Chapter 45 – Royal Mentality
After eating breakfast, Fu Wu Tian went to the study room with Fu lao wang ye.
Without anything to do, An Zi Ran decided to have the two maids from that morning accompany him while he familiarized himself with the palace. He would be living there for the time being, so even if he were to leave in the future, he still couldn’t let people make a joke out of him. Although he was married, he was still the head of the An family. If people treated him lightly, it would also affect the An family.
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The two maids were arranged by Fu Wu Tian. When they heard he wanted to look around the palace, they followed behind him with alertness.
Although Fu Wu Tian’s servants weren’t bad, An Zi Ran was still used to having Chun Lan and Qiu Lan by his side. He wasn’t comfortable with strangers getting too close to him. He thought of setting aside a time to talk to Fu Wu Tian about it, and see if he could have them come into the palace.
Thinking while he walked, he soon came upon the kitchen.
An Zi Ran glanced at it and was about to turn around and leave, but the voices of the gathered servants floated over to him. He only heard fragments of dialogue, but the contents of the conversation were all about him and Fu Wu Tian.
“I have never seen such a gentle side of wang ye, he really pampers wang fei.”
“You guys don’t know, but yesterday night when I was carrying some wine jugs through the corridor I just so happened to hear a sound. It was the wang fei’s voice crying out in ecstasy. It made me embarrassed to death just to listen.”
Understanding the implications, a few people snickered behind their sleeves.
“Hmph, the way I see it, there is nothing remarkable about wang ye favoring wang fei.”
The maid standing at the very back sneered.
A few of the maids looked at each other. “Xi Mei, you can’t talk nonsense.”
Xi Mei smiled smugly, “Who told you that I was talking nonsense? I spoke the truth. Wang fei is favored by wang ye, but he is still a man after all. In the future, wang ye will still have to take a concubine to continue the family line. Furthermore, among the attending wedding guests yesterday, did you see the princes of the emperor?”
Her words were reasonable and several people found themselves at lost for words.
Although the emperor agreed to let Fu Wu Tian take a man as his wang fei, and even admitted An Zi Ran’s name into the royal registry, it did not mean that the emperor really accepted his nephew’s wife. So among the guest last night, the number of royal family members that came to participate could be counted on one hand. The emperor’s princes were prime examples. They only sent some people to deliver the wedding presents and say a few celebratory words. Not even their shadows could be seen. This was enough to mark their attitude towards the whole affair.
The two maids’ faces were tight with anxiety. They did not expect to hear people gossiping about wang fei and wang ye, especially those words of Xi Mei’s. They were unable to grasp wang fei’s emotions. Was he angry? They could only look at his back, on one hand hoping that he would leave quickly, and on the other hand hoping that those people would stop talking.
The maid hesitated a moment and then called out to him.
Her voice alerted those gossipers. One by one they turned their heads to look. When they saw that the person standing in the hallway was the topic of conversation they just talked about their faces all turned white.
Xi Mei’s face also turned pasty white.
Whether the emperor liked wang fei or not, the fact that wang ye favored wang fei was a reality. In the morning, they all saw how much wang ye pampered wang fei, he even personally peeled an egg for him.
If this matter passed along to the ear of wang ye, she could foresee the picture of herself being swept out of the palace.
“Let’s go.” An Zi Ran’s gaze swept across them, and then he turned and walked away. The people observing him could not understand his temper. In the end, was he angry or not? It made one even more nervous.
The two maids rushed to keep up.
It didn’t take long for Fu Wu Tian to hear about this matter. An Zi Ran didn’t need to say anything at all. Fu Wu Tian was the master of this palace, if he didn’t even know what was happening within his domain wouldn’t that make him too incompetent? But Xi Mei was not driven out of the palace. She fell from her high status as a servant under Fu lao wang ye to a low status servant that washed the toilets. This kind of rough work was usually done by men.
Even the servants of Da Ya were separated by rank, especially those in wealthy households.
Generally they were divided into high rank and low rank servants. High rank servants had it relatively easy. They took care of their masters and often had the opportunity to follow their masters out to see the world. Low rank servants could only do heavy work, such as carrying water and chopping firewood, etc.
