Chapter 32: Locusts Passing By
Translated by Pill Bug
Edited by Gumihou
Jiang Wanying’s face flashed between red and white. When had she ever heard such tit-for-tat words before? She laughed coldly and said, “Why does Elder Sister begrudge me this? You have such big flower beds in your courtyard and the ones I wanted are only these. At worst, even if I do take these plants away, surely Elder Sister could just dig up more from the garden and replace them? If you lack flower pots, isn’t it fine if I have people send some over later? Or, could it be? Elder Sister is unwilling to grant me this bit of face?”
Fu Qiuning nearly spat up a mouthful of blood. Silently, she cursed: Enough already, looks like I’ve just seen what real a ‘thick-face’ looks like. Compared to this level of shamelessness, Jin Fengju suddenly looked more like an innocent guy. Thinking of Jin Fengju reminded her that she was still living under other people’s eaves. Aside from herself, she still had to think of the safety and wellbeing of the two children under her care. In the end, she just sighed and swallowed her anger to say, “Since Madam said so, take them.”
Jiang Wanying did not feel as though she had acted shamelessly at all. Instead, she felt great pride at having triumphed over her opponent. To think that this hateful abandoned woman dared to try and appear proud and dignified in front of a true noble like her, but look! Even this so-called Official Wife has to bow her head to me in the end. Happily, her laughter ringing like silver bells in the room, she nodded condescendingly at Fu Qiuning and said, “That’s right, many thanks to Elder Sister. Qiu Xia, have the maids take all these away. The plants have all been carefully raised, be sure not to damage them even a little.”
The two siblings, Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao, watched with wide eyes as the plants they had repotted with their own hands were taken away just like that. Their hearts were unwilling as they tugged at the corners of Fu Qiuning’s clothes. Fu Qiuning looked down at them and smiled, her hands covering theirs, tightening slightly in comfort. The children stopped speaking.
It was only after the people left that Jin Changjiao finally looked up with reddened eyes to say, “Mother, they took everything away. Not even a single pot is left. These are all the plants we raised, what right do they have to take them?”
“By right of being the true masters of this place, as the wives and concubines of the Young Marquis,” said Fu Qiuning indifferently. She pulled the children along and sat down with them. Still holding Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao’s little hands, she said solemnly, “Today, you have encountered the so-called ‘strong people’. As people who live under the eaves of their house, we must bow our heads to them. It’s not worth putting ourselves in danger for the sake of a few plants and flowers. That is why mother let them take the plants away.
After experiencing today’s events, you should understand that sometimes, it is better to endure. Whether we should endure something or not depends on the situation. For example, if today they wanted us to kneel before them, to bow, scrape and flatter them, it is better to die than to do so. However, the only thing they insisted on was a few pots of plants, therefore it is fine to just endure it. Do you understand Mother?”
Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao both nodded to show they understood. Then, Jin Changfeng added with a smile, “Mother, is this what the ancients meant when they say ‘A Good Man Knows What to Do and What Not to Do? This son thinks that it could be seen as ‘Knows When to Endure and When Not to Endure’.”
Fu Qiuning stroked Jin Changfeng’s head and laughed, “My Little Feng’er could ‘Raise One and Infer Three ’, very good. Tonight, I shall cook Braised Meat for you.”
Jin Changjiao suddenly chimed up eagerly, “I can Raise One and Infer Three too! I can do it too! I want Mother’s Chicken Stew with Dried Mushrooms.”
“Oh? What kind of inferences has Jiao’er made?” Fu Qiuning held back her laughter as she pinched Jin Changjiao’s round cheeks. The little girl pouted and said seriously, “When they moved all the flower pots away, I thought of the story mother told us about Locusts Passing By. I think they are just the same as those locusts, only they don’t have wings so they can’t grab the pots and fly away, so they had to make Mother give them the flowers. Otherwise, they would have snatched the flowerpots and immediately fly away with them!”
