Chapter 68: Seedlings
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Gumihou
Proofread by Pill Bug
“Steward Jin, do take care,” said Fu Qiuning a little anxiously.
Jin Ming laughed in response.
“Madam, please do not worry. This servant will especially inform the teacher about Young Master’s cleverness. So young, yet he already has several volumes of books and poems in his belly. How could a teacher not love such a student? So long as the teacher favours him, there’s no need to worry.”
With that, he herded the children away from the courtyard.
“Madam, there’s truly no need to worry overly much. Young Master and Young Miss are both very sensible and good children. As for those silk-pants boys , it will be fine so long as our side doesn’t provoke them. So why should you worry?”
Fu Qiuning sighed, “You don’t understand. I know very well that the twins would not initiate trouble. However, that does not mean others would not take the initiative to provoke them. Aih, how can I not worry?”
Hearing this, Aunt Yu said, “If we want the children to avoid provocation, then, surely we should not have allowed Young Master and Young Miss to wear those gold necklaces to school? What if those other children saw them and became jealous? What if the dragon and phoenix jade pendants incident repeats itself?”
Fu Qiuning shook her head, “That might not necessarily happen. I have also considered the matter. In the end, the twins are the Young Marquis’ children. To avoid showing off, I have deliberately arranged for the plainest clothing possible. However, if the children of a Young Marquis could not even afford to wear gold on their person, what would the other children think of them?
Aside from those who had attended the banquet, there should be other children as well. These children would not have a deep understanding of the inner court matters and would only assume that the twins were not favoured by the Young Marquis and join forces with the inner court children to bully them. This would completely undo my efforts to make the twins appear unassuming.”
Yu Jie was getting angry, “Then, according to Madam, there is no end to reasons to pick fights. No matter whether we are modest or ostentatious, we would be targeted regardless. How awful, why are the thoughts of the people in noble houses so twisted? How many times has the Master visited us? Even these few times were enough to arouse their resentment. Now, they even want to pull the children into the fights, how unfair!”
“Inner court matters are as deep as the seas, their undercurrents rife with sea serpents, ah!” Fu Qiuning leaned back and sighed. “Why do you think I refuse to enter the inner court? Enough, enough, let’s not bother ourselves with it anymore. We shall have to see the children’s luck. If they could please their teachers and gain favourable attention for themselves, they should suffer less bullying.”
While Fu Qiuning was worrying over whether the children would be bullied, a little ways away, Clear Soft Pavilion was noisy with people.
Although Jin Fengju was not around, the three concubines and one low-level concubine had gathered there to talk.
“I really don’t understand what’s going on in Lord Husband’s mind. I heard those two cheap seeds have also entered the clan school. How should I say it? Does Lord Husband even care for his dignity anymore? What if outsiders started gossiping about how Lord Husband has fathered children with a washerwoman? Where does he plan to put his face? What of his reputation?”
Xu’shi complained in a high-pitched voice, obviously dissatisfied that Jin Changfeng and his sister would be entering the clan school.
“Enough about that, what’s the use of talking about it now? Moreover, even if those children were birthed by that cheap woman, they are still Lord Husband’s flesh and blood. When you were at Night Breeze Pavilion, did you not have a good look at them? Everyone is saying how similar the brother and sister looked to Lord Husband. Some even say they look just like he did when he was young. I cannot blame Lord Husband for not being able to bear letting them fend for themselves. Our Lord Husband is not as ruthless as you think.”
Jiang Wanying spoke slowly and deliberately, her every word showing the loftiness and demeanour of a benevolent mistress of the house. Xu’shi had thought that she could instigate Jiang Wanying into acting on their behalf and had not expected this mild-tempered answer at all. Turning her head away with a snort, Xu’shi said, “Lord Husband is kind-hearted and Madam is both virtuous and generous, ah. Your words clearly reflect your status.”
“What do you wish me to say?” Jiang Wanying sneered. “It is better to be more prudent with your words. No matter how good-tempered our Lord Husband is, he would not tolerate you troubling him day and night. Let me tell you, even those two white jade lions have been bestowed to the twins. How many times had our children begged Lord Husband for those jades but were denied time and again?
Are you truly still unclear about the matters at hand? You may call me cowardly or devious, however, I dare not provoke those two little ancestors. Those of you who are not afraid of death may go ahead and provoke them as you like. If you suffer a loss, don’t blame me for not warning you.”
Cui’shi said worriedly, “How can they be so powerful? If Lord Husband’s words are to be believed, our sons and daughters are no match for them.”
Huo’shi sneered, “That is not necessarily so. No, I don’t believe it at all. To say that the children I’ve given birth to and raised for six years are not as good as those cheap seeds? Madam also should not undervalue herself. Then again, Xuan boy is still young and his learning shallow, so no wonder Lord Husband doesn’t pay much attention to him. However, my Yi boy is different, he is Lord Husband’s first son. His studies have always been good, especially when it comes to poetry. Even Lord Husband had personally praised his ability. Can those two unsightly things be compared to him?
Aih! Unfortunately, our Xiuru is too gentle and a girl too. Otherwise, I would have my children battle those two inferior seeds and let them see who our Lord Husband truly favours. Just because they have received those white jade lions and dragon-phoenix pendants, they dare to believe themselves Lord Husband’s precious offsprings.”
Xu’shi clapped her hands once and said, “What sister said is right. Last time, when Xuan boy and our Zhenyi smashed those inferior seeds’ jade pendants, Lord Husband never said or did anything either. As for the white jade lions, it was merely to appease those little rats since they received less love from Lord Husband. Moreover, aside from these two items, what other possession do they have? In my opinion, there’s no need for Madam to worry. If those two inferior seeds dare to try and overturn the sky, well, the school shall let them know what real power looks like.”
