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Killer woman with a knife. Violence aggression. Criminal murderer. Assassin

Higher Level Wife – 048 – Dragon Boat Festival Banquet (6)

Chapter 48: Dragon Boat Festival Banquet (6)

Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Pill Bug

 

“You entered the marquisate in the same year as Wanying, didn’t you?”

[1] Fu Qiuning’s musings were interrupted by Madam Jiang. She thought: Here it comes. Since the niece failed to take advantage of me, the aunt rides out into the battlefield. Whatever, for future peace, so long as she doesn’t act too excessively, I shall endure.

With this thought in mind, Fu Qiuning lowered her head and replied with a gentle, “Yes.”

“It has already been so many years, why have I never heard your request to return to your maternal home? I heard your parents are still around. As daughter, you should return and pay a visit to them. If you lack even this basic filial piety, how do you intend to serve the Old Madam and myself in the future? Why don’t you find a time and pay a call to your maternal home?” Madam Jiang’s voice was mild. However, her meaning was very clear: Once you return to that place, you had better not come back.

Fu Qiuning paused. She had never expected Madam Jiang’s opening move to be so vicious as to force her onto the road of death right away. Why had she not returned to her maternal home? Who in this marquisate did not know the reason for this? Now, she had been charged with the crime of failing to fulfil her filial obligations. In this feudal society, such a crime was not easy to defend against, even for men. As a woman, she would suffer even more.

Thus, a fire surged in her heart and she had to force it down a few times before she was able to suppress it enough to properly consider her next move. After a long while, she left her seat and bowed deeply to Madam Jiang.

“This humble woman is ashamed. From the moment this humble woman married into the marquisate, though this humble woman is the official wife in name, this humble woman is humble in talent and shallow in learning, and could only provoke mother-in-law’s spurning due to this humble woman’s inability to properly serve mother-in-law for even a day. How could this humble woman not desire to return to her maternal home? However, this humble woman had yet to make even the slightest of contributions to my husband’s family and therefore did not have the face to return to her parents.

Such was this humble woman’s secret hardships that could never be shared with outsiders. Now that Elder Madam has so kindly bestowed such kindness to this humble woman, this humble woman cannot thank Elder Madam enough. Many thanks for thinking so kindly of this humble woman. It has been so many years that this humble woman had thought that Elder Madam has deserted this humble woman. Now that this humble woman knows that it is all this humble woman’s mistake. Elder Madam had treated this humble woman with utmost care and had shown every possible consideration. It is all this humble woman’s petty thoughts that had mistaken the gracious intentions of great and noble person. This humble woman stands ready to accept Elder Madam’s punishment.” [a]

On the surface, the words were filled with self-blame, regret and embarrassment, and perhaps even a bit of spineless apology. However, under the thin surface, one could tell that each regretful speech hid knives of recrimination against the injustice she had suffered within the marquisate. However, when taken apart, the words contained not a trace of accusation or interrogation.

Then again.

Who were these people in the room? Who in this marquisate was not practised in double meaning words? Who was not a schemer of some kind? How could they miss the edge of accusation in every word?

For a moment, Madam Jiang’s expression grew a little unsightly.

Suddenly, Old Madam Jin said, “Alright, enough about that. No need to talk about that now. Fengju’s wife is sickly and weak, that is why she had been staying at the marquisate all this while. Since there’s nothing much going on and we did not receive a letter from her parents requesting her return, why should she go to her maternal house for no reason? Better to stay here to rest and recover properly before considering anything else.”

Old Madam’s timely interference had helped Fu Qiuning escape the sudden order to return to her maternal house. Incidentally, it had also helped the marquisate save face and maintain its dignity. Naturally, everyone knew why Fu Qiuning had been neglected all this while. In fact, one could say that these little placating words meant nothing except as a thin veneer of excuse over their abominable actions. However, that was exactly what an aristocratic house was like. Though reality was ugly, they would still try to dress it up with some nicely worded excuse. Never mind that nobody would actually believe a word of it. This was also an interesting part of inner courtyard fights.

Thus, having played her part in this little drama, Fu Qiuning bowed her thanks to the Old Madam. The people around them began chatting to each other, pulling a veneer of normalcy to cover up the earlier faux pas. Old Madam Jin turned to Jiang Wanying and said, “Send someone to the kitchen and find out if the banquet is ready. The sun is getting high in the sky and will be noon in a bit. I’m sure everyone should be hungry now.”

