Chapter 100: Visit from the Son-in-Law
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Gumihou
Proofread by Pill Bug
Gumihou: Urgh, blerrghhh
Pill Bug: …do you need medical attention?
Gumihou: IQ… I need more… IQ…
Pill Bug: Can’t help you there…
Gumihou: H-how about a dose of reality or, or scepticism?
Pill Bug: Sorry, out of stock!
Gumihou: Guess I’ll make do with warm water and Tiger Balm…
Xiang Huan and Xiang Cao dared not retort. However, they both pouted in their hearts, thinking: What the- Just who do you think you are, ah? Do you really think you are truly the official wife of a Young Marquis? You’re just favoured now because he wanted something fresh…
The thoughts had barely formed when a maid came running in. She was in such a hurry that she nearly bumped into Fu Qiuning.
“What are you running around for? What could have happened to make you panic like this?” Xiang Huan shouted. The maid immediately threw herself to the ground. She pointed behind her and gasped, “Th-th- this… th-th-that…”
“What this and that? Take a few more breathes before speaking,” Xiang Huan raised her hand and pushed at the maid. “How unsightly, stammering and stumbling like this. Are you trying to make me look bad in front of the Young Miss?”
Fu Qiuning had already turned pale. She stepped forward and asked, “What is going on? Has something happened to my mother?” Suddenly, Fu Qiuning made to run off towards Songtao Pavilion, ready to leave the maids behind.
“N-no, E-elder Madam… Elder Madam and Master… the hall… Young Miss… the, the Young Marquis has arrived to fetch Young Miss!” the maid finally managed to collect enough breaths to gasp out her message, shouting the final message out.
“The Young Marquis? Jin Fengju?” Fu Qiuning [1a] paused. She turned to the maid again and said, “You’re sure? There are no mistakes? The Young Marquis is a busy man, you know.” [1a] Also, what is he thinking of, coming into enemy grounds without preparations like this?
Xiang Huan hastily came up to beam at her, “Surely Young Miss is overly thinking on the matter? How could it be wrong? This maid guessed that the Young Marquis must have missed Young Miss and came here to personally fetch you back.” Even as she continued to urge Fu Qiuning to go to the main hall, she did not forget to flatter this Young Miss for being so favoured, sooo loved by the great Young Marquis.
Fu Qiuning ignored the flattery. She looked at her two personal maids, Aunt Yu and Yu Jie, who were both staring at her with huge eyes. Though these two maids were very pro-Jin Fengju, they knew enough about politics to understand that Jin Fengju’s presence here was not something that should happen.
After all, the Jinxiang Marquisate and the Zhenjiang Palace were great enemies. Moreover, Zhenjiang Palace had humiliated him by stuffing Fu Qiuning into the marquisate as the official wife of the Jinxiang Heir. Therefore, no matter how much he ‘favoured’ Fu Qiuning, he would never willingly lower his status by stepping into this place.
[1b] Just what game is that man playing now?
Anyway, let’s go to the hall and see what’s going on.
The ladies reached the hall and sure enough, there, Jin Fengju was sitting along with Feudal King Zhenjiang and her father. All three were laughing and chatting like old friends.
 Fu Qiuning felt the corners of her lip curl up, but she quickly lowered her head to salute the men that had controlled poor original Qiuning’s fate. As expected, they were all the same. Two-faced, cunning and capable of pretending warmth when there wasn’t any.
“May I know why is Lord Husband here-” the words were barely out of her mouth when the Elder Madam quickly pulled her up with a beaming smile, “What are you saying? Look just how much your husband dotes on you? After three days of not seeing you, he fears for your mother’s health and worries that you will be too saddened. So much, that he personally came over to fetch you.”
Through this thrilling, gushing explanation, Fu Qiuning found herself being ushered to Jin Fengju’s table and more or less pushed into a chair.
