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The Big Landlord 49.1

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Chapter 49.1 – Homecoming Crisis*

[*T/N: 回门风波 I simplified the title in English, but the full meaning in Chinese would be “first return of bride to her parental home crisis”]

When Fang Jun Ping and Zheng Bi heard that An Zi Ran had come back, they immediately took their daughters along and rushed over.

When they saw that there was another man beside An Zi Ran, like Wang Qing Lan, they also froze up. They did not expect An Zi Ran to bring several strangers back with him.

“The young master of An is finally willing to come back. Looks like he found those relatives. How are the relatives of An family doing?” There were thorns in Zheng Bi’s words. As she spoke she looked around the hall, but she didn’t see An Yu Zhi’s figure, and so she thought that the girl had returned to her boudoir. She saw Fu Wu Tian sitting beside An Zi Ran in one of the two main chairs of the hall and thought that he must be An Yu Zhi’s husband.
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At this time, the news that An Yu Zhi fled from the marriage has not yet reached An Yuan County.

All the people present knew that the so-called ‘relatives’ was actually Fu Wu Tian (and his family). He was the contracted marriage partner of An Yu Zhi. Since the two have married and said their vows, naturally he would be a part of the family now, and thus a ‘relative.’

After seeing Fu Wu Tian, the jealousy within An Qiao E and An Ke Xin grew even stronger.

Fu Wu Tian had a handsome face and an impressive aura. He had a different type of attractiveness than his subordinate, Guan Su. His was a domineering and heroic type of charm, full of masculinity. His strong body gave off a sense of security. Compared to the pretty boy appeal of Guan Su, his type was even more likely to attract women. Especially against An Qiao E and An Ke Xin, these two girls who never left home, his handsome appearance was even more potent. They could practically swoon from just one look.

But one couldn’t blame them for being fascinated by Fu Wu Tian.

Ever since the rumors of Fu Wu Tian’s ugliness were shattered, the entire Jun Zi City now knew that Da Ya’s God of War was a handsome and unrestrained man.

Especially those young girls who saw Fu Wu Tian on the day of the big wedding, their hearts were practically tied to him now. Even though he was already married, there were countless people who still wanted to be his imperial concubine. If it weren’t for the fact that he has only been married for three days, there would certainly be a long line of women at the door of the Fu palace.

Zheng Bi’s eyes fell on Fu Wu Tian. With a handkerchief covering her mouth, she smiled and said, “This person couldn’t possible be our An family’s relative. Don’t know what is this gentleman’s esteemed name? And which of our An family’s relative are you?”

Her words were not very polite.

She has been married to An Chang Fu for almost twenty years, how could she not know all the people related to the An family? In spite of knowing that Fu Wu Tian could not possibly be a previous relation, she still said those words, and there was ridicule in her voice. In particular, the last sentence, it was said with the subtext of ‘I know you are not a relative of the family.’ It was purely with the attitude of watching a joke.

But who was Fu Wu Tian?

All of Da Ya’s hundreds of thousands of troops must obey before him, let alone one woman.

Fu Wu Tian’s pair of dark and fathomless eyes fell upon Zheng Bi. “Would the An family’s son-in-law be considered a relative?”

Zheng Bi had never seen such unfathomable eyes. She was scared stiff. She almost couldn’t hold on to her handkerchief and dropped it to the floor. Her scalp went numb and her tongue almost froze over. Barely managing to pull a smile onto her face she said, “This concubine has not heard that a daughter of An have been married. This gentleman must be joking.”

Fu Wu Tian spoke with insouciance, “Just because you have not heard does not mean that the An family does not have a son-in-law. If you don’t know, then that just means you are not qualified.”

Zheng Bi’s face twisted.

Fang Jun Ping and Wang Qing Lan’s expressions were also not good. To say that Zheng Bi was not qualified, that automatically included them too. Although they knew that a concubine’s status was low, to hear it in person was still hard to swallow.

Wang Qing LAn suddenly spoke up, “Zi Ran, why didn’t Yu Zhi come back with you?”

She was the first to come out and ‘greet’ them. At that time, she stood atop the steps of the hall and had a relatively wide field of vision. Although she couldn’t see the situation at the front door, even if An Zi Ran had An Yu Zhi return to her boudoir, it couldn’t have been that fast, so the only explanation was that An Yu Zhi did not come back with them. Why didn’t she come back? Intuition told her that there was something wrong with this.

An Zi Ran’s eyes snapped to her. He always knew that Wang Qing Lan was a smart person. It was not unexpected for her to realize that An Yu Zhi was not with them.

“She ran away from the marriage.”

When those words were said, everyone was shocked.

Even An Qiao E and An Ke Xin who had their eyes downcast couldn’t help but raise their heads, revealing a shocked expression. They couldn’t digest this heavy news for a while. They didn’t even have time to gloat.

Zheng Bi quickly used her handkerchief to cover her mouth and couldn’t stop the schadenfreude. “Our Yu Zhi is the Third Miss of An, how could she run away from a marriage?”

“That’s right. Could you have mistaken? How could the young miss of the first wife run away from marriage?!” Wang Qing Lan also echoed. Although she tried to express shock in her voice, she still could not hide the hidden shade of happiness within it.

Only Fang Jun Ping, who was not good with words, did not speak, but her eyes showed a hint of happiness.

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Muse: I know it’s dissatisfying to see when a chapter has been split, so I would like to clarify for you what is the deciding factor that divides a chapter. If the original text is over 2600 characters long, then the chapter gets updated in two parts, because all of us who have seen that many Chinese characters together can probably agree that it is a nightmare to look at. Anything below that cut-off point will get updated as a full chapter, even if it is at a frustrating 2599 characters long.

Just a heads up, once we hit the VIP chapters (around chapter 58) almost all the chapters are over 2600 (and even 6000) characters long, so you will see chapters divided into two or three parts, but I will always try my best to keep a minimum of 1200 characters per update (sometimes the 2600 characters don’t split evenly during translation), so I hope you won’t be too disappointed when you start seeing consecutive chapters being split into parts.

