Chapter 21 – Fu Feng Zheng
The An family did not have property in Jun Zi City.
In the past, An Chang Fu had indeed wanted to expand (his business) in Jun Zi City, but when he tried using money to buy his way up, one influential official told him that connections in Jun Zi City were complicated and fickle; a moment of inattentiveness will lead to bankruptcy.
The An family may be a big landlord in An Yuan County, but in the eyes of the Da Ya Dynasty they were but third-rate businessmen. To those important and influential people in the city of Jun Zi crushing a small county was as easy as stepping on an ant. Since then, An Chang Fu had not dared to think about this matter anymore. He stayed in An Yuan County, holding onto his comfortable title of landlord.
For this trip, An Zi Ran brought out a total of fifteen people, including the servants.
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It was impossible to put up this many people in inns. The price difference between Jun Zi City and An Yuan County was too much. The living expense for one month would require a great sum of money. Even if the An family had money, they should not squander it so.
Because he did not know how long they would have to stay in Jun Zi City, An Zi Ran decided to rent a courtyard*. It took some money to get people to find the place. The living space was not particularly luxurious, and it was not next to a flourishing district, but there were quite a number of rooms and can easily accommodate about twenty people. He only rented the place for a month and the cost was already a hundred silver taels.
[*T/N: The Chinese word translates into “courtyard,” but there are also living quarters included.]
The next day, everyone moved into the courtyard. The moving process made everyone terribly tired. As soon as night came, the entire courtyard was quiet. Most of them were already asleep.
An Zi Ran stood in the corridor looking at the clear pond outside. The gleaming reflection of waves sparkled beneath the moonlight. A few sheaves of lotus leaf dotted the surface. All alone, reflecting an extremely bleak image, he looked at the impression of the full moon in the pond. After a while he retracted his gaze.
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At that moment, there was a gentle knock on the door. Qiu Lan came in with a small pot of oil and added some to the oil lamp. “Young Master, it is late. You should sleep.”
“I know. You should go rest first.” An Zi Ran then entered the room.
Qiu Lan gave a sound of acknowledgement and left the room. Soon the light of her lamp disappeared.
Ai Zi Ran pulled out a fragrant sachet from his bosom. It was the one that the Old Master left behind. Thinking that the Old Master had some words he wanted to leave behind, An Zi Ran opened the sachet and saw that inside there was a piece of paper with information about the marriage contract. It was only a name.
Fu Feng Zheng. It was the name of that intimate friend* whom the Old Master had became sworn brothers with.
[*T/N: 知己 zhi ji: “intimate friend” sounds suggestive in English, LOL, but it’s kind of like soul mate. It means someone who knows you well (like they know a part of your soul), but you’re not necessarily lovers with the other person. Translating the two words separately you get “to know” and “self.”]
After An Zi Ran saw it, he almost didn’t know what to think. What was the identity of the other party? What kind of work did they do? What kind of people was in their family? He had no information on any of this. Unexpectedly forming a marriage contract with the other party, did the Old Master become foolish from studying too much? Why else would he make such a reckless move? Thanks to him, An Zi Ran now had a headache.
The next morning, after taking care of some things, An Zi Ran took the maid, Qiu Lan, out with him.
If the other party really was some important person with status and prestige in Jun Zi City, then it shouldn’t take long to inquire information on him. Even if that was not the case, even if the other party was really just a businessman, they should still be able to find something if they just spend more time inquiring about.
But Ai Zi Ran did not hold too high hopes. After all, ten years have passed.
The best places to seek information were in restaurants and brothels, but brothels were not suitable for them, so they went to a restaurant named San Quan. It was not the biggest or the best restaurant, but the number of guests entering and leaving was so great that when one stood outside, they could hear the loud voices inside.
“Come, let us go in and take a look.”
Without hesitation, An Zi Ran locked down on this restaurant and took the lead to go inside.
Qiu Lan did not know what the young master wanted to do. She could only follow after him. This time, if it wasn’t because Su Zi couldn’t come out, the one accompanying the young master should be him.
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“Sir, would you like to dine in the lobby or a private room?” The server saw that there was a noble air about An Zi Ran and quickly came over to greet him.
“Private room,” An Zi Ran said.
The lobby was too noisy. Although it would be easier to inquire information with everyone talking at once in lively conversation, it’s still not good for other people to know what they were doing.
“Understood, please follow me, sir.”
The three of them went up to the second floor. The server chose a room by the first floor corridor. If you open the reddish brown window, you can see downstairs and have a view of three to five groups of people getting together to talk about the latest gossip in Jun Zi City.
The server quickly got them a pot of hot tea.
T/N: I’m looking for raws to a J-novel, if you have time please take a look at this post and see if you can help me out. Thank chuu~