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Higher Level Wife – 101 – Clues

Chapter 101: Clues

Author: White Pear Flower

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

Translated by Gumihou

Proofread by Pill Bug

 

‘Fu Qiuning thought that since the Young Marquis could say this, he seemed honest and cute-’

Gumihou: *Cough! Blerrgh!*

Pill Bug: …Do you need assistance?

Gumihou: H-help…

Pill Bug: Here’s a prescription that might help

Gumihou: Nevermind, I’ll just inhale Tiger Balm infused steam

 

Chapter 101: Clues

Author: White Pear Flower

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

Translated by Gumihou

Proofread by Pill Bug

 

‘Fu Qiuning thought that since the Young Marquis could say this, he seemed honest and cute-’

Gumihou: *Cough! Blerrgh!*

Pill Bug: …Do you need assistance?

Gumihou: H-help…

Pill Bug: Here’s a prescription that might help

Gumihou: Nevermind, I’ll just inhale Tiger Balm infused steam

 

Yu’shi and Luo’shi remained in place, staring at the door until they [1] estimated that Jin Fengju and Fu Qiuning had left the palace. The encounter had felt like a dream. [1] A lost daughter’s visit, followed by a meeting with the handsome and [1] frighteningly important son-in-law. The ladies were still reeling from the impact of his visit. [1] Why would he visit the concubine mother of a shu-born wife? Was it a warning? If so, what for? Was it a show to Qiuning how much he cared for her? If so, was it good thing or a bad one? Did they make a good impression? Would he hate Qiuning after being reminded of her low birth status?

[1] The two women rarely left the inner court. Though Yu’shi had spent some time living in a village, those days were shrouded with fear, suffering and numbness. They had been brought up like hothouse flowers, had either survived or were overlooked in harem battles and had been through too much to dare imagine a future that was too promising for Fu Qiuning.

[1] Her life might be good now, but as they both knew, it could all change in a blink of an eye.

After a long while, a maid, Ju Shuang, said, “Madam Concubine, don’t just stare at the door, ah. Let’s have a quick look and see how many gold leaves there are.”

At that, and with the confidence of a confidante, she picked up the purse and hastily untied it. She let out a shriek and exclaimed, “Heavens, ah! There should be… about 20 gold taels here?” She poured out the contents of the bag. They found that, in addition to gold leaves, there were also golden peanuts too. The little beads were larger than soybeans. From the weight alone, all of them should be worth 20 gold taels in total.

Ju Shuang cried out again, “Heavens, ah! Here I thought the Young Miss is already very generous. After all, she is confined within the inner court with its own strict rules, but still dared to give us [2] 20 silver taels. But to think that the Young Master is even more extravagant, to randomly bet and win 20 gold taels…”

Luo’shi [2] flashed her a look, then gave Yu’shi a more cautious look. When the other woman did nothing but dab her eyes, she raised her voice and said, “You are too naïve. You really believe him? Why don’t you take a look at this purse? The delicate embroidery aside, it is clearly not new. It must be something the Young Marquis carried on his person often. In other words, his personal property. He must have seen our dire straits and decided to be generous with his money.” Then, she turned to Concubine Yu, “Sister, you have been so anxious all these years, but now that you have seen how well the Young Master treats the Young Miss, surely you may be at ease now?”

Concubine Yu dabbed her eyes again, “Should I be? What is money after all? So long as the Young Master treats the Young Miss well, even if I descend to the nine springs, I can still smile.”

Luo’shi’s nose felt suddenly felt sour. She shook her head and sobbed, “Why are you crying now? Finally, hope has arrived for you. Unlike me who doesn’t even have half a child, you at least have a daughter.”

Yu’shi hastily said, “I have survived all these years thanks to Elder Sister’s care. Otherwise, how could I appreciate today’s blessing? Do not worry. Qiuning is my daughter, and she is also your daughter. If she wishes to be filial, naturally, she will be filial to us both. Now that we have this money, our days need not be so hard. Isn’t this good? I’m sure our lives will only get better after this.”