Posted in The Big Landlord

The Big Landlord 48

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Chapter 48 – Return to the An Family

The next day, they finally arrived at An Yuan County.

The night before, they had stopped in a small town and stayed at an inn there for one night. The next morning, they had set off early and arrived at their destination in half an hour. The farmers in An Yuan County were used to getting up early and sleeping late. The sky was not yet bright when they glimpsed the silhouette of An Zi Ran’s group.
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The location of An Yuan County was not remote. Occasionally, some caravans could be seen passing by. But those were merchant caravans; therefore they were definitely not very luxurious. So when the farmers saw the opulent horse carriage from the Fu palace, most of them would pause in their work and stare. They watched until the carriage pulled onto one of An Yuan County’s streets. Then they exchanged a few words and went back to farming.

The carriage soon stopped before the main gates of the An estate.

The absent-gaze doorkeeper sitting by the gate jumped up in shock. He stared nervously at the carriage. He had never seen such a luxurious carriage before, and the An family did not own such a good carriage. So he did not expect that the young master of the family would be coming back, until Fu Wu Tian helped An Zi Ran get off the carriage, and then the doorkeeper’s chin fell to the ground.

“Young Master, you’ve finally returned.”

The doorkeeper fixed his rivet gaze on An Zi Ran as he came closer.

An Zi Ran asked, “In the time that I was away, did anything big happen in the family during my absence?”

The doorkeeper shook his head at first, but then he returned to his senses and nodded his head instead. “The Big Master* and his wife came by once. They caused a big ruckus, but because you weren’t here and Concubine Fang doesn’t have the authority to make decisions, they left after that.”

[*T/N: Referring to the uncle. Steward Su called him 二老爷 (Second Master) but the doorkeeper called him 大老爷 (Big Master)]

An Zi Ran nodded and walked inside. He did not ask what his uncle and aunt came for.

The doorkeeper looked at the man who walked in with the young master. He opened his mouth and seemed to want to say something. Although he was a servant, even he could tell that this man was no ordinary person. He didn’t think that the young master would go out on a trip and bring back such a person.

At first, Wang Qing Lan and them (the concubines) could not guess the purpose for why An Zi Ran left An Yuan County with his younger siblings. They could not have known that the Old Master was hiding such a big secret. Furthermore, he didn’t let news of the marriage contract slip out, so not many people knew about this matter.

And then An Change De came to cause a scene.

An Chang De found out from the county head magistrate that An Zi Ran went to Jun Zi City to look for relatives (through marriage). He had been apprehensive all this time. Later, Prefectural Magistrate Jiang also found out about this matter. It was impossible to determine the identity of the mysterious person, so they did not dare to hastily try taking advantage of the An family again. Thus, their plans were temporarily postponed. For this reason, he had always felt choked with resentment.

If An Zi Ran really does find a big backer from Jun Zi City, then he would surely take care of him first thing when he returned (to An Yuan County).

But no matter what, he was still An Zi Ran’s uncle. He didn’t think that small brat would dare to start something with him. But what if that brat suddenly hardened his heart and became ruthless?

Because of that tiny possibility, he had made a trip to the An family not too long ago, hoping to see if he could find anything out from Wang Qing Lan and the others. Who would have thought that the information was so tenaciously concealed from them? He could not get a single word of information from them.

Wang Qing Lan and them were very shocked by this news (of the marriage contract).

When An Zi Ran left with his younger siblings, he had only told them (the concubines) that he was going out to visit some distant relatives. But the truth of the matter was that the An family did not have many relatives, so they guessed that it must have something to do with the uncle.

An Chang De once stirred up the local farmers to cause trouble for the An family. This was not a secret, because later, a few people stepped up to confess the truth and pointed out the mastermind behind the mess. The uncle’s target was the An family’s assets. At that time, he was among the group of rioters. He was the first one to take the lead and start trouble. He left an impression, so there were quite a few people that still remembered him. Everyone believed him when he spoke.

Since then, An Change De became a target of scorn.

Every time he went out on the streets people would point at him and blame him for the riot. Although he held the title of a scholar, he started eyeing up his nephew’s assets not long after his younger brother’s death. Not to mention, he even found people to cause trouble for the An family. This kind of person, even if he achieved scholarly honor (in imperial exams), he would still be spurned by the masses.

(T/N: Looks like our protagonists won’t have to do much to bring down this uncle. He’s already dragging his own reputation through the mud. XP)

An Change De was a temperamental person. He could not stand the eyes of contempt, so he went to seek the county head magistrate. He wanted the magistrate to find and capture those people who were talking bad about him behind his back. The result, he was ridiculed by the county head magistrate.

(T/N: No, duh.)

He was a scholar, how could he not understand this point? To capture all the people that gossiped behind other’s backs… that would be a huge number of people. To arrest all those people, let’s not mention that the Da Ya Dynasty did not have that many jail cells, but to feed all the people within those available jail cells would be enough to collapse the empire. That kind of brainless action could only be thought up by a brainless person.

Regardless of how An Change De tossed about and resisted, his reputation has become as stinky as sewage water.

However, An Change De had a wife that came from a literary family, and Wang Qing Lan and them knew this.

The An family was engaged in business and trade. After An Chang Fu’s death, some of the former business contacts were broken. The other contacts did not have the power to fight against a prefectural magistrate, so the concubines thought that An Zi Ran left to avoid this trouble. They never thought that it would be because of a marriage contract that the Old Master had concealed from a long time ago.

“Why? Why is it An Yu Zhi? How is my daughter any worse than that An Yu Zhi?”

In a fit of anger, Fang Jun Ping swept the things off the top of her dressing table with her arms. Crash. Bang. The things clattered to the floor. The force of her arms sent pieces of jewelry flying to the four corners of her room.

