Higher Level Wife – 029 – Old Madam Jin

Chapter 29: Old Madam Jin


Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Pill Bug


Wife Chart for your reference

正妻 Official Wife aka 嫡妻 (direct wife)
填房 Succeeding Wife If official wife is replaced
平妻 Secondary Wife Generally daughters of officials who are married in for political reason
All children from this category are di-born
二房 Second Room Concubine generally dowry maids of wives, hands and feet of wives, assist in schemes
姨娘 aka 偏房, 侧室 Side Room Concubine Given small rooms to the side, out of sight out of mind. Generally maids that have given birth to nobleman’s children and were given a status upgrade
通房丫头 Common Room Girls Maids with their own rooms, main job is to be pretty, agreeable and warm the master’s bed
All children from this category are shu-born


Jin Family Tree for your reference.

Trust me, you’re going to need it, lol.


Qiu Xia was still pondering over various things when she felt the head under her fingers tilting to the side. Upon closer inspection, she noticed that Jiang Wanying had fallen asleep. After kneading and rubbing the forehead under her fingers a little more, she straightened Jiang Wanying’s head into a more comfortable position, backed away and grabbed a blanket to cover her mistress before quietly leaving the room.


In a blink of an eye, two days have passed.

That day was the 18th day of the Fourth Month. It had been two days since Jin Fengju’s birthday. Early that morning, Jiang Wanying took a few maids with her to Madam Jiang’s [1] place. After exchanging a few words, they set out together towards Old Madam Jin’s place.

Old Madam Jin lived in a courtyard called ‘Health & Longevity Court’, not far from Madam Jiang’s main residence. When the two of them arrived, the Old Madam had already woken up and was laughing and joking with the people around her. Among these people were Second Old Master’s wife, Fang’shi [2] with her daughter-in-law, He’shi [3]. Concubine Hai’shi [4] and a few other small children were there too.

Although Old Madam Jin’s husband had passed away prematurely, she was still very healthy. She would be 65 that year and though her hair was like silver threads, there were barely any wrinkles on her face. Moreover, she was still very energetic. 

Old Madam Jin had two sons. The eldest was Jin Fengju’s father, Jin Yu [5], who was currently working as a governor in a foreign country. For the sake of filial piety, he had left his wife and children under the care of the Old Madam and only brought two concubines with him to his new post. His appointment as governor should be done soon and he was expected to return to the capital at any time.

Jin Yu had two sons and one daughter. The eldest was called Jin Pengzhan, however, he was not living in the mansion. He was currently somewhere else working as a fifth rank prefectural magistrate. His wife, Liu’shi [6], was the daughter of the Duke of Feng. Right now, he and his wives and concubines were not on the estate. He had brought everyone with him to his posted area. The only daughter was Jin Yanqiu who married Prince Rong as the succeeding wife. It was only last year that Prince Rong had personally requested a decree from the emperor to raise her status as the Princess Consort.

Jin Yanqiu was Jin Pengzhan’s younger sister but she was two years older than Jin Fengju. She loved this little brother of hers very much ever since she was a child and Jin Fengju had learned a lot from this elder sister of his, which is why he still respected his sister very much.

Old Madam’s second son was the Second Old Master Jin Shi, [7] who was part of the Ministry of Works. His wife was Fang’shi, a sister of the Ministry of Rites. This old man was slightly inferior to his older brother in terms of ability, and had only one son and one daughter. The eldest son, Jin Luanfeng [8], did not like to study but was very good at doing business. Technically, he was employed at court but the job was an idle ‘in-name-only’ type of job. Usually, he managed all the properties under the name of the Marquisate all year round.

While the Marquisate of Jin was certainly wealthy and noble, a lot of its wealth was there due to the efforts of Jin Luanfeng. His sister, Jin Yanfang [9] was married to the Minister of Works’ son and had a son and a daughter with him. 

Her husband’s family’s position was also very stable.

Although the people of the Jin Marquisate could not be said to be indifferent to fame and fortune, they were not very keen to join in the treacherous fights among imperial brothers for the throne either. Fortunately, although the noble family had secrets that were as deep as the seas and the women spiritedly battled each other for power, the relationships between the men were very close. Perhaps it was because there were not many brothers and sisters within each generation.

Jin Pengzhan, Jin Fengju, Jin Luanfeng as well as the two other sisters who had married out had very good relationships with each other. It was them who worked together to keep the Jin Marquisate family together during the treacherous period when Prince Rong was forced to keep a low profile. They had managed to maintain the high status of the Jin Marquisate despite repeated attempts from Prince Hong to suppress them. However, once Jin Fengju was forced to marry Fu Qiuning, his position in court suddenly rose sharply. In less than two years, he became the eye-catching, long-term imperial envoy, to the point that not even Prince Hong dared to openly put pressure on the Marquisate of Jin.

Well, enough about that.

Let us return to the moment when Jiang Wanying and her mother-in-law, Jiang’shi entered Old Madam’s place early that morning. After a few greetings, she, Xu’shi and Huo’shi entered along with their children. A short while later, the room became very lively with children chasing each other or squabbling around.

