Chapter 61: Emotionally Touching
Translated by Pill Bug
Edited by Gumihou
“Yi? What’s this? Looks like an opera script.”
Fu Qiuning was startled by Jin Fengju’s voice. She instinctively tried to cover her writing but it was already too late. Instead, she pretended to smooth out the paper as she said, “It’s nothing, just a little thing written for amusement.”
“For amusement?” Jin Fengju gave her a slightly sceptical glance. He picked up the piece of paper and read through the script carefully. He nodded slowly and said, “Yes, it reads like an opera script. However, it is more charming than most scripts. Yi? This paragraph is excellent.”
He pointed to a few lines on the paper, “She and I were born on the same pillow, we will die in the same pit. Why did you, you of a thousand silks and ten thousand threads, ten thousand threads and a thousand skills, unable to tie Lanzhi to me, ah? I shall renew my oath to Lanzhi, Though our bodies may separate our hearts will never part.”
He clicked his tongue and tsked in admiration, “Though it is like a poem yet not like a poem, a script yet not like a script, the lines perfectly express the pain of forced separation and the steadfast love of the couple.”
He gently set the paper down and looked at Fu Qiuning for a moment. He said softly, “This play should be inspired by <<Southeast Fly the Peacocks>>, right? I have troubled you, are you very affected?”
Fu Qiuning did not know whether to laugh or cry. After transmigrating into this world, one of her main worries was not getting the time to practice her opera singing and losing her hard-won skills. Back in the modern world, she had been very strict with herself and would sing a whole play to herself every month or so to maintain her skills. Thanks to that rigid training, she was able to record complete operas from memory.
She had already accumulated dozens of Huangmei and Yue opera scripts as well as some passages from Kunqu operas. She was not actually proficient with <<Southeast Fly the Peacocks>> and had not been able to recall the words clearly. Who would have thought that she would receive an epiphany in a dream last night and woke up this morning with the complete script in her head? However, even more unexpectedly, she ended up getting caught in the middle of transcribing the script by this guy.
At that moment, Fu Qiuning could not help but admire Jin Fengju’s grasp of the classical stories and ability to spot an opera script with just a glance. How could she dare show him the thick stack of operas she had transcribed?
She must never let that side know she could sing opera. As a transmigrator, she had no idea that even ordinary Bean Paste and Egg Yolk Rice Dumplings would attract so much attention from the Old Madam. Who knew what kind of drama knowing that she could sing opera would attract? Because of this fear of the limelight, she had been especially careful about when and where she practised these familiar lines.
“The Young Marquis thinks too much, emotionally affected? These are lines I had once heard an old granny sing back at the village where I grew up in. I thought the words were not bad and would record them now and then whenever they occurred to me. As Lord Husband said, it is like a poem, yet not like a poem, like a script yet not like a script. I’ve drawn your ridicule for no reason.”
With that, Fu Qiuning casually threw the script onto the table. Naturally, she dare not shut it into her drawers. Inside were a few hundred pieces of paper, all covered with opera scripts. These pieces of paper being the result of her blood and sweat aside, if Jin Fengju happened upon them, she really didn’t know what she should do.
Luckily, Jin Fengju also did not seem to care. He looked out the window, smiled and said, “The trees outside are very nicely arranged. How strange, with your identity, though you are not a di-born daughter of a noble family, you are still Prince Zhengjiang’s shu-born daughter. Surely these things should be beyond you?”
Fu Qiuning laughed, “What, the trees? I cannot claim credit for them. They were already here when we arrived. All they needed was a bit of care. Though I am indeed a s
hu-born daughter of Zhengjian Palace, I am not completely ignorant. I did live in the village for a while and learned some skills there. That’s right, Lord Husband appeared to have napped very well this afternoon. Did something happen? Had the past two days been tiring?”