When she heard that the marriage partner was some wealthy person in Jun Zi City, she threw a fit of dissatisfaction. It was as An Zi Ran had predicted. Her daughter was already eighteen and still not married yet, so how could An Yu Zhi get married first. So what if she was Liu Mei Xiang’s daughter? That woman was already dead.

An Qiao E stood to the side without talking, but her face was evidently gloomy.

In another room, the third concubine Zheng Bi was unexpectedly calm.

Zheng Bi was shred and had a poisonous tongue. She wasn’t like Fang Jun Ping. She wouldn’t throw a fit and make a mess in her room when she was angry. Ever since An Zi Ran took over as head of the family, the concubines’ expenses have been cut in half. If the things inside their rooms were broken, the replacement fees would be deducted from their monthly allowance.

“Mother, you just wait for an opportunistic time. Your daughter, I, will marry a man with more status than Prefectural Magistrate Jiang. Then we’ll see how he can keep being arrogant in front of us. Even if he is the big landlord of An Yuan County, he will still have to kneel and pay respects to me.” The person that An Ke Xin loathed the most was An Zi Ran. Their birth dates were three days apart, so she always hated him for stealing their father’s attention away ever since their childhoods. She’d always believed that the reason she did not received their father’s love and attention was because of An Zi Ran.

Zheng Bi immediately took her by the hand. “Daughter, you must get vengeance for your mother.”

“Mother, don’t worry, your daughter won’t let you down.” An Ke Xin inherited her mother’s beauty. She was very confident in herself.

As for Wang Qing Lan, she had no children. Unlike the other two concubines, she knew that her future could only depend upon An Zi Ran. Her mind was full of calculations. So when she heard that An Zi Ran came back, she was the first one to come out and welcome him.

From afar, she could see Fu Wu Tian standing shoulder to shoulder with An Zi Ran. With this one look, she suddenly froze up.

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The Big Landlord 47

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Chapter 47 – Farmers

The tea shed was very simple, with a straw roof on top. Beneath that were several tables and chairs. The people who passed by would be thirsty and hungry and thus stop to rest and refuel at this rest stop. The traffic here was rather high.

When everyone’s curiosity was satisfied, they withdrew their gazes from An Zi Ran’s group, and the sound of people talking once again filled the tea shed. From time to time the server’s loud voice could be heard among the ambient chatter. Their tea and snacks were soon served up. This time the server did not try to sneak looks at them.
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Even though it was spring, the midday sun was still very warm.

Several plain-attired farmers suddenly appeared in the tea shed with their children.

The adults were carrying large parcels and they led the children towards the tea shed. Their expressions did not look good. The people in the tea shed could not help but subconsciously glance at the newcomers.

Over at the next table, the conversation between two men caught An Zi Ran’s attention.

“There are disasters everywhere. It’s getting worse and worse in this year.” A man wearing coarse hemp garments set his cup heavily on the table and made a loud noise.

Another person at the same table immediately said, “How do you know that they are escaping from disaster?”

The man said, “You haven’t been back in three years so naturally you don’t know. To get from Chang Province to Maple City, one must pass through this area. What kind of place is Chang Province? That is the area where natural disasters occur most frequently. Disasters strike there at regular intervals. If it is not a flood then it is a drought. Last year, flood broke out, flooding many fields and villages. Many people were displaced and had to migrate to other places.”

The other person nodded, but then he thought of something and said, “Maple City is the closest place to Chang Province. If people want to migrate, they would always go to Maple City. However, it seems that this year there has been no natural disaster in Chang Province. So how come there are still Chang Province people appearing here?”

“That I do not know.” The man touched his chin in thought. “Perhaps they are worried that natural disasters will break out in the future, so they are moving ahead of time. After all, it happened last year.”

“Leaving Chang Province earlier is also a good idea.”

“That is, many people in Chang Province are not going to survive like this, and the imperial family does not know…”

The other person hurried hissed for silence and lowered his voice, “Talking about the imperial family in public, do you want to die?” At this they deliberately looked over at An Zi Ran’s group who had came from Jun Zi City.

The man immediately went mum.

One of the farmers asked the server for a pot of tea. After the server brought over the tea, the farmer took out some dry food from his pack. The dry food was made of miscellaneous grains. They’ve been out for a long time so the texture was a bit tough. He handed his wife and son a piece of the coarse biscuit, and then swallowed his portion with the tea. The biscuit was not delicious. The two adults furrowed their brows from time to time as they ate. The child couldn’t chew it down at all. The farmer’s wife asked the server for a bowl. Then she tore the hard biscuit and soaked it in the bowl with the tea. When the biscuit softened, she gave it to the child.

The child couldn’t eat this thing and his eyes were always glued to the piping hot buns on Steward Su’s table.

Steward Su sympathized with the malnourished child. When he noticed the child’s gaze his heart softened. He called the child over and gave him the three buns left on the table.

The child was a bit hesitant at first, but after all, he couldn’t resist the temptation of the buns. Despite his parent’s astonishment, he ran over. With excitement, he carried the steaming buns back to his table. Very sensibly he gave the buns to his parents to eat.

The farmer and his wife’s eyes became moist.

A child from another family looked over with envy. They came from the same village. That family was also eating hard biscuits, and they did not carry much money. In order to save money and arrive at Maple City as quickly as possible, they’ve only been eating the dry food they brought with them.

Steward Su’s compassion was overwhelming, and he looked imploringly at An Zi Ran.

An Zi Ran did not hesitate. He called him over and said something in his ear. Steward Su immediately complied. He had the server bring up some more buns and personally gave the buns to the other family of farmers.

“Wi… Zi Ran, why the sudden interest in Chang Province?”

Under An Zi Ran’s silent glare, Fu Wu Tian obediently swallowed back the word “wife,” and switched to a new form of address. Fu Wu Tian had heard An Zi Ran’s whispered words and found that his wang fei had ordered Steward Su to go inquired about Chang Province’s circumstances, thus he became curious.

An Zi Ran said, “Nothing, simply asking.”

