You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 078 – Benefit

Higher Level Wife – 078 – Benefit

Chapter 78: Benefit

Author: White Pear Flower

Raws: https://book.qidian.com/info/2386994/

Translated by Gumihou

Proofread by Pill Bug

 

“This servant understands, Master,” Jin Ming replied respectfully. Then, he had two servant boys come forward, each with a cloth-wrapped item in their arms. Jin Fengju scooped up the items and Fu Qiuning quickly rushed forward to open the door for him. She smiled and said, “I have no idea if you possessed supernatural hearing, but Feng’er and Jiao’er just happened to inform me today that they would need to bring a qin to school. Unexpectedly, you brought two qins over this evening. Tell me now, just when did you find out?”

Jin Fengju laughed, “I possess no supernatural hearing. Yesterday, I happened to hear Xiuzhen playing the qin at Clear Soft Pavilion. She informed me that the school will be focussing on the music arts soon and I recalled there is only the one cheap qin in your study. How could my beloved children bring such a battered instrument to school? Therefore, I had Jin Ming buy a couple from town. Though it is not from some famous maker, they are still high-quality goods. The instrument makers are often commissioned by the Imperial Palace to make musical instruments and dare not fool me. Anyway, do take one of them off me. Really now, can you not just help me of your own accord?”

As they spoke, they stepped across the threshold.

When the children heard voices coming from outside, though one of them sounded a lot like their father’s, they had assumed it was merely a trick of the north wind. Still, they got off the kang bed and approached the reception room. They happened to see their mother and father come in together, each holding a cloth-wrapped guqin. The children rushed over with happy shouts. Jin Fengju placed the qin on a table and picked them up, kissing both enthusiastically on the cheeks. Then, he showed off his skills on the qin, the struck strings rippling with melodies like clear flowing water. Fu Qiuning was somewhat familiar with musical instruments and knew from the sound produced that these two qins were good things, the sound quality being quite excellent.

“Father, you are so cold. Come sit on the kang,” the children immediately fell in love with the guqin, so much that they were reluctant to part with them. Finally, they remembered their very cold father, who was still standing around, and coaxed him to the kang bed. They leapt onto the bed and said, “Mother placed a silk blanket on the kang, it’s very comfortable to sit on.

“Alright, alright,” Jin Fengju took off his shoes and climbed onto the kang. When the children pulled the blanket over him, he sighed comfortably. He smiled at Fu Qiuning and said, “This is very nice. You certainly know how to live well. While I worked hard outside, rushing about for fear that you would be shivering in this house, bringing charcoals and other necessary things, it turns out that you are all warm and toasty here.”

Fu Qiuning smiled, “It is all thanks to your timely help. If you had not come, I’m afraid we will all freeze in the next few days.” She deliberately did not mention how she had spent her winters in the previous years. Jin Fengju wisely did not bring it up either. Instead, she said, “That’s right, since you have fallen for the kang’s charms, should I assume that you will not return?”

“I have never seen such a cruel wife as you. The outside is freezing and I have just sent charcoal over, but you still wish to drive me out? Why don’t you ask your conscience and judge for yourself whether it is right to do this to me?” Jin Fengju widened his eyes as he mock-glared at Fu Qiuning. “If it had been anyone else, on such a day, I would have stormed off in a huff. You are the only one who would push me away like this.”

Fu Qiuning thought: I am not one of your soft-headed wives or concubines. Have you forgotten your vow to me? Why are you comparing me with those idiots so much lately? She did her best to uncrease her brows to smile indifferently, “How can it be? The night is so cold, as you said, though it is not yet midwinter, it is on the verge of freezing the surface of the water. Besides, I also worry that your wives and concubines will resent me for mistreating you and making you angry. Since that is the case, please remain here.”

Since Jin Fengju had already made himself at home on the kang bed, she refused to even approach it. Instead, she settled herself on the small bench by the kang. Fortunately, there was a thick cushion on it, and though it was not as warm as the kang itself, it was not cold either.

“Just come up on the kang. Don’t tell me you’re afraid I’ll eat you? We are still husband and wife in name, what is there to be afraid of?” Jin Fengju sneered. Privately, he was even more annoyed. He thought: Must she be guarded to this degree? It is as though we are two unrelated people. She refuses to show even the slightest gap in her defences. Aih, so what if everyone said that I am lovable? Those are merely words from unrelated people.

“The kang is quite crowded, you three can sit there,” said Fu Qiuning with an indifferent smile.