Jin Fengju nodded and stretched up his arms again, sighing, “For the past few days, I have been assisting the Ministry of Justice with a corrupt official. Aih! I’m really tired of all these disturbances. If only I can stay quietly in your courtyard for a few days, that would be really blissful. However, with things happening in court and at home, there was no place to escape all these disturbances.” He turned to look at Fu Qiuning. The smile on his face became a little strange as he said, “Do you know who what corrupt official is? Have you heard of the name Zhang Shaoyan?”
Fu Qiuning frowned and said, “This name sounds familiar, but I can’t remember it. How strange, why is Lord Husband speaking to a woman like me about this? You should know that I won’t understand anything about it.”
Jin Fengju laughed and said, “Have you truly forgotten? Zhang Shaoyan is Zhenjiang Palace’s most loyal dog. Your father and grandfather regarded him as their right-hand man. Now that I have cut him off, who knows how much hate they harbour against me. Qiuning, tell me, did I do the right thing?”
Fu Qiuning smiled, “Lord Husband’s words are getting stranger by the moment. What do you wish to hear me say? Do you wish to see me shaken by such news? How funny, even if Zhang Shaoyan and the Zhenjiang Palace are related, how is that relevant to me? If Lord Husband wishes to know whether it is the right thing to do, I could at least furnish an answer to this question.
If this Zhang Shaoyan was indeed unforgivably corrupt, you did the right thing. If this person was an upright official and had been falsely accused, he would be a victim of political turmoil, Lord Husband’s action would not have been right and you would have to face your own conscience for it. Aside from this, this humble woman has no other opinion.”
Jin Fengju’s smile froze on his face. For a long time, many different emotions flashed through his eyes. Suddenly, he reached forward and grabbed Fu Qiuning’s hands. His voice was very deep and solemn, “Good Qiuning, from your words, I can tell that you are a close confidant of mine. These very words are not something just anyone would be able to say. Had I truly wrongly accused Zhang Shaoyan, the people surrounding me would only have songs of praise and tides of flattering words for me. Only you… only you… would speak straight from the heart like this. What a pity that you are born a woman. If you were an official, you would be the pillar of my Great Ning Dynasty…” he seemed very excited, so much so that his words became somewhat incoherent.
This time, Fu Qiuning really laughed out loud. She shook her head and said, “Lord Husband, enough with these jokes. What insight are you speaking of? Even a commoner could draw the same conclusion given the same information. I am but a mere woman. Perhaps one who is a little bolder and more straightforward than most others, to dare say such things to you.
You say that I am different from those flatterers and singers of praises. However, aside from speaking the truth, what other strengths do I have? A pillar of the Great Ning Dynasty? If the Ning Dynasty depended on me as a pillar, I’m afraid the country would perish soon after. It is good to speak the truth, but it did not mean I have the skills to govern a country.”
“The one who knows himself is wise.” Jin Fengju nodded seriously. “You being able to say this, for a woman, is already considered rare.”
Che, what typical male chauvinism. Fu Qiuning privately sniffed: What’s wrong with being a woman? Some women have better insights than most of you men.
However, instead of speaking out, she lowered her head to indicate modesty when Jin Fengju said, “What should I do? I am now a little regretful. I should never have promised to remain as friends only with you back then.”
Fu Qiuning’s heart jumped and she quickly took a step back. She raised her head and said with all seriousness, “Young Marquis, it is not wise to make these kinds of jokes. It does not suit your status.”
Seeing her so guarded against himself, Jin Fengju experienced a sense of loss in his heart. As someone with excellent looks, outstanding talent and a favourite of the emperor, he had lost count of how many boudoir girls had yearned for him. Even now, many of the matchmakers that crossed the marquisate threshold came with proposals of marriage to him. Even famous ladies indicated that they would be happy to settle as his concubines.
Back then, he feared that Fu Qiuning would develop feelings and cling to him unnecessarily due to his increased visits to Night Breeze Pavilion. However, who would have thought that the other party had really achieved enlightenment and was able to maintain a heart like stagnant water while he was the one plagued by racing hearts and a quickened pulse? Unexpectedly, today’s little test of her feelings was slammed by outright rejection. How could this not make him embarrassed?
[Gumihou: Dude, like, eff offf]
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