Seeing that he refused to say, Fu Wu Tian did not ask again.

After a while, Steward Su came back. He distributed more than a dozen buns to the two families and received their sincere gratitude. Hereafter, they answered everything he asked.

After a quarter of an hour, the group hit the road again.

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The Big Landlord 46

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Chapter 46 – Wife’s Tiny Younger Brother

Returning to the Fu palace from the An courtyard, An Zi Ran brought back a little bun with him. Fu Wu Tian began to make arrangements for wang fei’s return home. For fear of not making it back to the An family in time, they could leave today, and make it back to An Yuan County in time for tomorrow, but they would have to stay outside for one night.
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An Zi Ran decided to hold off on departure until early tomorrow morning.

There weren’t too many things that they needed to prepare, but it was already getting late, and they would still have to stay outside and make camp for one night.

Fu Wu Tian naturally listened to his words. He didn’t like the idea of having to stay outside so soon after marrying either. And if his wang fei wanted to take both rooms (tents?), then he would have to suck it up and go crowd with the others. No matter how he looked at it, it wasn’t very advantageous to him.

Fu lao wang ye knew that they have to leave early in the morning, and immediately promised his grandson and granddaughter-in-law that he would wait for them to come back, and that everything would still be good and calm when they return.

Fu Wu Tian did not believe his words at all. After the illness, not only did Fu lao wang ye like to mouth off all the time, he also had ADHD. Everyday he would run all over the place, causing trouble everywhere. His vitality completely belied the fact that he was an old man of sixty. So before setting off the next day, he instructed the head steward, Fu Yi, to look after the lao wang ye.

The Fu palace had a total of two stewards. Steward Li was only the deputy steward, and not the main steward.

The head steward was a middle-aged man with a beard. He was smaller than Steward Su by a little, but he had a very gentle smile. Compared to Steward Li, he was much more approachable. But this wasn’t the first time that An Zi Ran saw him.

During the wedding ceremony yesterday, he saw this Steward Fu standing not far from the lao wang ye’s side. At that time, he only took a quick glance and did not look very carefully. He heard him go out this morning, so he only really saw him now.

Wang ye, please rest assured, I will take good care of lao wang ye.” Fu Yi nodded and smiled. His manner was neither obsequious nor supercilious. Instead of being like a servant, he was more like an elder to Fu Wu Tian. In fact, it could be seen from his surname, Fu, that the status of the head steward was definitely not just a simple servant.

An Zi Ran heard that he and Fu Wu Tian’s big wedding was singlehandedly handled by the head steward.

At this time, Fu Wu Tian also said, “In addition, I will have to trouble Head Steward to take care of wang fei’s younger brother. My wife’s tiny younger brother, he is less than four months old, you have to pay more attention.”

Wife’s tiny younger brother?

An Zi Ran was amazed at his consideration. He was also prepared to mention this matter, but when he heard ‘wife’s tiny younger brother’ he suddenly felt a moment of embarrassment. Fu Wu Tian sure had thick skin. An Zi Ran could never measure up to that level of shamelessness.

Wang ye can also rest assured on this matter.” Fu Yi heard about this incident when he returned yesterday. He knew that wang ye wanted to accompany wang fei to his parental home and had already made arrangements early on.

Of course Fu Wu Tian knew that this attentive steward would take good care of An Zi Ming. He only said it out loud so that his wang fei could hear it and leave the palace with peace of mind.

Then they took the carriage and left Jun Zi City to set off for An Yuan County.

The carriage bore the symbol of the Fu palace and almost everyone in Jun Zi City recognized it. But outside of Jun Zi City no one could identify the symbol.

However, the carriage was very luxurious. When people looked at the appearance they could tell that the owner’s identity was extraordinary. The space inside was also very large. It could hold up to four or five adults, and the speed was very fast. Compared to the carriage that An Zi Ran rode before, it was one or two times faster. At this speed, they could rush to An Yuan County before dark.

An Zi Ran parted the curtain and looked at the running horses. They had brown fur and skin and looked very valiant and formidable. At a glance it was clear that these were not some run of the mill horses. Using such fine horses to pull a carriage, what a waste of good resources.

Fu Wu Tian looked over at An Zi Ran who was sitting two seats away from him. He saw him looking outside and asked casually, “What is wang fei looking at?”

An Zi Ran withdrew his gaze. “You’re willing to use such fine horses to pull a carriage?”

Fu Wu Tian said with joy, “Even the best horse is not as important as wang fei’s return to his parental home. The ordinary horse is not fast enough. They have to stop often to rest. That would make the journey longer.”

Hearing that it was one for him, An Zi Ran could not help but glance at Fu Wu Tian from the corner of his eye.

Fu Wu Tian calmly let An Zi Ran size him up.

An Zi Ran withdrew his gaze. This man was indeed considerate enough to make him emotionally moved. The things that he had yet to take notice of, Fu Wu Tian had already paid attention to. But the more thoughtful Fu Wu Tian was, the more determined An Zi Ran was to leave. Otherwise, he feared that one day he would fall into the enemy’s hands. The temptation of a gentle and caring man was too much, even if the other person had the same (male) parts as himself.

[T/N: Just fall to ‘enemy’ occupation An Zi Ran. XP]

At precisely noon.

The carriage passed by a tea shed (a.k.a. rest stop) and Fu Wu Tian ordered for a break.

The number of people on this journey was not high. On An Zi Ran’s side there was only him, Steward Su, and two servants. Fu Wu Tian only brought two of his subordinates. They were Ge Qian An and Shao Fei.

However, Fu Wu Tian seemed to have let the head steward prepare a lot of gifts. It nearly filled up one horse carriage. When the carriage pulled to a stop it attracted a lot of attention from the people at the tea shed.

“What would these customers like to eat? Our small shop is simple and crude. Please excuse us for not having much good things here.” A server came over to them with a smile. One could tell that this group of people must have status by the luxurious clothes they wore. Afraid of disappointing these important guests with their shop’s simple dishes, the server decided to explain in advance.