Suddenly, there was a burst of laughter from the outside and Yu Jie’s voice was heard over the pattering of her running feet, “Madam! Come and look! The Master sent a lot of firewood and charcoal! Good heavens, ah. I have never seen such good charcoal. Steward Jin said there are more than 200 catties of the something something silver thing charcoal! The regular charcoal is of the best type too, and the firewood. That’s right, the firewood…” the young maid, who had been shouting at the top of her voice suddenly felt something was off and, when she turned around, spotted Jin Fengju smiling at her from the kang bed. He was looking at her with amusement in his eyes.

Yu Jie seemed to have suffered a sudden voice blockage. Her mouth remained open but nothing came out. She floundered about for a long time before suddenly throwing herself down into a kneeling position and whispered, “Th-this maid… this maid had not known that Master is here. Thought… thought that only Steward Jin had brought charcoal over and… and… that is, dinner would soon be ready. This maid should go check it…”

Suddenly, she flung herself out of the room, speeding away as though she had oiled her shoes.

Jin Fengju laughed out loud. He shook his head, “People say that the servants resemble their masters. However, this maid of yours, why has she not absorbed even half of your prudence or dignity? Only Aunt Yu has a calm temperament.”

Fu Qiuning smiled, “Yu Jie had been bought and sold by human traffickers ever since she was a child and had travelled all over the country. Her temperament has always been a little wild. I find her lively and interesting, not at all like Aunt Yu, who, though still young, acted like someone on the verge of death, without even the slightest bit of vitality.”

Then, she waved her hand and said, “Well, enough about that. You called me prudent and dignified, but how could I be compared to Aunt Yu? Speaking of which, I have something I wish to speak to you about. I do believe that it is something that would require your permission.”

Jin Fengju sniffed. He thought: You just keep being stubborn. I wish to nourish and pamper you, but you refuse to appreciate my care.

Because of this, he felt a little disillusioned. Lowering his head, he said casually, “What is the matter? Just say it.”

Fu Qiuning glanced at the twins, “You are both nicely warmed up now, right? Go to the kitchen and see if Aunt Yu is done with dinner. I need to speak with your father.”

The two children hopped off the kang and headed for the kitchen.

Fu Qiuning waited for the children to be out of sight before saying, “I believe Aunt Yu is not yet 30 years old. It’s a pity for her to be a widow for the rest of her life. It’s better to find a good household for her to marry into so that she has a family to depend on for the rest of her life. She had told me in the past that Mother Zhang’s son, the gatekeeper at one corner of the inner court, has a good personality and was her childhood friend.

They had a good relationship with each other and expected to marry before her parents sold her off to be the [2] succeeding wife of a wealthy landowner. In less than a year, she was driven out of the house by a powerful mother-in-law. Fortunately, you bought her as a slave. Otherwise, according to her, she would have no place to stand. Now that it has come to this, how about we fulfil the destiny of this pair of lovers? For her sake, Mother Zhang’s son never married. If it had been anyone else, I’m afraid there would be no such faithfulness.

Unfortunately, [3] it turned out that though she had been driven out, the landowner never bothered to give her a letter of divorce. Though she wished for it, would the landowner ever agree if we try to ask for it? However, as the noble Young Marquis, surely if you were to only speak out, an old landlord who does not even have the right to lift your shoes would quickly hand over the divorce letter? What do you think?”

[3] Back then, when Jin Fengju was in the middle of hating the laundress with delusions of becoming the mother of noble children, he had been stomping the streets when he encountered the helpless and beautiful Aunt Yu searching for help. He did not ask after her background and brought her back into the inner court under the excuse of serving the children. In reality, he was using Aunt Yu to taunt the greedy and power-seeking woman. Aunt Yu was afraid of being kicked out once more and told everyone that she was a divorced woman.

The lie lasted until two years ago when Fu Qiuning warm-heartedly tried to match her with Third Brother Zhang. That was when she had no choice but to reveal the truth of her “still married” status.

Fu Qiuning was angry at the old landlord for being unjust and selfish. The old man planned to take Aunt Yu back to his household after his mother died and refused to give the letter of divorce. However, she was also helpless and had a hard time trying to survive and make ends meet in this place, so where would she find the energy to care about other people’s affairs?

Thus, the matter dragged on. Only, poor Third Brother Zhang was also dragged along as he continued to pine for Aunt Yu. Although Aunt Yu also adored him, she had been poisoned by the feudal principles of this world and refused to even consider the idea of being intimate with anyone but her true husband. Thus, after having been kicked out of the landlord’s house, she resigned herself to her fate, her heart like a dead tree. She only cared for the twins and never gave another thought to love affairs.

