The Tang Dynasty’s Female Forensic Doctor Chapter 70: Pray to Buddha to purify the body

“That is true, except that our days after returning to the Fu are going to be fairly tough. Don’t worry. You have Tenth brother. I can cover you from everything as long as the clan elders don’t punish you with kneeling in the ancestral hall.” Ran Yunsheng said to comfort her.

Ran Yan nodded, “Thank you, Tenth brother.”

The two kept talking until Ran Yunsheng got up to return to the Fu and see how the clan was reacting.

Ran Yan was planning to go to the Cai Xiu House today. The syphilis issue has already been dragged for long enough, and they haven’t come to look for her even once. The results of keeping it under control using Chinese medicine should be going pretty well, but it is not guaranteed that the mild condition of Miss Yan’s illness can be cured with it. As for Zi Xu, she will probably need to receive penicillin.

When Ran Yan was ready to have some breakfast after changing her clothes, she heard a maidservant notify that Eighteenth Miss has arrived.

Ran Yan smiled scornfully. She is truly too impatient! Seeing that she hadn’t had the time to eat her breakfast, she ordered people to take her meal and bring it to the main hall. She waited for Ran Meiyu while eating.

It should take half cup of tea at most [1] to arrive at Ran Yan’s courtyard from the main entrance. Ran Meiyu seemed to be in an excellent mood as she led a few maidservants and unhurriedly walked through the path towards the hall.

When Ran Yan lifted her eyes and indifferently glanced at her, she realized she hadn’t come alone, there were two finely dressed girls about fifteen or sixteen years old beside her. She rapidly looked into her memories and then recognized the one with the pale green ruqun as the Fourteenth Miss, Ran Qian, and the one with a pale blue ruqun as the Fifteenth Miss, Ran Meixi. [2]

All the girls from the Fourteenth Miss Ran to the Eighteenth Miss Ran are all about the same age, especially Sixteenth Miss Ran who was born in the same year, the same month and the same day as Ran Yan. That’s why their ranking within the clan is all squeezed together.

Fourteenth Miss Ran is the di daughter of the third branch [3]. She and Ran Meiyu are a cut from the same cloth when it came to their arrogance, it truly was the ‘birds of a feather flock together’ type of thing. Fifteenth Miss Ran is the shu daughter of the third branch. She wore a pale blue ruqun with her hair coiled in a bun using two hairpins. Her eyes were drooped, and her face was neither warm nor cold, just a dull and lukewarm expression.

Ran Meiyu’s face showed her dislike as she entered the hall. She saw Ran Yan sitting in there and eating with no intention of getting up to welcome them. She was displeased with it, and her gaze swept over Ran Yan’s food before coldly saying: “Humph! This is the breakfast Tenth brother has bought! During these last few days, I wondered what was sticking to Tenth brother and grabbing every profit it could get from him.”

The fact that Ran Yunsheng took Ran Yan to a shopping splurge at the eastern district has long been spread throughout the whole Fu. Although Ran Yunsheng had also sent gifts to all the other brothers and sisters, those were merely out of etiquette. They never thought that the always gentle, polite, and modest Ran Yunsheng could also squander money like a prodigal wealthy youth.

Ran Yan glanced at her indifferently and then continued her meal.

Ran Meiyu and Ran Qian went directly to the table and sat down, and Ran Meixi dazedly followed along to sit down as well.

There was some awkwardness within the atmosphere inside the hall, but the most awkward one was certainly Ran Meiyu. She spoke alone for quite a while, but Ran Yan didn’t utter one phrase in response.

“Seventeenth sister (younger), how can you be this rude. We came to see you out of kindness, but you don’t even get up from your sit.” Ran Qian couldn’t stand watching this anymore. She and Ran Meiyu have come over together, so when she looked down on Ran Meiyu, she was indirectly looking down on her too.

Ran Yan finished her meal and took the napkin Xiao Man offered her. She slowly wiped her mouth and then rinsed it before finally paying her respects to them and saying: “You (plural and courteous) come over early in the morning in such high spirits, is it to inform me of some bad news? You can all speak of it now.”

“You!” Ran Meiyu slapped the teapoy and bounced from her seat, but remembering that day at the Yin Fu when Ran Yan rapidly subdued her while displaying an ice-cold and expressionless look, she shrank back a little, turning towards Ran Qian to say: “Fourteenth sister (older), I told you that she bullies me, but you didn’t believe. Now you can see that she doesn’t even put you in her eyes.”

