White Deer Academy had a special significance to Ye Qingyu.
Like a fully fledged eagle, never forgetting the place that sheltered him, it had protected him, and educated him when he had not developed all his feathers and was unable to fly.
During the meal, the main housekeeper Tang San made use of every second to succinctly report to Ye Qingyu the situation of the Ye residence in Deer City.
Because Ye Qingyu had made clear his intentions beforehand, the Ye family did not really develop any businesses. Besides the previous few major properties it had owned, which had not expanded and only maintained a self-sufficient and satisfied state, it did not expand any further. However, every property had been developed very healthily.
With Ye Qingyu around, whether the Ye family was rich or not did not matter. In the whole empire, no one had the weight to touch the Ye residence.
Tang San also mentioned the Song family's Qingluo Merchant Company.
According to Tang San, the Qingluo Merchant Company that was originally close to bankruptcy, after Ye Qingyu's assistance last time, immediately skyrocketed and received many supports and guidance from several merchant companies and commercial officials. In particular, the Dugu Merchant Company had opened many channels for them, and now the Qingluo Merchant Company began to rise and flourish again in Deer City, becoming the largest merchant company in the Northwest region.
And Song Qingluo's father, Song Jiannan, now had almost as much influence as City Lord Qin Ying.
The feast ended in a joyous atmosphere.
Aunt Lan arranged Luo Yi, Gao Qi, and the other people into the West Wing to rest.
Ye Qingyu also went back to his room in the back courtyard and sat cross-legged, meditating.
After a few moments.
Ye Qingyu slowly opened his eyes, gently nodded to the courtyard outside the window, “Come in.”
A pale blue light flashed.
Lang Zhong and Lang Yong knelt on their knees and bowed in unison.
“How are you, Leader Lang Zhong?” Ye Qingyu gave a faint smile, lifting his hand lightly.
Towards this young man, Ye Qingyu had a special favourable opinion. Although he had not been following at Ye Qingyu's side, and was not particularly powerful, but he was the orphan that Father and Mother Ye adopted. To some extent, he was Ye Qingyu's non-blood related brother. Adding to this, Lang Zhong and his sister were also very loyal to the Ye family, which made Ye Qingyu incredibly moved.
Lang Zhong was emotionally stirred again when he saw the Young Lord.
Especially after hearing about the changes that the Young Lord underwent in the past few years from his younger sister as well as the influence that the Two River Gang had in the empire. The young man was surging with joy and excitement in his heart.
After the meeting, he gave Ye Qingyu a jade scroll, which meticulously reported the development of Deer City and the Two River Gangin the past few years.
In the past few years, the forces of the Two Rivers Gang had already covered the entire Deer City, but were still faintly expanding to the Southeast and Southwest region. Moreover, there were people of the Two River Gangamong the merchants and officials. The Two River Gang could be described as deeply rooted in the entire city.
In order to expand its strength, in the past few years Lang Zhong had arranged more than ten capable officers into the cities and towns near Deer City. With the Deer City as the center, the several towns were also under the influence of the Two River Gang.
Ye Qingyu carefully browsed the contents in the jade scroll, while listening to Lang Yong's report, nodding slightly.
An hour later.
Lang Yong and Lang Zhong quietly left the Ye residence.
It was late at night, and the sky was glistening with a white light unique to a cold and bitter snowy place.
Deer City, shrouded by a white light, was colder than the Snow capital under the moonlight, but also possesed a mysterious beauty.
The moon and the stars were still twinkling above the clouds. The faint rays of morning light quietly covered the clouds with a faint layer of golden glow.
Ye Qingyu greeted Aunt Lan who was personally working in the kitchen, and then asked Tang San to come with him.
Walking along the slate pavement wet with dew, while breathing in the delicate fragrance of the morning breeze, the brothers chatted merrily. Then, ten steps later, water mist suddenly shrouded the duo, and immediately Ye Qingyu's and Tang San's figure dissipated at the end of the street.
After around ten minutes.
At the edge of the Northern district of Deer City.
An open space appeared before them.
Here was previously a desolate piece of land with deserted houses, which had now become a hundred acres of tree-lined public cemetery.
A cold white jade gravestone was silently bathed in the morning dew, shrouded by a layer of faint fog. On the stone tablet, there were many bouquets and offering fruits placed...
“This...” Ye Qingyu's eyes flashed in disbelief.
When Ye Qingyu moved his parents’ grave back then, burying the coffin of his parents into the Deer City river, he was somewhat reluctant to part with them, so he instructed Tang San to repair and renovate the originally less than one acre of cemetery and build a cenotaph.
But the sight in front of him was something he had never thought of.