The Elder Madam beamed again, “The Young Marquis is truly filial. Please be at ease, while it is true that Concubine Yu’s health is poor, it mostly stemmed from her worry over her beloved daughter. Naturally, [3a] as a mother, she must wish that dear Qiuning could stay for a few more days.”
Jin Fengju smiled, “Of the hundreds of virtues, filial piety comes first. Since Qiuning’s mother is unwell, it is only right for me to come and accompany her for a visit. Unfortunately, with official business occupying my time… I’m sure the King and the Heir understand as well. Matters about the Duke of Yue occupying some very good agricultural land had been troubling the emperor these past few days. Even I dare not neglect my duties in the slightest. Now that the dust of those matters has settled somewhat, I was able to leave court early and return home. When I found that Qiuning had not yet returned, I hastened over here.”
Zhengjiang Heir smoothed the ends of his beard with a smile, “My, my, isn’t it so? Speaking of this matter, I cannot help but admire how Fengju solved the matter for the sage emperor, ah. Really, the ease and wisdom with which you handled the situation and returned the farmer’s land to them are impeccable. You even managed to preserve Duke of Jing’s  and his family’s safety, earning the emperor’s approval in the matter. The Duke of Yue is an old and valued minister of the emperor, if the matter had hurt the vitality of the family, I dare say the emperor would be saddened as well.”
“What wisdom are you speaking of? Father-in-law overly praised me. All I did was reconcile both sides and assist them in a compromise. It is also in line with the emperor’s wishes. I merely provided a way for the emperor to save the old minister’s face.” Jin Fengju smiled modestly. Then, he turned to Fu Qiuning, “Well, how is your mother’s illness? Do you need to stay another two days? If she has improved, how about returning to the marquisate first? The Old Madam has been missing you these past few days. What’s more, it will be New Year’s Eve soon, we can always come back then.”
Before Fu Qiuning could answer, Elder Madam Fu laughed, “It is clear how the couple dotes upon each other. They are so affectionate that they could not bear to be apart from each other. Concubine Yu’s illness has indeed improved, but surely it is fine to allow Qiuning to stay home for two more days and return when her mother is well? The Young Marquis is so [3a] impatient to take our Qiuning away.”
Fu Qiuning was quick to say, “I dare say it is not that the Young Marquis is impatient for my return. The Old Madam had been a little unwell when I came. I’m afraid that it is not good for me to stay for another two days. Even my Concubine Mother had urged me to return, saying that how could a married daughter be doing living at home for so long? I had intended to come and bid goodbye to Grandfather, Father and Mother. Now that Young Marquis happened to come by, I believe I should take this opportunity to say my farewells.”
King Zhenjiang hesitated for a moment. That was when Xiang Huan cheerfully piped up, “Please do not disdain this maid for being mouthy. To answer the Elder Madam, though we slaves strived our best, I fear we are a little lacking when it comes to preserving the Young Miss’ comfort. Perhaps this maid oversteps her bounds, but could it be that Young Miss’ discomfort is partly due to worry over the Old Madam’s condition? If that is so, then, surely it would be best for Young Miss to return. As the Young Marquis mentioned, they would be back for the New Year, which is only two months away.”
When the Zhenjiang Heir heard this, he nodded, “Well said, girl. Since that is the case, Qiuning, ah. Go and bid your farewells to your mother. Remember to comfort her properly. Once she has recovered, I shall see to having her move out of Songtao Pavilion and into her own residence. Surely having a peaceful environment would be more conducive to her recovery.”
“In this daughter’s opinion, it is best that Father not move Mother from her current residence,” Fu Qiuning said, [3b] allowing a little petulance to colour her voice. After her ridiculous performance in the garden, might as well follow through and give the impression of a cocky woman favoured by her hubby. “This daughter sees that Mother and Concubine Mother Luo get along very well in that place. Seeing as how Father rarely visits them anyway, it’s fine for the two sisters to keep each other company. Songtao Pavilion is a quiet place, very suitable for recuperation.”