Jiang Wanying accepted the order and stood up to summon a maid to check the kitchen when a sudden burst of laughter came in from outside and several children thundered into the room. Fu Qiuning, Yu Jie and Aunt Yu quickly scanned the crowd to make sure that the twins were alright. However, one look at their gloomy faces was enough to know that the two children had probably suffered a lot of ridicule from the other children.

“Yi? Feng’er and Jiao’er, where are your jade pendants?” [b] Madam Fang suddenly commented. The three ladies quickly glanced at the twins’ waist, and sure enough, the pendants were no longer there.

Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao pressed their lips together and said nothing. They headed straight for Fu Qiuning’s side, tears falling like beads as they extended their hands to their mother. Within their little hands were the broken pieces of the jade pendant. The sharp edges had pierced into the children’s palms, leaving little cuts that bloodied up their soft hands.

Fu Qiuning felt the anger in her stomach rush to the top of her head and her face turned cold. She clenched her fist, forcing herself to take a few deep breaths to calm down before smiling at the children, “Why are you so careless? What an odd chance. You’ve worn them for so many days at Night Breeze Pavilion, but they shattered when we were at the banquet. Don’t tell me you got so excited by Old Madam’s wonderful garden and had an accident while playing?”

Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao looked at her dubiously. When she shook her head minutely, they lowered their heads and murmured, “It’s our fault for not being careful. Mother, please punish us for our negligence.”

Still maintaining her smile, Fu Qiuning handed the broken pieces of jade to Aunt Yu, saying, “No matter what, these are bestowed to them by the Young Marquis. Even though they are broken, we should still keep them for the children.” She turned to the twins and said, “Well, enough about that, just look at your little hands. They’re all injured now. How can mother punish you when you’re all hurt? It’s just a couple of jade pendants. I’m sure your father will think so too.” She stroked their heads and said warmly, “Well now, go wash your hands. Yu Jie, you go with them. If blood still flows, make sure to wrap up their hands.”

Suddenly, the Old Madam said, “What happened to their hands? Come and let me have a look.”

Fu Qiuning quickly stood up and said, “Replying to Old Madam, it’s nothing much. The children were just playful and were afraid their father would scold them for losing the jade pendants and clutched them too hard in their hands. It’s just a little skin injury, nothing serious enough to warrant Old Madam’s attention. Their hands would be fine after washing.”

How could the Old Madam ignore the matter after this? She immediately insisted that the children show her their hands to her. After looking over the injuries for a while, she smiled, “What a pair of sensible children. Go and wash your hands. Luo Cui, go with the children and apply a little of the best ointment in my house on their hands.” Then, she turned to Fu Qiuning and said, “You young people have no understanding of how serious a small injury could become. Sometimes, it could lead to major illnesses, therefore, it’s better to be cautious.”

Fu Qiuning quickly saluted the Old Madam, showing gratefulness for her benevolence. She knew that this was the old lady’s way of compensating the children and felt a little more at peace. However, she also knew that Old Madam being partial to them would definitely make Madam Jiang and Jin Fengju’s other wives and concubines unhappy, to say the least. However, at this point, she really did not care anymore. These spoilt women had nothing better to do with their time than making trouble for each other over petty jealousies or imagined faults.

Their thinking had long been twisted up by their crooked upbringing. [1] Children were a reflection of their parents and these little brats’ petty jealous nature could not let them bear to see others being a little well off. No wonder Jin Fengju favoured Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao so much when he first saw them and liked to get close to the twins. If his other children had been just as sensible, how could a pair of low born children be compared to these young masters and young misses?

 

[Gumihou: In other words, the rich ladies already sabotage themselves and their kids… =_=;;]

 

[1] Some small adjustments for a smoother passage

 

Pill Bug:

[a] I can feel the “humbleness” here, lol

 

[b] Who?

Jin Shi’s wife

Jin Fengju’s father’s older brother’s wife.

 

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Have a Grilled Rice Ball

HLW – 049 – Assessment

 

Grilled Intestines are Yummy!

HLW – 050 – Birthday

 

A Bucket of Crowdads

HLW – 051 – Gifts

HLW – 052 – Revealing Feelings

 

Grilled Matsutake

HLW – 053 – Promise

HLW – 054 – Clear Skies

HLW – 055 – Old Madam’s Thoughts

HLW – 056 – Between Husband & Wife

HWL – 057 – The Plan

໒( ́ ۝ ́ )७

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