My first thought was 'Oh! That's the young man Kaiei starts getting interested in at the Southern Ocean' (that no one here has met.) However, on second thought I'm not sure said young man (son of Goushou's chief steward IIRC) is quite so peerless a beauty as that. But then I'd never thought Pipang was a peerless beauty either. joasakura drew me a picture of him long ago, which has to be here on one of these HDs somewhere, and she made him, mhh, I think 'lovesome' is the word I'd use. It's a gestalt, not just a physical attractiveness. I'd vaguely conceived Pipang as being good-looking enough, but of course no one looks at his *features* ever. It's that rare colour of his that focusses attention and inspires passion.
Only... only... what if Pipang in fact *was* an empire-shaking beauty and didn't know it? What if he'd assumed all along that people's excessive reaction to him was down to his rare colouring only, rare being equated with desirable by definition; and no one had ever realized his misunderstanding? It'd be a nice twist; it would also explain Kaiei's coup de foudre as well, in terms that make Kaiei look not quite such a dweeb as before. Though of course one could debate which was the greater mark of superficiality-- desire because someone has a rare physical trait, or desire because he has exquisite features.
And here I also fancy I'm being western again: a person's outward physical form is just accident, not essence; it's an unimportant detail compared to their inner being. 'Adolescent Kaiei doesn't appreciate the true beauty of Pipang's **soul**!' Which is rational up to a point-- one's face is not oneself. But I can see a mindset that holds that yes it is, just as much as one's soul is oneself. What I wish to avoid is the mindset that says beauty doesn't matter for certain people-- the ones with power-- but defines the ones without