Higher Level Wife – 008 – Spring Boudoir
Beautiful blooming peach flowers

Higher Level Wife – 008 – Spring Boudoir

Chapter 8: Spring Boudoir

 

Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou

 

 

The person who came through the gate just then was Qiu Xia, Jiang Wanying’s personal maid. When the maid saw them, she quickly came over to bob a salute [2]. Jin Fengju nodded at her, went past her and enter the courtyard.

As the master strolled into the courtyard, Qiu Xia stared at his back, disappointment dimming her eyes. Suddenly, a voice whispered in her ear, “Miss Qiu Xia, don’t you also have apricot trees in this courtyard? Why don’t you break off a few branches and put them in a vase? The fragrance of apricot blossoms is gentle and sweet. Since the Madam is unwell now, surely she would prefer this over strong incense?”

Qiu Xia quickly covered her mouth and laughed. She shook her head and said dismissively, “What’s this? While apricot flowers might be considered a good thing in some people’s homes, how could they be seen in our Clear Soft Pavilion?”[1]

Her mouth might be hidden, but the disdain in her eyes was so obvious that Jin Ming felt his face reddened: F*ck your grandma, can’t you take a hint? Are your eyeballs only good for following our master around and not seeing the obvious? Do you think the young marquis would put trash like you in his eyes?

While he privately cursed this woman, the edges of his mouth curled up and he laughed amiably, “What are you saying? The Young Marquis happened to walk past some apricot trees today and commented on the sweetness of their blossoms. If Miss thinks that it is too troublesome, you may treat my words as so much nonsense.”

Even as his mouth placated this maid, he privately thought: The people of Clear Soft Pavilion have been rather arrogant lately, just because they received the young marquis’ favour. Even side concubines are polite to me but you, a mere personal maid, dare to treat me like a low-level servant?

While he was ruminating over this, Qiu Xia suddenly tittered and said, “Is that so? I should thank you for this favour. Fine, fine, I shall break off a few branches just for the Young Marquis.”

With that last remark, she turned and swayed away. Jin Ming stared at her slim graceful back and soft swell of hips, all the while muttering things like “xxxx”, “fox spirit” under his breath.

Meanwhile, Jin Fengju had entered the inner room and saw Jiang’shi supporting her large belly as she leaned back on the bed. She had been slowly peeling an orange when she spotted him and smiled. She quickly sat up and said, “What excellent timing. I’d just finished peeling one and you came in just in time to benefit from it. Come, open your mouth. Let me feed you.”

“Since you like it so much, go ahead and eat it. I’ve never been gluttonous,” said Jin Fengju with a laugh. He sat by her side and stroked her bulging belly lovingly. Then, he pressed an ear to the belly with a serious expression.

Jiang Wanying covered her mouth and laughed, “Have a care or he’ll kick you, the little one is very naughty, kicking me at every turn.” As she spoke, she pried off a piece of orange and placed it into Jin Fengju’s mouth. “Eat as much as you like. Although this small thing only grows in the south, it doesn’t require as much labour or resources as lychees. My family estate just happened to receive a few large baskets. After the family divided them up, my place still receives 20 catties’ worth. Surely that’s enough to share between you and me?”

Jin Fengju held her hand and smiled, “I just worry for you. How could I let you work hard peeling oranges for me while carrying a large belly…”

Jin Fengju grabbed her hand and laughed: “I’m just afraid of you working too hard, bothering you to peel oranges with such a large belly…”

Jiang Wanying’s eyes curved into crescents and she gently said, “I want to, has my dear cousin forgotten already? I’ve liked you since childhood. So long as I have something good, I will always reserve them for you.”

Jin Fengju smiled, “Of course, how could I ever dare to forget Wanying’s affections?” He pressed his ear against her belly again and beamed. “Ah, he kicked you. I just felt it.”

“Look at you now,” Jiang Wanying pouted before breaking into a smile and reaching for another orange. As she peeled the fruit, she said in a seemingly casual way, “Where did my cousin come from? You’re a little late today, did you come from some remote place?”

Jin Fengju moved to a chair and smiled at her, “You’re such a sensitive one. I went to Night Breeze Pavilion. That person hung herself over the matter of those two children yesterday. Though she had been revived, I still had to personally go over and give some strong warning to avoid future trouble. It does not matter if she harms herself doing stupid things but she should avoid bringing us trouble.”

Jiang Wanying gave a quick trill of laughter, “What are you saying? You make me sound like a jealous woman. I care not where you’ve been. I’m just asking in passing. Speaking of which, since you’ve seen her, how is she? Is she still so bored that she’ll try and commit suicide again? I suppose she could only restrain her anger now that she has failed. Since she doesn’t like those two children, just have them sent to the farmstead to be raised.”

Jin Fengju frowned slightly, almost imperceptibly. Ever since the two children were born he had avoided them out of shame and resentment. Thus, he never saw their faces. In the end, no matter what, they were still the young master and young miss of the estate, and surely even if they could not have a luxurious life filled with brocaded clothing and expensive food, they would not have a bad life?

