Chapter 97: Returning to the Maternal Home (2)
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Pill Bug
Edited by Gumihou
We recently realised that Prince Zhenjiang does not, in fact, exist. There is ‘King Zhenjiang’, the emperor’s brother. The person we assumed was ‘Prince Zhenjiang’ was in fact ‘King Zhenjiang’s Heir’ otherwise known as ‘Zhenjiang Heir’.
King Zhenjiang = Emperor’s brother, FQN’s grandfather
Zhenjiang Heir = Emperor’s nephew, set to inherit the ‘King Zhenjiang’ title in the future. FQN’s father.
According to protocol, an emperor’s brother could sometimes be granted a ‘King’ as their part of their title. A Feudal King, to be precise. In Two Souls by Gwendolyn, there were a lot of details about ‘the emperor’ and ‘the king’, which could be confusing to those who did not realise they were talking about the emperor (on the throne) and feudal ‘King’ (lost the bid to the throne, but still important or favoured enough to be given a piece of land govern over)
Personally, I’d use ’emperor’ and the ‘feudal king’ to highlight the difference since ’emperor’ and ‘king’ are often used interchangeably to mean ‘guy who sits on the throne’.
The two ladies continued to speak with each other as they stepped into the room. Within the room was a woman sitting propped up on a bed. She was staring at Fu Qiuning with a stunned expression. If not for the tears on her face, Fu Qiuning would not have recognised the woman at all. After closer examination, she found that more than half of the woman’s hair had turned white and though not yet fifty years old, this woman’s face looked closer to sixty.
“Mother, this daughter is unfilial, this daughter is back to see you,” although Fu Qiuning was merely occupying this body, real feelings of grief and sadness welled up from her body. When she thought of how this woman had suffered from worry over her beloved daughter being pushed into a marriage, a marriage that might as well have been the pits of hell for a poor defenceless woman, the gut-wrenching pain caused her to burst into involuntary tears.
“Ah Luo, am I… am I dreaming?” Yu’shi threw her arms around Fu Qiuning, still not daring to believe her daughter was here as she sobbed, “I have this same dream every day. Every day, I dream of this, but, but how could it be true? It must be a dream, isn’t it? A long dream, right? Ah Luo? You must wake me quickly.”
“Elder Sister, this is not a dream. Have you forgotten? Yesterday, the Elder Madam’s people came to say that they would be bringing Young Miss back to the palace. Even the Marquisate has agreed. Now, isn’t Young Miss back? Think about it, you even had me help you change clothes and comb your hair for this occasion. How could all of this be a dream? Isn’t that right?”
“So, this is no dream? My Qiuning… my Qiuning has returned to me?” Yu’shi pushed herself up and reached out to touch Fu Qiuning’s face, her fingers exploring every inch of Fu Qiuning’s face. If not for her excited and focused stare, Fu Qiuning would have suspected that Yu’shi might have blinded herself from crying too much.
“It’s true, this is my Ning’er. You look so much more beautiful and plumper than before. You must have encountered some good luck and prosperity.” Yu’shi’s tears fell like rain. Luo’shi also nodded from the side. The rest of the concubines were also shedding tears, some out of sympathy for themselves being in the same situation, others merely pretending to cry. At any rate, nearly all the women in the room were wiping their eyes or dabbing at tears.
“Young Miss, the Master and Elder Madam are waiting for Young Miss. Now that you have met with your mother and see that she is well, please do go and meet them.” One of the concubines came forward to tug at Fu Qiuning’s sleeves, clearly intending to pull her away.
“Let… let us speak for a moment, just for a moment,” Yu’shi suddenly tightened her grip on Fu Qiuning’s sleeves, as though afraid that once her daughter left her sight, she would never see her again. Fu Qiuning quickly hugged her. In a gentle but firm voice, she said, “There is no need for Mother to be anxious. Father must want to speak to me about something. I shall return quickly after I have paid them a visit. Do not worry, the Young Marquis has said that if Mother is not well, he has allowed me to stay home for a few days to take proper care of you.”
