T/N: Made it! It’s still Monday according to EST. Whew. 💦
Chapter 28 – Invitation Card
News of Fu Wu Tian’s sudden change in attitude had yet to reach An Zi Ran’s ears.
Although An Yu Zhi did not care whether she was the main wife or a concubine, An Zi Ran did not want to compromise so easily. Certainly, the agreement between Old Master An and Fu lao wang ye was not to make An Yu Zhi a concubine of Fu Wu Tian.
An Zi Ran had never had contact with the Old Master, but he knew that all literati have a certain stubbornness and pride to them. Case in point, the Old Master had the chance to become a small time official in the capital, but he abandoned that opportunity and return to An Yuan County. Such a person could not have agreed to a marriage contract that would only allow his granddaughter the position of a concubine. Therefore, An Zi Ran was wondering if there was some way that he could force Fu Wu Tian to take An Yu Zhi as his wang fei. After much deliberation, he still ended up back at the original idea, which was to approach the situation starting with Fu lao wang ye.
Before he could come up with a concrete plan, the Fu palace sent a servant over.
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“An gong zi, wang ye sent me to give this invitation card to you. He wants you to come to the Fu palace two days later to discuss the marriage between the two families.” Ge Qian An retrieved the invitation card from within the folds of his clothes and handed it over to An Zi Ran.
An Zi Ran received the invitation card and then opened it to take a look. The card was indeed signed by Fu Wu Tian. His (ML’s) attitude made him (MC) slightly puzzled. Just yesterday, Fu Wu Tian was still unwilling, purposely creating difficulties for An Zi Ran. But today he took the initiative, what was the purpose? Despite his doubts, An Zi Ran did not reveal anything on the surface. He put away the invitation card.
“Thank you for your trouble.”
Ge Qian An could not tell if he was happy or not. He hesitated, but he could not bring himself to speak. This was the perfect chance to test An Zi Ran. If he really agrees to marry his little sister to wang ye as a concubine, then he was just mediocre*.
[*T/N: 不过尔尔 not more than so-so (idiom); mediocre; nothing out of the ordinary]
Selling a daughter (or sister) through marriage in order to seek fame, these kinds of situation, he has seen a lot of them. There were few exceptions. Since An Zi Ran was able to attract the wang ye’s attention, then let’s see if he was that kind of person.
Ge Qian An did not stay for long, after delivering the invitation he soon left.
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An Zi Ran personally saw him to the door. When he returned to the main hall, he saw that An Yu Zhi was standing there. He wondered how she’d gotten the news so quickly. For a second, there was a flash of dismay in her eyes.
“Brother, I want to go out for a bout. May I?” An Yu Zhi gave him an expectant look.
After hearing her say this he realized that he had misunderstood. But he knew that An Yu Zhi never left the house for more than two steps. This time, she was taking the initiative. He couldn’t help asking, “Go out to do what?”
An Yu Zhi’s face reddened. “I want to go out and buy something.”
“Buy something?” An Zi Ran asked.
An Yu Zhi stomped her foot and looked shy. “Brother, don’t ask.”
An Zi Ran didn’t expect her to have such a big reaction to his question, so he stopped his line of questioning. He did not have the so-called feudal ideology that women mustn’t show their faces outside the house, so he agreed readily.
An Yu Zhi was delighted. She did not expect that her brother would let her go so easily. She thanked him. The she took two maidservants with her and left the courtyard.
An Zi Ran did not take this matter into deep consideration and just went to the study.
Su Zi already had someone send the account books over. There weren’t many problems, since he solved the issues with the farmers. An Yuan County was becoming more and more peaceful. Even if An Chang Fu* wanted to provoke something to endanger the An family, he did not have the opportunity to do so.
[*T/N: Typo in the raws. It should be An Chang De, the evil uncle.]
For the common folk, as long as they had enough food, they were satisfied. And there was a precedent for the last batch of troublemaking farmers. (They were punished.) The people were now very clear on who provided them their bread and butter. There was no longer the problem of people looking for trouble because they had nothing better to do. All they had to do was honestly and diligently till their fields. Next year, there will be sixty percent more food. On top of not having to hand in taxes to the government, they will get twice as much as they did in previous years.
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Although the money they’re (the An family) earning now was not more than how much they earned in the past years, but the hidden danger had been eliminated. He can now rest assured as he planned the next step of development for the An family. His goal was more than just being a small landlord, because the status of businessmen in Da Ya was very low.
His gaze fell on the invitation sitting on the desk. For his future plans, Fu Wu Tian’s backing was essential, so it was imperative to tackle the situation with Fu Wu Tian first.
Without realizing it, soon the sun was setting towards the horizon.
At the urging of Steward Su, An Zi Ran appeared at the dinner table on time. He glanced over at An Yu Zhi’s empty seat. Thinking that she had yet to return, he asked (after her whereabouts.)
Steward Su quickly explained, “Young Master, the Young Miss has already returned. She said that she was not feeling well and wanted to take dinner in her room.”
An Zi Ran gently wrinkled his eyebrows. “Did you send for the doctor to look at her?”
Steward Su said, “The doctor has already looked her over. He said there wasn’t anything major, only that her body is a bit weak. He wrote a prescription and I had people go to pick up the medicine.”
An Zi Ran nodded and did not ask anymore.
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The next morning, An Yu Zhi did not appear at the dining table. An Zi Ran thought that she was still not feeling well, so he ordered the kitchen to send a bowl of congee to her room. In the meanwhile, he went to check up on her. He saw that her complexion was indeed pale. After he exited her room, he abruptly turned and went to check in on the little baby bun. The little bun have become more and more spirited recently, but he was very sensible, and did not cry much.
Two days passed quickly, and it was time to visit the Fu palace.
Early in the morning, An Zi Ran had Qiu Lan remind An Yu Zhi, because the invitation card mentioned her. He did not feel that there was anything wrong. He also thought that they should meet in person. However, when Qiu Lan returned, she brought him unexpected news.
“You said the young miss does not want to go?” An Zi Ran was surprised. He thought An Yu Zhi would be happy to hear this news, because she seemed to like Fu Wu Tian. To meet at least once before the marriage was still better than not knowing anything about your marriage prospect.
Qiu Lan said, “The lady said she was unwell and does not wish to go.”
An Zi Ran frowned. “Well, since the young lady doesn’t want to go, you will stay and look after her.”
“Yes, Young Master.”
After that, An Zi Ran brought Steward Su with him to Fu palace.
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