Chapter 33.1 – Terrible Mess
Hearing the news, Steward Su hurriedly rushed over. He was told that the young master was in the second young master’s room, so he changed his trajectory to head over there instead. He had yet to get close to the room when he heard the second young master’s cries. The child usually did not cry, but when he did, not even the wet nurse could appease him.
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When Steward Su arrived at the doorway he saw the young master sitting on a chair. The young master appeared as if he was submerged in water. The young master usually did not have much expression on his face, but right now he could see that the young master was very angry. Then he noticed that the second young master was cradled in the young master’s arms. Gradually, the cries quieted down.
An Zi Ran handed the little bun over to the wet nurse. She received the child. The little bun let out a “wa” sound indicating his intention to cry anew. When he was returned to An Zi Ran’s arms, the little bun sniffled and did not cry. Silence descended on the room all at once. The wet nurse was embarrassed.
An Zi Ran was silent for a moment. Then said, “You all go out first, ba.”
The wet nurse and two maidservants left the room.
After the little bun’s crying episode, the atmosphere within the room was not as depressing as before.
After a moment, Steward Su whispered, “Young Master, I just heard that the young miss is missing. What is the matter?”
An Zi Ran looked at Xing Er, who stood by and dared not speak out.
Xing Er immediately took out a letter and handed it to him. “The lady wrote a letter and ran away from home.”
An Zi Ran put the little bun in the cradle. The bun did not cry this time. An Zi Ran then took the letter. He had yet to ask for the full story when the maid, Yue Ju, came running over to look for him, saying that the second young master was crying out of breath and would not stop no matter what. The wet nurse had no choice but to send one of the maids to look for him. As a result he came to check on the situation, and as soon as he cradled the little bun in his arms, the bun stopped crying.
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There were four words written on the envelope: Elder Brother personally open.
An Zi Ran looked at the handwriting. Those characters, written with firm and resolute strokes, were at odds with An Yu Zhi’s physical appearance. In the letter, she wrote that she did not want to get marry with Fu Wu Tian, someone who she’s never even seen before, and that she wanted to pursue her own happiness.
Asides from those words there were no more. Not even a word of apology!
Steward Su read the letter, and suddenly looked shocked. He couldn’t speak for a long time. After a while, he finally found his voice. “Young Master, how can Young Miss suddenly… In the first place, wasn’t she, herself, the one that agreed to marry into the Fu palace? How can she suddenly run away? What can we do? There are only four days left. Young Master, let’s quickly sent someone to find the lady and bring her back.”
“I’m afraid we won’t be able to bring her back,” An Zi Ran said coldly.
Needless to say, he already guessed, An Yu Zhi left in the morning when he was absent from the courtyard. By this time she should have already left the capital. Unless this matter was told to Fu Wu Tian, so that he may send someone to go find her, but that was obviously impossible.
Steward Su looked at the young master helplessly*, he also did not know what was the best course of action. “Why would the young miss suddenly think like this? Everything was still fine two days ago…”
[*T/N: 六神无主 out of one’s wits (idiom)]
An Zi Ran looked at Xing Er.
Xing Er dropped to her knees, “I’m sorry, Young Master, this servant did indeed lie last time. The lady went to the jewelry shop that day and overheard other people talking about Fu wang ye. After that she was all out of sorts. The young miss didn’t let Qiao Er and I speak of this matter. This servant knows that she is wrong.” Fearing severe punishment, she readily admitted to the mistake.
“Tell me everything that occurred that day. Don’t leave out a single detail.” An Zi Ran pinned her with his stare as he said each word clearly. His expression was very serious and cold.
This was the first time that Xing Er saw the young master angry. Just being watched by him was kind of stifling. Under pressure, she immediately recited what happened that day at the jewelry shop.
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The jewelry shop that they went to that day was the best one in Jun Zi City. Many ladies or unmarried women liked to go there to buy jewelry. There was a group of women gathered there gossiping. The topic of gossip that day was Fu Wu Tian. They were discussing his appearance and his track record in the army.
Fu Wu Tian was considered the God of War in Da Ya, but very few people actually met him. He had been on the battlefield since he was a child, and he returned only a handful of times. The number of people who has seen him was small to the point of pitiable. Even his own cousins have not seen him, let alone other people.
As a result, many mistaken rumors floated about.
One upper-class woman who was said to have seen Fu Wu Tian said that he was very ugly. Supposedly half of his face was once burned off and was now disfigured. Therefore, on the day when he returned to the capital he wore a mask.
Another upper-class woman said that Fu Wu Tian was a bloody and cruel person. He murdered countless people. His hands were stained with endless blood. And he liked to torture the enemy the most. He would rip out their heart, dig out their intestines, and gorge out their eyes, and then let the enemy die a miserable* death. The gossip went on in this vein.
[*T/N: 惨不忍睹 spectacle too horrible to endure (idiom); tragic sight / appalling scenes of devastation]
An Yu Zhi was scared. She left the jewelry shop and fell down the stairs. After returning to the courtyard, her entire face was white.
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