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The door of Yang Pojun’s office was shut. Only four people were inside the room—Yang Gongming, the old woman, Yang Pojun and Ning Guangyao.
Even Ning Guangyao’s son, Ning Guodong, wasn’t qualified to listen to the conversation.
Yang Gongming sat on the office chair which was usually used by Yang Pojun, while Yang Pojun and Ning Guangyao sat beside each other, on two wooden chairs.
After thinking for a while, Yang Gongming said, “Premier Ning, this matter has been entirely an internal issue. It shouldn’t have been exposed, but since you’ve no doubt heard something, in addition to the good relationship between the Ning and Yang clans, it doesn't matter too much if I tell you the whole story.”
“Father.” Yang Pojun frowned. He didn’t expect that Yang Gongming was going to reveal these matters to outsiders. Moreover, the first person he told was the current premier of China.
Ning Guangyao noticed Yang Pojun’s nervous look. Soon, he said, “Old Yang, I initially wouldn’t have asked about it if you weren’t going to mention it. However, since you want to explain it to me, I assure you I’ll keep absolute secrecy of the events that happened today.”
“Hehe, I believe Premier is a trustworthy man,” Yang Gongming said before briefly telling the story about Yang Chen.
Having listened to Yang Gongming talk about the past, Ning Guangyao appeared to be rather sorrowful. “If you didn’t get elected back then, the Chinese government would’ve collapsed long ago. Although ordinary people cannot grasp your meritorious contributions to the country, at the very least your juniors have all received your teaching. It’s the same principle as me continuing to treat you as my respected teacher even after my father had passed away and I took over the Ning clan as the clan master. I didn’t expect that something this saddening had occured before Old Yang was elected. Fortunately, Yang Chen had grown to be an outstanding man. In a way, this had brought round some good news.”
“Humph,” Yang Pojun snorted in disdain. “He’s domineering and cocky. How is he outstanding?” he asked.
“Pojun!” Yang Gongming yelled furiously. “Stop provoking Yang Chen in the future. Are you still so oblivious to his power?”
Yang Pojun clenched his teeth before nodding.
Although he was still extremely displeased, he knew that his long-lost son was exceptional, having seen his ability to stop bullets.
However, no matter how competent Yang Chen was, Yang Pojun felt that he wasn’t as commendable as people revered him to be, as he still refused to follow his father Yang Pojun’s commands.
Yang Pojun’s biggest fear was that, the events that transpired today, would be leaked to the media, which would significantly affect his elections two months down the road, causing his hard work to all be wasted!
Ning Guangyao seemed to be able to tell what Yang Pojun was worried about. “Pojun, don’t worry, if I must, I’ll assist you in your elections.”
“Eh?” Yang Pojun was shocked by what he just heard. Ning Guangyao was known to be an impartial man. He wasn’t one who would use his position and power to tip the scales to his favor.
Ning Guangyao said, “It would not be right for Yang Chen’s case to affect your election in the politburo. Everyone knows the effort you’ve put in over the years. You shouldn’t be affected by such a matter.”
Yang Pojun rejoiced as he heard the news. As long as Ning Guangyao was willing to help him, his success in winning the election were pretty much guaranteed. However, this would mean that his success was brought by the hands of another. Even if he managed to become one of the country’s leaders in the future, he’d be mocked by others behind his back…
At last, am I still inferior to him?
Ning Guangyao wasn’t someone who had too much free time. He looked at the time before standing up. Before he left, he hesitated for a while and said to Yang Pojun softly, “Pojun, find time to reconcile with Xuehua. She’s a pitiful woman. She doesn’t deserve to continue to be sad…”
With his head lowered, Yang Pojun hummed in acknowledgement. However, no one saw the glint in Yang Pojun’s eyes.
After sending Ning Guangyao off, Yang Gongming turned around and said to Yang Pojun, “You, come with me.”
Yang Pojun’s mind was flooded with questions, regarding why Yang Gongming was constantly trying to misconstrued his plans and his biased behavior towards Yang Chen. More importantly, he was most curious about Yang Chen’s background. Father seems to know a lot about him, but why didn’t he tell me? Is there possibly a backstory to this? Just how important is the ‘military secret’ Lin Zhiguo mentioned?
Following Yang Gongming, Yang Pojun was led to a courtyard near the foothill, at the back of the military compound. Yang Gongming walked into the house reserved for his use. From a red, wooden cabinet, he extracted a thick book made of sheepskin and silk. The book looked ancient, but was kept in mint condition as it wasn’t damaged at all.
Yang Pojun fixed his gaze on the book upon seeing it. “Is it the clan pedigree?!”