Ran Yan sized up Ran Qian who was dressing a pale green ruqun. Her facial features were average, she didn’t have Ran Meixi’s natural beauty, and couldn’t even be compared with Ran Meiyu’s beauty.

“So it is Fourteenth sister (older). Meiyu has changed a lot from the little girl she once was; she is becoming increasingly beautiful, making it impossible for people to turn their eyes away. Ah Yan ended up not noticing Fourteenth sister (older), I’m really such a poor host.” Ran Yan pulled her lips, displaying a smiling expression.

Ran Qian is a di daughter with a very powerful maternal family. It can be said that she has a strong backing inside the clan, but it’s a pity that she was born with average looks. As a result, the topic of appearance has truly become a sore spot for Ran Qian. When she first saw that Ran Yan was actually born even more beautiful than Ran Meiyu, she was already so awfully jealous that she wanted to tear apart that face. And now, with such thing being said, she felt as if her face has been completely lost.

“Fourteenth sister (older), you must not listen to her provocation.” Ran Meiyu viciously stared at Ran Yan.

Ran Yan smiled insipidly and brought the tea to her lips, gently sipping it before turning her head to say: “Why is there no tea being offered to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth young ladies?”

“Miss…” Xiao Man was somewhat troubled. She had gone fetch tea just now but was blocked by Wan Lu who said that there was no need for tea.

“Wan Lu didn’t let you?” Although Ran Yan inquired this, her tone seemed to be already certain of it. She didn’t wait for Xiao Man to answer and said: “Go back and tell her that I had only said that there was no need to acknowledge Seventeenth Miss Ran. How come she has also neglected Fourteenth and Fifteenth sisters (older)?”

Xiao Man was clever. When she heard Ran Yan say these words, she knew it was to deliberately embarrass Eighteenth Miss. How could she dare to really say it was Wan Lu, she could only hang down her eyes and prudently reply: “Yes.”

Ran Qian immediately realized that Ran Yan had an enormous antipathy for Ran Meiyu, and because she had come together with Ran Meiyu, she has been given this kind of cold reception.

“These maidservants don’t know any better. Fourteenth and Fifteenth sisters (older), please forgive me.” Ran Yan motioned for Xiao Man, “And they are even slow to move.”

Ran Meiyu’s gorgeous face turned livid with rage, and she jumped to her feet, angrily saying: “Don’t be so proud! Doing that kind of low and dirty work, I couldn’t care less about drinking your tea! Anyway, father has already decided to send you to the Ying Mei Temple to pray to Buddha to clean your body. I won’t bother to lower myself to your level. Fourteenth sister (older), let’s go.”

Ran Yan looked at Ran Meiyu as if she was smiling [4] while watching her behave with her habitual arrogance and her bossy manner. If it were during ordinary times, Ran Qian would certainly feel nothing wrong with it, but after hearing what Ran Yan has said, her heart was now feeling uncomfortable. Even though she knew Ran Yan didn’t say those things out of any good intention, she could still manage a barely proper face while saying: “You go first. I’m going to speak a few more words with Seventeenth Miss.”

Ran Meiyu was surprised, and after seeing Ran Qian’s lofty bearing and unyielding expression, she immediately stamped her feet in fury and stormed off in a huff.

Ran Meixi followed Ran Qian’s every step, so she naturally wouldn’t follow Ran Meiyu to go away. The three people that had come together to pick on someone have splinter up in an instant, and perhaps they will not be on good terms again. After all, Ran Meiyu would never disgrace herself for Ran Qian, and no matter how hard Ran Qian tries, she is not a match for Ran Meiyu.

Ran Yan watched Ran Meiyu’s red shadow disappear from the courtyard, and she knew that now was a good time to draw Ran Qian and Ran Meixi to her side. Although she wasn’t very skillful in taking the initiative to instigate a topic, during this critical moment she knew how she should act and therefore said: “How Madame Gao and Ran Meiyu have treated me, both sisters (older) are probably aware of it. I have slighted both sisters (older) because of her, for it, please forgive me.”

