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Higher Level Wife – 111 – Shocking News

Chapter 111: Shocking News

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou

Gumihou: … …

Fu Qiuning: … hand over the talismans

Guminou: Yes, ma’am


After a fairly [1a] restless night of planning, Fu Qiuning finally managed to fall asleep a little after midnight. Because of this, she got up a little later than usual the next day. Fu Qiuning immediately got busy ordering Yu Jie and Aunt Yu to help her and the twins get ready. This reunion meeting would require a lot of formal clothing, makeup and a fancy hairdo. Without even stopping for breakfast, they hurried out to Health & Longevity Court.

As soon as they passed the door, they found many maids and servants milling about in the courtyard. A lot of them were new faces and Fu Qiuning’s heart sank a little as she thought: [1b] Goodness, even after all that hurrying, we’re still late in the end.

She made her way up the steps and saw a lesser maid push open the curtain to very loudly announce, “Second Madam Ning has arrived.”

Fu Qiuning [1d] stepped through the curtained door and came face to face with an entire room of people. Half she could not recognise, and the rest she did not know well. For some reason, without anyone prompting, Jiang Wanying suddenly appeared to pull her in front of some older married women. [2] With a beaming smile, she said, “I believe that Elder Sister might not recognise everyone and not everyone knows Elder Sister.”

[2] She turned to the group of women and continued, “And no wonder, after all, everyone knows that our Lord Husband married quite a few new people in back then. Not everyone here knows that I am just a secondary wife, not the official wife at all. Today, I am here to introduce the true official wife. The people in the marquisate have taken to calling her Second Madam Ning.”

[2a] This Jiang Wanying said a lot of things, but she neglected to mention the marquisate’s official excuse of ‘long illness and weak body’. After all, Jiang Wanying privately sneered: Outsiders might not know, but would the people of the marquisate not know? You were sent in specially to slap Lord Husband’s face. If not for this kind of ridiculous fortune, would you ever have the opportunity to stand in this place?

Fu Qiuning knew that Jiang Wanying would never come up with any good words for her. [b] Who could, when the love of your life suddenly decided to turn his attention on another woman, especially one whom she had already dismissed as a rival in the past? She thought: You poor thing, here you are trying to score points against me with something I don’t even care about. I’m sure you wish you could bite me to death, but you have no choice but to acknowledge that my social standing is higher than yours just because a fickle man decided to pit his women against each other like fighting cocks. You even have to call that hated woman ‘Elder Sister’…

[2d] As expected, when Jiang Wanying saw [1e] the pitying smile on Fu Qiuning’s face, hatred brewed even stronger in her heart. Still, she managed to swallow her anger and said, “Elder Sister, this is Sister-in-law Liu, the di-born granddaughter of Duke of Feng.”

She deliberately stressed the “di-born granddaughter’ part, then pointed to a boy and a girl beside Liu’shi and said: “These two children are Zhenyun and Xiufeng, they happen to be older than Feng’er and Jiao’er by two years.”

Fu Qiuning quickly greeted Liu’shi and her servants. Jiang Wanying then introduced He’shi, Jin Pengzhang’s concubine. He also had a daughter called Jin Xiuli and another concubine called Ming Yan. This Ming Yan was a former courtesan from the Qingguan brothel. Jin Pengzhan was so taken with her that he bought out her contract. After marrying in, she lived peacefully within the marquisate and quietly gave birth to a son, Jin Zhenhe, and was then raised to the status of a concubine. Otherwise, with her dubious background, she could only be a favoured bedmate at best.

On and on it went. Everyone was curious about the abandoned wife Fu’shi who had managed to transform her status from its former salted fish-like existence to a lively koi. This group of curious people eventually edged Jiang Wanying aside to personally question her instead. Fu Qiuning felt as though her face had turned stiff from [3] smiling through all the double meanings and hidden jabs. Pity and ridicule for these pretty and vicious women battling for space in her heart. She thought: As women, we should not trouble our fellow women. However, I doubt you will leave me alone if I don’t do anything to you. Nevertheless, with status and favour on my side, I can afford to be generous. I shall only defend and retaliate, but not sabotage or attack you. After all, you were brought up in a system that ruined your minds.