 

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~

 

Enough about Yu’shi and Luo’shi wiping their eyes and their hopeful imaginations for the future. Let us move on to the moment when Fu Qiuning was in the middle of getting into the carriage, preparing to leave the palace.

Jin Fengju had arrived on horseback. Thus, when it was time to return, he handed the horse to Jin Ming and got into the carriage after Fu Qiuning. Naturally, Aunt Yu and Yu Jie could not get into the same carriage as their master and mistress and had to sit inside a different carriage [3] that was used to hold the gifts Fu Qiuning brought for her mother.

“Well? Has the matter been carried out?” As soon as the carriage began to move, Jin Fengju sat facing Fu Qiuning and could not wait to ask this question.

“And here I was wondering why Lord Husband is so anxious to have me back, to the point that he personally arrived to pick me up. So, it turns out that the Lord Husband is anxious for news,” Fu Qiuning’s smile was bright and professional. “Do not worry, you are right on time. Why do you think the maid so helpfully supported your suggestion to take me back? She was anxious to report to my father. In addition to the crucial news, I also let it slip that time is of the essence. She was so sure of her news and so anxious that she even dared to interrupt her master’s conversation to convey her message.”

[5] Which, thought Fu Qiuning, was totally stupid since she could still convey said information regardless of whether I was in the palace or not.

Jin Fengju raised his palms, smiled and said, “In other words, she is a wonderfully efficient and well-trained maid. I must say, the feudal king’s estate is very good at training their servants.”

[5] Fu Qiuning frowned. She thought: Well trained? Good? Is he being sarcastic?

The Young Marquis went on to say, “As for saying that I am anxious to have you back, you are wrong. Am I such a restless and impatient person? I’m only here because Feng’er and Jiao’er missed you so much that they could not sleep well these past two nights. The palace also sent a vague message about how your father is dissatisfied about the lack of care his daughter had received these past six years and wished to keep you there.”

He suddenly frowned and said, “Qiuning, have you displayed some rare talent for them to show this degree of care? That is, did you sing the Yue or Huangmei opera in front of them…”

[6] He trailed off as Fu Qiuning’s gaze became stony.

[6] He coughed, “That is, did you…”

[6] “I meant to die with the knowledge. It was never meant to be shown or heard. Ever.” Her gaze did not change as she continued, “You forced it out of me, remember that.”

[6] There was an awkward silence in the carriage and nothing was heard besides the rattling of the carriage wheels. Fu Qiuning’s gaze eventually went to the side as she looked out the window. “Not even my mother knows about the singing.”

[6] The implication that he had forced her remained hanging in the air.

[4] There was a cough and a forced cheerful, “Well, well, if that is the case. That message must be a test from the palace. To, to find out if we really care for you…”

[7] “…after all, it’s not like they could ever really care for me unless I have this rare talent that could potentially give them an edge and thus made me an important commodity?” [7a] Fu Qiuning kept her eyes on the window carriage as she recalled the moment when the so-called ‘loving husband’ had more or less laughed at her when she reminded him of his promise to protect her. Smugly telling her that he intended to use her and make her sing in the palace for some stupid talent show. “It is fine, I understand.”

[7b] She forced a smile and said lightly, “Regardless of the reason, this humble woman is honoured to be personally picked up by the Young Marquis.”

[4] “…I shall admit it, I am anxious. Regardless of the reason, it is natural for me to be anxious. After all, your father and I are like fire and water in this life. There is no possibility of repairing this relationship, otherwise, I would have personally sent you to their place. Right now, I have shorted myself a little, but it is for the sake of a bigger plan. Therefore, it doesn’t matter…” Jin Fengju [8] began his explanation earnestly enough, but then caught himself. Suddenly, he ground his teeth and narrowed his eyes at her and said, “Truly? You truly felt honoured? Then, why are you always so cold to me?”

[4] “Surely Lord Husband’s statement wrongs this humble woman?” [9] Fu Qiuning worked hard to keep the sneer off her face. First, he randomly accused her of something she would never do. Then, he took offence at her being cold to him after he had left her alone for over six years. Like, what the hell, dude?