Fu Wu Tian looked at An Zi Ran, “What does wife want to eat?”

As soon as those words came out, the server’s astonished eyes fell upon An Zi Ran.

An Zi Ran’s expression sank.

He did not answer. Fu Wu Tian had the server bring out a pot of tea first, followed by some buns and other snack dishes. Then the server hurriedly turned and fled to escape.

An Zi Ran said with a blank expression, “Don’t call me wife.” He could endure being called wang fei, but they were no longer in Jun Zi City. The people outside did not know that the relationship between them was husband and wife, so he did not want to broadcast it.

“Then what does my wife want me to call you?” Fu Wu Tian asked.

An Zi Ran paused. He preferred that Fu Wu Tian call him An gong zi, but it was obviously impossible.

Fu Wu Tian joked, “How about An Shao*?”

[*T/N: An as in his last name, and 少 shao uses the character for “few” or “young,” but apparently it’s also a more formal way of saying of 小 xiao “small” or “little.”]

An Zi Ran calmly glanced at him. “If you like to call me that, I won’t mind.”

Fu Wu Tian immediately changed his tune. “Just kidding. When we go out in the future I will call you Zi Ran.”

An Zi Ran’s facial nerves became paralyzed.

[T/N: This last sentence was 安子然面瘫 which literally means “An Zi Ran facial nerve paralysis.” XD]

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The Big Landlord 45

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Chapter 45 – Royal Mentality

After eating breakfast, Fu Wu Tian went to the study room with Fu lao wang ye.

Without anything to do, An Zi Ran decided to have the two maids from that morning accompany him while he familiarized himself with the palace. He would be living there for the time being, so even if he were to leave in the future, he still couldn’t let people make a joke out of him. Although he was married, he was still the head of the An family. If people treated him lightly, it would also affect the An family.
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The two maids were arranged by Fu Wu Tian. When they heard he wanted to look around the palace, they followed behind him with alertness.

Although Fu Wu Tian’s servants weren’t bad, An Zi Ran was still used to having Chun Lan and Qiu Lan by his side. He wasn’t comfortable with strangers getting too close to him. He thought of setting aside a time to talk to Fu Wu Tian about it, and see if he could have them come into the palace.

Thinking while he walked, he soon came upon the kitchen.

An Zi Ran glanced at it and was about to turn around and leave, but the voices of the gathered servants floated over to him. He only heard fragments of dialogue, but the contents of the conversation were all about him and Fu Wu Tian.

“I have never seen such a gentle side of wang ye, he really pampers wang fei.”

“You guys don’t know, but yesterday night when I was carrying some wine jugs through the corridor I just so happened to hear a sound. It was the wang fei’s voice crying out in ecstasy. It made me embarrassed to death just to listen.”

Understanding the implications, a few people snickered behind their sleeves.

“Hmph, the way I see it, there is nothing remarkable about wang ye favoring wang fei.”

The maid standing at the very back sneered.

A few of the maids looked at each other. “Xi Mei, you can’t talk nonsense.”

Xi Mei smiled smugly, “Who told you that I was talking nonsense? I spoke the truth. Wang fei is favored by wang ye, but he is still a man after all. In the future, wang ye will still have to take a concubine to continue the family line. Furthermore, among the attending wedding guests yesterday, did you see the princes of the emperor?”

Her words were reasonable and several people found themselves at lost for words.

Although the emperor agreed to let Fu Wu Tian take a man as his wang fei, and even admitted An Zi Ran’s name into the royal registry, it did not mean that the emperor really accepted his nephew’s wife. So among the guest last night, the number of royal family members that came to participate could be counted on one hand. The emperor’s princes were prime examples. They only sent some people to deliver the wedding presents and say a few celebratory words. Not even their shadows could be seen. This was enough to mark their attitude towards the whole affair.

The two maids’ faces were tight with anxiety. They did not expect to hear people gossiping about wang fei and wang ye, especially those words of Xi Mei’s. They were unable to grasp wang fei’s emotions. Was he angry? They could only look at his back, on one hand hoping that he would leave quickly, and on the other hand hoping that those people would stop talking.

Wang fei?”

The maid hesitated a moment and then called out to him.

Her voice alerted those gossipers. One by one they turned their heads to look. When they saw that the person standing in the hallway was the topic of conversation they just talked about their faces all turned white.

Xi Mei’s face also turned pasty white.

Whether the emperor liked wang fei or not, the fact that wang ye favored wang fei was a reality. In the morning, they all saw how much wang ye pampered wang fei, he even personally peeled an egg for him.

If this matter passed along to the ear of wang ye, she could foresee the picture of herself being swept out of the palace.

“Let’s go.” An Zi Ran’s gaze swept across them, and then he turned and walked away. The people observing him could not understand his temper. In the end, was he angry or not? It made one even more nervous.

The two maids rushed to keep up.

It didn’t take long for Fu Wu Tian to hear about this matter. An Zi Ran didn’t need to say anything at all. Fu Wu Tian was the master of this palace, if he didn’t even know what was happening within his domain wouldn’t that make him too incompetent? But Xi Mei was not driven out of the palace. She fell from her high status as a servant under Fu lao wang ye to a low status servant that washed the toilets. This kind of rough work was usually done by men.

Even the servants of Da Ya were separated by rank, especially those in wealthy households.

Generally they were divided into high rank and low rank servants. High rank servants had it relatively easy. They took care of their masters and often had the opportunity to follow their masters out to see the world. Low rank servants could only do heavy work, such as carrying water and chopping firewood, etc.
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Xi Mei suddenly descended from a high rank servant to a low rank servant, and it was even cleaning the toilet, this kind of dirty work, the gap was very big. In her heart, she definitely couldn’t accept it. In addition, she was mean and a gossiper, always talking bad about people behind their backs. She didn’t have many relations with people within the Fu palace. Once she was demoted, the people who would laugh at her were everywhere. It was even worse than getting driven out of the palace.