Jiang Wanying laughed coldly, “Do I look like I care? If your Yi boy can subdue that Feng boy, well, bravo I say. Personally, I am too timid. As Little Sister Huo said, our Xuan boy is not as good as Yi boy at either poetry or calligraphy, who is also Lord Husband’s favourite. However, no matter how timid I am, I can still cheer you from the side. If your Yi boy manages to show that up inferior seed, you may take whatever you like from my room. However, I shall speak the ugly words first. If Yi boy suffers a loss instead, there is nothing I can do about it, understand? I have already warned you about going against them.”
Concubine Xu’s eyes lit up, her goal was not the things inside Jiang Wanying’s room. She felt that so long as she could show up the mistress of the house and gain the respect of the marquisate, could anyone in the marquisate chew their tongue and disrespect her behind her back? Who knows, if Lord Husband was pleased with her, he might even let her take care of some of the family affairs.
Once she had secured some real power in her hands, she could even battle Jiang Wanying head to head. The more she thought, the more beautiful her fantasies became and a brilliant smile bloomed over her face.
Jiang Wanying looked at her expression and privately thought: What an idiot. An idiot who runs practically naked into the enemy’s firing range.
She picked up her teacup to slowly sip at her tea, and hide her slight smile of delight.
The women continued their chat. Presently, Qiu Xia came in and addressed Jiang Wanying, “Madam, the maids are waiting for your orders. Elder Madam’s Fang Rong also arrived to request for Madam to visit her once your business is finished here. It looks like she wishes to know if the two children at Night Breeze Pavilion will be attending the clan school.”
Jiang Wanying rose with a smile, “Really, what is there to ask? It is something that Lord Husband has already decided earlier. I merely pushed the boat along the water and mentioned it in passing.” She turned to the concubines, “Well then, I have some matters to attend to. You should also return to your rooms. Today, Old Ancestor will be fasting and reciting Buddhist scripts so there’s no need to send greetings. Here I thought I’d have a free day, but alas! Such is my lot in life, ah.”
Cui’shi quickly smiled and said, “As the saying goes, those who are capable are worked the hardest. It is because Madam is very capable that Elder Madam tends to push all sorts of responsibilities on you. After all these years, Madam has managed all kinds of large and small matters without even the slightest mistake, who could deny Madam’s ability? Lord Husband often said to me that he cherishes you most. Not only were you his childhood sweetheart, but even after marrying in, you have to take care of the household matters. No wonder you have gone so thin but are still willing to push yourself for the good of all…”
Although Cui’shi has a soft temperament, she was particularly good at flattery. Jiang Wanying, the target of her flattery, felt very comfortable at the end of her effortless compliments. Beside them, Xu’shi and Huo’shi snorted and pursed their lips. Once Cui’shi was done talking, Huo’shi smiled and said, “Little Sister Cui is really good at speaking, unlike this humble woman. If Elder Sister is tired, this humble woman is willing to share in Elder Sister’s worries and relieve your burden. However, I fear Elder Sister might unwilling.”
Jiang Wanying sneered, raised her chin and flashed a burning gaze at Huo’shi. She drawled, “What was that? You wish to assist me in household matters? I never said a word of disagreement. You go and ask Lord Husband, Elder Madam or even Old Madam. If any of them approve, I, of course, would have no objections.”
Whatever Huo’shi was planning to say never left her lips. With a final cold snort, she turned around and left the room.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
Enough about Fu Qiuning, Jiang Wanying as well as the other women in the family. They all have their own thoughts on today’s matter.
Let us, instead, have a look at the children attending their first Great Scholar’s class. All the young sons and daughters of the clan who were eligible to attend the clan school had all packed up and entered the hall. Only then, did Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao realise that there were many more sons and daughters in the clan aside from their half-siblings, who lacked even half a point of affection for the twins. They finally began to believe Fu Qiuning’s words, which they had originally regarded as a mother’s hopeful words of comfort.
“Brother, you be careful now. I’ll be going to the girl’s hall,” Jin Changjiao held her brother’s hand, tears brimming in her eyes. From the moment of their birth, she and her brother had lived and suffered together. Together, they were raised under Fu Qiuning’s knees and finally knew a life free of suffering.
In these past five years, the twins have been together day and night. Although they slept in separate beds from the age of six, they knew they would see the other’s figure the moment they ran outside. She could call out ‘brother!’ and rush to him and they would spend the entire day together, playing, laughing, reading, learning the qin and painting together. To suddenly separate now, how could she not cry?
Jin Changfeng took his sister’s hand and said in a low voice, “You should also pay attention. Do not retort after receiving a few snubs. Endure so long as you can still endure. Mother is right, she is willing to face the sneers and name-calling because, after all, it’s not like enduring their words would cause a piece of our flesh to fall off.”
Jin Changjiao nodded. She wanted to say more to her brother. However, feeling the eyes of other sons and daughters on them, and fearing that the teacher would arrive early and perceive a bad impression upon seeing her clinging to her brother, she resisted her tears and with a firm goodbye, left with Lu Hua.
Jin Changfeng’s companion, Jin Zhuan, was allowed to accompany him to the study hall as he was still young. However, very few companions came with their masters to the hall. In fact, the majority of the companions were 17 or 18-year-olds and could only loiter outside until their masters were done with school.
[Gumihou: I’m actually really interested to see what they learn]
 Small fixes so that the text is aligned.  silk-pants boys – rich (and spoilt) young masters
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