The Tang Dynasty’s Female Forensic Doctor Chapter 63: Towering Rage

The name of this chapter is actually 怒火燎原, and it means “an anger like the fire that spreads across the plain”. I decided to write it as towering rage to keep it short ^_^


The rustling wind throughout the river. A peaceful and clear night. The river surface was now a scene of unprecedented grandeur: songs rang out continuously, and poems were read loud and clear.

Many great scholars that were at a boat gathering soon took their boats and anchored them nearby. They listened to the songs and poems from the talented youths from Suzhou and made comments on one or two sentences from time to time. The youths started putting even more energy into their efforts when they noticed those great scholars who they hold in admiration on ordinary days. What it originally was meant to be a satirical piece, eventually became an unexpected grand literary gathering during Qixi.

Ran Yan and Ran Yunsheng were delighted, they could drink wine while listening to songs as well as evaluating poetry. Ran Yunsheng saw Ran Yan’s serene face and gently said: “Ah Yan has really grown up. It turns out that I am not as good as you when it comes to our mind’s state.”

Ran Yan swallowed some wine and smiled. A person who has seen so many sinister murders will become accustomed to seeing life and death situations [1]. It doesn’t matter how slow-witted you are, you must be much more cool-headed.

“It has nothing to do with the state of mind. It’s about looking at a matter as a person standing on a different perspective. Let’s say that I want to kill someone. Before I take any action, I must think about how the other person will react when I attack. When I am clear about it, I can force him into an end route, then it will be hard to not finish him.” Ran Yan saw through a sip in the curtain that the number of females on the deck of the big boat was growing nonstop, and her vision feel on Yin Miaomiao.

Yin Miaomiao didn’t seem to have been affected by the lively atmosphere. She stood at the railing, with her eyes hanging down as she observed the surface of the river. The river’s surface reflected the moonlight, and the crystalline ripples shined upon her gentle face, but her expression couldn’t be seen clearly.

Ran Yunsheng was staring at Ran Yan with astonishment. What ordinary lady could say this kind of shocking analogy. Ran Yunsheng opened his mouth a few times, finally heaving a sigh and saying: “All right. It is also good for you to think this way. But in the future, when you marry someone, whether you could be a bit weaker or if you will be a bit weaker, rely on your husband as much as possible [2]. This is a right that you can enjoy as a woman, do not forget.”

“If the other person can truly be relied upon, I naturally won’t make things hard for myself.” Ran Yan casually replied, but she knew in her heart that people who do not think of them as strong, are the ones who can became strong. Similarly, people who have always been strong, have long forgotten how to be weak.

Ran Yunsheng saw her perfunctory attitude and wanted to say a few things, but a round of cheers suddenly came from outside the boat. Ran Yunsheng brushed apart the curtain and looked towards the deck, exclaiming: “Sixth Miss Qi has come!”

Ran Yan followed his gaze and saw on the deck someone with a set of snow-white clothes, dark hair combed into a fei tian ji [3], skin as white as snow and a complexion as beautiful as flowers, a fresh yet slightly chilly appearance, proud and aloof, standing under the bright moon and competing with its brilliance. None of the beautifully dressed girls at the surroundings had the qualities to suppress her. It was to the extent that their meticulous attires were unfortunately reduced to the role of a foil.

While the crowd was absorbed in Sixth Miss Qi’s beautiful appearance, Ran Yunsheng quietly said: “Ah Yan, it would be better for us to take advantage of this and go!”

“If we go, what is going to be said at Suzhou tomorrow?” Ran Yan asked in reply.

Ran Yunsheng got his tongue tied. If they fool all the young nobles in the city, even if Ran Yan is the di daughter from the Ran family, there would probably have no person who could tolerate it. On the other hand, if she keeps her word, the people will then treat it as a game. If they can enjoy themselves fully and see the beauty, they would naturally not wish for more.

“You can go, but, Tenth brother doesn’t want you to be suppressed by Sixth Miss Qi.” Ran Yunsheng puffed his cheeks, and his peerless handsome face appeared a little childish and especially adorable, “The way you are dressed is pretty, yes, but it hides your natural disposition. I’m afraid that with this weak appearance of yours, you will also be reduced to Sixth Miss Qi’s foil!”

“Do you have such a deep view on Sixth Miss Qi?” Ran Yan doesn’t really care if she can or not be compared with Sixth Miss Qi. It does not matter if it is in the past or the present, she has never relied on good looks to have a meal [4].

Ran Yunsheng got up and entered the cabin’s inner room. He pulled a casket from the side of the couch-bed and placed in front of Ran Yan, “I planned to give you a happy surprise and gift you with this when we returned. But since the need for it has appeared now, let’s use it!”

Ran Yunsheng opened the casket, and inside it, there was a pile of neatly folded clothing. At the side, many jewelry boxes of many sizes that sparkled and shined under the bright lights, dazzling the eyes of those who saw it. 

“Didn’t you buy me a lot of it just a few days ago? Why gift me again?” Ran Yan was stunned. The degree of squandering that Ran Yunsheng shows, if he is called the second in it, no one will dare be called the first.