Therefore, even if one lacked a brain, they should still have limits.

It was one thing for the emperor not to come see the wang fei, but the important thing was that wang ye favors wang fei. Those who made snide implications about wang fei would not get off easy. If wang ye let other people attack his wang fei then wasn’t that implying that he was incompetent? That he couldn’t even protect his wang fei?

After this incident, no one dared to gossip about the master of Fu palace behind the scenes.

However, An Zi Ran found out about a few things that he didn’t know about before through this incident.

Yesterday, he and Fu Wu Tian knelt to the heavens and earth and got married, but he did not know how the royal family members looked like, so he did not know that the emperor and the princes did not attend the wedding banquet.

It was both expected and unexpected.

An Zi Ran did not become excessively entangled, so he secretly breathed a sigh of relief.

The emperor did not recognize him as the official wang fei, so it would be easier for him to get out of the palace in the future. This result was still good.

During lunchtime at noon, An Zi Ran and Fu Wu Tian talked about the little bun and the servants at the An family courtyard. He wanted to bring some of his people into the Fu palace. Fu Wu Tian agreed. In the afternoon he accompanied him to the courtyard.

“Young Master?” Steward Su was shocked that the young master was returning home after only marrying for one day. But thinking about it again, this was only one of the estates set up by the An family, so it didn’t count as the first return of the bride to her parental home* and he felt relieved. It was likely that the young master was just worried about the second young master.

[*T/N: During ancient times it is a custom for the bride to return home to visit her parents on the third day after getting married. Returning home before then was probably not a good sign of the newly married couple’s relationship.]

Steward Su quickly greeted his two masters and bid them sit. Because of Fu Wu Tian, he was more cautious.

An Zi Ran asked, “During the time that I was away, did anything happen within the courtyard?”

Steward Su shook his head, but then nodded. “No major events happened, but the second young master cried all night yesterday. The wet nurse had no choice but to go to the second young master. They didn’t fall asleep until the second young master cried himself out. Everyone is saying that the second young master knows that you were not here, so he cried.”

An Zi Ran muttered to himself irresolutely and then did not talk.

It is said that children could be keenly aware, it seemed that this was true of the little bun.

Wang fei,” Fu Wu Tian called to him slowly and waited for the master and servant to look at him before saying, “You are now married into the Fu palace, leaving only your little brother in the An family. If we leave him in the care of your father’s concubines, I believe wang fei would not feel at ease, so I have a suggestion.”

Without asking, An Zi Ran already knew what he wanted to say.

Leaving the little bun in the hands of Wang Qing Lan and the other concubines was impossible, otherwise in the future he would have a twisted younger brother that hates him. So he could only raise the little bun by his side.

As Fu Wu Tian said, he had already married into the Fu palace, and he did not know when he would be leaving the palace. Leaving him to the wet nurse and maidservants to raise also did not put An Zi Ran at ease. Therefore, he could only temporarily bring the little bun into the Fu palace. He only needed Fu Wu Tian’s agreement. He already thought through this matter in the morning, but he didn’t think that Fu Wu Tian would take the initiative to suggest it.

The two quickly reached an agreement.

Steward Su saw this and quickly mentioned another important thing. “Young Master, the day after tomorrow is the day for you to return to your parental home, you see…” They’ve been away from An Yuan County for some time now. Since the young master has married into the Fu palace, it was about time for him to return to the An family, otherwise he was afraid that Su Zi would not be able to keep holding on. There was still that person who lusted after the An family’s wealth over there.

It took one day and one night to get from Jun Zi City to An Yuan County. If they traveled faster perhaps it would only require one day, so they should head off early.

An Zi Ran looked at Fu Wu Tian.

Fu Wu Tian considerately said, “I will accompany you back.”

Thus, this matter was settled.

[T/N: When the bride returns to her parental home, the groom should accompany her to show respect for her family and consideration for his bride. The length of time the groom spends at his in-laws on that day is indicative of the level of respect and consideration. If he doesn’t accompany his bride at all that means he doesn’t care enough about her, and this could lead to hard times for the bride. I got this information from mainland period dramas and reading other web novels. Heehee.]

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Posted in The Big Landlord

The Big Landlord 44

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Chapter 44 – Breakfast

Fu Wu Tian’s mother died when he was ten years old.

His father, Fu Xiao, spent his whole life on the battlefield, where he experienced both triumph and defeat. And his mother was a strange woman. She was not a gentle woman. Her character was very bold. She was not a citizen of Da Ya. Rumor has it that Fu Xiao brought her back from Guan Wai, and then the two got married not long after.
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Fu Xiao was in Guan Wai all year round, and his wife stayed with him in Guan Wai. When Fu Xiao died, she was not reluctant to let him go. She only left behind a few words, and then she followed Fu Xiao.

These were all things that An Zi Ran heard about before he married into the Fu palace.

Nowadays, only Fu Wu Tian and Fu lao wang ye, the two of them, were left behind to manage the Fu palace. The first day after marriage, one must honor the elder in-laws with a cup of tea. Since Fu Wu Tian’s parents were no longer alive, the only elder left to honor was Fu lao wang ye.

Passing through the corridor, the two arrived at the lobby.

Fu lao wang ye had already woken up. At the moment, he was sitting in the main seat and drinking the hot tea poured by a servant. In the empty lobby there was only him and the servant serving him.

When he saw them coming into the lobby, Fu lao wang ye immediately put down the teacup and stared straight at them.

Seeing that appearance, An Zi Ran’s instincts told him that Fu lao wang ye was not in a clear state of mind. Fu Wu Tian must’ve deliberately taken advantage of the lao wang ye’s condition to get him to agree to let his grandson take a man for his wife. If the lao wang ye was not sick, An Zi Ran did not believe that he would agree.

[The two knelt down before Fu lao wang ye.]

