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    Chapter 76: Family Mark

    "When I was young and served as Nan Qi's companion for studies, I often visited Consort Yuan's palace. Consort Yuan had a trusted maid named Fei, who would chat with me and Nan Qi.

    Consort Yuan once asked her maid if she had a nephew around our age, suggesting that he could be brought into the palace to play with us if possible.

    But the maid immediately refused, saying that Nanyu's status was too lowly, and she feared he might offend the honored guests."

    Recalling the historical records about Fei Nanyu's age, which indeed matched Mo Jiuye's, He Zhiran concluded without a doubt that the maid's nephew must be Fei Nanyu.

    According to Mo Jiuye, Fei was a trusted confidante of Consort Yuan and should not have lacked money. So why hadn't she helped her own nephew's family when they were struggling?

    This question briefly crossed He Zhiran's mind, but she knew it was irrelevant to the bigger picture. The real purpose of their conversation was to inform Mo Jiuye about the existence of Fei Nanyu.

    Considering Mo Jiuye's initiative in mentioning his frequent visits to Consort Yuan's palace in his childhood, He Zhiran probed further.

    "You often visited Consort Yuan's quarters. How did she treat you?"

    The memory of this matter was deeply etched in Mo Jiuye's mind.

    "I can't quite explain why, but Empress Concubine Yuan treated me even better than she did Prince Nan Qi."

    He Zhiran nodded inwardly. This aligned perfectly with the anecdotal records he had read.

    It made sense that Consort Yuan would dote on Mo Jiuye, knowing he was her biological son.

    Sensitive to nuance, Mo Jiuye sensed something odd about He Zhiran's questions.

    "Why do you ask this?"

    Seeing the seriousness on Mo Jiuye's face, He Zhiran couldn't resist teasing him.

    "Have you ever considered the possibility that you are actually Consort Yuan's child?"

    "It's impossible!" Mo Jiuye refuted firmly, his expression turning even more solemn.

    "So you're that certain?" He Zhiran persisted, unwilling to let it go.

    "Of course I am. Every male born into the Mo family bears a unique family mark," Mo Jiuye said with absolute conviction, showing no doubt about his origins.

    "Family mark?" It was the first time He Zhiran had heard of such a thing. It made no scientific sense unless it was intentionally done by someone.

    "When my eight elder brothers and I were born, we all had a crescent-shaped birthmark on our left shoulders. Father said it's an ancient tradition of the Mo family, one that he and our ancestors before him also possessed," Mo Jiuye explained.

    Seeing how convinced Mo Jiuye was, He Zhiran was left perplexed. In this vast world, there were countless peculiarities. If time travel could happen, a family mark wasn't too implausible.

    When He Zhiran read about Mo Jiuye's background in the historical records, her first thought was that it might be the real reason behind Nan Qi's actions against him. However, this theory was quickly dismissed by the existence of the Mo family's mark. The true motive behind Nan Qi's targeting of Mo Jiuye remained a mystery.

    Meanwhile, a string of questions swirled in Mo Jiuye's mind.

    Why would Nan Qi want him dead?

    And why had He Zhiran asked such a question?

    Both of them were preoccupied with their thoughts and remained silent.

    Due to their concerns, they only picked at their dinner.

    Back in the tent, He Zhiran found it impossible to fall asleep.

    Entering her spatial dimension, she first checked the sales in the store. Only one item had been sold that day, adding 250,000 yuan to her account.

    With plenty of stock remaining, there was no need for restocking. He Zhiran decided to continue reading the historical records, hoping to gain more insights.

    At the same time, in the top room of Pingyuan County's inn.

    Nan Qi sat at the table, tapping rhythmically on its surface.

    "Your Highness, we've just received a message via Li Gonggong's homing pigeon."

    As Hefeng spoke, he respectfully presented a small scroll, about five centimeters long, to Nan Qi.

    Nan Qi calmly unfolded the scroll and read its contents, then slammed his hand on the table in anger.

    "What good are they if they can't even kill the right person? What use is it for this prince to keep such incompetent fools around?"

    Unaware of the content of Li Lu's letter, Hefeng could tell from the Duke's furious expression that something significant had transpired.

    "Your Highness, what has happened?" Hefeng cautiously inquired.

    Nan Qi, displeased, threw the note back at him. "Read it yourself."

    After perusing the message, Hefeng analyzed, "Li Liang and his family have been escorted back to the capital. Li Gonggong's information is likely genuine."

    "Hmph! Mo Jiuye is now awake, and with his alertness, he will surely suspect that He Liang was just a scapegoat. It won't be as simple to take his life again in the future."

    Nan Qi had now regained his composure and began to carefully consider his next move.

    Although Hefeng was unsure why his Duke was so determined to eliminate Mo Jiuye, he knew that this matter was of utmost importance to His Highness.

    "Duke, why not let me dispatch a few men to gather information on where Mo Jiuye's exile party has reached, and learn the situation there? That way, we can better plan our next steps," Hefeng suggested.

    Nan Qi waved his hand. "There's no need. With the Li family being escorted back to the capital, it's likely that the exile group will wait at their current location for the officials to return before continuing their journey together. Pingyuan County is an inevitable stop on the way to the northwest. We'll wait here; I want to meet Mo Jiuye personally."

    Since his master had made up his mind, Hefeng decided to change the subject. "Duke, tomorrow marks the final day of Master Wuchen's prediction. If you still haven't encountered that noble person, what should we do?"

    "Master Wuchen's predictions have never been wrong. I must find that individual," Nan Qi declared with an unwavering tone.

    Moreover, he had already planned to stay and wait for Mo Jiuye, so spending a few more days searching for the noble person concurrently seemed reasonable...

    He Zhiran, without realizing it, found herself rereading the entire "Wild Chronicles," particularly the part detailing Mo Jiuye's origins.

    From every angle, there seemed to be no flaws in this description.

    Moreover, Mo Jiuye mentioned that the Empress treated him even better than Nan Qi. Why was that?

    He Zhiran racked her brains, contemplating all possibilities. Suddenly, an idea struck her, and she thought of Nan Qi.

    With a new lead, He Zhiran was slightly excited. As she turned over, she accidentally pressed down on one of Mo Jiuye's arms.

    Realizing something was amiss, she quickly shifted away.

    It was unclear if her movement had woken Mo Jiuye or if he, like her, had not been asleep at all.

    Mo Jiuye sat up, his tone as indifferent as ever.

    "Can't sleep either?"

    "Mm, I'm thinking too much and having trouble sleeping," He Zhiran admitted honestly.

    Mo Jiuye asked again, "Still pondering about my background?"

    Faced with such a pointed question, He Zhiran hesitated for a moment before asking:

    "Have you ever bathed together with Nan Qi?"

    Mo Jiuye was no fool and immediately grasped the true meaning behind the inquiry.

    "I can assure you, he has no birthmarks on his body."


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