Chapter 55: Old Madam’s Thoughts
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Pill Bug
Old Madam Jin couldn’t help laughing. She sighed again, “Who has so much leisure time to waste? Clearly, that family of three had been forgotten by the marquisate, received neither allowance nor supplies for a long time, and had to depend on themselves for food and clothing, ah!  Such a great sin our marquisate has committed. That Zhenjiang Palace too! How could they have the heart to push their own daughter into the fire pit like that? What else were we to do back then? Aih, to have wasted so much time like this, I really don’t know what I should do.”
“There’s no need to worry, Old Madam. The way I see it, they live quite a happy life on their own,” said Jin Fengju with a smile.
Old Madam Jin laughed, “I don’t go anywhere else most days. How about finding out when the sweet potatoes are ready to be harvested and roasting some? The usual sweet potatoes bought by the marquisate are not very good, not sweet enough. Good grandson, you must investigate this for your granny. When Fu’shi’s sweet potatoes are ready to be eaten, you must let me know.  I shall make sure to be there.”
Jin Fengju hesitated, “If Old Madam likes sweet potatoes, she can send some over to you. If you visit the place yourself, won’t it cause too big a sensation? You are our marquisate’s most treasured person, ah. Qiuning is very discreet and doesn’t like trouble. With so many eyes on you, won’t it cause trouble if…”
Before he could finish speaking, Old Madam Jin laughed and scolded, “Did you all hear that? For the sake of his wife, he no longer cares for this old granny of his. What an absolute waste of my affection on this grandson, ah.”
Jin Fengju quickly beamed and say, “How could I not care for my grandmother? If Grandmother really wishes to go, let’s just go. However, I’m sure the sweet potatoes are not ready yet. We can only resign ourselves to wait for them to mature and choose a time when it is neither too hot nor too cold to pay a visit.”
Old Madam Jin said, “Speaking of which, when did you get back? Have you seen your mother yet?” when Jin Fengju shook his head, she smiled and said. “When you’re finished with that one, you may take a few ears of the corn for your mother.”
Jin Fengju smiled back, “No need, no need, if I give them to mother, she will ask why Fu’shi did not send any to her and call her unfilial. I don’t wish to invite more scolding from her.” After he ate the last bite of corn from the cob, he wiped his hands and bade the Old Madam goodbye before making his way to Madam Jiang’s place.
Old Madam Jin watched as the straight back disappeared down the corridor and could not help sighing. She lowered the half-eaten corn in her hand and muttered, “Aih, did you think that you could change her mind about Fu’shi if you didn’t bring any over?”
She sighed again.
Granny Ming Yu said carefully, “From what this old slave could see, it does not matter what Fu’shi does, the Elder Madam would not like her. After all, Second Madam is a niece whom she treats like her own daughter. With that kind of relationship, how could Fu’shi gain her mother-in-law’s favour? However, I see that Old Madam favours Fu’shi. Since it is rare for her to go out, why don’t you ask her to come and give her greetings?”
Old Madam Jin smiled, “As expected of the old people of the marquisate. How could you not know what I am thinking? However, it is enough to say this to me. Haven’t you heard what Fengju said? That Fu’shi likes peace. This is good too, as the saying goes: The one without desires stands resolute. She does not need anyone to give her handouts and relies on herself for everything. In fact, she lives more freely without having to fawn or flatter people for scraps of favour.
However, though a tree wishes for quiet, the wind may not stop blowing. Just because she wishes for peace, does not mean she will have peace. You have seen for yourself, even Fengju has lessened his visits to that place. If I were to do as I wish and call her over for a chat, who knows how many people’s sleep would be troubled by this little move? Why should I invite trouble to my doorstep and spread unrest to Fu’shi’s place? It is fine to maintain the status quo for now. Personally, I like this arrangement.”