After spending half a day chatting, Old Madam Jin raised her voice to say, “Alright, you have already spent a lot of time standing around chatting. Do you not know what it means to be tired? Come, sit down, sit down. Luo Cui, take Feng’er and Jiao’er to see their uncle and grandfather. They should be waiting outside, be sure to have them come back for dinner.” She turned to Madam Jiang, “Qiuning arrived a little late, so there’s no need to meet with her father-in-law today. It should be fine to wait until Fengju has returned to bring her over.”

Madam Jiang agreed, [4] after all, what else could she do? Her son had already openly gone against her when she schemed against that Fu’shi. He had even reprimanded her in private and explicitly told her to ‘not make trouble if she could not be fair’ to that woman. As for her husband, there would be no assistance from that side, since, as Fengju had reminded her how, even back then, he had expressed disapproval of how Fengju had treated the children. Given her husband’s stance on how ‘heroes should be judged by merit and not background’ and how much he favoured scholars, he would most likely look upon Fu Qiuning favourably for having brought up two scholarly and intelligent children on limited resources.

[4] She winced as she was once more reminded of just how limited those resources were. To be reduced to selling personally handcrafted goods in the market to survive while living inside a prosperous marquisate. How embarrassing would it be if that were to leak out? Moreover, those two children… Madam Jiang had a sudden desire to return home and chant more sutras to cleanse her soul…

Meanwhile, Luo Cui had escorted Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao to the study located in the outer court. Qiuning was anxious, of course. [5] It would be good if their grandfather liked them, especially if Jin Fengju somehow managed to get himself killed off in a mission. The children’s future would be assured if their grandfather were to like them. Even their grandmother, Madam Jiang would be helpless to do anything if the Marquis himself decided to look favourably upon the twins who resembled Jin Fengju most in looks.

Suddenly, Old Madam Jin laughed and said, “Why are you so anxious? They are with their grandfather. Their meeting would be three-tenths intimate since they are blood-related. Moreover, those two are so well behaved, it would be impossible for a grandfather who loves scholars to dislike them. Did you not see me bid Luo Cui to follow along and make sure the children will return to us for their meal? I fear if I did not do that, they would be kept back by their grandfather.”

Fu Qiuning thought: Isn’t it because you fear they would be disliked that you sent Luo Cui with them? [5] Moreover, so what if they are related? Am I not related to my grandfather, the Feudal King Zhenjiang? And yet, what happened 6 years ago? I was pushed into your marquisate and ignored for over 6 years, and you expect me to forget all of this in less than a year?

[5] She had no idea whether the Old Madam had conveniently forgotten this crucial information or was just tactless. She must have been a shrewd one to reign supreme as the Old Madam of a marquisate, so it could not be that she had forgotten this fact. It must be a hint for Fu Qiuning to not exercise her brain too much. Therefore, she smiled her best business smile and said, “What is Old Ancestor saying? Who’s worried? I am just looking to see if the snow has stopped.”

“Look at you! What a stubborn mouth you have, heheh, just look at those dark circles under your eyes, you must have been worried sick and not able to sleep last night,” Old Madam Jin cackled. “Let me assure you, you are just being overly worried. What is there to worry about? We are all a family.” She beamed at Fu Qiuning before looking in the same direction and asking loudly, “Has the snow stopped falling yet?”

Immediately, some maids replied, “It hasn’t stopped yet, it’s heavier than it was in the morning.”

Old Madam Jin sighed and shook her head, “It snowed when Fengju left a few days ago, and now it’s snowing again. Sigh, although it’s said that falling snow heralds a prosperous year, if it goes on like this, the weather will be a little too cold. I don’t know how Fengju is doing now. He is surrounded by nothing but men. Who is there to properly tend to his needs, ah?”

[5] Fu Qiuning: …Madam, he is going on a mission and you are worried about his needs? What? You want a woman to warm his bed there too?

Jiang Wanying laughed, “Old Ancestor, do not worry, Lord Husband is headed to Jiangnan where the four seasons are warm as spring. He should be more comfortable than us.”