[9] Instead, she stared at a spot next to his ear. She just could not look into those pleading eyes and not laugh herself sick at the irony, and said in an even tone, “When has this humble woman ever not respected and honoured Lord Husband at every visit to Night Breeze Pavilion? Perhaps, Lord Husband could point out where this humble woman had misstepped?”

“Yes, you have always been very respectful and honourable, it’s just… it’s not what I wish for…” Jin Fengju muttered with a bitter smile. Then, he shook his head and said, “It’s fine, it’s fine, back then, I was the one who made the vow. Unless you yourself change your mind, I will never break my promise. You have my word.”

[10] So says the man who in the same breath included a convenient condition of ‘unless you yourself change your mind’. [10a] Fu Qiuning was under no illusion that this man would harass and pressure her indirectly to make her give in. Thus far, he was doing all this because he wanted to appear like a ‘good person’. This was the same man who was willing to throw a loyal secondary wife under the bus to gloss over the fact that he could have easily avoided the situation if he had just acquiesced to her only request to him.

[10a] Instead, he had tried to hold Aunt Yu’s matter over her head and it ended up backfiring to the point that Prince Lie was involved, Prince Rong doubting his loyalty, Elder Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying possibly hating her even more. Perhaps it would even create a rift between Third Brother Zhang and Aunt Yu if she ever finds out the man she loved had betrayed her mistress like this.

[10b] However, regardless of how two-faced and disgusting this man was, she could only swallow her frustration and maintain a dignified position. She had to hedge her bets and retain her virginity for as long as she could. Feeling a lot like one of those palace schemers, she decided to change the topic and said, “Just now, why did you give my mother the gold leaves? I’m sure that’s the purse that Lord Husband often uses. Thus, it cannot have been from a bet, right?”

[10b] There, this would give him an opportunity to change the subject, boast about his generosity and make him feel big about himself.

[4] Indeed, Jin Fengju eagerly laughed and said, “I did win the gold leaves from a bet, but not the gold peanuts. No matter, that was merely some emergency money I keep on my person. I generally use this one,” he pulled another delicately embroidered purse out. He laughed again and said, “After all, who on earth would spend gold leaves or gold peanuts in the streets? Still, you best remember that you owe me a purse now. Make a bigger one. Perhaps, the next time we visit them, I could fill even more money as a filial offering for your mother.

Really, here I thought they would at least put up an appearance for your visit. To think that they would have no such scruples and left your mother still in that shabby state. If I were you, I’d hate them to death and would never ever be their spy. To be so stingy, and yet still despicable enough to try to coax you into assisting them.”

[10c] You mean, unlike you who filled my courtyard with riches ‘for show’? You are right, they are stingier than you. However, who is more despicable is still up for debate. You and that hated King Zhenjiang are basically the same type of people in the end.

 

Instead of saying all that, she smiled and said, “There is no need to remind me. Do not worry, I only have you to depend on in this lifetime, isn’t that right?”

Jin Fengju laughed again, [4] and it sounded rather loud in the carriage. He shook his head and said, “I don’t mean that. Clearly, you have misconstrued my gentleman’s intention with the heart of a villain, moreover-”

There was a sudden jolt and Fu Qiuning felt her bottom float over the seats. The next thing she knew, she had fallen into a warm embrace. [11] Crap, what crackhead author wrote this scene? Reluctantly, Fu Qiuning looked up and saw Jin Fengju’s surprised eyes looking down at her.

[11a] F*ck, how should I react?

[11b] Before she could make a decision, the carriage lurched again, sending her head first into a pile of expensive cloth. F*ck, his clothes could probably feed us for a year!

