Chapter 69.1 – Feigning Madness
Bi Shui Yuan (Jade Water Courtyard)
Translations by Vanilla Muse
Zheng Bi sat in a corner staring straight ahead of her with lifeless expression on her face. She kept muttering nonsense. Her hair was a scattered mess and there was not a trace of makeup on her face, which was ashen pale. Her whole person seemed to have aged twenty years.
There was not a hint of her previous beautiful appearance. She looked like a madwoman!
Zheng Bi was born with beautiful features. She used to rely on her face to charm An Chang Fu. Even after An Chang Fu’s death, she still paid attention to her appearance. For a woman well into her thirties she still had plenty of charm.
Everyone in the An manor knew that she was very conscious of beauty, just like the fourth concubine.
Seeing her tragic appearance, no one thought that she was acting. Furthermore, the situation at the time was indeed horrifying. Those servants who happened to witnessed the deaths of Guard Two and Jiang Zhong Ting still had nightmares every night. Whether it was day or night, they didn’t dare pass by that courtyard.
An Zi Ran stood in the hallway with a calm expression and looked into Zheng Bi’s room to see the woman giggling crazily to herself.
Fu Wu Tian was not by his side at the moment. Hong Province’s current state of affairs needed a person to be the decision maker. Since he was the one that caused the situation then naturally he should be responsible for his actions.
But he was still within the premise of An Yuan County, and the people of An Yuan County only knew that there was someone important in their county, but they did not know that he was a wang ye. All the things that happened within the An manor were also censored.
“An Zi Ran, what did you come here for?!”
There was a sudden roar from behind him.
An Zi Ran turned his head and saw An Ke Xin standing not too far away with a tray of food in her hands. Her pretty face was slightly distorted by anger and her eyes were full of hatred that could not be ignored.
“Haven’t you harmed my mother enough? Get lost! We don’t want to see you!”
Seeing that he was not speaking, An Ke Xin really wanted to take the tray of food in her hands and hurl it at his face, but she couldn’t, because if she wasted the food in her hands then she would have to go out and buy food with her money. The An family would not provide a second lunch. Moreover, after that incident, none of the servants wanted to see the mother and daughter pair.
All of this was An Zi Ran’s fault. If it weren’t for him then those things wouldn’t have happened, and her mother wouldn’t be reduced to this state of neither fully human nor fully ghost.
An Zi Ran looked at her indifferently.
An Ke Xin was flustered by him, but she stubbornly held her head up.
He spoke calmly, “An Ke Xin, aren’t you mistaken? This entire An family is mine, including this Jade Water Courtyard that you live in with your mother now. If I don’t want to let you live here anymore, I can justifiably chase both of you out. Do you believe it?”
An Ke Xin’s face turned white.
Of course she didn’t dare not believe. An Zi Ran definitely had this power and right.
What’s more, the words that her mother said in the courtyard that day was enough to have mother and daughter thrown into a cold cellar. If it weren’t for her mother suddenly going mad then An Zi Ran would’ve already settled accounts with them.
“Don’t let me hear you say another word of slander against me. Also, you should learn from your mother.”
An Zi Ran left behind this sentence, then he swept past her and left.
An Ke Xin dazedly entered the room and placed the food on the table. She looked at her mother who was still in the corner shaking her head and muttering to herself. She couldn’t help but mourn, how did things become like this for them? Ever since An Zi Ran changed, their days got worse and worse. She was fed up with living like this. In hindsight, she should’ve followed Fang Jun Ping and her daughter’s example and leave the An manor!
Steward Su was in the main hall commanding the servants to move things. When he saw the young master entering he immediately went over and asked, “Young Master, how is it?”
He knew that the young master had gone to see the third concubine Zheng Bi. Actually, he also suspected that Zheng Bi was feigning madness, but there was no evidence. Even a doctor couldn’t confirm or deny such a thing.
“What do you think?” An Zi Ran answered with a question.
Steward Su thought about it and said, “I think that she is likely pretending to be crazy.”
An Zi Ran said, “Reason?”
Steward Su explained, “Young Master, think about it, when that guard was killed by gu ye*, the third concubine was hiding and peeking in from the corridor. Then, when she heard that Prefectural Magistrate Jiang wanted to interrogate us, she came out to exculpate herself. At that time she spoke logically and her words were clear. Even the dead did not scare her. How could she be scared into madness after hearing that the gu ye is a wang ye? Therefore, I think she is definitely pretending to be crazy. Don’t you think so?”
[*T/N: 姑爷 gu ye: son-in-law (used by wife’s family)]
Seeing him speak in such a clear and logical manner, the corner of An Zi Ran’s mouth couldn’t help but turn up slightly. “You’ve said everything, so why are you still asking me?”
“So she really is feigning madness!”
Steward Su didn’t expect his conjecture to be correct, so his voice rose up in volume.
The great hall suddenly quieted down.
The servants glanced over. They all heard.
Steward Su’s old face twitched. “What are you looking at? Quickly get back to work!”
Everyone kept silent and resumed their work.
Henceforth, word started to circulate in the An family that the third concubine Zheng Bi was pretending to be crazy in order to avoid An Zi Ran settling accounts with her. The servants became even more disdainful of the third concubine. She dared to collude with outsiders to frame the young master, but she didn’t have the courage to bear the consequences of her actions. An Ke Xin quickly discovered this phenomenon.
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