That was when Huo’shi snorted and said, “Jiangnan is as warm as spring? What nonsense is this? Just ask around. Although the winter there is not as cold as here, the winters of Jiangnan are wet and cold. I had already begged Lord Husband to bring me with him to take care of his needs, but he refused. To think that he had not even sent a letter to us, worrying us all to death.”

Jiang Wanying flashed a glare and sneered, “Is that place as dreary as you imagined? You’re making the Old Ancestor worry over nothing.”

Huo’shi reflexively glanced over at Old Madam. When she saw the anxious expression on the old lady’s face, she hastily lowered her head and dared not speak again.

Fu Qiuning allowed their conversation to flow over her head. Right then, aside from Jin Pengzhan’s official wife and two concubines, the rest were all silent. Obviously, they were all worried about Jin Fengju, [3] the pride of their marquisate and the man they all pinned their hopes and future upon. What would become of them if something were to happen to him?

A little while later, Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao returned. After answering a few questions from Old Madam Jin, they retreated to stand quietly behind Qiuning, the very picture of well-behaved and understanding children.

With the children and Qiuning standing far away and talking quietly to each other, Old Madam whispered to Luo Cui, “How was it? What did the Old Master have to say after seeing the twins?”

Luo Cui hastily replied with a giggle and said, “The Old Master was very shocked. He had no idea what had happened at the marquisate this past year, but he did hear about the two children that the Young Marquis had begotten during a moment of confusion. After realising how much they had grown and how sensible they are, he was naturally very happy to acknowledge them.

He questioned the children over some phrases from a book and both Young Master and Young Miss answered very well. This pleased the Old Master very much. He even wanted to keep them and have them stay for a meal. It is only after this maid had passed on Old Madam’s orders that he finally relented. He gifted the children a good jade pendant each. Their uncle also rewarded them with a few things.”

Old Madam Jin nodded, with a little chuckle of relief said, “Did I not say that he would like them? Looks like I was right…”

Luo Cui interrupted with a giggle, “Naturally, who would not like Young Master or Young Miss after meeting them? They are such lovely children.”

The reunion banquet was meant to last until the evening dinner, after which everyone happily dispersed.

After the banquet, nothing of note happened. Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao mentioned that things were very uneventful at school, that even the precocious Jin Zhenyi was very restrained and no longer making trouble for them as often. Qiuning estimated that everyone was probably wary now with the return of the Old Marquis and dared not cause trouble.

Therefore, she could not help but feel that the [1f] the Old Marquis’ presence was much more useful than his heir’s.

In the blink of an eye, they entered the final month of the Lunar Calendar. After Laba, also known as the 8th day, the weather continued to become colder and colder. Snow was no longer falling, but the north wind was very unforgiving. Since the weather was poor, the school decided to begin the annual holiday.

The children were naturally happy to have a break from their studies, especially when they saw their new clothes. The clothes were exquisitely made, but more importantly, very warm and comfortable. It was so warm and lovely that they could not bear to put the clothes away.

Since the children did not have to attend school, Qiuning sent Jin Zhuan and Lu Hua home to their very happy parents, who were made even happier with gifts of satin, toys and a few taels of silver to celebrate the New Year. The parents were so grateful that they brought their children over to give thanks to Qiuning in person. Qiuning did not receive them lightly either, welcoming the families into her house and even saying a few words of praise for Jin Zhuan and Lu Hua before sending them on their way.

According to the customs of the north, Chinese New Year was celebrated on the 23rd of the First Lunar Month. The general atmosphere within the Capital was largely cheerful. However, inside the Jinxiang Marquisate, the air was a little heavy. It had been weeks since Jin Fengju left for Jiangnan, but he had never written to them, and they received no news from the palace either.


At first, everyone assuaged each other about how the days were shorter and that he must have been inundated with work, therefore, he would not even have time to even think about his family. However, after not receiving even a single letter for a whole month, everyone knew that something must have happened. However, no one dared to be the first to voice it out loud.

After all, Old Madam and Madam Jiang were already sick with worry, who would dare to speak their thoughts out loud? Are you joking? Do you want to be accused of murdering the two seniors?

If they wag their tongues carelessly and bore the sin of plotting to kill their masters, they could be sentenced to death. It was just not worth it.