The Zhenjiang Heir coughed. Annoyance filled him, knowing that his daughter was eluding at how unhappy she was at the way he had neglected Luo’shi and Yu’shi. However, seeing how valued she was by the Jinxiang Heir and considering his position within the imperial court, he merely smiled awkwardly and nodded, “Very well, it shall be as you say. Now, quickly say your farewells to your mother. If you leave now, you can reach the Marquisate before the sun sets.”
Fu Qiuning saluted and accepted his order. She was about to leave for Songtao Pavilion when Jin Fengju said, “If that is the case, I, too, shall visit my mother-in-law with Qiuning.”
Naturally, since he had put it that way, there was nothing the Feudal King or the Zhenjiang Heir could do to stop him. They could only accompany the couple to the courtyard gate and bid the couple farewell as the two made their way to Songtao Pavilion.
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Luo’shi and Yu’shi were chatting together when someone brought news that the Young Marquis was heading for their place. Shocked and amazed, they descended into panic. Both of them were worried that the Young Marquis had arrived to interrogate them about making Fu Qiuning stay back for three days. What would happen if he blames Qiuning! While they were fluttering about, another piece of news came. The Young Marquis was coming to their place together with Fu Qiuning!
The faces of these two women who had never seen the world paled. Unsure whether to hide or stand their ground, if they wanted to hide, where? Yu’shi panicked even more at the thought of meeting the Son-in-law that had only  recently started to favour Qiuning. What if seeing her lowly status or meeting the elders of this family provoked his anger again?! She grabbed onto Luo’shi’s sleeves tightly, her only friend and sister in this whole world, for comfort.
Luo’shi was helplessly stuck. She had no relations with Qiuning or her husband, therefore, she could theoretically run away and hide. However, [4b] Yu’shi was her friend. In the end, she chose to stay with her sister and together, they quaked in place as they waited for the arrival of the Son-in-law.
What happened was Jin Fengju and Fu Qiuning stepping into Songtao Pavilion, surrounded by several people. They had never seen what this Son-in-law looked like, but they did hear that he was very good-looking, enjoyed the favour of the emperor and was rumoured to be both a beauty and brilliant with words and brush. 
  So what if he was a beauty? So what if he was brilliant? He had alienated their Qiuning and they, of all people, should understand that looks were merely skin deep and that cleverness was reserved for scheming against others.
Today, they finally saw that part of the rumours were true. When Jin Fengju stepped into the room, the afternoon sun happened to slant just so and lit up his person. It was as though his presence had taken on an immortal-like quality and [5a] Yu’shi gripped Luo’shi’s sleeves harder. If beauty brought calamity, just what destructive force hid behind this beautiful face? As unfavoured concubines in a great palace estate, both she and Luo’shi knew the saying ‘Your Presence Brings Light to my Humble Dwelling’ well.
[5b] Yu’shi had already experienced this once, back when she was living as a village woman with her hair bound in cloth and was suddenly visited by the Zhenjiang Heir. He had appeared to take mother and daughter back to the palace. The feeling of being overwhelmed right now was the same as back then.
[5c] Feeling numbed and frightened, she accepted Jin Fengju’s generous words at face value. Words about an unwell Old Madam, a pair of twins missing Qiuning and a few others. As the words washed over her, Yu’shi’s eyes stared at the way the Young Marquis gripped Qiuning’s hand. Was this a good thing? A bad thing? [5d] Tears fell reflexively from her eyes at the emotions roiling inside her. She hastily said to Fu Qiuning, “If- if you have to go, you must quickly speak with your Father and Mother now and leave with the Young Marquis. I am fine here.”
Fu Qiuning smiled and said, “I have already bid Father and Elder Madam goodbye at the hall. I came especially to wish mother farewell. Mother, you may stay here and be at ease. I shall come and visit during the Chinese New Year.” After a few more words to placate Yu’shi, she bade her mother farewell once more with tears in her eyes.