“That’s right, this book holds the records of every member from the Yang clan,” Yang Gongming said before putting the pedigree onto a stone table in the courtyard. He flipped it open carefully. The yellowed pieces of paper, made of silk, had words written by writing brushes. The names of each ancestor from the Yang clan in addition to their dates of births and deaths, and brief descriptions were written down.
Some of them were nobles, while others were merely hawkers. Various types of people could be found.
Yang Gongming flipped through the book as he said, “Our clan inherited this pedigree some time between the Tang and Song dynasties. It got destroyed a couple times, but most of the information was recovered. In this pedigree, most of our ancestors from their times were elites, although there were a few black sheep from time to time. In every period of history, the Yang clan played a major role in almost every dynasty.
“When he was educating me, your grandfather once said, ‘No matter where you are, everyone from the Yang clan must live their lives to guard the honor of the Yang Clan, and always remember your identity as the clan member every time you make a decision.’ This was how you were educated from young, like your father has and your forefathers before you..
“In your grandfather’s generation, our clan suffered significant losses at the hands of some foreigners. It was believed that half of our businesses were lost in the process. However, your grandfather relied on his courage as a clan member to guard the clan’s honor, even if it meant it would cost his life. Because of your grandfather, our clan managed to bring itself back to its former glory.
“I’ve never felt that all my achievements that I have gotten, was impressive in any way. Compared to your grandfather, I got lucky, as I was able to get elected due to the reputation of the Yang clan…”
Yang Gongming currently looked at Yang Pojun in an indifferent manner. Sighing, he said, “Pojun, no matter what challenges you are faced with, regardless of the outcome, none of them represents anything. Remember that your life which was given unto you, was to be part of the Yang clan and its ideals. Everything you do is in the light of the clan’s honor. Thus, you must do that which is the same. Regardless of your rank or style of life, you mustn’t lose conscience. This way, centuries later, our names will be deeply engraved in this pedigree as well…”
Yang Pojun looked at the pedigree engraved with the brilliance of his ancestors on the stone table while flames filled his eyes. Encouraged, he said, “Father, I understand it now. I definitely won’t bring shame to the clan.”
Yang Gongming frowned as he looked at the passionate expression of his son. He asked again, “Do you really understand what it means to bring honor to the clan now?”
“Yes, I do.”
Yang Gongming sighed before smiling. “Since you have understood, go and do what you need to. Treat what I said as nonsense that wasted your time.”
“Thanks Father for your teaching!”
Yang Pojun bowed before turning around and leaving.
Yang Gongming touched the golden knitted words ‘Pedigree of the Yang Clan’ on the book with his skinny and weak hand. As if he was talking to himself, he said, “You claim you do, but I wonder, how much do you really understand of this…”
At this moment, the old woman who had been silently standing behind Yang Gongming walked forward and said, “Master, there is nothing that can be forced. Everyone has their own calling.”
“Hehe, yeah, everyone has their own calling,” Yang Gongming replied. He then seemed to have thought of something. “Sanniang, what do you feel about Yang Chen’s competence?”
The old woman called ‘Sanniang’ smiled as she looked at Yang Pojun’s face which held high expectations. “Are you referring to his ability in martial arts?
“Yes. Judging by the show he put up earlier, his internal energy should be incredibly profound, am I right?” Yang Gongming asked with a smile. “The information provided by Lin Zhiguo is accurate indeed.”
“It’s accurate.” Sanniang’s highly wrinkled face revealed a kind smile. “I’m too was astonished when I found out Young Master Chen reached Xiantian Full Cycle at such a young age. Even Song Tianxing did not possess the talents of this man. Based on my estimation, it’s certain that Young Master Chen has the potential to proceed to the next step. It’s only a matter of time before he understands the key.”
Yang Gongming first looked serious, and soon got extremely pleased. “Really? Is the kid Yang Chen really able to understand the key?”
“Young Master Chen practises Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture, a long-lost technique from Kunlun Mountain. He should’ve found out that the ninth level of internal energy of that technique, will give him a feeling that he had stopped midway. When his understanding towards internal energy slowly deepens, he’ll soon progress to a whole new level,” Sanniang said confidently.
“Hahahaha,” Yang Gongming laughed comfortably. “At that time, I bet he’ll be distressed.”
“Distressed? Why do you say so, Master?” Sanniang asked.
Yang Gongming said, “He must be thinking he’s at the peak of the world after getting the inheritance of ‘Pluto’. However, who would’ve expected him to have always been an ant in the eyes of the others…”
“I see…” Sanniang nodded. Her smile made her eyelids come together, forming two lines on her face.