. No matter where one looked, a squadron of guards could be seen walking about as they patrolled the grounds with diligence. The pride of even the soldiers could not be contained on their faces. To them, being the guards of the Changyang clan was an unbelievable honor that even their ancestors would be proud of.
It also went without saying that the fourth master of the Changyang clan would be the person they respected the most. All Jian Chen had to do was walk on over and every guard would immediately bow their backs with the utmost respect.
Walking through the compound, Yun Lian continued to turn her head at every corner to inspect the scenery with great curiosity. All sorts of emotions ran through her mind in violent waves; the Changyang clan was a clan that was too high for her to reach even if it was just her eyes that touched it. She never expected to be able to personally visit their compound.
There were no further obstructions for either of the two as they walked to the room of Jian Chen’s mother, Bi Yuntian. Quickly, Jian Chen walked to her door. The guards and maids stationed there bowed down in a hurry, “We pay our respects to the fourth master!”
“Is my mother inside?” Jian Chen asked the two maids.
“My lady is currently inside resting, fourth master.” One of the maids respectfully answered.
After the maid had spoken, the doors suddenly opened to reveal the white-robed Bi Yuntian. When she saw Jian Chen, her eyes lit up with excitement, “Xiang’er, when did you come back? Why did you not send a message to your mother earlier?” There was a kind and loving tone to her voice. She truly loved this child of hers, and she was so proud of him, especially with his many accomplishments.
Curiously, Bi Yuntian looked at the graceful Bi Yuntian, “Is this Changyang Xiangtian’s mother? Strange, why does she look similar to my mother?”
Jian Chen felt warm from the loving eyes his mother used on him. He smiled in return. “Mother, I actually came back for a rather important matter. Let us go inside your room first.”
Leading Yun Lian into the room, Jian Chen and Bi Yuntian walked over to the table meant for receiving guests, and sat down there.
As soon as the three sat down, Bi Yuntian couldn’t help but ask, “Xiang’er, who might this young lady be?” Even as she was speaking, Bi Yuntian was already pouring a cup of tea for the two to drink with a benevolent and motherly hand.
There was a rather uncomfortable look in Jian Chen’s eyes as he looked at Yun Lian. “Mother, she is called Yun Lian, a citizen from the Blue Wind Kingdom, but her mother is someone I believe you might recognize.”
“Oh? Whom might that be? I have always lived within the Changyang Manor since my marriage. There aren’t many that I know.” Bi Yuntian gently laughed.
Jian Chen hesitated for a brief moment before attentively looking back to his mother, “Mother, do you happen to know a person named Bi Yunhai?”
As soon as that name was mentioned, the tea pot in Bi Yuntian’s hand fell to the table. It spilled the tea water inside all over the table.
Not even taking notice of the fact that her clothes were slowly getting wet from the tea water, Bi Yuntian stared at Jian Chen with piercing eyes. She questioned with a quavering voice, “What did you say? Xiang’er, have you seen my younger sister Yunhai? Is she still alive? Where is she?” BI Yuntian’s voice grew more and more frantic.
Seeing such a large reaction from her, Jian Chen was able to confirm the guess in his mind. Yun Lian’s mother was indeed a member of the Bi family. It would also appear that the relations.h.i.+p between her and his mother was extremely close.
Yun Lian clearly heard each and every word from Bi Yuntian, but the meaning behind her words knocked her for a loop. From the very start, she couldn’t possibly guess just what sort of relations.h.i.+p there was between her mother and the Changyang clan.
A mental sigh escaped from Jian Chen. He knew that Bi Yuntian would feel anguished when she learned that Bi Yunhai had already pa.s.sed on.
“Mother, Yun Lian is Bi Yunhai’s daughter. She is also in possession of our Bi family’s Miracle Water of Bi.” Jian Chen explained in serious tone.