When she managed to get up again, the surprised look in Jin Fengju’s eyes had been replaced by mirth. [12] Fu Qiuning knew this scene. It was the obligatory ‘Aiya!’ scene where the MC fell into the arms of the ML for romantic advancement reasons. She had looked forward to these scenes in the past and had squealed along with fellow fans, dreaming about being the MC falling into the arms of a handsome ML. Unfortunately, this handsome ML was a scum of the highest degree, and worse, did not seem to know it even as he condemned others for acting the same way. If she had a choice…

[12] Unfortunately, she had no choice. For better or worse, she was stuck. Even if she chose to abandon the twins and her maids, where would she go? In the past, she could probably skate by with a little money and work to supplement her life as a maid in a small house, but now? Considering how this seemingly ‘kind and affectionate’ Lord Husband of hers had turned his back on his own mother and the secondary wife that had worked so hard to serve him…

[12] No, better to maintain the status quo as long as possible.

[12a] Anger and frustration caused her cheeks to flush and she turned away to shout, “What happened? Why is the carriage being jolted so badly? Are we travelling on mountain roads?”

“Madam, there seem to be several large rocks on the road. The carriage nearly overturned. Steward Jin is checking the situation with someone,” the carriage driver explained quickly.

Jin Fengju chuckled gently. He helped Qiuning back to her seat and, after patting and touching [12b] her a little too long, he said in a gentle tone, “Are you alright? Did you twist your foot?”

“No,” Fu Qiuning [12c] did her best to stay as still as she could, not wanting to make any other moves that could be misconstrued as her throwing herself at him. After all, who knew whether this person would interpret this as ‘you yourself change your mind’? There were just too many loopholes in this so-called gentleman’s promise.

Therefore, even though she was tempted to spit up blood, she merely said, “Why would there be rocks in the middle of a city road? You should go and have a look too. It is one thing if it’s just a childish prank, but quite another if it is something else.”

[4] Thankfully, Jin Fengju nodded and left the carriage. Fu Qiuning leaned back and closed her eyes. She could hear Jin Ming’s voice coming through intermittently. Words such as ‘bloodstains’ and ‘not easy to discover’ were heard. Well, it made sense for Jin Ming to report to his master.

Later, Jin Fengju lifted the carriage curtain and said, “Qiuning, you should return to the marquisate with Aunt Yu and Yu Jie first. When you’re back, just say that I have encountered something on the way and left first. There is no need to inform them about this.” Then, he was gone with the sound of fading hoof beats.

[13] A twinge of worry disturbed her heart as she pondered over the bits she had overheard from Jin Ming’s report. [13a] Then again, from the inexplicable bump and near-kiss scene, this was most likely some love-heavy novel with a thin plot, so there was probably no need for her to worry about outside influences like war or famine. Unless it was written by someone who is into great tragedy…

[13a] Whatever, all that had nothing to do with her. The great and clever Young Marquis could do his thing while she returned to the inner court to fend off other women from her territory and grow mould. Please let her grow mould, she really didn’t want to come into the light.

After lowering the curtain, she leaned back helplessly and said to the driver, “Go.”

The carriage rumbled forward and Fu Qiuning eventually fell asleep in her corner, to the sound of the carriage wheels and her maids’ whisperings. She sighed, [13b] these ancient people really have nothing to do but gossip.

 

[Gumihou: This chapter was the summary of all things Gumi hate about typical Chinese tropey love drama. In anger, Gumi added over 800 words of spite]

 

[1] The original scene was barely 30 Chinese characters long. Gumi added 160 words to it. 160 words of overthinking, fear and doubt.

[2] 20 silver taels… isn’t this a secret? Why is no one addressing this?

[3] Carriage Logistics

[4] Teasing banter – less cute and teasing, more ‘cutting’

All information retained, just more ‘Hmm, I see’ and less ‘tee hee’

[5] Replace cute thoughts with ‘why are the people here so stupid’ and ‘do they think I am stupid too’?

[6] There is a snort of derision here followed by a quick denial. FQN showing complete loyalty to JFJ. Since the loyalty is undeserved, let’s replace it with a stare and some very, very painful comparison.

Deleted: Fu Qiuning snorted, “I was too busy trying not to chew my lips bloody as they spouted their nonsense to each other. Why should I sing for them when I did not even sing for my mother? I know just how unique those songs are. If you had not overheard me, don’t think you’ll ever get to hear it either.”