“Oh, good, you… you, be sure to return quickly.” Yu’shi appeared frightened of her husband. Thus, she could only nod at Fu Qiuning’s words.
Fu Qiuning turned to Luo’shi, “Concubine Mother Luo, do stay with mother and help her pass the time. I shall return shortly.” Then, she turned to Aunt Yu and Yu Jie, “You two stay here and chat with Mother. Tell her a little about the Young Marquis too.”
Aunt Yu and Yu Jie acknowledged the order. [a] She could trust these two airheads to unnecessarily praise Jin Fengju to death. It was their hobby after all, and nothing she had done thus far could curb them of it. Might as well make use of their pointless passive skill to make Yu’shi happy instead.
After that little reminder, Fu Qiuning left Songtao Pavilion with the gaggle of concubines towards the main courtyard within the inner court. The sight of the blue-tiled flying eaves and ancient plum trees blooming red in the middle of winter caused her heart to lament a little. When they reached the main residence, they found a majestic old man and a handsome middle-aged man seated at the most honourable spots within the receiving hall. A dignified-looking noblewoman was seated just below them. Aside from these three, there was no one else.
Those concubines who had escorted her all disappeared after delivering her into this hall. Fu Qiuning stepped forward quietly. She stopped at an appropriate distance, knelt and outwardly paid proper respect to Feudal King Zhenjiang as well as [b] Fu Qiuning’s mother and father. Inwardly, however, she was cursing these bastards and all eight ancestors above them. Who cares if those ancestors were wrongly implicated?
“Rise.” King Zhenjiang feigned an affectionate tone as he tenderly said, “Sit beside your mother. Let Grandfather take a good look at you. In just a blink of an eye, five or six years have passed, haven’t they? Aih, back then I thought I had found a good marriage for you. Who would have thought that once you entered the marquisate, we would receive no word at all? Each time we sent someone to inquire, we were told that you are unwell and could not leave the estate. After much effort, we finally have you back with us. How are you? What happened these past few years? Have you recovered from your illness?”
[b] F*ck, this is Oscar-level acting skill, ah!
Fu Qiuning privately screeched in her mind. Luckily the person facing you is me, if it was the Fu Qiuning of the past, she would probably be in tears after hearing this old fox’s tender words. Her tears would have formed a puddle on the ground! Tsk, tsk, too skilled, too skilled.
To be fair, if I had not guarded myself against him since long ago, I might have been fooled too. Compared to this old fox, that scum man
Jin Fengju [c] still has much room to grow. Jin Fengju’s acting is more like a dramatic solo stage act while this old fox nearly convinced me that he’s a loving old grandpa who is sorry for accidentally putting me in a bad position.
While she privately expressed her unending admiration for this King Zhenjiang via the ‘Roaring Emperor’ style , Fu Qiuning managed to maintain a tranquil appearance as she stood and performed another salute to express her gratefulness. Thinking of Yu’shi made a gush of sadness well up in her chest. A pair of tears trickled out of the corners of her eyes and down her cheeks as she sucked in a breath and sobbed.
“This granddaughter thanks Grandfather for his concern. In truth, this granddaughter had been shut up and neglected within that marquisate’s Night Breeze Pavilion without care or concern. Anger and grievance filled this granddaughter’s heart until my body fell ill. This granddaughter had no idea that Grandfather had sent people over time and again to fetch me home. Otherwise, not to mention bodily illness, this granddaughter would have crawled back home even if this granddaughter were dying just for a glimpse of this palace and my poor ill-fated mother.”
“Ahem, ahem…” though King Zhenjiang’s face was as thick as the city walls, this granddaughter’s ‘utterly sincere words’ from the ‘depths of her heart’ still brought the slightest blush to his cheeks. For the past six years, all memories of this random granddaughter [c] had been thrown past the nine layers of heaven.
