Chapter 71.1 – Honorarium (Gift as Thanks)
As soon as An Ke Xin walked out of the great hall, her real nature revealed itself.
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Disregarding the servants’ looks, she hurriedly dragged Zheng Bi back to Jade Water Courtyard.
When Steward Su stepped over the threshold, he could just see the backs of the mother-daughter pair as they hurriedly left. He turned his head and said to An Zi Ran, who was standing in front of him, “Young Master, didn’t the Third Concubine said that she wouldn’t let the Second Miss marry into the Lin family no matter what? Why the sudden change of attitude?”
An Zi Ran glanced down the corridor at their disappearing backs. Instead of directly answering the question, he asked, “Under what circumstance did she change her attitude?”
Steward Su recalled for a bit. “Seems like it was just after Lin family’s gong zi sent over the betrothal gifts.”
“This is the answer.”
An Zi Ran turned and prepared to go back to the study. He had already thought about how to write An Ke Xin’s dowry list.
Steward Su realized that the Third Concubine has become interested in the Lin family’s property. He really didn’t know whether that was good or bad. But he didn’t have to face that mother and daughter pair again, so the old steward was still very happy. As for the Lin family, once the Second Miss marries into their family, it will be their family’s issue.
Let’s move the story back to Zheng Bi, who was dragged to the Jade Water Courtyard by An Ke Xin.
As soon as they entered the courtyard, Zheng Bi flung off her daughter’s hand. “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know you gripped your mother’s hand so hard that it hurts?”
After she said that, she rotated her wrist around.
An Ke Xin tried hard to calm the anger in her heart and repressed herself to say, “Mother, weren’t you very opposed to me marrying into the Lin family? Then why were you agreeing just now?”
Upon hearing this, Zheng Bi froze, but smiled soon after.
“And mother was wondering what you wanted to talk about. So it’s about this matter. What is the problem?”
An Ke Xin looked at her incredulously. “Could it be that you didn’t see how ugly Lin Xin is? Haven’t you always wanted me to marry someone with power and status? Why did you suddenly become like this?” She fired the questions one right after the other. Right now, her brain was full of ‘whys.’
Translations by Vanilla Muse
Zheng Bi smiled flirtatiously. The makeup on her face almost fell off. “You’re right, Mother used to hope that you could marry someone like the An family’s gu ye. Even if you couldn’t be the main wife, being a concubine was still good. But you can see our current situation. Unless you can marry the emperor, otherwise, what do we fight An Zi Ran with? It would be better to settle for the next best thing. It seems to me that Lin family’s gong zi is very infatuated with you. So why not make use of this opportunity?”
“Just because of this, you want me to marry Lin Xin?”
An Ke Xin was not comforted at all. Even if she were to settle for second best, she still wanted to marry someone handsome, and not that pig of a Lin gong zi.
Zheng Bi knew that her daughter just couldn’t accept the truth right away, so she wasn’t angry. She took hold of An Ke Xin’s hand and said lightly, “Ke Xin, Mother knows that this is very difficult for you, but Mother promises you, this is only a temporary stop-gap measure, nothing more…”
After that, Zheng Bi whispered her thoughts into An Ke Xin’s ear.
Don’t know what she said, but An Ke Xin was indeed placated. Her anger subsided and turned to hesitation. “Mother, are you sure this is possible?”
“You have your mother, so of course.” Zheng Bi said confidently.
An Ke Xin hesitated for a moment. “But, will An Zi Ran bring you to Jun Zi City?”
If An Zi Ran really took her mother with him, she would not be able to contact her mother in time. Then where would she find someone who would give her advice and help her plot?
Zheng Bi said, “Rest assured. All of An family’s industry is in An Yuan County. They won’t really move everything to Jun Zi City. There will definitely be a group of people left behind in An Yuan County. Furthermore, An Zi Ran can’t wait to get rid of the two of us. How could he possibly bring me with him?”
An Ke Xin also felt that what her mother said was reasonable. Before, An Zi Ran had already said that he wouldn’t bring them with him. If she weren’t certain about this point, she would not have agreed to the marriage. She was only asking for peace of mind.
“How about this? Mother will look for a chance to feel out An Zi Ran, and see what he is thinking.”
Zheng Bi thought about it, and felt that this plan had to be one hundred percent foolproof in order for them to feel at ease. Who knew if An Zi Ran would express a different view from them?
An Ke Xin nodded. “Okay. Mother, be careful not to let him discover us.”
The next day, An Zi Ran took Shao Fei to inspect the engineering project.
Early in the morning, Fu Wu Tian had gone to the county office to deal with the affairs of Hong Province.
The Chong Ming Emperor’s decree had also arrived in An Yuan County the day before yesterday. Although Fu Wu Tian didn’t need to ask for the emperor’s decree to execute a group of corrupt officials, the emperor still had to be mindful of his status and keep up appearances to prevent slanderous rumors.
As a petty revenge, the Chong Ming Emperor handed all of the unwanted errands of a newly appointed prefectural magistrate to Fu Wu Tian.