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    Chapter 72: Fei Nanyu's Past

    It was Fei Nanyu!

    He limped in the lead, followed by four men carrying a coffin.

    Fei Nanyu noticed He Zhiran and immediately knitted his brows. He scrutinized her as if he were trying to see through her.

    In response to his gaze, He Zhiran remained composed.

    "Why are you here?"

    "I came here for some peace and quiet, to rest and cool off."

    Observing the four men approaching with the coffin, He Zhiran instinctively moved her wooden cart against the wall, creating a wide path for them.

    Noticing the abundance of supplies on her cart, Fei Nanyu didn't suspect anything.

    He gave He Zhiran a salute, "I have a funeral to attend to at home. I'll take my leave first."

    With that, he left without looking back.

    Watching Fei Nanyu lead his entourage into the innermost courtyard, He Zhiran also got up and pushed the wooden cart away.

    Along the way, He Zhiran spotted a stall displaying a large stack of straw hats.

    For those who were exiled, especially the women, they desperately needed such hats to shield them from the scorching sun all day long.

    Without hesitation, she bought all the hats on the stall, a total of 28.

    Upon her return to the teahouse, Peng Wang was indeed astonished to see He Zhiran back so soon.

    "Considering it's not often you get out, why didn't you explore more?"

    He Zhiran looked up at the sky. "It's too hot, and there's so much stuff on the cart. I couldn't manage any further, so I came back."

    Peng Wang glanced at the items on the wooden cart and couldn't help but whistle.

    It seemed that Minister He had given his daughter quite a sum of silver; otherwise, with this woman's spending habits, it would likely be depleted halfway through the journey.

    "Since you've finished purchasing everything, let's head back now."

    With the help of the official messenger pushing the wooden cart, the group quickly left Ping Yuan County.

    Peng Wang and the messenger were accustomed to long journeys, so their pace was swift.

    He Zhiran, despite her tenacious nature, struggled to keep up due to the frailty of the original owner's body.

    Observing He Zhiran's struggle, Peng Wang suggested she sit in a corner of the cart to rest.

    Bearing a delicate physique, He Zhiran had no choice but to concede. She hoped that with more time on the road, her stamina would improve.

    Expressing her gratitude, she squeezed herself beside the provisions and sat down.

    Recalling Fei Nanyu she had seen in Ping Yuan County and the elusive gaze from the teahouse, He Zhiran felt it necessary to brush up on the history of this period.

    Thus, she pretended to be tired, leaning her upper body on the supplies and placing a straw hat over her head as if dozing off. In reality, her consciousness had entered the space.

    In the Taobao Mall within the space, He Zhiran had purchased several books related to this historical era. To gain a comprehensive understanding, she even included "Wild Chronicles" in her collection.

    Consciousness swiftly scanned the contents of the historical records within the space, finally locating a chapter titled 'Fei Nanyu' towards the middle-end.

    He Zhiran perused attentively—

    Fei Nanyu's father was a scholar who began teaching him to read and write from an early age.

    Fei Nanyu possessed an exceptional talent for studying. At twelve, he topped the scholar examinations. Upon bringing this joyous news home, however, his mother fell gravely ill.

    To treat his mother, the Fei family exhausted all their financial resources. Despite their efforts, they were unable to save her life, and shortly after, Fei's father also succumbed to illness.

    Shouldering the responsibility of supporting the family, Fei Nanyu abandoned his pursuit of further education and official examinations. He silently took on the burden of providing for his family and caring for his ailing father.

    With his scholarly accomplishments, he could have easily found employment as a tutor in a private school. But doing so would have prevented him from attending to his father's needs.

    In desperation, Fei Nanyu resorted to copying books for a living, spending his days at home engaged in this task while simultaneously caring for his father.

    This life persisted for eight years.

    When Fei Nanyu turned twenty-one, his father ultimately lost his battle with illness and passed away.

    Fei Nanyu, in order to secure funds for his father's funeral, visited the bookshop where he often copied texts, intending to borrow some silver from the proprietor. Instead, he encountered a group of long-time rivals, who, fueled by envy of his intellect and disdain for his current predicament, mercilessly beat him up.

    Fortunately, he was rescued by Prince Nan Qi, the third prince, who happened to be passing by. Nan Qi not only saved him but also provided the money needed for his father's burial.

    From that day on, Fei Nanyu became Nan Qi's trusted advisor, playing an instrumental role in Nan Qi's ascension to the throne as the next emperor of the Great Shun dynasty.

    Upon Nan Qi's coronation, Fei Nanyu was the one person he trusted the most, and he was granted the esteemed position of Chief Minister, second only to the emperor himself.

    As Chief Minister, Fei Nanyu's first proposal was to rectify the injustice done to Mo Jiuye, a move that Nan Qi, given his trust in Fei Nanyu, readily approved. Three months into his reign, Nan Qi issued an imperial edict declaring that Mo Jiuye had been falsely accused of treason and exiled unjustly.

    To honor him, Nan Qi even led the construction of a cenotaph for Mo Jiuye.

    Fei Nanyu's career had skyrocketed, but his ambitions did not end with the position of Chief Minister. While Nan Qi was still alive, he stealthily began building his own power base in secret. Several years later, when his influence had reached significant proportions, he launched a rebellion, seizing the throne of the Great Shun dynasty for himself.

    Despite ascending to the throne through treachery, Fei Nanyu proved to be an industrious and benevolent ruler, earning the admiration of his people.

    During his 28-year reign, he transformed a nation where the common folk struggled for food into one with abundance, and quelled border rebellions to the point that no one dared to provoke them. All these accomplishments demonstrated that he was indeed a highly competent emperor.

    He was even lauded by posterity as an "epoch-making monarch."

    Reading this, He Zhiran seemed to grasp many underlying truths.

    Assuming her intuition was correct, the gaze she sensed in the teahouse must have belonged to Prince Nan Qi.

    That meant her presence had disrupted an opportunity for Nan Qi and Fei Nanyu to meet.

    She had inadvertently altered history again, leaving her uncertain if there would still be a chance for Fei Nanyu and Nan Qi to cross paths in the future.

    Any deviation in events would likely change the course of subsequent developments.

    This meant that whatever happened between Nan Qi and Fei Nanyu was now unpredictable, and she could only adapt to any changes that came her way.

    Unable to grasp the overall trajectory of the future, He Zhiran didn't lose heart. Instead, she seized the opportunity to delve back into that tome of historical anecdotes during her idle moments.

    To He Zhiran's surprise, the text also included records about Nan Qi and Fei Nanyu. Though the language was more candid than in official histories, the content remained largely accurate.

    After reading about Fei Nanyu in the unauthorized chronicles, He Zhiran continued flipping through the pages. To her astonishment, there were even descriptions of Mo Jiuye...

    With a sense of curiosity, He Zhiran began to read attentively.

    Unexpectedly, the first sentence she encountered was – Mo Jiuye's origins remain a mystery to this day.

    An enigmatic background?

    He Zhiran felt as if she had stumbled upon a new world, her interest in this passage reaching its peak.

    Some claimed that Mo Jiuye was not the biological son of the Mo family.

    He was, in fact, the third son of Emperor Shunwu, born to Consort Yuan.

    Back then, when Consort Yuan was pregnant, she invited Master Wuchen from Enyi Temple to divine the gender of the child.

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