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Bottle with olive oil and olives on a wooden table.

Higher Level Wife – 087 – Hint

Chapter 87: Hint

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou


Gumihou: Only one chapter today because we didn’t have time to properly edit and check the next chapter.

Oh, and Prevention of OOC x 3


“Even so, during the winter months, farmers can sleep on a warm kang bed until the sun is high in the sky and do not need to run around so early in the morning for something [a] that may or may not happen,” said Fu Qiuning as she absentmindedly picked up the comb. She had put the children’s hair up before [b] so she was quite capable of fixing long hair into buns. Moreover, she was still Jin Fengju’s official wife, and therefore could not excuse herself from this job.

Jin Fengju stared at the slender hands removing his hairpin in the bronze mirror. As she gathered the locks of black hair and put them up on his head, he said, “This is the fortune of farmers. We have our glory, they have their peace and leisure time. Otherwise, what other good thing could they look forward to?”

Fu Qiuning thought about it for a moment. [c] Indeed, life was much simpler when she was barely making ends meet. The joys were simpler with no grandeur. However, now she had to trade peace of mind for grand schemes and duties. Life is indeed harder as a bourgeoisie. No wonder she, a good communist youth, was finding it hard to assimilate to this life.

Still lost in thought, she was suddenly disturbed by a knock on the door. After receiving permission to enter, Jin Ming came in to say, “Yo~ Master’s hair is already done? Here this servant thought to rush over to assist Master,”

“No need, it’s all done. Let’s go, we still have to put on our court attire at Clear Soft Pavilion.” Jin Fengju turned to Fu Qiuning, “You may wait here at ease for news. If anything were to happen, stay calm. I shall deal with it when I return, understand?”

“Yes, this humble woman understands. Lord Husband should make haste and not delay your journey to the morning court,” Fu Qiuning replied with a salute. She watched as Jin Fengju and Jing Ming disappeared into the snow. Once the men had disappeared, the sound of children stirring in the house was finally heard.


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Let us speak of the moment Jin Fengju arrive at Clear Soft Pavilion.

When he arrived, he saw that the lanterns within the main room had already been lit. He hesitated for a moment before pushing past the door and stepping in. He found Jiang Wanying already dressed and groomed. At the sight of her husband, she got up with a smile, “Lord Husband went to Night Breeze Pavilion last night? Why have you not sent word? If Xing’er had not seen Lord Husband by accident, I would not have known about it.”

As she spoke, she fetched the official uniform and hat on the way and personally helped Jin Fengju put them on.

“What did Xing’er say?” asked Jin Fengju dully as she dressed him.

“Nothing much, only that Lord Husband did not look too happy. This humble woman thought that something major must have happened at Night Breeze Pavilion and sent a servant girl to have a look. Who knows whether she was lazy or went off to do something else, but she returned to say that nothing much was happening. She also dared not disturb Lord Husband, did not encounter anyone else and came back just like that. I was so concerned that I could not sleep well last night. Knowing that Lord Husband’s court attire is here and that Lord Husband must stop by before attending court, I waited until now to inquire. Well? Did something happen? Should I visit dear Elder Sister today?”

“No need, nothing happened. I was held back by Prince Lie, who insisted that I drink with him, which put me in a foul mood,” replied Jin Fengju indifferently. Once the court attire was properly put on, he turned to leave. However, he stopped at the door. He turned around to face Jiang Wanying and said, “Cousin, I may have taken more concubines in the past years. However, I have always respected and cared for my dear cousin. I hope you will remember the affection we have shared over the years. It would do you well to not squander those feelings.”

“Cousin, why are you saying this all of a sudden?” Jiang Wanying was shocked. She rushed over to Jin Fengju, who merely smiled indifferently at her. “It is nothing. I am merely speaking on a whim. That’s right, the allocation for Night Breeze Pavilion appears to be a lot less. So pay more attention in the future and do not let this happen again. Right, it is cold outside. You should head back inside. I am leaving for court.”