“I brought many high-quality silks and satins from Chang’an and originally wanted to gift them to you on that day. But I thought that maybe you wouldn’t be able to find a high skilled embroiderer in such a short time. As a result, I took advantage of that day at the market when I gifted you the cut clothing to secretly ask the servant girl for your measures.” Ran Yunsheng smugly took a red yarn skirt [5] and put it on Ran Yan’s hands, “This cloth is the best in quality. It is made of liaoling [6] and the best yarn in the palace. When it was being tailored, I felt that besides our family’s Ran Yan, there is no one in the world that could match it.”

The crowd outside the boat seemed to regain their souls from the beauty of Sixth Miss Qi and started to press Ran Yan to fulfill her promise.

“Red?” Ran Yan frowned slightly. The clothing she is carrying is much more beautiful than any other she has ever seen, but because she was frequently dissecting people and was always seeing red, that is, always seeing blood, she has never made herself wear red clothes.

“Ah Yan… Does not like red?” Ran Yunsheng was a little disappointed. He truly felt that this clothing was perfect for her.

Ran Yan shook her head, “It is just that I hardly ever used this type of bright-colored clothes, that’s all.”

The urging sounds outside the boat were becoming more and more impatient. Ran Yan didn’t want to cause Ran Yunsheng’s enthusiasm to fall through, so she got up and walked into the inner room to change clothes. Since she also doesn’t like creamy colors, change one for another would not make any difference.

“Green, green the reed. Dew and frost gleam. Where shall she be. Beyond the stream is…”

The people outside began to carelessly recite the Book of Songs [7] when they noticed that Ran Yan still hadn’t come out…

Ran Yunsheng didn’t have any intention on getting angry this time. Because he was born too beautiful [8], it led to other people always pointing their fingers towards him [9]. However, Ran Yan is different: she was born extremely beautiful, but with the kind of beauty that a woman should have. If those few people want to see it, Ran Yunsheng would want them to look at his younger sister in the same way they looked at Sixth Miss Qi. But that is not what was happening now. They racked their brains to compose poetry and play songs for Sixth Miss Qi, and willfully recited the Book of Songs towards her, to the point of it having a lot of frivolous meanings.

The people outside were already impetuously striking the railing with oars and were even starting to holler. Their attitude was completely different from the kind of eagerness they had shown with Sixth Miss Qi. Even if they heard that Seventeenth Miss Ran’s appearance is equally matched to Sixth Miss Qi, in the end, very few people have seen her. It does not matter how beautiful she is described as; she can’t compare with the many years of reputation that Sixth Miss Qi has as “Suzhou’s number one beauty.”

Some people exasperatedly spoke of their plans: “Hey, if you don’t come out, we may have to break in and see you for ourselves!”

“Heh, isn’t Tenth Master Ran hiding that young lady somewhere and deceiving us?! Come, come, come, let’s go see what is happening!” The people on the same boat as Zhang Fei said, and then they actually jumped from the boat, making the whole boat swing about.

The crowd’s jeering spurred them to haste their pace into the boat. When they were about to enter the boat’s entrance, the bamboo curtain was lifted from the inside.

When he was riding with momentum and about to charge ahead, someone in red clothes stood only one step away and used a folding fan to press against him, coldly saying: “I ask of you to please immediately depart from my boat.”

The whole lake suddenly quieted down. Everyone held their breaths and concentrated their attention on the woman who was like a fiery red lotus. Her ink-like hair hanged loosely on her back, tied by a long black satin ribbon. An exquisite face that caused people to suspect that Heavens had shown excessive favoritism when they decided to create her, carefully carving again and again before they finally released her into the human realm.

It is only that this raging-fire-like color does not bring out any intense feelings when dressed in her body, it transmitted a cold sensation instead. She was quietly standing in that place, holding the fan and pointing it at the uninvited guest. A deep and cold gaze, just like… a flame burning below the Nine Hells, or like a red spider lily in full bloom at the opposite side of the River of Forgetfulness [10].

Ran Yan was feeling discomfort all over her body. Initially, her idea was that if Sixth Miss Qi came out, everybody would be surrounded by onlookers, which is much better than her being surrounded alone by a group of men. Then she would go out, show her face and be done with it. But now, she was wearing blood-colored clothes, and her hair bun had been loosened during the time she was changing clothes. She did not have the time to comb it back, so there was no other choice besides casually tying it, just like how she ties when she is at home. Not to mention her hastiness and disorder during this time, there was even an audacious person who wanted to force his way into the boat appearing; all of it has really made her mad.

She has never considered that this matter would be reaching this condition. It could not be blamed on Ran Yunsheng, after all, his intentions were all good.

A deep rage like a fire that spreads through the plain surged and covered the whole surface of the river. Everybody sensed that deep chill, and it caused them to feel that Sixth Miss Qi, who is standing on the tall deck and competing with the moon’s radiance, was now appearing a bit feeble and barely detectable.

The people that were charging ahead on the deck were scared into retreat: they walked back a few steps and hurriedly turned around to jump into the neighboring boat.

“I already came out as agreed. If everyone here does not have any other matter, forgive me but I ask to be excused.” In spite of these words, Ran Yan was in fact already returning to the cabin when she spoke.