That was when Jin Fengju took out a purse from his waist and said warmly, “Ever since Qiuning married in, our two families rarely meet. Qiuning only had two days to prepare for this visit and overlooked many things. As today is my first day visiting my elders, I am ashamed to say I brought nothing much on my person. However, it just so happen that I had a little bet with my brother-in-law and won this purse of gold leaves from him. I shall leave this purse for my two elders to spend as you like.
Although, it is unseemly to bring out such vulgar things. This junior confessed to being too busy with official business and is unclear as to what manner of gifts is appropriate. Mother also did not know that I have come to fetch Qiuning home today. Otherwise, I would have certainly not forgotten to prepare a generous gift.”
Even as he spoke, Yu’shi and Lup’shi had long since thanked him a few times. After all, they were women of a large family dealing with a man. Moreover, he was their illustrious Son-in-law, therefore they could not physically or verbally stop him in his speech. In the end, it was Fu Qiuning who stopped his increasingly ‘self-debasing’ speech. Even so, [3c] Fu Qiuning did not prevent him from handing the little purse of gold leaves to her mother. Instead, she smiled faintly and said vaguely, “Mother, Concubine Mother Luo, please accept this gift. If there is something our Lord Husband is not short of, it is money. Things like gold and silver are nothing to him. Mother should just take it and spend it as you like.”
“Nonsense! How could you say such a thing?!” Yu’shi was frightened by Fu Qiuning’s bold words. Jin Fengju’s response was to tie the purse to the bedpost and smiled winningly at Fu Qiuning. The two women had never seen such a warm and dazzling smile in their entire lives. As for this smile, how should they describe it? It certainly seemed to define the saying ‘A Great Love that is Conveyed Without Words’.
[Gumihou: Bleerrrggghhh… u-ugh, for this trauma, Gumi turned a meet cute scene into a psychological nightmare]
 Reduce the stupid
[a] Deleted: Standing in place in a daze…very shocked
Wow, are we shocked that the great JFJ is here to fetch you~ wow~
Just let her stand in place, curious why her co-conspirator is not following the script they had crafted. Also, reworded her ‘oh my, oh geez, are you sure~’ to ‘wut, for real?’ Also, be more ‘how irresponsible’ to his presence than ‘UwU~’
 As a modern person, she would be the first to be suspicious.
In place of ‘aww’ and ‘I’m confused’ put in a heavy dose of ‘suspicion’ and ‘scepticism’
 Raising IQ
[a] Allow Elder Madam Fu to give an extra subtle reason for FQN to visit. She’s the official wife of the Zhenjiang Heir after all, she must have some smarts
[b] Add detail to provide more mind games shenanigans.
[c] Create a more materialistic reason in Fu Qiuning’s mind why her mother should just take the money. Add sneer.
 This second part is merely a repeat of the previous. Make use of the space to add ‘worried thoughts about JFJ hating FQN again’ just to remind everyone and their dog how what an absolute wretch he was to FQN less than a year ago.
[a] Allow Luo’shi to show more of her friendship to Yu’shi. It also helps to show that their fear is not just ‘ridiculous fluttering’ as per .
 Prevention of Ass Polishing: If you think I’m going to actually type all the ass polishing bit, especially from a pair of panicking women, up yours.
Actually, I did not delete even a bit of the ass polishing, just reworded it so that they are mostly negatives.
[a] Yeah, the light was meant to bring a choir of angels singing, but Gumi dismissed them and replaced the background with a lightning bolt instead.
[b] Since Author provided such an idiom, why not let unworldly Yu’shi connect it with the other important person who had suddenly blasted back into her life?
[c] Treat JFJ’s generosity with suspicion and numbness. Instead of ‘omaigad, omaigad, so sincere, so lovely~ what a lovely man~’
Especially since it was all text and no dialogue.
[d] Deleted: She was so proud and happy that she cried, yeah. People are more complicated than that.
 Jing is typo? Not Typo? Surely there can’t be that many Dukes?
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