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Higher Level Wife – 116 – Imperial Favour

Chapter 116: Imperial Favour

Author: White Pear Flower

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

Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou

Gumihou: It’s here, the ultimate pushing romance scene. ‘Feverish in bed’

 

Prince Rong laughed, “Brother-in-law is young and doing well at the regional level. Therefore, the emperor will not let go of a talented person like you. If you have not been holding two positions all this while, he would have sent you to exile long ago.”

Jin Fengju replied with a bitter smile, “If I had to handle more incidents like the one at Yangzhou, what’s the difference between that and an exile? In fact, I’d say having to lick blood off a blade while serving as an official is even worse than exile.”

The two exchanged a few more words before bidding their farewells and returning to their homes.

 

Back at the marquisate, he headed straight for Health & Longevity Court to find that everyone was there, except for the obviously missing Fu Qiuning. Old Madam Jin was very happy to see him, calling him over to sit with her. She laughed and said, “What are you doing back here at this time? Here I thought the emperor would drop a good amount of work on you the moment you return. You are unexpectedly free at this time?”

Jin Fengju laughed and said, “After my mission at Yangzhou and nearly losing my life there, how could the Old Emperor bear to send me on errands right after I recovered? Even if he wishes to send me on errands, he should still bestow a little something before he could open his mouth, ah.”

Old Madam Jin slapped him lightly on the head and scolded him with a smile, “You are getting more and more mischievous. To dare slander the emperor behind his back, if word gets out, won’t you lose your Sword of State to others?”

“There are only you and I, ancestor and grandson here, who will spread the word? Old Ancestor need not be overly cautious,” Jin Fengju said with a smile. Then, he [1a] made a show of looking around and touched his chin, “Did Qiuning not come to pay respects to Old Ancestor today? Why do I not see here? I fear she is becoming more and more ignorant.”

Old Madam Jin snorted, “Are you truly blaming her for being ignorant? You are obviously blaming her for not being here for you to feast your eyes on the moment you arrive. Seeing how she dislikes trading barbs with these people, I allowed her to abstain from giving her greetings to me. Since you’re thinking of her, I shall have Luo Cui go fetch her.”

Jin Fengju stood up and said, “That’s not necessary, I shall go there myself…”

Old Madam Jin tugged him back down with a laugh, “The more you wish to go, the more I refuse permission. Now that you have a [2] wife, have you not only forgotten your mother, but your grandmother as well?” With that, she swiftly turned Luo Cui to say, “Go to Night Breeze Pavilion and fetch Ning girl over. Say that the Young Marquis is waiting for her here.”

Jin Fengju laughed and said, “If Grandmother calls for her, would she dare not come? Why even mention my name?”

At this, Old Madam Jin also laughed and said, “If I do not mention you, how would she know that you are yearning to see her? That a day is like three autumns of separation?” She shifted closer to her grandson and whispered, “Fengju, ah. When do you plan to have Qiuning move in? Night Breeze Pavilion is too remote, do you plan to travel through that garden each time you wish to see her? That’s at least a few li [6] away. Could it still be considered home? It’s closer to the racing course from here.”

Jin Fengju replied helplessly, “I have already spoken to her many times, yet she insisted on remaining there. What can I do?”

Old Madam Jin snorted, “Aren’t you supposed to be the clever one? Have you no ideas at all? If Qiuning refuses, just think of a way to make her move. Women are timid by nature. She has lived there for many years and is used to the place as she believes it is safe. If an unexpected problem crops up and disturbs her peace, would she still be so stubborn?”

Jin Fengju’s heart skipped a beat. He looked at his grandmother who was smirking back with a fox-like smile. His own mouth curved up and he could not help but laugh and nod, “Indeed, this grandson has received your wisdom. Old Ancestor’s eyes and heart are the sharpest and most agile, this grandson fears he could not keep up even upon a racing horse.”

He was piling on more flattery when Luo Cui arrived with Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao. However, even when he squinted his eyes, he could not see Fu Qiuning. Curious, he grabbed the children’s hands and asked, “Where is your mother? Why isn’t she here?”

Jin Changfeng lowered his head slightly and said, “Replying to Father, Mother caught a cold yesterday and is still in bed. She could not come and bade this son and daughter deliver her greetings to Old Ancestor, Grandmother and Father. She says that she will personally convey her greetings once she is well again.” The nine-year-old child relayed each word calmly and clearly. He was so mature that it was like looking at a little adult.

“What? Your mother is sick?” Jin Fengju suddenly stood up. He anxiously asked, “Has a physician seen her?” Then, he shook his head to himself and said, “No, why would she ask to see a physician? That person fears troubling people the most. No, I must go and have a look. Old Ancestor, with your permission…”

The Old Madam was also shocked to hear that Qiuning was sick. She said, “Quickly go and take look now. Though her health is fairly good, and I have never heard her complain about being sick, to think that she has caught a cold now… [1b] well, it might not be a bad thing. Have her take a couple of doses of medicine to expel the heat and toxins from her body when you see her.”

Jin Fengju nodded [1b] slowly, the panic in his mind receding as he caught Old Madam Jin’s meaning. He smiled inexplicably and was about to leave when Jin Ming suddenly barged in, stammering, “Master… Master, come quickly. The decree bearing Eunuch has arrived and he… he brought a lot of things…”

Seeing his usually steady and quick-witted servant stammering like that, Jin Fengju’s heart stuttered. He thought: Jin Ming has been with me for a long time and had seen all sorts of rewards bestowed on me by the emperor. What manner of ‘things’ had arrived to cause Jin Ming to panic this way?

