Chapter 34 – Breaking Relations
Ever since An Zi Ran said those words and scared Steward Su, every time Steward Su saw him, he would show a worried expression. In his heart, he thought that the young master had gone crazy because of the young miss, for An Zi Ran to be able to say those kinds of words.
An Zi Ran knew that Steward Su must be thinking those thoughts in his head, but he did not say anything.
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It’s been almost four months since he arrived in this time and place. He now knew that the Da Ya Dynasty, asides from not putting businessmen in high prestige, the people were also quite open-minded. Male homosexuality* was common in Da Ya. In Jun Zi City there were several well know specialty shops**. Many men who wanted to have a taste would go there, and some would even do it out in the open.
[*T/N: The phrase used here is 断袖龙阳 with 断袖 meaning “homosexual” and 龙阳 is colloquial for “male homosexual.”
Translator Muse would like to say “I know this is a BL world, but if the author had to specify male homosexual then does that mean female homosexuals are not accepted…?]
[**T/N: 倌馆 guan guan. I’m ninety-five percent sure the author wants to say “brothel with male prostitutes” or “restaurant catering to homosexuals,” but I don’t understand the author’s word choice. 倌 guan means “keeper of domestic animals / herdsman / (old) hired hand in certain trade” and the second 馆 guan means “building / shop / term for certain service establishments.” So I translated it as specialty shop.]
However, despite the open-mindedness of the people about such matters, taking a male wife was still rare.
After all, a man can’t compare to a woman when it came to continuing on the ancestral line for the husband. So even if one were to take a man for a wife, it would only be the status of a male concubine.
An Zi Ran was only thinking about it and nothing more. Even if Fu Wu Tian was willing to marry a man, An Zi Ran could not find someone to marry off. The little bun was only four months old. It’s not like he could make Fu Wu Tian wait, right? Just thinking about it was funny.
There was another way, but he didn’t want to implement that method.
That being An Chang De’s daughter.
An Chang De and Wu Zhi had a daughter named An Xue Yan. She was already seventeen this year. According to Steward Su her looks were okay but her character was not so good. Inheriting the bitterness and snobbery of her mother, she was very picky about her future husband. Her parents spoiled her too much, leading to her becoming unruly and willful, at seventeen years old she’s still not married.
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So when Steward Su mentioned it, An Zi Ran rejected the notion without hesitation. The purpose of the marriage was to safeguard the An family, and An Xue Yan would only cause trouble for the An family.
Steward Su knocked on the door and then entered. He put a hot thing* in front of An Zi Ran and said with concern, “Young Master, these past few days you’ve been rushing about for the young miss’s wedding, you must be very tired. I prepared a cup of hot tea for you. Drink it while it’s hot.”
[*T/N: The raws actually said “thing” 东西 dong xi]
An Zi Ran rubbed his temples. He was indeed tired.
Had it not been for the sake of the An family, he would not have dragged the family all the way to Jun Zi City. Every time he had to deal with Fu Wu Tian, a great deal of his brain cells would die in the exchange. In contrast, he would rather stay in the study every day and read over the ledgers.
Steward Su saw him start to drink the ginseng tea one mouthful at a time. Several times he wanted to speak, but refrained from doing so.
An Zi Ran perceived his line of sight and sighed. “Steward, if there’s anything you want to say then just say it, ba.”
“Since Young Master tells me to speak, then I will speak.” Steward Su seemed impatient to get the conversation over with. Watching An Zi Ran, he cautiously said, “You’re not really thinking of replacing the young miss and marrying Fu wang ye are you?”
An Zi Ran choked on the ginseng tea.
Steward Su quickly took out a handkerchief and handed it to him.
An Zi Ran coughed several times before the coughs subsided. Then he looked up at the worried Steward Su. He finally understood why he was always looking at him with that kind of gaze. As it turns out, the two of them were not thinking of the same thing. Even if he liked men, he never thought of marrying another man. It was not in his character to ruin* his future prospects for the sake of the An family.
[*T/N: 葬送 zang song: figuratively this means “to ruin (one’s future prospects etc)” but it can also mean “to hold a funeral procession and burial” or “to give somebody a final send-off”]
“Steward, do not worry, I will not do that.” An Zi Ran looked at him firmly.
Steward Su saw in his expression that he did not seem to be lying. Finally he felt a little relieved. But once he thought of the next problem, his heart tensed up again. “Young Master, about the young miss, what do you plan to do?”
A faint flash of coldness passed through An Zi Ran’s eyes. “Since she can only remember her own happiness, and doesn’t care if her actions implicate her two brothers to the point of death, then that kind of sister is not even worth recognizing. I will pretend I never had this younger sister. From now on, the An family does not have a Third Miss.”
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When Steward Su heard such a rejection, he eventually sighed. Before coming here, he never thought that things would become like this. Although Young Master’s words were heartless, the young miss’s actions were indeed bitterly disappointing. He also did not have any words to say.
“Tomorrow, accompany me on a trip to the Fu palace.”
After a moment of silence, An Zi Ran suddenly spoke.
Steward Su said, “Young Master, you are…”
After thinking it over, An Zi Ran felt that there might be a way to salvage the situation* if he just spoke openly about the situation.
[*T/N: 转圜余地 zhuan huan yu di “to have room to save a situation” or “margin for error (idiom)”]
Concerning An Yu Zhi running away to escape the marriage, they could conceal the matter for a period of time, but not for a lifetime. He’s been in contact with Fu Wu Tian several times, and he very much understood how enigmatic and unpredictable that man was. It was possible that he already knew about the matter. In that case, it was better to be active than to be passive.
An Zi Ran was someone who does what he says. So the next day he went to the Fu palace.
Steward Su wanted to persuade him to wait a bit, perhaps they could think of a solution tomorrow. But for the first time, he discovered that the young master’s temperament could also be this stubborn at times. It was something one couldn’t ordinarily tell from just looking at him.
When they were standing at the door of the Fu palace, he knew that the young master had steeled his heart.
Next Chapter: Wedding Continues
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