Thus, New Year passed under a cloud. However, on the 24th of the Lunar Month, the court released some great news. The report was short. It said that Jin Fengju’s mission to Yangzhou this time nearly washed out the Yangzhou administration with blood. From First Rank Governer to lesser Seventh Rank County Magistrates, many were taken off the streets. Word had it that Jin Fengju had personally executed nine officials himself and had escorted twenty-three to the Capital.

What was more, the rumour was that the real Governor of Yangzhou had been assassinated a mere few months after his appointment and was replaced by a cunning and sinister imposter with a similar appearance. This same person nearly took the life of the Imperial Envoy when they arrived to confront him on his wrongdoing.

Such news was all kept secret until all the prisoners were escorted to the Capital. That morning, during the morning court session, the emperor grimly read out the evidence and crimes against these corrupt officials. Aside from two relatively less corrupt officials who were exiled, the rest were all sentenced to death.

This was really a heaven-flipping, earth-churning major event! Needless to say, the entire court was shaken. Even Prince Lie and Prince Hong could not help but felt as though their hearts and guts were spilling out from the shock. Within this batch of executed officials were their hidden henchmen, placed there to help enrich their own camps. There were even some officials close to Prince Rong’s faction rounded up in the purge. They had not expected Jin Fengju to be so ruthless, to not even spare his own faction’s people.

There was certainly plenty of shock and fear to spread around. Even so, there were quite a lot of people with lifted spirits. After all, just what kind of place was Jiangnan? It was the world’s fattiest piece of meat. If they could not insert their own people in, how could they be willing to sit and watch as white, flower-like silver pieces flowed into their opponents’ pockets? This money could be used to buy people’s hearts. Therefore, even Prince Rong also could not help but make a few small arrangements for himself. However, these were all things that happened later and need not be mentioned for now.


Gumihou: Remember Gumihou’s analysis of the mission back in chapter 107? Well, things happened pretty much how I had predicted it. So, nyeh.


[1] Reword some terms for +Dignity:

[a] ‘tossing and turning’ < +Dignity < ‘restless night of planning’

[b] ‘this is bad’< + Dignity < ‘Goodness me’

[c] ‘hurried up’, ‘only saw’ < +Dignity < ‘went up’, ’saw’

[d] *Sigh* Delete all evidence of Fu Qiuning ‘hurrying’ because it is not elegant

[e] ‘Bright smile’ < +Dignity < pitying smile’

[f] ‘her heart could not help but feel comfortable’ < +Dignity < ‘the Old Marquis was more useful’

[2] Adjusted Jiang Wanying’s dialogue to show hidden knives

[a] Mitigate Jiang Wanying’s hate with real reasons rather than ‘she evil’. Because, if she’s not evil, JFJ is even more of an asshat. The content is the same, but we see more of JWY’s POV and less of ‘she a petty bitch’

[b] Have FQN pity JWY instead of disdaining her

[c] Delete most of:  She only felt that within Jiang Wanying’s performance, in her heart, she would hate that she could not bite her to death, wanting to cast her worthless person aside. Yet, she just happened to have the qualifications to fight with her. She even had to wear a smile on her face and call her ‘Elder Sister’, just how painful was that?

Switch from ‘disdain’ to ‘true sympathy’

[d] Fuel JWY’s hate with FQN’s sympathy instead of her disdain as per [1e]

[3] Overtly showcase the disdain in her heart over these women’s attitude.

…you want to harm me at every turn instead… Since you are so vicious, and I am not a saintess, then I can only return your moves as I see them. Alas, in a phrase, the feudal system kills people.

Replace this cliche thought with something more down to earth

[4] Show the fractured world that is period drama China. A ‘mother’ is helpless in the face of her husband, her son and her mother-in-law.

The original was just ‘Madam Jiang agreed’, Gumi somehow expanded that to 2 paragraphs of deep thoughts.

[5] Expand Fu Qiuning’s worries beyond “will father-in-law like the kiddies~~” and “will father-in-law hate the kiddies~~


Pill Bug TL Notes:

Pill Bug: Maybe the family tree needs updating again…

Gumihou: Okay, it’s… in the plans has a new Membership System!!

Please click on the table below to check it out~

Naturally, you can still support us through

Although… it’s, um, you only get half the benefits… but, the decision is in your hands!

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