After Jin Fengju left, Jiang Wanying’s personal maid, Qiu Xia, trotted over anxiously, “Madam, what is the Master saying? Is this because of what we have done? Could it be possible that he knows something? Xing’er clearly said that she saw Master fuming with anger when he made his way to Night Breeze Pavilion. But… but why did he not mention it today?”

Jiang Wanying’s complexion changed a few times. Finally, she said, “It does not matter. If Prince Lie had approached Lord Husband, that means the matter has been revealed. He must have gone to Night Breeze Pavilion to inquire about that woman’s crime. Unfortunately, that hateful Fu’shi’s tongue is as flexible as a reed, and must have turned her crime into some sob story. That is why Lord Husband specifically told me to not short them in the future.”

“But… but, what of Master’s other words? Even if Madam has shorted Night Breeze Pavilion’s allocation, isn’t it due to Master’s lack of care? Why would the Master speak of his affections as though it is all in the past? Surely the allocation of things cannot warrant such heavy words?” Qiu Xia continued anxiously.

Jiang Wanying nodded slowly. “Yes, such heavy words would not happen merely over the monthly allocation. Prince Lie had invited Lord Husband to drink with him. How long would that last? Two hours? After that, Lord Husband hurried back. Just what kind of person is our Lord Husband? Merely half a day passed, but it was enough for him to understand some things. He had spoken such words to me, clearly because he was suspicious of me.” As she spoke, she studied her nails intently, as though there were some interesting little bugs on them.

“Then… then, what should we do?” Qiu Xia was on the verge of panic. “If Master knows that Madam is the one responsible for this, w-wouldn’t he…”

“Why are you panicking?” Jiang Wanying’s stern voice cut through Qiu Xia’s stammering. “Useless thing, you can barely birth half a thought in your head, but always panic at crucial times. What are you afraid of? Though this matter was indeed done by me, there will always be others to carry the guilt. Just be sure to cover our tracks cleanly, and fix up your plucked chicken look.”

“C-carry the guilt?” Qiu Xia was shocked. However, Jiang Wanying’s calm smile soon boosted her confidence and enlightenment dawned on her. She crowed with delight, “C-could it be… that’s right, Madam must have long been prepared! This maid is too stupid and never thought of this. This is excellent, no matter how angry the Young Marquis was, how could he…” she covered her mouth and nearly vibrated with glee.

Jiang Wanying nodded gently. A while later, she suddenly smiled and murmured, “Be sure not to short their allocations? Dear Cousin, you must have been blinded by that tub of lard. They have done such a terrible thing already and yet you believe they still have a future within the marquisate? I’m afraid you are the only one who could tolerate them, but the rest of the clan may not swallow this insult well. Humph, humph…”


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Let’s speak of Jin Fengju’s side for now.

He arrived at the palace without incident. Nothing exciting happened during morning court, and the ministers had nothing to report, and thus, they dispersed quickly. He was walking out of the palace when he heard someone calling his name. He looked back and saw Prince Rong panting as he ran up. Jin Fengju hastily put on a smile and hurried over to meet with the prince to say, “Brother-in-law, what’s this? If others saw you, they would say that you have abandoned your royal manners again.”

Prince Rong came up, still panting lightly, and gave Jin Fengju a once over before saying in an off voice, “Are you alright?”

“Alright? What could be wrong?” Jin Fengju was also not sure what was going on. “Brother-in-law, have you been drinking again? Are you still drunk?”

“No, I heard that you and Old Eight were together yesterday. I thought that he must be looking for you to settle the matter of Xu Shifan’s fall. Since you’re fine, I am relieved.” Prince Rong said even as his gaze was fixed upon Jin Fengju.

Jin Fengju laughed and shook his head, “Brother-in-law, there’s no need to look at me like that. He merely forced me into a drinking session.” How could he reveal private family matters to Prince Rong? Still, afraid that Prince Rong would become suspicious of him, he gave some small excuse for yesterday’s actions, omitting his household matter. This brother-in-law of his had always been open-minded, and would not make him feel too bad about the matter.