The Old Madam looked at this happy scene and said to Madam Jiang and Madam Fang, “Our Jin clan always had been weak at producing boys. When I married him, we only had two sons. He took in many concubines but was fated to have no more. Your generation is not bad. Though those concubines have not given birth, the two official madams already have a few sons and daughters.

However, that’s still not much for a family like ours. Who would have thought the branches and leaves of this family would suddenly flourish with Fengju? He is only in his twenties this year, yes? Already a father of six, isn’t that a great blessing? I wonder, just how many great-grandsons and great-granddaughters will he give me, ah? When I think about this, I think of myself surrounded by my great-grandchildren. I’m so happy that I could live up to a hundred years. What a great joy, ah.”

Jian Wanying smiled, “This is all thanks to Old Madam, gathering such great luck and fortune in your lifetime that it enabled the Marquisate to experience such prosperity. Old Madam, you must live a long life, the best is living up to a thousand years. That way, our Marquisate can continue to enjoy such prosperity. May we also live prosperous lives under your great fortune. Our lives are thin and we dare not ask for much, another two or three hundred years would be enough for us.”

At this, everyone laughed. Old Madam Jin pointed at Jiang Wanying and said, “You certainly know how to talk. What two or three hundred or even a thousand years. By then, who knows what this Marquisate will be like? It would have transformed into a demon’s nest.”

Everyone laughed again. When the laughter was over, Old Madam Jin said to Madam Jiang and Madam Fang, “Enough, you all return now. I understand that you must be busy with the Dragon Boat Festival so near. It’s good to be busy but you should also find time to rest, there’s no need to waste your time here.” She turned to Jiang Wanying again, “Help your mother-in-law, her health is not good. She is nearly fifty after all.”

Before Jian Wanying could say anything, Madam Jiang smiled and said, “Surely there’s no need for Old Madam to remind her? This child is very attentive. She thinks of everything. Even matters I never thought of being taken care of by her. Now that I am alone in the house with Peng’er working outside and only my second child’s family around, I let her take care of everything. It’s fine to let her return, however, I prefer to stay here and accompany Old Madam.”

Old Madam Jin smiled, “What ‘accompany me’? You just want to lure me into playing mah-jong and cheat money off me, right?”

At this, everyone laughed again. Xu’shi and Huo’shi also contributed a few words, however, as they were only concubines, Old Madam Jin’s reaction was very faint. However, she still liked the children and kept them all beside her after sending off the older women away.

[10] After leaving Health & Longevity Court, Jin Fengju’s wives and concubines returned to Madam Jiang’s room. Once there, the quick-tempered Xu’shi immediately exploded and spilt everything about Jin Fengju visiting Fu Qiuning’s place. Her quick mouth adds oil and vinegar to the story to make it even more dramatic.

Madam Jiang appeared quite doubtful about Xu’shi’s dramatic tale. Finally, she turned to Jiang Wanying, “You have been with Fengju for six years now, right? I’ve never heard anything from that trio of mother and children. Just what is Fengju thinking? Have you gone to take a look? What is the situation in that place like now? No matter what, that woman is still the daughter of Eldest Prince Zhenjiang. Now that our two families have become thus, it is better to divorce her to avoid future trouble. Why have you not advised Fengju to do this?”

Jiang Wanying heaved a sigh, “How would I have expected this to happen? My Lord has [a] left the horse to graze the pasture without inquiring into the matter but, who would have thought that he would suddenly remember those people there? That Jin Ming has always been by my Lord’s side. I meant to call him over to clarify matters but never managed to get the opportunity to do so.”


[Gumihou: Kind of sad that older brother is Jin Yu (jade) while second brother is Jin Shi (stone). Oi, just what are you thinking, Old Madam? Isn’t this too biased?!]


[1] Madam Jiang – Jin Fengju’s mother, Jiang Wanying’s aunt

[2] Second Old Master – Jin Fengju’s uncle, Fang’shi –Second Old Master’s wife

[3] He’shi – Fang’shi’s daughter-in-law

[4] Hai’shi – probably Second Old Master’s concubine, with the ‘small children’ being the 2OM’s kids from a young concubine (maybe)

[5] Jin Yu – Jin Fengju’s father

[6] Liu’shi – Jin Pengzhan’s wife, Duke of Feng’s granddaughter, Jin Fengju’s sister-in-law

[7] Jin Shi – Second Old Master (Ministry of Works), Jin Fengju’s uncle

[8] Jin Luanfeng – Jin’shi’s son (good at doing business)

[9] Jin Yanfang – married son of Minister Ministry of Works (has a son and daughter)

[10] Missing a transitional paragraph.


Pill Bug TL Notes:

[a] Is this an idiom? Did he actually leave his horse and go walking off somewhere? I don’t really get it…

Gumihou: English has a similar term, letting the horse out in the pasture is basically ‘horse retirement’. She’s implying that they had ‘set her free’ to roam about on her own. We are so kind, aren’t we? Lol


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