When Jin Fengju heard this story, he leaned against the pillow and smiled at her. He shook his head and said, “You are truly insincere. For the sake of putting me in a good mood, you praised me to the heavens and stepped on that landowner into the ground. How could matters be as easy as you say?” even as he spoke, he quickly began to click at a small abacus in his heart.

In fact, this was naturally a very easy matter for him to solve. A simple landowner, so long as he send someone with enough authority, he did not even have to appear to make the man cough out the letter of divorce. After all, the fault was on the man’s side in the first place. It was not like he was forcefully splitting up a pair of lovebirds. What’s more, as a high-ranking official, let alone a mere rich merchant, even Fifth Rank Prefects were not worth his attention. However, this matter was something close to Fu Qiuning’s heart. She wishes to play the matchmaker and fulfil her maid’s heart’s desires, but, who would fulfil his heart’s desire?

Jin Fengju thought: No, matters should not be done so quickly. Perhaps I can hold this as a bargaining chip in my hand for some great benefit in the future.

Thus, having made up his mind, he left Fu Qiuning with doubts and suspicion in her mind. He placated her by saying that now was not the time and that there were other matters in place. In the end, since Fu Qiuning could not do anything about it, she could only leave the matter alone for the time being.

 

Gumihou: …I want to write a fanfiction. A fanfiction where JFJ screwed up beyond forgiveness against FQN (modern) and she disdain him forever.

Pill Bug: But, Gumi, you still have other novels to translate and/or edit, not to mention your original novel, which I haven’t heard you mention in a while-

Gumihou: Yes, I need to see JFJ suffer unrequited love, FOREVER!!

Zzonkedd: Someone talk sense to this person

Gumihou: Should I use poison? Let one of the twins die? Death from poisoning? FQN might still forgive it if the danger happened to herself, but if it’s the children, heheh, ehehehehehe…

Pill Bug: …

Zzonked: …

Fer: I don’t care what you stupid humans do, feed me!

Gumihou: Feed me ideas, people!

 

[1] Some minor sentence adjustments for better flow.

[2] Succeeding wife – second ‘official wife’ after the first wife had died (or divorced)

[3] Missing info in dialogue, filled in by narrative. Added a bit more detail here. Also, the narrative for Jin Fengju meeting Aunt Yu was rather vague. Add spice.

 

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Have a Grilled Rice Ball

HLW – 079 – Winter Warmth

 

Grilled Intestines are Yummy!

HLW – 080 – Confidante

 

A Bucket of Crawdads

HLW – 081 – Mother-in-Law (Gumi rolled her eyes many times here)

HLW – 082 – Great Waves (1)

 

Grilled Matsutake

HLW – 083 – Great Waves (2)

HLW – 084 – Great Waves (3)

HLW – 085 – Catalyst

HLW – 086 – Carrying Out a Plan

HLW – 087 – Hint

໒( ́ ۝ ́ )७

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Bloom

    Gumi, you keep delivering on such good translations I’m gonna be tempted to write my own fanfiction too😩😩 (personally if I ever get the hang of writing in a c-novel style I’ll have FQQ leave the bastard and turn him into a pathetic pining man for the rest of his life, LET HIM SUFFER)

    1. Gumihou

      Oho, if you do write something, tag me please.

      Better yet, if anyone writes something, I’ll compile it here and put it up as HLW – Fanfic!

  2. YML (@yarotaro)

    How about this for fanfiction idea: Something happened to the twins and they could’ve gotten hurt badly. FQN was first grateful JFJ stepped in, but later she found it JFJ pretty much let it happen to gain bonus points with her It’s not the first time he seen backyard schemes/fighting and plus the twins are still alive so, he counted it as a win since the twins and didn’t think FQN would figure it out. So now he’s forever in the dog house since he touched her bottom line aka the twins.

    1. Gumihou

      Oooh, nice idea.

      Fufufufu…

      Mwhahahaha!!!

  3. kumquatswirl

    Hahahaha I totally get the picture you used for this chapter. Like what the hell is this level of audacity from Jin Fengju?? He is so lucky that Fu Qiuning’s manners are dictated by the time, so she doesn’t have to give him a much-needed reality check. I read this somewhere, but basically a debt is paid with money, but a debt of love and care needs to be paid with a lifetime’s worth of sincerity. And considering he abandoned them to such harsh conditions for years, he’s gonna need more time to repay them back.

    1. Gumihou

      Oh yeah, the so-called ‘repaying a sip of water with a spring of gratitude’.

      Hence why she refuses to ask him for favours.

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