Therefore, he was shocked to see Changfeng and Changjiao dressed in such miserable clothes. [3a] At first, he thought that Fu Qiuning must have deliberately dressed them poorly to provoke him, but nothing could have disguised those thin faces, wary eyes or bony wrists. What’s more, she never said a single bitter word in front of him. If this was not part of the woman’s profound schemes, the only conclusion was that his children had indeed suffered bitterly within his own estate.

This reminded him of mother and grandmother’s gossip about other rich and noble families’ dirty laundry. He never thought that such nasty things would happen within his own house and to his own blood-children as well. They had already been living so poorly in this rich estate, what would happen once they were sent out to the farmstead? Isn’t it no different than sending them to their deaths?

After seeing the miserable-looking Changfeng and Changjiao, he had already resolved to hire some goodhearted family to bring them up within the inner court if Fu Qiuning refused to accept them. Unexpectedly, Fu Qiuning had a sudden change of heart and solved this troublesome matter for him. Therefore, although he would not be grateful to Fu Qiuning nor favour her one bit, his distaste for that person had reduced a little. Just a little, of course.

For a long while, the room fell into silence.

Suddenly, Qiu Xia came in with a large vase of apricot branches. Jiang Wanying frowned, “The flowers aren’t even open yet, why did you bring them in? What a waste of flowers.”

Qiu Xia stole a glance at Jin Fengju’s face, seeing the slight smile on his face, she said, “I was taking a walk when I was struck by the sweet and gentle fragrance of the apricot flowers and thought of Madam. I know Madam has been missing the smell of fragrance since incense has been forbidden due to your condition. Apricot blossoms not only have a light, sweet smell, they also nourish the mind and vitality. I especially brought the unopened blossoms so that Madam could slowly enjoy the slowly blooming flowers. Isn’t this better than bringing in opened flowers that will wither after two or three days?”

This slew of words brought a smile to Jiang Wanying’s face and she nodded with a little ‘tsk’, “My, I never thought you’d be so meticulous. Enough, since you are so thoughtful, just leave it here. I wish to experience this sweet and gentle fragrance that has caught even your attention”

Her eyes flashed towards Jin Fengju once but only caught a faint smile. The man said nothing, causing a trace of unease to spring in her heart. The smile on her face grew even more brilliant in reaction.

 

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~

 

Let us return to the Night Breeze Pavilion.

After Jin Fengju left, [3a] Fu Qiuning sighed and collapsed onto the kang bed. She laid there for some time waiting for Yu Jie to return with the promised noodles. However, after a long time, nobody came. Not Yu Jie, not Aunt Yu nor even the two children. Worried that something might have happened, Fu Qiuning sprang to her feet and quickly headed to the kitchen.

Once she reached the kitchen, she saw four people seated at the kitchen table poking at each other, as though daring or coaxing the other to do something. Curious, she hid behind the door and heard Yu Jie say to the children in a coaxing voice, “It is more appropriate for Young Master and Young Miss to go. That is your father after all. Even tigers would not eat their cubs, right? This poor servant girl is different, even the Madam knows of my firecracker temper. When faced with such a heartless man this poor maid might accidentally open her mouth and explode on him. Poor Madam might also be dragged in and be blamed for this maid’s nasty tongue.”

Aunt Yu laughed: “You! You dare call yourself an adult? How dare you use the two children as sacrificial soldiers [4]?”

Yu Jie puffed out her cheeks and muttered, “Don’t just run your mouth. If you really love them, why don’t you go over? What? Are you afraid of the young marquis?”

Aunt Yu shrank back and whispered: “How… how could I dare to meet him with this appearance? If I pollute the eyes of the Young Marquis, what if he really throw me away? How would I live?”

Her pitiful little speech over, she looked at the two children.

Changfeng and Changjiang shook their heads like a pair of rattles.

No. No matter what you say, we refuse to go.

 

[Gumihou: Nobody wants to meet with the horrid Young Marquis, lol]

 

Pill Bug TL Notes:

[1]

Pill Bug: What does ‘Apricot flowers might be considered a good thing in some people’s homes, how could they be seen in our Clear Soft Pavilion’ mean?

Gumihou: She’s saying that apricot flowers are common. Rich people use incense.

Pill Bug: Ah, I missed the cultural reference

Gumihou: Rather than cultural reference, it’s more like maid-san is being a snooty little bitch. That’s why Jin Ming is super offended

Pill Bug: Wow this two-faced *bleep*! (╬ `3 ´)

 

[2] 行礼 Google translate says “salute”, but this is more of the fist-in-palm greeting used in ancient China.

Gumihou: Salute or greeting is correct. Since women usually bend their knees with their hands demurely on the side, I like to use ‘bob in salute’ or ‘bob in greeting’.

 

[3] Wow this wall of text.

Gumihou: [3a] I’m changing a bit of the wall of text. Deleted ‘But observing Fu Qiuning’s face, it seemed that it was not intentional’ to ‘observing the children’s faces’ because you can’t fabricate acute starvation.

[4]       枪使 ‘Gunner’, meaning scapegoat? Sacrificial soldiers?

Gumihou: Sacrificial soldiers would be more correct, lol

 

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hamster

    Life is cheap in the stories, but the author still has to be careful to not make any uncomfortable parallels to actual China or else some social credit score points get deducted for making China look bad with the disposal of unwanted children (autism, imperfect, etc).

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