Ran Yan tossed the folding fan in her hands into Ran Yunsheng and uncomfortably moved her body, “Tenth brother, help me watch the door, I will go change clothes.”

She did not wait for Ran Yunsheng to reply and quickly turned around to walk into the inner room. She nimbly changed to an icy sapphire blue color ruqun [11] made of thin silk that she took from the casket.

Ran Yan heaved a sigh of relieve, looking as if she had just wiped bloodstains from her body, and her heart was then feeling much better.

“Are you angry?” Ran Yunsheng’s clear eyes revealed some regret, “It is all my fault. I should not have let you take part in this sort of rivalry with Sixth Miss Qi.”

Ran Yan restrained her emotions and said with honesty: “You cannot be blamed for this. There are also benefits in being suppressed by Sixth Miss Qi. I know you did it for my own good.”

In the end, Ran Yunsheng wouldn’t force her to disagree if she insisted on it, so what she had just said was the absolute truth.

Ran Yan comfortably sat on her seat and noticed that Ran Yunsheng was still looking at her worriedly. She then felt that her reaction has indeed been excessive. Ran Yunsheng was not like that scared rabbit Sang. Doing her best to speak as softly as she could, she said: “Tenth brother, I seriously do not blame you. The only ones to blame in this are those dandies’ youths who went too far in their bullying.”

This is the conclusion Ran Yan came to after taking things into consideration, and certainly, it is also the greatest cause of her anger.

Ran Yunsheng gradually put his heart at rest after hearing Ran Yan’s words. Sitting in front of her, he exclaimed: “Ah~, your anger this time was just like the fire that spreads across the plain…”

There is no way of knowing if someone will be willing to marry her in the future seeing that she has probably terrified every men from Suzhou. He just hopes that in the future a man capable of managing such fearsome disposition appears, ah. Ran Yunsheng didn’t want to keep on distressing himself with such things and moved on to ask: “Do you find the red color loathsome?”

“At first, I saw it just like any other color. But when I wore it on my body, I realized that I really hate it.” Ran Yan said in all honesty to avoid having a next time where Ran Yunsheng requests her to wear red clothes. What she felt wasn’t hate, but rather discomfort all over her body.

Ran Yunsheng let out a sigh and turned to look at Ran Yan once again with a smile, “Ah Yan wants to go back or go for another stroll?”

Ran Yan did not have the time to reply when a man’s voice came from the outside, saying: “Seventeenth Miss Ran is beautiful enough to cause the fall of a city. We all believe that you can join Sixth Miss Qi in being called Jiangnan’s most beautiful jades [12]. It is only that Sixth Miss Qi possess excellence in each of every artistry talent [13]. We know that Seventeenth Miss Ran’s medical expertise is outstanding, but we wonder if you still have another talent for us to experience it firsthand?”

They were implying that, if she could sing and compose poems, then she could match Sixth Miss Qi’s level and became one of the two Jiangnan’s most beautiful jades.

This went beyond Ran Yunshengs’s expectations. He thought that Ran Yan’s appearance of towering rage would cause them to cower in fear. But from the looks of it, it seems this was not the case, and his heart was only glad for things to be this way.

Ran Yan frowned. These people are turning this into a habit. A talent? If performing an autopsy can be counted as a talent, then yes, she has. Due the mother of this body passing away at a young age, she only had a few years to study and learn the characters. She was usually under Miss Xing’s supervision, so her embroidery can be said to be extremely good…there are a few more things that she knows, but they are only superficial knowledge and can’t be regarded as a talent.

What two Jiangnan’s most beautiful jades, Ran Yan doesn’t care about it. But being stuck in this stalemate, it would be very hard to stay in a good mood if she does not think of a way to let those people suffer.


[1] Life and death situations mean situations where extremely deep/unimaginable emotions are involved.

[2] In case it wasn’t clear, his meaning here is that it doesn’t matter if she is weak or not, that is, it doesn’t matter if she will really require support or not, she must rely on her husband either way.

[3] Images:

[4] To have a meal = to make a living.

[5]

[6] A very refined/high quality silk that was used as tribute during the Tang dynasty.

[7] Book of Songs/Poetry is a collection of poems and songs in China. You can click here to read more about it. The verse they were reciting was: “蒹葭苍苍,白露为霜,所谓伊人,在水一方……”

[8] Yes, I didn’t translate wrong, it really says “he was born too gorgeous/beautiful…” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

[9] This implies that other people always talked about him behind his back, be it just talking about him, about his shortcomings or just plainly bad-mouthing him.

[10] Red spider lily (picture below) is a flower that can have many meanings, generally associated with life and death. Here you can find some of its meanings in English. And the 忘川河 aka River of Forgetfulness, you can click here and read a little about why it receives this name.

[11] 襦裙 ruqun (image only for illustration purpose):

[12] Jiangnan = the southern areas of the Yangtze River. / The word they use here is 璧, a type of jade object, thin and flat with a hole in the middle (image) that was used for rituals or jewelry/decoration. Jade can be used as a reference for beautiful women – as it is in this case.

[13] The four arts = music, chess, calligraphy and painting.

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