Chapter 7: Apricot Blossom Falls 
Translated by Pill Bug
Edited by Gumihou
“To reply the Young Marquis, this humble one had been too upset this morning due to eyes blinded by lard. Fortunately, Yu Jie was there to preserve this humble one’s life. The near-death experience frightened this one so much that this humble one finally understood that no matter how miserable life is, it’s still better to be alive than dead,”
Fu Qiuning had taken two steps forward and made her complaint, hidden under a veil of placating words for Jin Fengju.
If she wanted this slag man to leave immediately, she must not catch his attention by being too generous or too strident. As someone who had been nurtured on various palace dramas and inner court fights, she knew that the one who stood out would attract other people’s attention. Especially the male lead. Once the male lead’s attention was attracted, all sorts of rubbish would follow too.
Therefore, the best thing to do was to ‘act normally’. Be soft-spoken, yet place a badly hidden needle in her words to show her complaint. The other side would treat her existence as annoying, a clumsy schemer at best and would easily distance himself and slowly forget her existence. That way, she could run amok within this residence as she like… ahem, that is, she could run things smoothly within the Night Breeze Pavilion without catching other people’s attention.
Jin Fengju gave a slight nod. He had hurried over to this place the moment he heard that Fu Qiuning had hung herself. After all, if this person died from mysterious circumstances under such a turbulent time, things would be… very difficult. This was something even a maid could understand. Therefore, how could the young marquis not see it?
“If you do not like those two children, I would not force you…” Jin Fengju stood up. He made to leave but paused. He said he would not force this woman but he had not made plans on how to deal with them if Fu Qiuning were to say she did not like them.
“No need, I like them well enough,” said Fu Qiuning lightly. “However, there is one matter I would ask Young Marquis,”
“You like them? If you like them then why did you hang yourself this morning?” Jin Fengju’s sharp eyes flashed towards Fu Qiuning, seemingly trying to see through her thoughts. The only thing he saw was a pair of calm, clear eyes.
“As this humble one had explained. My heart had been greatly troubled and caused my eyes to be blinded by lard. Now that I have taken the time to think things through, I shall not do it again. It has nothing to do with the two children.” Fu Qiuning avoided Jin Fengju’s gaze and lowered her eyes indifferently.
“Very well,” Jin Fengju nodded. “What is the matter you wish from me?”
Fu Qiuning gave another little respectful bob and said in a soft voice, “The two children have not received their names yet. This concubine knows that Young Marquis does not like them and dare not bother Young Marquis with this matter. Therefore this humble one gave some thought to their names. No matter what, they are children of the Jin family. When will the Young Marquis enter them into the family registry?”
To bring this sensitive matter up at their very first meeting was something that Fu Qiuning had done so after careful consideration. This could well be the last time she saw this scum. In this era, children who were not recognised by their ancestors and clan families would carry the stigma of a modern-day illegitimate child. These children would be despised in public, which was why the normally cautious Fu Qiuning would risk this reckless move.
“This… let’s speak of that later. What names have you thought of for them?” the corners of Jin Fengju’s mouth curled.
When First Prince Zhenjiang sent a matchmaker to propose marriage, his wife-to-be was described as both ‘Talented and Beautiful’. From what he could see, this so-called beauty was as ordinary as cattails and willow trees, unable to match up to the label of ‘Beautiful’. Right now, he doubted whether she could live up to being ‘Talented’.
Fu Qiuning saw his smirk, of course. However, she was not annoyed. Instead, she maintained the same faint voice saying, “This hunble one is dull and could not think of good names. The boy is called Changfeng, the girl Changjiao. Very ordinary names. If Young Marquis does not like the names, this humble would have to beg Young Marquis to spare a little effort.”
“Changfeng, Changjiao.” Jin Fengju murmured and suddenly laughed softly, “Changfeng, a blade hidden in the sheath, once its sharpness is revealed, the world would tremble. Changjiao, a precious beloved living in a golden house. Well, these names have good meanings in them. No need to change.” After he was done commenting on the names, he said, “Wanying is pregnant, I must see her, so I will not dawdle at your place, no need to send me off.”
With that, he began to walk away. Suddenly, he paused, eyes landing on the branch of apricot blossoms arranged in a vase on the hall table.
“This humble one shall respectfully send Young Marquis off,” Even though he said there was no need to send him off, and Fu Qiuning also really did not want to send him off, the wifely etiquette still had to be followed adequately. In the end, she sent Jin Fengju out all the way to the courtyard gate. Only then was she relieved enough to turn around and return to the house.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
“Jin Ming, what do you think of that woman?” On the way back to Clear Soft Pavilion, Jin Fengju asked his personal attendant in a seemingly casual voice.
Jin Ming studied his master’s face and pondered how best to answer. However, before he could come to a decision, Jin Fengju laughed and said, “Stupid thing, since I’ve asked you, you must answer quickly without deception. Now that you’ve already taken the time to deliberate for something pleasing, what use is your answer? Enough, let’s not speak of it anymore.”
Cold sweat popped out on Jin Ming’s forehead. He secretly cried out: This is the worst thing about serving an intelligent master. If you try to kiss ass, he’ll know exactly what shit  you’re about to pull. This personal attendant position is really not easy to sit on, ah.
The more Jin Ming thought about it, the more bitter tears welled out of his heart. The stories he could tell, the close calls he had had. Even if you give him a whole night he would not be able to tell it all, ah! On the other hand, he also had to give himself credit for being able to stay alive until now without being driven away by the Young Marquis.
“The two children’s clothes are really too worn out, stacked with more than a dozen patches. No matter what, they are also my flesh and blood. Don’t you think the way you people do things is a bit too harsh?”
These words pierced through Jin Ming’s self-admiring heart, shaking him even further, causing the sweat on his head to grow from the size of millet grains to unhusked grains.
“To answer Master, this is… this is because Master had never shown any interest to the Young Master or Young Miss, that is… this servant also never took the initiative to inquire after them and… and never knew just how miserable their situations are. This servant shall return and have them…”
“Enough,” Jin Fengju waved his hand lightly. “No need to wait for any specific instructions. Just make sure to personally send over a few rolls of fabric tomorrow evening. Whether they are truly miserable or just putting on a show for me is irrelevant. They should be getting at least this much,” Jin Fengju ordered. Then he added, “Remember, carry this out personally. Do not reveal a word to Wanying or the other three concubines. Otherwise, you can just scram.”
“Yes, yes, yes, this servant shall carry this duty out personally and never let the madam or the concubines catch wind of the matter,” the beads of sweat on Jin Ming’s head had grown from the size of rice grains to soybeans, audibly falling down with a ‘pitter patter’.
While he was busy pondering over how to complete the order that the Young Marquis had given him, he suddenly heard his master lightly say, “The incense in that room is not bad either. The apricot branches with their half-open buds are oddly lovely. The fragrance is gentle and sweet.”
“… …” Jin Ming looked at his master’s light smile and could not even begin to guess what his master’s intentions were anymore. When the young marquis stepped through the gates of Clear Soft Pavilion, he was still in a muddle.
[Gumihou: Finally! A better glimpse of the scum man!]
Pill Bug TL Notes:
 杏花寒 Title is taken from a poem: 燕子不归春事晚，一汀烟雨杏花寒 – ‘Even Before the Swallow Returns to its Nest, Good Times of Spring are Nearly Over’. The fall of apricot blossoms heralds the rain.
‘Luckily I did not kill you’ is also another meaning for 杏花寒
 Rather crude, but it’s the closest colloquialism in English.
If you love my translations, do consider dropping a comment at novelupdates!
Gumihou loves reading your comments, so gimme, gimme ~
( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