“Locusts… Passing By?” Fu Qiuning was stunned. She carefully thought back to how Jiang Wanying’s maidservants had triumphantly  swept through the room and swept out again with the flowerpots behind their mistress, who had breezed out of the courtyard in a stately procession… like a locust queen leading a group of… colourful locusts…
Suddenly, not only Fu Qiuning but Aunt Yu, Yu Jie and even Jin Changfeng started to laugh. Jin Changjiao looked at them blankly before puffing up her cheeks and demanded, “What’s so funny? I didn’t say they were locusts, I just say they are missing a pair of wings. That’s right, I forgot to say their heads are bigger than locusts and- and… I forgot the rest…”
Fu Qiuning saw that Jin Changjiao’s little face was bright red with anger, arms akimbo, nearly puffing with anger like a bullfrog. She held back her smile and leaned down to comfort her, “Yes, yes, our Jiao’er is correct. That was a large group of locusts, a large group of big locusts. Well, well, well, looks like I shall have to make Chicken Stew with Mushrooms tonight. Oh, but what about our courtyard rules? There cannot be two meat dishes on the table, therefore, Feng’er, shall we dispense with the Braised pork? Is that alright?”
Jin Changfeng puffed up his chest and nodded vigorously, “Of course, the elder brother should give way to his little sister. That’s what mother taught me.”
At this, Jin Changjiao looked a little embarrassed. Fu Qiuning looked at this pair of siblings, stood up to smile at Aunt Yu, “Look at those well-clothed, well-fed people just now. Are their lives truly ten times, a hundred times better than ours? Though we live in the same estate, are their lives are as comfortable and happy as ours? Come, it’s time to kill a chicken.”
Aunt Yu and Yu Jie happily agreed with smiles on their faces as the ladies made their way to the backyard to prepare the promised chicken dish. Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao headed towards the study, not needing Fu Qiuning to supervise them as they went off to practise calligraphy on their own.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
Now then, let’s take a look at what Jiang Wanying was up to.
After snatching the pots of aromatic plants away, she immediately ordered her servants to head straight for Health & Longevity Court. Old Madam Jin just happened to be chatting with a few other older people from other houses in the clan when Jiang Wanying sailed in with the servants bearing the potted aromatic plants. A faint fragrance followed after them causing everyone to stand up and investigate. Old Madam Jin, seated on the kang bed, looked on curiously, “Wan girl, what have you brought in?”
Jiang Wanying hurried over to greet the Old Madam with a smile, “Old Madam, these are aromatic plants. Don’t you think they smell good? They are even better than the usual cut flowers in vases.”
At this, the Old Madam said with interest, “Oh? Is that so? Quick, bring them over for me to see.”
Jiang Wanying ordered her people to bring over the pots of flowers and plants. Old Madam studied them for quite a long time, saying how these aromatic plants were really quite beautiful, how fresh they look. Delighted, Old Madam pointed at some jasmine and said, “I know these are jasmine, but what about the others? Moreover, they smell really good, even better than incense.”
Old Madam’s question left Jiang Wanying dumbfounded. She only recognised the jasmine, but as for the others? She quickly laughed and said, “I encountered them and thought they looked good and brought them to honour Old Madam. Who knows what they are called? It’s just some aromatic plants. I’m sure Old Madam only found them interesting because they are new. After a while, surely they can’t look better than fresh flowers?”
[Gumihou: I’ve seen a lot of comments from Novelupdates that derided FQN’s ‘soft’ attitude and how she does not act like a modern woman at all and did not stand up fiercely enough for herself. Here’s the thing, she has to consider not just herself but the two children under her care. If she acts too roughly, what are the possibilities that the children would be bullied or taken away? It’s one thing to be like Su Nuan Nuan when she only has herself to consider but in this story, the MC has to consider the kids too.]
Think of the children!! Raise One & Infer Three – Make deductions or inferences from one idea. Capable of advanced thought
 Gumi has… exaggerated this scene…
Pill Bug TL Notes:
No notes today, but that’s alright. Gumihou has plenty to say, lol.
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