Chapter 105.2 – Cousin
Da Hei felt very aggrieved. He was definitely the first bodyguard in the history of Da Yao to be mortgaged by his master.
“I think seven days won’t be enough, ba.” An Zi Ran said lightly.
The handsome man froze for a moment. “This… uh, it’s really not enough. If An gong zi doesn’t mind, then perhaps we can extend the deadline…”
An Zi Ran interrupted him halfway. “In my opinion, you can’t gather this amount for a long time. Am I right, Sixth Prince?”
Fu Yuan Fan blanked out.
Da Hei’s expression looked like he had been struck by lightning.
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“How do you know who I am?” Fu Yuan Fan finally reacted and he immediately backed away. Just two more steps and he would’ve collided with the table. He let out a startled gasp and looked at An Zi Ran stupefied. He had never seen this person before, and he also didn’t show himself much in social situations, so how could the other person possibly know him? But this person did indeed call his ranking accurately.
“Of course, it is because this prince told him.”
Along with the declaration of this sentence, a tall figure came out from behind An Zi Ran.
As soon as Fu Yuan Fan saw his face, his expression cracked. “C-C-C… Cousin*?”
[*T/N: The exact term is 堂哥 tang ge, which means “older male patrilineal cousin.” It looks clunky, but I’m going to translate it as “brother-cousin” to denote gender and seniority.]
Among the five prince sons of the Chong Ming Emperor, the only one who addressed Fu Wu Tian as “brother-cousin” was Fu Yuan Fan, because among the five, he was the one that lived the most free and leisurely. He had absolutely no interest in the throne. Although it might have something to do with his mother, the correlation was not big. The main reason was still due to his inherent character.
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Fu Wu Tian looked like he was about to smirk at the astonished expression on Fu Yuan Fan’s face. “I haven’t seen him for a while, but younger cousin* keeps making me renew my respect for him**.”
[*T/N: 表弟 biao di – younger male cousin via female line]
[**T/N: 刮目相看 gua mu xiang kan – to have a whole new level of respect for somebody. In this case, it is most certainly said in irony.]
Fu Yuan Fan looked at An Zi Ran fiercely. A youth surnamed An. He remembered that brother-cousin’s wang fei was also surnamed An. It couldn’t be what he thought it was, could it?
“Still not greeting your sister-cousin-in-law*?” Fu Wu Tian possessively held An Zi Ran’s waist.
[*T/N: 堂嫂 tang sao – wife of older male cousin via male line]
Right in front of the tongue-tied gazes of the two, An Zi Ran swatted Fu Wu Tian’s hand away. Frowning in dissatisfaction, he said, “I am not a woman. What sister-cousin? It’s still better to call me An gong zi…”
Fu Yuan Fan’s sudden shout not only cut into An Zi Ran’s sentence, but also startled him for a second. His expression became dark.
Fu Wu Tian’s chest vibrated lightly.
“Sixth Prince, no matter how intimately you address me, you still have to return the money,” An Zi Ran said with a cold face.
Fu Yuan Fan was dumbfounded again. He had wanted to bring their relationship closer, but the results turned out to be counterproductive… He was wrong. Could he have a do over?
“…Actually I’m not done talking.”
An Zi Ran looked at him with a blank face.
Fu Yuan Fan braced himself, “What I wanted to say was, sister-cousin-in-law is of course not fine. Sis… Honorable you are absolutely, truly a man. I should call you brother-cousin-in-law!”
[*T/N: He used the word 堂夫 tang fu, but I’m not sure if it’s a legit term of address or not, since it’s not showing up in the dictionary I’m using.]
Da Hei stared at his family’s Royal Highness with rounded eyes. His entire person was stunned. Your Highness, where is your backbone*? How could you fold so easily? Didn’t you often say that literati should have a strong backbone and cool demeanor, to not bend over trivialities, including issues of money? How could you say fold and then fold so easily?
[*T/N: 傲骨 ao gu – lofty and unyielding character]
An Zi Ran looked at him silently.
Fu Yuan Fan’s scalp was starting to tingle from his stare. But for the sake of ten thousand silvers, he could only be thick skinned.
“Okay now,” Fu Wu Tian spoke up in saving grace.
Fu Yuan Fan immediately looked at him gratefully.
An Zi Ran said lightly, “It’s not impossible to not return that ten thousand silvers, but there is a condition.”
Fu Yuan Fan looked at him expectantly, “What is the condition?”
“Now you know that Tian Long Gambling House is run by me. Then you should know that this casino competes with the other nine major casinos, especially Bao Hua Gambling House. Luo Yang will not give up. I need someone to help me restrict them. Take care of Tian Long Gambling House when I am not in the capital. Don’t give them an opportunity to take advantage. If you can agree to this, then I will write off the ten thousand silvers of debt.”
“This…” Fu Yuan Fan hesitated.
Father Emperor did not like it when him or his brothers meddle in business affairs, so he has always known his place and been satisfied with his lot in life. Of course, the fact that he was never interested in doing business was also an important reason, but he knew that several of his brothers were dabbling in business behind the emperor’s back. Unluckily, he knew exactly who opened Bao Hua Gambling House.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
Right now, very few people knew that it was his brother-cousin’s wang fei that opened Tian Long Gambling House, but in the future, this truth would without a doubt be exposed. At that time, his actions in aiding Tian Long Gambling House would certainly be known to his older brothers. They would definitely think that he was part of their group. He only wanted to live his whole life freely. He never wanted to get involved in these troubles.
Fu Yuan Fan looked at him pitifully. “Can we change it to another condition?”
An Zi Ran spread out his hand. “Ten thousand silvers.”
Fu Yuan Fan’s expression collapsed slightly. If he knew that things would turn out like this, then he would certainly hold back from gambling.
“You have some time to consider.”
“…’Some time’ is how long?”
“A quarter of an hour.”
“…” Sure enough, it was only a little bit of time.
After debating about it for a while, Fu Yuan Fan raised his head. His gaze was firm. “I can promise to help you take care of Tian Long Gambling Hosue, but I think that you also know, I might be a prince, but my influence in court is not as good as that of several of my brothers, so I can only do my best.”
Not only that, he simply did not have any influence at all. His mother’s identity was particularly sensitive, so he never dared to partner up with any of the political groups. He was afraid that Father Emperor would misunderstand him and deprive him of his freedom.
He could absolutely rank first as Da Ya’s most useless prince.
“You can rest assured. I will have Ge Qian An help you.” An Zi Ran nodded as he spoke. He had already discussed this with Fu Wu Tian along the way. Asides from him, Ge Qian An was the one who knew the movements of various industries the best. With Ge Qian An present, An Zi Ran could also be at ease.
No matter how useless Fu Yuan Fan was, he was still a prince. This was the reason that An Zi Ran picked him. As for Fu Yuan Fan’s abilities, An Zi Ran did not consider them at all.
Like thus, Fu Yuan Fan was also relieved.
He knew that Ge Qian An was one of the capable men around his brother-cousin.
They did not stay at the casino for much longer after that. Fu Yuan Fan went home with a traumatized Da Hei.
The summary for this outing was: lost his wife and also lost his soldier!