“Oh, so it’s only a small matter, ah. Well, it’s good that it’s mostly solved now. That Old Eight is no simpleton. Try to have fewer dealings with him in the future,” said Prince Rong kindly. “Well, are you busy now? If you’re not busy, why not accompany this king to the palace for a drink?”

“No, I have something that needs to be taken care of back home today. I shall bring some good wine to Brother-in-law’s place someday soon and drink our fill.” Jin Fengju said with a smile and a salute.

“I know you say this just to pacify me. Ever since our two families married, I have lost count of how many times I heard you say this, and have yet to see it happen.” Prince Rong muttered with some dissatisfaction as he turned his head away. Jin Fengju knew that this was just his normal attitude and just smiled, not at all annoyed.

“Come, let us go. Though the road is not good with so much heavy snow, moving slowly along the streets will allow us to observe the lives of the people,” Jin Fengju tightened his overcoat, placed his hands behind his back and said to Jin Ming, “Have you managed to get to the heart of the matter? How was Third Brother Zhang revealed? Also, has Ningdu Palace taken any action? Did you receive news from Yan Xi yet? Has there been any movements at the marquisate?”

Jin Ming answered, “There has been no movement yet.” Then, with a smile, continued, “There’s no need for Master to overthink. After Master’s reminder to Second Madam, as a smart and sophisticated person, surely she would understand the important points? Now that she realises that Master knows what is happening, surely she would not dash her eggs against rocks [1] and still carry out her schemes against Master’s wish?”

“I hope so.” Jin Fengju sighed. “Sometimes, when people become greedy, it is difficult for them to think coherently. I still remember, back when she was a child, she had been a kind and sweet girl. When she saw an ant, she would reproach it soundly as she escorted it back to its nest. After our marriage, I still felt that she was very good. Although her shrewdness and intelligence were beyond my expectations, with me busy with court matters, I happened to need such a person to look after the home.

But slowly, as time went by, I found myself unable to recognise her any longer. Her words and deeds could no longer be described with the words ‘smart’ or ‘capable’ anymore and I am forced to divert some energy to guard my household and ensure that she restrains herself. Otherwise, do you think Concubine Xu or Concubine Huo’s children could be born safely? Fortunately, she settled down a lot after that. Unexpectedly, after I showed a little affection for Qiuning, once again, she…”

Jin Fengju shook his head and let out a long sigh. He continued emotionally, “After I parted with her in our childhood days, it must have been close to ten years since we last saw each other. I did not expect her to remain the same, but had not expected her to become someone so different either. Enough, enough about that, I hope that today’s reminder will remind her of ‘the many years of husband and wife’s affection’ between us. Otherwise, with my promise to Qiuning, I would have no choice but to pull down some of her face and prestige.”

Suddenly, Jin Ming said, “Huh? Isn’t that Yan Xi? He… he seems to be running over, looks like…” instead of finishing the rest of his sentence, he merely shook his head slightly.


[Gumihou: *Shook her head slightly*]


[a] Prevention of OOC: Instead of ‘busily running errands’ it’s ‘waking up for futile work’, which is actually more in keeping with a modern mindset.

[b] Prevention of OOC: Instead of ‘normal to comb male friend’s hair because I’m a modern woman’, switch it to ‘because I combed kids’ hair’. Like what male friend’s hair could you have combed even as a morden woman?

[c] Prevention of OOC: Instead of ‘Oh noes feudal society bourgeoisie man is more modern than I, a good communist youth myself’, go with ‘yes, life was more peaceful when I was farming’. Like, you have actual real world activity to draw experience from, so like, f*cking use it.


Pill Bug TL Notes:


[1] A Chinese idiom, meaning to do something futile.


Gumihou: Sometimes, editing these chapters feels like dashing eggs against rocks. has a new Membership System!!

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