It’s supposed to be a cute: Humph, don’t think I’ll listen to you, tsun-tsun moment, but Gumi made it awkward.

[7] It was originally JFJ’s words, a cheerful ‘I knew it!’ moment, but made it extra awkward.

[a] JFJ saying that FQN’s family saw her as a commodity slaps me as hypocritical since he also wanted to exploit her talents too. Add this reference.

[b] Added a false smile

[8] FQN’s ‘ahahaha’ attitude fostered a ‘then why are you so cold to me!?’ reaction from JFJ. I set up a precedent where even the most narcissistic asshat would be wary to act like this.

So, retain the reaction but weakened it to ‘buut whyyy’ whine.

[9] Re [8], originally, FQN reacted in a panic here, after answering him in a ‘cheerful’ manner about being honoured instead of ‘forced cheer’.

Presumably, this is to make FQN frantic so that JFJ could act magnanimous.

Haha. Nope.

Retain the dialogue, but readjusted FQN’s mindset to ‘mildly disgusted’ rather than ‘oh noes oh noes’

[10] Deleted: At this, Fu Qiuning was relieved. Thinking that: For a Young Marquis to say such a thing, it is rather sweet and cute. The fleeting thought made her heart tremble just the slightest and she dare not think of the matter anymore and quickly change the subject.

Gumihou: …Sis, no. Why? He had already reneged on one promise via a loophole. Only a period correct woman with a broken head would believe it. Be the modern woman you are.

Also, sweet? Cute?

Gag

[a] Gumi’s revenge is the reminder of all the shady things you have done.

[b] Resignation despite [10a] because he’s still the best of a despicable lot.

[c] Continue with critical thoughts, because why not?

[11] Gumi ruining a ‘romantic’ scene

[a] F*ck you

[b] Deleted: she rapidly turned a pretty pink and tried to scramble out of his embrace but the carriage lurched again and it looked like she was throwing herself into his arms

Yeah, only if this is on his POV. However, since it is from a modern lady who had actually nearly starved to death, no deal.

[12] Breaking the fourth wall. The author broke it later, but Gumi decided to break it now for future plot and character development related reasons.

[a] Retain the blush, but change it from ‘shame and annoyance’ to ‘anger and frustration’

[b] Add creep factor

[c] Add creep factor, change FQN’s thoughts from ‘oh noes, I fed him tofu by literally throwing myself at him’ to ‘no sudden moves in case the creep decides that I had just offered myself to him’

[13] More ‘oh noes oh noes’ moment as AR Qiuning’s heart rode away with JFJ. Anyway, let’s stick with a more practical Qiuning.

[a] Deleted: “Who knows what happened? Could there be a life or death situation at court?” Fu Qiuning looked through the curtain at the Jin Fengju and Jin Ming disappearing into the cold wind. Curious and a little nervous, she suddenly laughed and thought: Fu Qiuning, you’re only a woman. The world you’ve travelled into is a large house conflict written by a woman and not a major historical plot by a man, even if there is a life and death situation at court, that is all on Jin Fengju and nothing to do with you. At best, he will probably return and say a few words to you, so why worry?

Sis, I’m suddenly ashamed to be the same sex as you. Anyway, this is the [12] situation.

Will salvage it the best I can.

[b] Instead of smiling peacefully, sighed irritably at the actions of brainwashed and misogynistic people around her.

 

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. KikyoHibari

    Sorry. I meant, 6 years

  2. KikyoHibari

    Thank you so much for keeping things consistent on FQN being a modern women. And thank you for correcting the rose tinted glasses into glasses that sees everything.

    It’s likely that the author thought with FQN being isolated from other people, especially grown men, and her daily activities being housework, FQN might’ve been dumbed down, as in her IQ didn’t get much of a workout these past 6 months, other than math. Which would’ve been the author’s excuse as to why her version of FQN is so responsive to JFJ and wearing rose tinted glasses.

    Thank you for giving this reality hardened, modern women of FQN.

    1. Gumihou

      Nah, I think author just fell into the trap of lazy writing. That’s why I don’t watch a lot of Chinese dramas anymore.

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