If rumours of a great battle between the Young Marquis of Jinxiang’s wife and secondary wife had not reached his ears, [c] he feared that he might not have even remembered the half-wild child who had grown up half her life in the sticks. By then, he could hardly remember the name of this granddaughter, though he did remember the frustration he had felt when nothing came out of the marriage back then. The tool he had pulled out from the village, then married into the enemy camp, was pushed aside and did nothing useful with her life at all.
What a useless thing! He remembered thinking, he should have picked out a prettier and more useful royal girl-child. Why had he plucked this half-wild village girl in such a rush? Well, the life expectancy of the daughter was expected to be low. To keep the peace within the family, he had chosen her. At the very least, she should have the decency to contribute to the family with an untimely death.
Unexpectedly, this little minx managed to catch the Young Marquis’ heart instead! To the point that the arrogant young man spurned his secondary wife and even defied his own mother in favour of King Zhenjiang’s granddaughter! That clever minx, was that her scheming royal blood showing at last?
Thus, with this new information at hand, he and his son had a discussion and both were equally surprised by this unexpected good news. Zhenjiang Heir, Fu Qinghe said, “After Qiuning married in, less than two years later, that Jin Fengju somehow became Imperial Patrol Commissioner. In the last two years, he has travelled north, south, east and west, consolidating who knows how much power for Prince Rong. Who knows how many of our officials he has taken down?
I confess to feeling anxious these recent days. With his current status, even if he did not harm Qiuning, I believed that he would divorce her and return her untouched, returning the slap we had given him back then. Unexpectedly, nothing happened after such a long time. Though we have not sent many people to the marquisate to investigate their movements, who knows when he suddenly started liking Qiuning? Isn’t this essentially heaven’s way of assisting us?”
King Zhenjiang, Fu Shanlin also chuckled as he said, “That is so, I believe that Prince Lie’s side had managed to insert their people into the marquisate. Though we have never been successful in placing people there, with Qiuning gaining favour after six years, is she not our perfect source of information now? Have someone invite her to the palace. Tell them that her mother is sick and that she needs to come and pay a visit. I’m afraid that with anything less than this, the marquisate would not allow her to return.”
Matters happened just as Jin Fengju and Fu Qiuning had guessed. Zhenjiang Palace waited two more days, using the time to verify the news before someone appeared at the marquisate’s doorstep, requesting Fu Qiuning to pay a visit to her maternal home. As for Fu Qiuning’s very brief visit to Yu’shi’s side [c], it could not be helped since the two elders in the family were more interested in furthering their plans than allowing a daughter to properly visit her mother. The concubines were clever enough to understand the writing on the wall and acted accordingly.
Thus, Fu Qiuning was swiftly escorted away from her mother to be presented to the elders in the room.
The Elder Madam, Fu Qiuning’s official mother , spent a little time exchanging some gossip with her before withdrawing herself. Once she was gone, there were only three people left in the room. King Zhenjiang, Zhenjiang Heir and Fu Qiuning.
Fu Shanlin coughed twice, adjusting his tone to that of a kindly old grandfather and said, “Qiuning, ah. You said earlier that you spent five years at the marquisate with no one caring for you. This is too excessive. No matter, just you wait, Grandfather will inquire into the situation properly. We cannot allow you to suffer in vain. Only, if that Jin Fengju had been ignoring all this while, why did he suddenly change?”
Fu Qiuning already knew that this old man would ask this question. [e] In fact, pretty much anyone would wish to know. Therefore, she merely told the truth. How Jin Fengju had suddenly visited Night Breeze Pavilion, how he was taken in by the children, etc etc.
[e] Her story had the advantage of being true, backed by provable facts if they ever wanted to verify any of it. At the end of her tale, Fu Shanlin and Fu Qinghe found themselves believing in her. The last of their doubts vanished with the ring of truth in her voice.
“So that was what happened. My child was left out in the cold by him, but still abided by the women’s principle and raised his pair of children. You have clearly been wronged. However, ‘the one who suffers the most, rises above the rest’. If not for you educating those children into proper talents, would you and the Young Marquis have met once more under the shade of willow trees? Is that not so?” Fu Qinghe smirked as he twirled his beard.