“Young Lord, since you went to the imperial capital, and were promoted to the Lord of the Light Palace, and did so many heroic deeds to defend the Snow Empire, the fact that Master and Madam were once buried in this place began to spread. The news that this place was a land of good fortune began to spread, and rumours that it can bring about prosperity was passed around. So the aristocrats and officials have moved their ancestral graves here. And this place slowly turned to what it is now...”
Tang San led the way in front while softly explaining to Ye Qingyu.
At the end of the winding path and after setting foot on the jade stone steps, on a hill of the public cemetery, there was a five-meter-tall and one-meter-wide white jade and gold plated monument coming into view.
Semi-curved white jade stonewalls wrapped the stone tablet within, pine and cypress ancient trees stood proudly and strongly outside the stone walls despite the frost.
On the stone tablet, the kindness and heroic deeds of Father and Mother Ye were engraved in blood red.
On the pedestal of the stone tablet were many white and yellow bouquets, as well as a wide variety of fruit and food from visitors.
The square stone tablet was engraved with an epitaph that was washed by the morning dew, giving the stone tablet a clear and shiny appearance.
Ye Qingyu stretched out his finger, gently stroking the cinnabar-coloured handwriting, and the icy white jade stone exuded a biting chill.
He gently pointed out his fingertips, injecting a wisp of yuan qi into the originally ice cold white jade, which immediately heated up, and the red writing after the warmth permeated seemed to be brighter than it was before.
“Son has come to see you...” Ye Qingyu said to the stone tablet in a quiet voice.
Tang San consciously took several steps back and waited on the open space on the left.
Clad in a white robe and lightly caressing the stone tablet, the quiet Lord was shrouded in the morning mist, like an Immortal. That scene, even decades later, would still be unforgettable to Tang San.
Half an hour later.
“Let's go,” Ye Qingyu did not turn his head back, but his clear voice rang in Tang San's ear.
He hurried over, following half a step behind Ye Qingyu, and together headed down the bottom of the hill.
Ye Qingyu seemed to be deep in thought. He did not follow the path that they came from, instead aimlessly striding around the blue stone paved path.
“This... Bai Yuqing?” Ye Qingyu suddenly noticed something, his footsteps slowed and his face was twisted with shock.
The blue stone tablet before him that was one person tall was carved with Bai Yuqing’s name in a cinnabar red colour.
The stone tablet, wrapped in dew and morning mist, was stained with glistening beads of water, like the tears on the face of a weeping beauty.
This was Bai Yuqing's tombstone?
She... was already dead?
Ye Qingyu was completely shocked.
For a moment, the image of the beautiful young woman in a snowy white dress surfaced in his mind.
He had to admit that Bai Yuqing was an extremely outstanding woman.
“Reporting to Young Lord, according to rumours in the city, Miss Bai later went to the imperial capital. That year not long after the battle in the imperial capital, there was news of her death, but her body was not transported back home. The Bai family was very upset. They used a lot of money and effort to find clues, and later build a cenotaph here...”
He had kept an eye on all kinds of news in the city, so that he could inform the young Lord right away of the information that he knew.
Ye Qingyu went silent for a moment.
What had happened to Bai Yuqing during the battle in the imperial capital?
It seemed that she was tragically killed in the midst of the war.
Tang San waited for a while, but Ye Qingyu did not respond. As though he suddenly remembered something, he pointed to a grave to the south several times and seemed hesitant to speak.
Ye Qingyu looked at him and said, “Come on, what else?”
Tang San heaved a sigh. “Reporting to young Lord, actually not only Miss Bai, there is also a cenotaph of a former classmate of Young Lord in White Deer Academy.”
“What?!” Ye Qingyu exclaimed, his expression shocked.
He paused, and finally followed Tang San, passing several tombs, walked past a slate path, and came to a stone tablet on a slightly lower terrain.
The white jade tombstone was not particular exquisite nor glamorous, situated alone around a bed of wild plants.
And engraved on the tombstone was really Jiang Xiaohan's name and date of birth and death.
Ye Qingyu fell silent for a moment.
The face of his former childhood playmate appeared before his eyes, like it was yesterday.
Although Ye Qingyu had some regrets on what happened later, but Jiang Xiaohan was after all his former old friend. He did not expect such a talented girl to die so early.
After a long while.
“How did she die?” Ye Qingyu asked.
Tang San, noticing that the Young Lord was not in a good mood, immediately answered in a low voice, “She and Miss Bai were the same, shortly after that battle, the news of her death came. The Jiang family originally buried her cenotaph in their ancestral land and was only moved here one month ago.”
Tang San still had some vague impressions of Jiang Xiaohan.
He heard from the servants of the family that on the night when Young Lord came back from Youyan Pass, there was a girl called Jiang Xiaohan who came to find Young Lord, but Young Lord refused to see her——
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