Chapter 106.1 – Lantern Festival
Chong Ming Year 27, Month of November, Auspicious Time
Time passed in the blink of an eye. When An Zi Ran realized it, he found that he had been in this world for almost a year. Time passed quickly in his fast rhythm. It seemed like he had only just changed into summer clothes not too long ago, and now he was putting on winter clothes again.
He had a bountiful harvest this year.
After no longer developing various side businesses, An Zi Ran also finally got some rare idle time.
The entire family was sitting down together for dinner.
From the cradle of An Zi Ran’s arms, came the soft and sticky voice of a small child.
The small bun extended his two chubby little paws, leaned on the edge of the dining table with his head slightly raised, and he stared at the food on the table with his two grape-like eyes. Due to his height, he could only see the side of the dishes, but he was almost two years old, and he was already capable of starting to think for himself.
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The little bun was born in January of the previous year, so he became one at the end of the year. In just a few months time, he will soon be two years old, although in actuality he was still one year old. His voice was soft and vague, but his expressions were clear.
An Zi Ran mixed a bowl of vegetable and meat congee for him.
This time it wasn’t a rice paste. The little bun was already starting to grow out teeth, eight small and white teeth. But his biting strength wasn’t there yet, so he could only eat congee.
An Zi Ran was usually very busy, but he had never overlooked the little bun. Whenever it was time to eat, as long as he had a bit of time, he would personally feed the little bun half a bowl of congee before handing him back to Qiu Lan to continue feeding.
The little bun had a bigger appetite than normal babies. Perhaps he was born as a chowhound, but whenever people fed him food, he would never refuse.
At first, An Zi Ran thought that the little bun was precocious and that he liked this big brother of his, therefore he was quiet and well behaved whenever An Zi Ran fed him, but later he found out that the little bun was very welcoming to all, as long as there was food, he would not make a fuss.
After a while, An Zi Ran passed the little bun over to Qiu Lan.
The little bun’s eyes remained riveted on the remaining bowl of congee as he was passed around. He looked exactly like a chowhound.
But being able to eat was a blessing, so no one was worried about whether or not he would eat himself into a fatty.
“Do you have any arrangements tonight?”
Head Steward Fu, who was eating quietly, spoke up out of the blue.
An Zi Ran shook his head. “No, I am relatively free this time. I don’t have to go out at night. Why does second uncle ask this?”
“If you don’t have any plans, you might as well go to the Lantern Festival in the market at night. This is the last Lantern Festival this year. It’s a lot livelier than ever. You haven’t been out to play this entire time you’ve been in Jun Zi City. It’s just right to let Wu Tian accompany you out and relax for a bit,” Fu Yi explained.
Hearing this, Fu Wu Tian picked up a piece of meat with his chopsticks and placed it into An Zi Ran’s bowl. Then he said, “This prince was thinking just so.” Even if Fu Yi did not mention it, he intended to bring up the topic.
The Lantern Festival was a tradition in Jun Zi City, and it was held every season.
It was already November, right at the beginning of winter.
The Lantern Festival was not held in any of the four markets, but rather, it was held at the one river within the capital—Huai Zi River. The festival would be arranged by the riverside. At this time, the Huai Zi River would be most lively.
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The sun was tilted westward, and the street vendors in the city all rushed towards the Huai Zi River after dinner, in order to get a good spot for their stall, because it was not fixed, so it was on a first-come-first-served basis.
As the sky darkened, the Huai Zi River became a vivacious place.
An hour after supper, Fu Wu Tian took An Zi Ran out.
Lao wang ye wanted to follow them to the Lantern Festival. He didn’t go to the past three lantern festivals held this year, but before Fu Wu Tian could refuse him, Fu Yi stopped him first.
“If you want to go, wait a bit for me to accompany you.”
As soon as lao wang ye heard this, his eyes turned round and round in thought. “Can we take little kid, Ming, out together with us?”
One sentence immediately revealed that lao wang ye had not given up his designs on the little bun.
“No!” An Zi Ran, who was just about to go out but heard this, vetoed first. “Zi Ming is still young. The Lantern Festival is crowded with people, it is easy to get hit.”
Fu Yi and Fu Wu Tian also agreed.
Lao wang ye was stymied, and could only give up.