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Xi Mei suddenly descended from a high rank servant to a low rank servant, and it was even cleaning the toilet, this kind of dirty work, the gap was very big. In her heart, she definitely couldn’t accept it. In addition, she was mean and a gossiper, always talking bad about people behind their backs. She didn’t have many relations with people within the Fu palace. Once she was demoted, the people who would laugh at her were everywhere. It was even worse than getting driven out of the palace.
Therefore, even if one lacked a brain, they should still have limits.
It was one thing for the emperor not to come see the wang fei, but the important thing was that wang ye favors wang fei. Those who made snide implications about wang fei would not get off easy. If wang ye let other people attack his wang fei then wasn’t that implying that he was incompetent? That he couldn’t even protect his wang fei?
After this incident, no one dared to gossip about the master of Fu palace behind the scenes.
However, An Zi Ran found out about a few things that he didn’t know about before through this incident.
Yesterday, he and Fu Wu Tian knelt to the heavens and earth and got married, but he did not know how the royal family members looked like, so he did not know that the emperor and the princes did not attend the wedding banquet.
It was both expected and unexpected.
An Zi Ran did not become excessively entangled, so he secretly breathed a sigh of relief.
The emperor did not recognize him as the official wang fei, so it would be easier for him to get out of the palace in the future. This result was still good.
During lunchtime at noon, An Zi Ran and Fu Wu Tian talked about the little bun and the servants at the An family courtyard. He wanted to bring some of his people into the Fu palace. Fu Wu Tian agreed. In the afternoon he accompanied him to the courtyard.
“Young Master?” Steward Su was shocked that the young master was returning home after only marrying for one day. But thinking about it again, this was only one of the estates set up by the An family, so it didn’t count as the first return of the bride to her parental home* and he felt relieved. It was likely that the young master was just worried about the second young master.
[*T/N: During ancient times it is a custom for the bride to return home to visit her parents on the third day after getting married. Returning home before then was probably not a good sign of the newly married couple’s relationship.]
Steward Su quickly greeted his two masters and bid them sit. Because of Fu Wu Tian, he was more cautious.
An Zi Ran asked, “During the time that I was away, did anything happen within the courtyard?”
Steward Su shook his head, but then nodded. “No major events happened, but the second young master cried all night yesterday. The wet nurse had no choice but to go to the second young master. They didn’t fall asleep until the second young master cried himself out. Everyone is saying that the second young master knows that you were not here, so he cried.”
An Zi Ran muttered to himself irresolutely and then did not talk.
It is said that children could be keenly aware, it seemed that this was true of the little bun.
“Wang fei,” Fu Wu Tian called to him slowly and waited for the master and servant to look at him before saying, “You are now married into the Fu palace, leaving only your little brother in the An family. If we leave him in the care of your father’s concubines, I believe wang fei would not feel at ease, so I have a suggestion.”
Without asking, An Zi Ran already knew what he wanted to say.
Leaving the little bun in the hands of Wang Qing Lan and the other concubines was impossible, otherwise in the future he would have a twisted younger brother that hates him. So he could only raise the little bun by his side.
As Fu Wu Tian said, he had already married into the Fu palace, and he did not know when he would be leaving the palace. Leaving him to the wet nurse and maidservants to raise also did not put An Zi Ran at ease. Therefore, he could only temporarily bring the little bun into the Fu palace. He only needed Fu Wu Tian’s agreement. He already thought through this matter in the morning, but he didn’t think that Fu Wu Tian would take the initiative to suggest it.
The two quickly reached an agreement.
Steward Su saw this and quickly mentioned another important thing. “Young Master, the day after tomorrow is the day for you to return to your parental home, you see…” They’ve been away from An Yuan County for some time now. Since the young master has married into the Fu palace, it was about time for him to return to the An family, otherwise he was afraid that Su Zi would not be able to keep holding on. There was still that person who lusted after the An family’s wealth over there.
It took one day and one night to get from Jun Zi City to An Yuan County. If they traveled faster perhaps it would only require one day, so they should head off early.
An Zi Ran looked at Fu Wu Tian.
Fu Wu Tian considerately said, “I will accompany you back.”
Thus, this matter was settled.
[T/N: When the bride returns to her parental home, the groom should accompany her to show respect for her family and consideration for his bride. The length of time the groom spends at his in-laws on that day is indicative of the level of respect and consideration. If he doesn’t accompany his bride at all that means he doesn’t care enough about her, and this could lead to hard times for the bride. I got this information from mainland period dramas and reading other web novels. Heehee.]