Vanilla Muse: This update is brought to you by all the fantastic supporters on ko-fi. An anonymous supporter maxed out the coffee counter yesterday! So as promised I rushed to translate an extra update for today. I’m completely pooped, so I’m going to crawl into bed now. _(:□ゝ∠)_
Chapter 36.2 – Hoodwinked
An Zi Ran was very surprised. What surprised him even more was that Fu Wu Tian did not go to the main entrance.
In the cool and bleak courtyard, the lofty and straight body of the man was hidden by the darkness. With Fu Wu Tian’s back towards the moonlight, An Zi Ran couldn’t see his face. Only a pair of glowing eyes stared at him.
“I heard from Qian An that you wanted to see me.”
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Fu Wu Tian said leisurely. There seemed to be a slight smile in his eyes. He has already smiled twice in a row at An Zi Ran. If his subordinate knew about this he would definitely be very surprised, because Fu Wu Tian has never had a lot of expressions, but unexpectedly* he wasn’t a taciturn man of few words, so you could say he was a very contradictory person.
[*T/N: 出乎意料 chu hu yi liao: beyond expectation (idiom); unexpected]
An Zi Ran fixedly looked at him. “Wang ye is so interested, climbing over the wall* in the middle of the night to come pay a visit.”
[*T/N: 翻墙 fan qiang: lit. to climb over the wall / fig. to breach the Great Firewall of China]
Fu Wu Tian calmly said, “Not over the wall, I came openly through the front door.” He paused, and then added, “The doorman is dozing off.”
An Zi Ran: “…”
The doorman will be fired tomorrow.
[T/N: I bet he knocked out the doorman]
“You want to talk here?” Fu Wu Tian said, but he had an indifferent expression.
An Zi Ran hesitated a bit, but still invited him to the study. From the main hall there was still a short distance to go. Besides, they were two men, even if people saw the two of them alone there would not be any gossip. He turned around and did not see the flash of light in Fu Wu Tian’s eyes.
There weren’t any particularly nice decorations in the study. The things most abundant in there were books. Simple and elegant like its owner, but also has taste. Like a cup of tea, the fragrance is only evident after tasting it.
“Wang ye, please (come in)!”
An Zi Ran poured him a cup of hot water. There was no tea.
Fu Wu Tian did not dislike the light and tasteless water. He threw his head back and drank it down in one gulp. The movement was very forthright and confident, with the unique strength and charm of a man. If An Zi Ran was a woman, he might be attracted to him.
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“Wang ye, in order to avoid taking up too much of your time, I will just say it.” An Zi Ran said straight away, he did not want to beat around the bushes. “I promised to cooperate with you, but I never said I would substitute the bride. I ask that you rescind your choice and choose another candidate.”
Fu Wu Tian gently set the cup on the table and spat out two words from his mouth, “It’s late.”
An Zi Ran’s eyes sharpened and focused his attention. “What is late?”
Fu Wu Tian was perfectly composed* when he said, “This morning, I entered the palace to explain the situation to the emperor. I told him the person I want to marry is not An Yu Zhi, but the young master of the An family, An Zi Ran. The emperor has already agreed.”
[*T/N: 泰然自若 tai ran zi ruo: cool and collected (idiom); showing no sign of nerves / perfectly composed]
Although he said it lightly, it was not easy getting that slightly stubborn emperor to agree to let him marry a man. After all, there was no precedent in this dynasty, but that didn’t mean that he had no way. In the end, the emperor had no choice but to agree.
“You did this deliberately.”
The youth’s cold voice suddenly sounded out, and there was a hint of anger.
Fu Wu Tian raised his eyebrows and stared at the person in front of him. It seemed that this was the first time he realized that he was only a sixteen-year-old boy. Every time he met him, he acted like a mature adult so he could not see the youth and tenderness of this young man at all. He’d investigated An Zi Ran. The An Zi Ran from the reports was completely different from what he saw. It was like two different people.
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The An Zi Ran of before was a complete dross. The An Zi Ran of now seemed to be injected with the soul of an adult. Perhaps it was due to the shock of losing his parents, but that calmness and stability seemed to be something that was built upon throughout the years. The taste was even more fresh, clean, and distant. As if one needed to savor the taste slowly before they could distinguish the notes in the fragrance.
“This is the best way, isn’t it?” Fu Wu Tian said.
An Zi Ran’s expression was angry. “Making a big man like me marry you is your so-called best way?” In his opinion, it was a rotten idea.
Fu Wu Tian stared at the angry expression of the young man and did not mind. “Do you think I will marry the daughter of a concubine from your family? The imperial family’s reputation has to be taken into consideration. So after thinking it over, I feel that it can only be you.”
“I’m a man,” An Zi Ran said with a cold expression.
Fu Wu Tian nodded. “I can see that of the children born from the main wife only you and your younger brother are left. You will never let me marry your brother who is only four months old, will you?”
An Zi Ran once thought about it, but this idea could never be said out loud. However, he still insisted on not marrying. A big man wearing red wedding attire to get married out, this wasn’t even done in the twenty-first century. In the end, Fu Wu Tian retreated a step.
“You can’t deny that this offspring came from the An family, so you have to take a certain responsibility.” Fu Wu Tian said seriously. “But for the sake of the friendship between your grandfather and my grandfather*, I can promise you, if it is really inappropriate, I will let you go. I will help you change your identity and you can start a new life again. How about it?”
[*T/N: ML refers to MC’s grandfather as 爷爷 ye ye and his own grandfather as 祖父 zu fu. The first one is more colloquial and the second one is more proper. Both terms refer to the paternal grandfather.]
Like the carrot and the stick.
An Zi Ran understood clearly. What Fu Wu Tian said made sense. Men and women were different. Once a woman lost her reputation, it was a lifelong thing, but a man’s reputation was more forgiving than a woman’s.
“I consent. Remember your promise.”
Fu Wu Tian, who appeared so refreshing and straightforward at the moment, in the future he will give An Zi Ran the title of “the one who was hoodwinked to death by a rogue.” At that time he will finally understand what kind of person Fu Wu Tian really was, which was not human at all!
[T/N: Not human… but a beast! Bwahahahaha!]
Next Chapter: Getting Married