The engines of Ran Qian’s brain could turn much faster than Ran Meiyu’s, and she knew that this was just Ran Yan’s way of saying she that wanted to get them to her side, and she was even giving her a chance out of that awkward situation. Therefore, she stopped being so unfriendly and spoke with a faint smile: “There was no harm done. We are all aware of Eighteenth Miss’ temper: a bit spoiled and a bit rash.”

“I believe going to the mountain to worship Buddha will take a few days. I haven’t seen my two sisters for two years, and today I am seeing you after such a long time. Perhaps by the time I come down from the mountain, both of my sisters (older) would already be married. Seventeenth has prepared some small gifts, sisters (older), please, do not refuse.” Ran Yan spoke and held Xiao Man’s arm to get up, bowing her body towards the two before turning to go back to her bedroom.

Ran Yunsheng has bought too many things with no practical use that day, but they were all things of considerable value. To send them to some insignificant people is certainly wasteful, but with one less enemy, there will be one more route free. When the time comes to give up your money, you must do it. However, this thing could also not go too smoothly. Letting them know that Ran Yunsheng was willing to squander money for her could cause them to be jealous instead.

Ran Yan picked two exquisite jewelry of the highest grade, and also took two bolts of cloth before returning to the main hall.

“I’ve been in this village for a long time and only have these few presentable goods. Sisters (older), do not decline it.” Ran Yan allowed Xiao Man to properly divide them into two parts and place each portion in front of the two people.

Ran Qian briefly glanced at it and saw that it was a long brocade box [5] along with two of the best quality brocades which displayed a design of many entwined peonies. The box put in front of Ran Meixi was slightly smaller and had two rolls of gauze.

Those things weren’t something rare to see inside the Fu, but they weren’t things that just by wanting you would have it. Ran Qian’s heart was feeling a bit more comfortable and her words come out quite gentle, “These dark red peonies, I like it very much.”

Ran Yan replied with a placid smile: “If Fourteenth sister (older) likes it, then it’s all good.”

Ran Meixi quickly raised her eyes and bowed towards Ran Yan, softly speaking: “Many thanks to Seventeenth sister (younger).”

After hastily exchanging a few pleasantries, Fourteenth Miss and Fifteenth Miss picked those things and departed. Ran Yan waited for a while and took Wan Lu to go to the city together.

Wan Lu’s injury hadn’t completely healed yet. The matter of Ran Yan’s autopsy was still a big sensation in the city, and it was definitely being spread by someone harboring some bad intentions. This person could be Shao Ming, but she was still uncertain of it. However, as there isn’t any other candidate for the time being, she could only bother Wan Lu to work hard.

As for the circulating rumors, Ran Yan mulled over it and couldn’t see through the other party’s motives. If Shao Ming is Madame Gao’s person and has told her about this information, it is extremely possible that he has created the present situation.

“Wan Lu, is there any result on the thing I asked you to investigate?” Ran Yan frowned. Although she is completely unconcerned about the matter of the autopsies being exposed, she couldn’t forgive a person’s betrayal.”

Wan Lu replied: “Yes, I have investigated. Since that time when Shao Ming returned, he has always remained in the village. It is said that he’s already been sick for six days. He’s been vomiting incessantly, unable to swallow any food, has lost half of his size and can’t even walk steadily. It’s been many days since he hasn’t gone to work, it’s highly unlikely that he is the one who leaked the information.”

Ran Yan pursed her lips. Most of the people have this kind of reaction when seeing a dissection for the first time, slowly recovering from it afterward. Ran Yan supported her head with one hand, her fingers gently tapping on her temples when she suddenly sat up straight—— it couldn’t be Xiao Song, right.

Thinking it over, Ran Yan sighed. Even if they weren’t too compatible, he also wouldn’t waste his time on her with this. Or…

The carriage entered the city and went straight to the Cai Xiu House near the eastern district, gradually slowing down when passing by the Yamen. There was clamor occurring outside of it, and it was blocking the intersection. The carriage traveled for a short distance until it halted entirely, unable to move a single step further.

Wan Lu lifted the curtain and looked through the crevice but couldn’t see anything. She said: “Miss, I’ll go out and take a look.”


[1] 5 minutes

[2]

[3] The third son and family (Ran Yan’s uncle from her father’s side).

[4] The direct translation would be “seems to smile yet not a smile.” This is used to describe someone who is only smiling on the surface but could be laughing/sneering on the inside, or could also mean smiling but with something weighing inside his/her mind.

[5]

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