He was the very image of a loving father as he said, “As the saying goes, fortune and misfortune exist together. Looks like this saying has been proven true. Did not my child receive a blessing thanks to that disaster? Even so, to properly secure your position within the marquisate, it is best to depend on your own flesh and blood. You understand Father’s meaning?”
“This daughter understands, however, this daughter is not at all anxious,” Fu Qiuning’s smile was tranquil under the surprise in her father and grandfather’s eyes. She picked up her teacup and took a little sip before parting her painted lips to say, “Have Father and Grandfather not heard of the saying ‘In order to capture, one must let loose’? This granddaughter knows that her looks are not the best, and cannot even be compared to the faces of the Young Marquis’ lowest concubines. Therefore, this granddaughter could only depend on the saying ‘the best things are out of reach’ and maintain her modesty. Otherwise, how could this plain granddaughter enchant the very charming Young Marquis?”
“Good, hahaha… good, good, my child is really outstanding.” Fu Qinghe applauded and laughed.
However, Fu Shanlin said, “Although this approach is clever, you must take care not to overplay your hand. Do not provoke the Young Marquis into losing interest in this game. That would be taking defeat from the jaws of victory.”
Gumihou: Hmm, to be honest, I don’t think the Zhenjiang Palace people are any way worse than the Jinxiang Marquisate. Both are filled with pretentious, spoilt, self-centered people out to crush the weak and benefit themselves.
Of course, this could be the result of removing JFJ’s whitewashing and also cleaning the turd that had been intentionally rubbed onto FQN’s father and grandfather.
[a] Deleted: This was Fu Qiuning’s request for them to embellish Jin Fengju to death, to make sure that Yu’shi was convinced that her daughter has been happy,
Uhh, do you really need to do this? They are already
wearing very thick rose-tinted glasses. In place of this absolutely unnecessary ‘order’, insert some gaming terms instead to reinforce the fact that Fu’shi is, you know, from the modern world.
[b] Insert more modern spin to her thoughts. Because, you
know, she’s from the modern world?
[c] Deleted Ass Polishing: he actually seems like the best man in the world instead. At least he still knows that he to be ashamed when facing me and the children, and is also honest with himself that those six years were his fault
Compare old fox to young fox instead. Not old fox vs scummy
yet ‘honest, admit his fault, rainbow farting handsome darling’
[d] Adjust writing style to reflect more ‘callous privilege
person’ who ‘delights in gossip about other’s downfall’ and less ‘evil’ because even the evilest people in the world don’t think of themselves as bad or ‘evil’. Everyone in the world is either ‘being difficult’, ‘stupid’ or ‘selfish’ for not accommodating them.
This is Gumi creating plausible evil. Also, the majority of the
information is present, Gumi just rearranged it so that his thoughts appeared more plausible, narcissistic, self-serving and less cut and pasted from JFJ’s grand assumption.
[e] Where JFJ enjoyed the effects of FQN’s thoughts whitewashing his actions, Grandpa Fu suffered from the opposite effect of having shit rubbed into his face. He was portrayed as stupider here, which,
considering that he is still alive as the brother of the emperor, seems
Also, since the POV is from FQN, she has no way of knowing
how smart or stupid Grandpa Fu is. However, considering how she had praised his acting, wouldn’t she compensate for it by applying modern world logic and hedging her bets?
Pill Bug TL Notes:
 咆哮帝 “Roaring Emperor” refers to actor 馬景濤 Steve Ma Jingtao. The characters he plays are often very overexcited.
Gumihou: Oooh, video references?
Pill Bug: Here! https://youtu.be/Luse4hf0v-A?t=370
 Fu Qinghe’s official wife (the Elder Madam) is Fu Qiuning’s “official mother”, even though Fu Qinghe’s concubine is Fu Qiuning’s birth mother.
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