The servant came forward with a tray. An Zi Ran took the cup of tea from the tray and presented it to Fu lao wang ye. “Grandfather, please drink tea.”

Fu lao wang ye received the cup of tea with a smile. He took a sip and then said, “My granddaughter-in-law is really good*.” Then he stuffed a red envelope into An Zi Ran’s hands. It was thin and didn’t seem heavy. Later, An Zi Ran found that it was a ten thousand yuan bill. The generous amount surprised him.

[*T/N: The grandfather uses the term 乖 guai, which means “obedient or well-behaved.” It can sound a little patronizing in English, but in Chinese it’s meant as praise, usually from someone of higher seniority to someone of lower seniority. So I like to translate it as “good” sometimes.]

An Zi Ran deliberately ignored the address of ‘granddaughter-in-law.’ Without a change in his expression he received the red envelope and then thanked him.
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Fu Wu Tian also honored his grandfather with a cup of tea, but the lao wang ye was less enthusiastic about his own grandson.

When they got up, An Zi Ran heard Fu lao wang ye said to his grandson with a smug tone of voice, “Wu Tian ah, you didn’t waste the good intoxication wine that grandfather brought out. You really didn’t let your grandfather down. But I heard from the servants that you were doing it very intensely last night. It is only the first day, you have to take care not to let your wife get too worn out.”

Intoxication wine?

Could it be the wine that he drank last night?

An Zi Ran immediately looked at Fu Wu Tian only to see him say, “Grandfather, I know what I am doing.”

Fu lao wang ye was not reassured. “If you know what you are doing, then how could your wife be so loud yesterday? Don’t think that I don’t know, you must’ve been tossing your wife about excessively last night, otherwise, why would he get up so late in the morning. It must be your doing.”

Even without listening all the way through to the end, An Zi Ran already wanted to dig a hole and bury himself in it.

When he recovered his senses last night, he knew that Fu Wu Tian once again hoodwinked him. Although he had prepared himself psychologically, but these words were said by Fu lao wang ye. Suddenly he felt uncomfortable all over. He had thought that the wine was prepared by Fu Wu Tian, but unexpectedly the real culprit turned out to be Fu lao wang ye. He was mistaken.
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An Zi Ran found that Fu lao wang ye only lost part of his memories on occasion. But whether it was before his amnesia or after, his brain was still very good. Unexpectedly, he knew how to scheme for his grandson’s benefit. However, An Zi Ran did not know that it was precisely because of Fu lao wang ye’s actions that it allowed him to escape the calamity of having to use his back door to consummate the marriage, otherwise, it wouldn’t have been as simple as mutual masturbation.

[T/N: Meaning FWT was going to eat AZR up if he was in the right state of mind.]

“Grandfather, I will take heed next time.”

Fu Wu Tian was incomparably calm. The amnesiac lao wang ye was extremely talkative.

An Zi Ran glanced at Fu Wu Tian. There would be no next time.

Fu lao wang ye did not notice the ‘turbulent undercurrent’ between them and happily brought his grandson and granddaughter-in-law to go eat breakfast. The Fu palace did not have a particularly luxuriant or extravagant breakfast. It was similar to what was eaten in the An family: congee, eggs, buns, and savory pancakes.

An Zi Ran did not feel surprised. He could see the nature of the Fu palace in the food that they ate. Compared to those who liked to scheme with a belly full of deceit, they were more real and authentic.

Fu Wu Tian placed a steamed bun and savory pancake into An Zi Ran’s bowl. The congee was fresh from the pot. Steamy fragrance wafted from the congee, instigating one’s appetite.

An Zi Ran didn’t talk. Instead he passed a slice of savory pancake to the lao wang ye who was watching them with a face full of smiles. After hesitating, he also gave Fu Wu Tian a slice. His expression was extremely reluctant, but he still received a thank you from Fu Wu Tian.

[T/N: Even though they could just serve themselves, culturally, it is a sign of affection and care to put food in someone else’s bowl. It means you care that they are getting enough to eat or that you want to share a delicious dish with them.]

A little bit of warmth, and then the three no longer talked.

Fu Wu Tian was an adult, so his appetite was comparatively larger. He ate three slices of savory pancakes and four steamed buns before stopping. Then he peeled two hard-boiled eggs and placed one in An Zi Ran’s bowl.

“Now that you have my granddaughter-in-law you are forgetting this grandfather.”

Fu lao wang ye complained.

He even rhymed his words.

An Zi Ran lifted his head and saw Fu lao wang ye looking at them with hidden bitterness. In his bowl was an unpeeled egg. It seems that Fu Wu Tian had put it in there. After hearing the complaint, the corner of An Zi Ran’s mouth faintly twitched and he switched out his peeled egg with the grandfather’s unpeeled one.

“My granddaughter-in-law is still the best (compared to my grandson).” Fu lao wang ye immediately smiled.

With incomparable calmness, Fu Wu Tian picked up the egg in An Zi Ran’s bowl and peeled it for him, continuing to show favoritism to the very end.

Fu lao wang ye gnashed his teeth and ate the egg.

Such a childish pair of grandfather and grandson!

An Zi Ran reached this conclusion without words.

Fu Wu Tian suddenly had a servant serve up a bowl of congee for An Zi Ran. This was the second bowl. Before that, he had already eaten a slice of savory pancake, a steamed bun, and an egg. He was already full, so he immediately stopped him, “No need.”

“You are in your growing stage, you should eat more.” Fu Wu Tian was unmoving.

An Zi Ran said, “I am losing weight.”

His weight had not been reduced to the extent that he was satisfied with, especially the baby fat still on his face. Every time he looked in the mirror, he felt particularly unsightly, so weight loss must continue.

Fu Wu Tian turned to him, looked him up and down, and finally stopped on his face. “Wang fei, I like the meat on you, it feels good to touch, so there’s no need to lose weight.”

In response to those words, An Zi Ran decided to keep up his diet until the bitter end.