She picked up the half-eaten cob and began to nibble at the corn again. After a long while, she laughed softly, “It is Fengju’s luck to have married her. It is also his misfortune to not have her. While this might look like a blessing for now, alas! I have no idea why the heavens would arrange such a fate for them.”
“How could this old slave even think to guess Old Madam’s thoughts? Here, I thought to make some arrangements on my own and never gave any thought to the eyes my actions would attract. This old slave is too hasty,” Granny Ming Yu could not help but notice that Old Madam Jin looked a little sad. For a moment she hated herself for being too meddlesome and sought to change the subject.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
Let’s move on to Night Breeze Pavilion’s side.
Aunt Yu, Yu Jie and Fu Qiuning were currently studying the food and satin sent to them by the Old Madam. Aunt Yu happily cried, “Madam, the Old Madam is truly a good person, ah. She must have known about our situation and sent so many things to us. Before this, she had already sent two large bags of medicine and foreign sugar. Even the Young Marquis remembers us and often sent people here with food, cloth and other items. I think, although they do not say it, they must value Madam very much in their hearts. Otherwise, surely there’s no reason to take care of us like this?”
Yu Jie also laughed, “Right? Right? Now that we have enough food and cloth, we did not even spend a single coin of the money that Brother Zhang Shan  brought back to us, so Madam could save it up.”
Feeling Fu Qiuning’s glare, the maid giggled and said, “Madam, please don’t glare at me. I know, this is called planning ahead and saving for the future, right? Still, isn’t Madam being a little too careful? How could we lose favour now with Feng’er and Jiao’er being so clever and sensible enough to attract the Young Marquis’ favour? Why should we live a poor and miserable life like before?”
Aunt Yu nodded in agreement, “I also think that the good days are coming. So, why does Madam look more and more worried every day?”
Fu Qiuning sighed.
She pushed the silks away and sighed again,  this time even more bitterly, “Both of you only see these little profits in front of you with no spare thoughts in your head. Think about it, with things coming into our courtyard regularly, do you think it can be hidden for long? Once or twice is fine, but if this keeps up, can you imagine what those wives and concubines at the inner court will think? Have you already forgotten? The Young Marquis spent one night here and Madam Jiang suddenly sailed through our door just a few days later.”
When Fu Qiuning mentioned Jiang’shi and the other women, Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao suddenly shivered. As the more outspoken, Jin Changjiao said plainly, “I don’t like those people. Mother, let’s just not let them in next time, alright? And those younger brothers and sisters, I don’t like them either. Their smiles are very sweet but their eyes are very scary, ah. It’s like they can’t wait to eat me up.”
Fu Qiuning, Yu Jie and Aunt Yu exchanged a glance and suddenly laughed.
Aunt Yu said, “Who says that children are easy to trick? Look at our little girl, just how clever is she, ah?”
Fu Qiuning said, “Yes, children are the most innocent. However, they also have the clearest eyes.” She stroked Jin Changjiao’s little head and said, “Well? Now that you’ve experienced it yourself, surely you’ve committed the lesson into your memory? In the past when you first learnt the idioms, ‘A honeyed mouth hides the knife in one’s belly’ and ‘A knife hidden in one’s smile’, you asked ‘if one’s mouth is sweet, sure the belly will be full of sweetness too?’ and ‘how could a smile hide a knife?’ Well? Do you understand these idioms now?”
Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjao nodded solemnly. Their jade pendants had been taken away by their smiling brothers and sisters who said that they just wanted to have a look. However, even while smiling warmly, they deliberately dashed the pendants on the floor and then said their hands had ‘slipped’.
The two children had been naïve and ignorant about worldly affairs. Therefore, that single demonstration of human cruelty and sinister behaviour left a deep impression in their hearts.
[Gumihou: The other children are kind of creepy…]
 Some minor sentence adjustments for better flow  Zhang Shan – He’s the one who’s sweet on Aunt Yu and still single~ Personally, I wouldn’t mind a side story about them~
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