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Three days into the beginning of New Year’s Eve was the time when every family of each house visited their neighbors from door to door, but the An family residence was decorated as a mourning hall instead.
The mourning hall was set up at a small hall in the An family home. Although it was called ‘small,’ but in fact, it was actually big. There were two coffins placed at the center. They were An Ziran’s parents’ coffins, An Changfu’s and Liu Mei Xiang’s. It was made out of top grade golden Phoebe Wood. It was said that the wood wouldn’t rot for the long term.
An Ziran heard from the maid that the two coffins had been bought by An Changfu for his wife and himself when he was still alive, just to prepare for when he turned old and needed to be buried for their final rest. In the end, they were used in advance.
This kind of act, An Ziran didn’t know what to criticize anymore.
It looked like he was trying to curse himself to die earlier and he even pulled in his wife as well to accompany him to the afterlife.
However, he heard that the reason why An Changfu wanted to do so was because the golden Phoebe wood was rare and hard to obtain. It was said that phoebe wood was especially used by noble officers. Subsequently, An Changfu had successfully obtained a few pieces of them by chance, which were just enough to build two coffins. These two coffins were completed not long ago, just half a year ago.
An Ziran followed his memories and walked to the outside of the mourning hall, he could hear the faint sound of weeping coming from the inside. The crying sound became louder and louder, as if the owner was scared that nobody could hear it. The scene was so not depressing.
An Ziran slightly raised his mouth and revealed a ridiculing smile, but because the fat meat on his face was too thick, the curve wasn’t very obvious.
As An Ziran walked into the mourning hall, he saw two women wearing plain white clothes who were kneeling in front of the coffin. Usually, there were a lot of expensive but beautiful hairpins and hair ornaments on their head, but now what was left were only plain hairpins.
Both of them were concubines of An Changfu, who were also An Ziran’s second aunt Fang Junping and his fourth aunt Wang Qinglan. Ever since his parents had passed away, both of them came to the mourning hall and cried every single day. People who didn’t know the inside story must’ve thought that they loved An Changfu a lot. He also heard that there was a third aunt Zheng Bi, who came for the first three days but he didn’t see her today.
If he were the old An Ziran, he might have believed this farce.
However, the An Ziran who stood in front of them had discarded his old shell for a new one, with a bright-minded heart.
“Ziran, why have come here? Have you recovered from your sickness?”
As Wang Qinglan turned her body, she saw An Ziran stand in front of the door entrance. That fat body of his was easy to spot, she immediately showed a worried face and stood up as she walked towards him.
“I feel much better now, Fourth Aunt.” An Ziran calmly looked at her.
Wang Qinglan suddenly didn’t know what to say anymore. These past few days, she had always felt that An Ziran had suddenly changed into another person. The old An Ziran was a lazy, ignorant, and good-for-nothing person. He relied on his status as the eldest son, always scolded and punished the servants, and often lost his temper when he was frustrated by little things. He was difficult to serve.
Now, Wang Qinglan had a weird feeling about him. She felt that An Ziran was suddenly enlightened. Ever since Master and Madam had passed away, he almost never caused any trouble but became silent, like a dead person.
However, she didn’t pay much attention to it. She could understand that the changes were probably because his beloved parents had passed away. If two of one’s loved ones passing away at once, even she herself would’ve been in shock.
Everyone thought that the sudden change of An Ziran was normal.
At this moment, Fang Junping walked towards him. Her eyes were slightly red because she had just cried, but her expression was as cold as ice. An Ziran couldn’t see through her emotions. When she saw An Ziran, her gaze flashed a gleam of disgust, even though she tried to hide it fast, her expression was still caught by An Ziran.
Fang Junping said stiffly: “Since you have recovered, go and offer incense and pray for your parents. After they passed away, you as the eldest son haven’t even offered incense once.”
An Ziran lightly replied: “I got it, Second Aunt.”
He walked past their sides after he finished speaking, the servants who guarded the mourning hall immediately handed over three sticks of incense to him. An Ziran took them without pretense and prayed for both of his parents. Although they weren’t his real parents, he still had to do the superficial work so that nobody would catch his weakness.
After staying at the mourning hall for half an hour, An Ziran finally walked out from it. Wang Qinglan looked like she was waiting for him outside, she immediately walked towards him when she saw him.
Wang Qinglan saw his face was slightly pale, even his forehead had a layer of thin sweat. He probably wasn’t fully recovered from his sickness. Immediately, she said with a dear voice: “This child, you better get some rest since you’re still sick. Now, you’re the only man who can lead the An Family in this household. The An Family still needs you, you must not fall ill.”
While she was talking, she took out a white handkerchief and prepared to help him wipe off the sweat on his forehead, but An Ziran sub-consciously dodged it.
Wang Qinglan didn’t feel awkward nor abrupt, she continued speaking: “You can let me handle your parent’s funeral, I’ll definitely do it properly and let your parents be buried in glory.”
“Alright, I’m sorry to bother Fourth Aunt then, I shall get back to my room first.” An Ziran nodded his head.
Wang Qinglan was gazing at An Ziran until his shadow vanished from her sight. Her face slowly turned black. Since Master had passed away, the only one who could lead the An Family was only An Ziran, she must really hug this big tree tightly since she had no child at all.
Edited and Proofread by: Loriel
Proofread by: Misaki