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Posted in The Big Landlord

The Big Landlord 43

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Chapter 43 – I Saw It

[T/N: The characters for the pronoun “I” in the title is 本王 ben wang, which is how the ML refers to himself throughout the story]

In the morning, the sunlight crept in through the window.

When An Zi Ran woke up it was fast approaching nine a.m. The room was so bright that just as he blinked open his eyes he was forced to close them again. Usually he was up before seven a.m. As expected, he was really worn out from last night.
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The sound of a door opening floated to him from the outer chamber. As soon as he turned his head, he saw Fu Wu Tian dressed all in black and striding towards him. An Zi Ran couldn’t tell what the other was thinking from his expression, but Fu Wu Tian’s relaxed walking posture showed that he was really lively and refreshed at this moment. In contrast, An Zi Ran’s body felt limp and painful, and in his heart he was not happy.

Wang fei, you’re awake.”

Fu Wu Tian came over. There were two maids following behind him. In their hands they carried a washbasin and other items for washing up. After setting down the things they were sent back out.

The two maids were very conscientious and did not even look up.

An Zi Ran watched Fu Wu Tian go over to the basin and wring out the towel inside. Then he walked over to him. Before Fu Wu Tian could open his mouth and say anything, An Zi Ran spoke, “I’ll do it myself*.”

[*T/N: In Chinese, AZR said “我自己来” and MTL gave me “I come.” My mind went straight into the gutter…]

As he spoke, he sat up in bed. He was still properly dressed in his wedding attire, including the outer robe, so there will be no accidental show of skin*. An Zi Ran unyieldingly took the wet towel from Fu Wu Tian’s hand and began to wash up.

[*T/N: 春光乍泄 chun guang zha xie: literally “spring sunshine emerges to bring the world alive” which is an idiom meaning “to give a glimpse of something intimate”]

Fu Wu Tian silently gazed at his obstinate wang fei.

An Zi Ran knew that Fu Wu Tian was watching him. He could only ignore the eyes roaming up and down his body, and wash up in the shortest time, and then change into a new set of clothes.

The new clothes were taken from one of the boxes that Ge Qian An had brought over to him when he delivered the wedding attire. The clothes were made according to his size. It was better than his own clothes. The most important thing was that it was very soft and comfortable to wear. Otherwise, he would definitely throw the box of clothes into a corner. As for Fu Wu TIan, why would he know his size? He didn’t want to think about it at all.

An Zi Ran picked out a set of blue brocade robes embroidered with dark purple clouds from the box. He looked at Fu Wu Tian. “I have to change clothes. May I trouble wang ye to step out for a bit?”

Wang fei, we are husband and wife.” Fu Wu Tian calmly stated.

An Zi Ran’s eyebrow twitched, and then in a calm and composed manner he said, “There is still privacy between husband and wife.”

Fu Wu Tian did not expect that he could still refute. His wang fei was certainly eloquent with words. He nodded accordingly, “What wang fei said makes sense, then I will wait for you outside.”
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Watching Fu Wu Tian turn around and walk outside, An Zi Ran felt that he was unexpectedly amenable this time.

An Zi Ran found that the more he knew about Fu Wu Tian, the more difficult it was to understand him. Sometimes when he expected Fu Wu Tian to make things hard for him, he would be unexpectedly agreeable. Sometimes his unyielding attitude made it impossible to oppose him.

He suddenly regretted his decision.

With a shake of his head he got rid of these thoughts. It was already too late. An Zi Ran took off the thick wedding attire, and put on the clothes in his hands. The clothes were of a similar design and slightly complicated. When he first arrived here, he used to have a headache over the clothes of this place, because there were too many procedures; there were buttons and tethers, and there were layers and layers of clothes both inside and out. It was very cumbersome.

When he heard the crisp sound of the curtain flap, Fu Wu Tian turned.

At first glance, he saw the more refreshed An Zi Ran dressed in the blue brocade, but the image was destroyed by his hair.

The teenager was obviously not very good at tying his hair. He just tied it into a bundle and fixed it with a headpiece. The technique was rough, and some messy hair fell down his cheek. This appearance could not go out to see people.

Fu Wu Tian pulled his hand and went back.

An Zi Ran didn’t talk. He noticed that Fu Wu Tian’s line of sight paused on his hair for a while. With a glance he knew that his hair was not tied well.

He had to admit that he didn’t know how to take care of his hair.

He actually liked short hair more than long hair. If it weren’t so unconventional to cut his hair short, coupled with not knowing the consequences of such an act, he would’ve already cut his hair off.

Fu Wu Tian put him in front of the mirror and took off his headpiece, causing his hair to scatter. Then he picked up the comb and helped him comb his hair. Don’t judge him as a brute whose hands were only used to hold a blade, Fu Wu Tian was actually a scrupulous person. Being in the military camp for over ten years, he was trained to be capable in everything.

Through the bronze mirror, An Zi Ran saw a pair of hands fiddling with his hair.

Fu Wu Tian was too tall. Although the bronze mirror was relatively large, it was not big enough to encompass Fu Wu Tian’s full height, so he could only see himself in the mirror.

“Okay.” Fu Wu Tian’s mellow voice interrupted his spacey thoughts.
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An Zi Ran’s attention shifted back to the bronze mirror. When he saw his appearance he was momentarily stunned.

Fu Wu Tian did not completely bundle his hair, and some of it was draped over his shoulders. The headpiece in his hair was not the one that he chose before, but one of light blue gems that matched with his clothes. The middle jewel sparkled with a bright brilliance, looking particularly delicate, and made his face look more elegant.

Wang fei is so good-looking!”

Fu Wu Tian bent down his body, and the handsome face finally appeared in the bronze mirror.

When An Zi Ran returned to his senses, he immediately established some distance and stood up. He had walked over to the curtain of beads before turning around and speaking to Fu Wu Tian who was still standing in front of the bronze mirror. “Still not leaving?”

Fu Wu Tian complied and followed.

Wang fei, I have already seen the uneasiness on your face.

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