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Chapter 79.1 – Punishment
After Zhu Cheng Left, An Zi Ran and Fu Wu Tian took a turn around the An Palace.
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The An Palace was even bigger than imagined. Even if all the people from the An family settled in here, the place would still seem very spacious. After the two returned, Fu Wu Tian ordered some servants from his palace to go clean up the An Palace.
The An Palace was built six months ago, but it has been unoccupied ever since, so the tables and chairs all have a thick layer of dust on them. It took two days for the servants to clean everything up.
On the third day, the members of the An family moved into the An Palace.
“Madam, look. The An Palace is huge!”
Qi Qiao, who was standing behind Wang Qing Lan, saw the An Palace’s exterior and immediately exclaimed in admiration. The An manor simply could not be compared to this residence. Before she came to Jun Zi City, she thought that the An family was already big enough, because the An manor was the largest house in An Yuan County.
Translations by Vanilla Muse
Wang Qing Lan lifted her head and looked at the vast An Palace. Her eyes were filled with confidence and ambition.
She finally came to Jun Zi City, and was even living in a house presented by the emperor. Before she didn’t dare to entertain such thoughts, but since she came to the capital, she saw many spectacular sights that she never had the opportunity to see before. It was quite shocking, but deep inside she felt that this was the stage where she belonged.
Thinking of this, she increasingly rejoiced at the fact that she chose to forebear while she was in An Yuan County. Otherwise, she would be like An Ke Xin (and her mother) who was forced to married over to Tong Tai County. Then she would be stuck in a small county forever.
“Let’s go in.”
After An Zi Ran got the blueprint of the An Palace, he only had plans to live in a portion of the palace.
A lot of servants were left behind in An Yuan County, so there were fewer than fifty people who followed him to the capital. In such a spacious palace, it would be hard to get things done.
The front of the An Palace faced east, so he picked out the southern and northern rooms.
The servants will live in the northern rooms, and the masters of the house will live in the southern courtyard. Beyond the southern wall was the Imperial Fu Palace.
“Zi Ran, ah.” Wang Qing Lan hesitated for a bit, but still walked over to An Zi Ran. She feigned a gentle tone in order to sound him out. “Regarding the An Palace’s southern courtyard, Fourth Mother won’t be living in it alone, right?”
She mainly wanted to find out if the little bun was going to be brought to the An Palace to live with them. If they were at the courtyard that An Zi Ran had purchased previously, then she wouldn’t have asked this. But the two places were so close, so she couldn’t help but entertain certain thoughts. If the little bun lived in the An Palace she could use the excuse of visiting him and enhance feelings between them.
An Zi Ran glanced at her, “No.”
A spark of joy ignited in Wang Qing Lan’s heart, but she didn’t let it show on her face.
Thus, Wang Qing Lan began to wait for the arrival of the little bun. In order to perform better, she even asked Qi Qiao to find someone to teach her how to take care of children and how to please them to win their affection.
An Zi Ran did not say a word after knowing this.
She was certainly clever in some ways, but in some aspects she was still as dumb as Zheng Bi.
Speaking of the little bun, An Zi Ran realized that he had not seen him for two days. He only went to see him in the morning before. These past two days, he was busy with the new residence and also careful to be cautious of the Chong Ming Emperor. He was certain that Zhu Cheng must have already told the emperor that Fu Wu Tian did not attach any importance to them, but after waiting for two days, there was still no movement from the palace.
Gradually, he stopped paying attention.
At the Imperial Fu Palace
An Zi Ran changed his schedule to go visit the little bun. He had just entered the courtyard where the little bun was residing in when he became keenly aware that something was wrong. He raised his head and he saw Steward Li rushing over.
“Wang fei, how come you’re here?”
Steward Li was speaking rather loudly, as if he was deliberately saying it for someone else to hear.
Although he tried to hide the panic on his face, An Zi Ran still noticed that the door to the little bun’s room was opened and his gaze couldn’t help but became heavy. “What are you doing here? Who is in my brother’s room?”
A layer of cold sweat burst across Steward Li’s forehead.
An Zi Ran pushed him away and walked over.
Steward Li immediately went to block him. “Wang fei…”
A very loud baby’s cries interrupted his words. Then there was a creaking sound in the little bun’s room, as if someone had kicked over a chair.
An Zi Ran pushed him hard and quickly rushed toward the room.
Steward Li stumbled away a few steps and almost hit the pillar. He muttered a low “oh no,” and wished the person in the room luck.
An Zi Ran rushed into the room. The baby’s cries had disappeared. He could only see a few chairs lying in disarray on the floor. But the people who were supposed to be in the room could not be seen. His face was already as dark as the bottom of a pot.
An Zi Ran swept through every corner of the room. He was certain that the people were still in the room. The windows of the room were all shut. If someone had tried to escape through the window they wouldn’t have time to turn around and close the window back up.
Steward Li ran in and saw the empty room. He became even more apprehensive. Over. It’s all over. The problem seemed to have escalated.
There was no response for a very long time.
An Zi Ran’s expression was getting increasingly grimmer. Then he turned sharply. There was a fat old man hiding behind the door and he was getting ready to sneak out of the room, but An Zi Ran caught him right away.
Cold sweat rained down the fat old man’s forehead.
An Zi Ran’s gaze turned to the man’s arms. The fat old man held a baby in his arms with one hand covering the baby’s mouth. The baby’s black grape-like eyes were filled with tears, his cheeks were red, and he looked up at him pitifully. An Zi Ran released a breath and took the baby into his arms.
As soon as the little baby returned to his brother’s arms, he started to cry. Sprawled within An Zi Ran’s embrace, his two small chubby hands clutched his brother’s clothes tightly. His sobs were very pitiful. Although he was only six or seven months old, the child had a heightened sense of awareness, and knew who was the person closest to him.
An Zi Ran held the little bun, his movements were practiced and not awkward at all. He stroked the baby’s back with one hand and listened to the baby’s cries gradually lessened. Only then did he turn his attention to the fat old man. The identity of the man was Fu lao wang ye. The old man straightened his back, but didn’t dare to look at him.