Bi Yuntian’s eyes honed in on Yun Lian as if to study the details of her face. Slowly walking up to her, Bi Yuntian tenderly took hold of Yun Lian’s hands. She softly said, “So you were the daughter of my younger sister. Yes. Yes, you look quite similar to her when she was young. Lian’er, tell your aunt quickly. Where is your mother? Has she been well?”
The words “aunt” felt very foreign to Yun Lian, and her mind went blank as a result. The fourth lady of the Changyang clan and the mother of Changyan Xiangtian was her aunt? This sudden development had caused her to stiffen up into silence, unable to speak.
Bi Yuntian looked at Yun Lian with a gentle and warm light as if she was regaling her like she was her own daughter.
“Lian’er, tell your aunty. Where is your mother? Is she doing well?” She asked once more, tears springing forth from her eyes.
As soon as she heard mention of her mother, Yun Lian couldn’t stop the stinging tears of pain from welling up in her eyes. As they streamed down her cheeks, she let out a whimper, “My mother has already pa.s.sed on.”
The expression on Bi Yuntian’s face immediately froze in disbelief. Momentarily losing her voice, she stuttered, “What? Yunhai has… she’s… she…” Bi Yuntian’s feet gave way to her body, causing her to stagger and fall.
“Mother, careful!” Jian Chen cried out in alarm before quickly moving to his mother’s side. Gingerly supporting Bi Yuntian back to her stool, he looked on in concern at his mother’s pained face. He tried to console her, “Mother, please don’t feel too hurt, this matter happened a long time ago.”
Tears of grief sprang from her eyes like a fountain. Bi Yuntian’s previous elation had instantaneously turned into anguish as she sobbed. “Lian’er, tell your aunty. How did your mother die?”
Yun Lian recalled the whole story for Bi Yuntian to hear. When she heard how Bi Yunhai had been beaten to death by the head of the Yun family for the battle skill, Bi Yuntian became even more grieved. She couldn’t help but bitterly cry.
“Yunhai, my sister! Your death was a wretched one! Blame your useless older sister. If I had known earlier, then you wouldn’t have had to suffer such misery.” Bi Yuntian wailed in anguish.
“Aunty, did you know my mother?” Yun Lian managed to ask a question through her tears.
“Lian’er, your mother was my favorite sister. We were from the same Bi family, and that means your grandfather and my father were one in the same. But ever since the calamity that befell our Bi family, many of our relatives have been killed off. Even your grandfather was killed. All that was left was my elder brother and I. The two of us had thought that we were the only ones left. Never did I imagine that Yunhai managed to escape as well. It is to my regret that I learned about this too late; otherwise I would never have let Yunhai suffer so much.”
Bi Yuntian could only feel regret when she thought about how Yun Lian’s mother had been beaten to death. She couldn’t possibly imagine just how much her younger sister had suffered under the hands of someone so inhumane.
“Sister Yunhai has suffered for far too long. I will make sure that her vengeance will be served by killing that beast of a man.” Bi Yuntian’s eyes radiated a furious light as she angrily spoke
“Then does that mean you’re… really my aunt?” Yun Lian’s teary eyes looked to Bi Yuntian.
Bi Yuntian nodded her head. “Lian’er, I am your aunt, and Changyang Xiangtian is your older cousin!”
Yun Lian’s entire person froze up at that declaration as she registered Bi Yuntian’s words. For a small moment, she couldn’t believe her ears. The fourth lady of the Changyang clan was her aunt, and the Imperial Protector of the Gesun Kingdom and the fourth master of the Changyang clan, Changyang Xiangtian, was her older cousin.
This situation was totally unbelievable in the mind of Yun Lian. She had completely wors.h.i.+pped geniuses like Changyang Xiangtian, and now that figure was her cousin?
Even Jian Chen felt rather stunned from where he was. Looking blankly at Yun Lian, he found it hard to remain calm. Not once did he ever imagine that the young miss of the Yun family back in Fengyang City would be his younger cousin.