With a decree waiting to be heard, Jin Fengju dared not ignore it to run to Qiuning. After all, it was only a cold, not some life or death matter. Thus, Jin Fengju, his mother, Old Madam Jin and the rest of the people quickly went to the front courtyard where an incense altar had been set up. Old Marquis Jin Yu, and his brother, Second Old Master Jin Shi, both happened to be at home. Jin Pengzhan and Jin Luanfeng were also present. Thus, within the spacious and neat courtyard, a sea of black heads could be seen as they all kowtowed to the ground before the decree-bearing eunuch.

 

“Felicitations to Marquis and Young Marquis.” The eunuch smiled as he unfold the decree. [3]

The following decree was bestowed:

  • Old Marquis Jin Yu – appointed as Duke of Jing (First Rank)
  • Jin Pengzhan – appointed as Imperial Official of Jiangnan (Third Rank)
  • Liu’shi (Jin Pengzhan’s wife) – Rank 4 Title

The announcement of the first decree nearly caused the entire marquisate to faint with sheer joy. With the appointment, the marquisate’s status would be raised to a dukedom. A duke’s status is a great step above a marquis, as a duchy’s status is only one step below a feudal king. Now that their family’s status has risen, would they ever need to fear being suppressed by ordinary feudal kings?

In addition to his new official appointment, Jin Pengzhan also received an order to leave for Jiangnan in half a month. Jin Fengju’s heart jumped again as he thought: This old fellow is truly good with his tactics. Brother is still young, but has already been raised two tiers up to the Third Rank Official at his age. On the surface, it looked like a very excellent promotion. However, I’m sure he has been secretly ordered to manage the officials and to help oversee the tax collections. The seeds I have planted and the people I have elected were all done under the name of Jin Marquisate, so how could the people of Jiangnan not support him? Indeed, this arrangement is not bad. It would also save Brother-in-law the hassle of cracking his brain over how to insert his people in.

He was still pondering over this when the eunuch put away the first decree and opened another one. This third decree was for Jin Fengju, [3] with the following bestowment:

  • Jin Fengju – Appointed as Marquis of Jinxiang
  • Bestowed the option to rebuild the Jinxiang Marquisate in a different location, all expenses will be borne by the palace
  • 10,000 taels of silver
  • 5,000 taels of gold

The above reward was bestowed due to his great merit in Jiangnan. Additionally, there were many various treasures, antiques, silk and satin cloths. The entire list shook the audience to speechlessness.

It was not easy for them to stay kneeling until all three decrees were read. By the end of the bestowments, the Old Marquis and Jin Fengju still managed to maintain their composure, but Jin Pengzhan and Jin Luanfeng were already a little dazed. Finally, the eunuch rolled up the last decree and came over with cupped hands to smile at them, “Congratulations, congratulations, felicitations to the Duke and the Young Marquis, ah. It should not be young marquis anymore; it should be Marquis.”

Jin Fengju hastily laughed and said, “Eunuch Liu should just address me as Young Marquis, I feel younger that way.”

Everyone laughed.

Eunuch Liu turned to Jin Shi and said, “Felicitations to the Second Old Master, when I received this decree at the Imperial Study, I heard the emperor speaking with the Minister of Personnel, Lord Qin, that Lesser Secretary Lord Luo of the Ministry of Justice will be retiring to his hometown soon. Once he does, Lord Jin may fill in the vacancy. As for Elder Master Jin (Jin Shi’s son), should the Elder Master wish it, the position of Dragon Cavalry Guard is yours. Although the position is an idle one, the is still a prestigious post. Who would not be envious of someone with a position like Rank 5 Dragon Calvary Guard, ah?”

Jin Shi did not expect that he too would encounter such a fortuitous opportunity and hastily thanked the eunuch for the information. He had never been the type to like to compete with others, which was why the brothers got along so well for so many decades without any animosity. Naturally, he understood that this heaven-sent joy was something that Jin Fengju nearly paid with his life, and that both he and his son were merely enjoying the glory reflected off this nephew. Therefore, he felt only gratitude with not a single drop of envy.

As for Jin Fengju, his heart thumped violently again. He thought: Old Man, what is the meaning of this? For you to put most of our family members into key positions, is this to pave the way for Brother-in-law? Is it to test Brother-in-law? No, looks like I must be even more cautious.

When he courteously offered to serve Eunuch Liu tea, [4] the eunuch eagerly accepted. After all, how could he not take the opportunity to befriend the most royally favoured man in the city?

[4] Several cups of tea and many lines of flattery later, Jin Fengju’s mind was still swirling with thoughts about Fu Qiuning’s illness. He was so anxious that he nearly spewed fire. Even so, he managed to keep the smile on his face until Eunuch Liu decided to leave. Eunuch Liu left with a red packet containing 100 silver taels, while the lesser eunuchs also received red packets containing 10 silver taels each. Everyone naturally raised their voices in praise as they bowed several times before finally leaving.

After finally getting rid of Eunuch Liu, Jin Fengju was about to hurry away to Night Breeze Pavilion when his father’s personal servant, Liu Qiuqian came trotting over. The servant beamingly saluted him and said all the appropriate congratulatory words before finally saying, “The Marquis…”

Here, he paused, tapped lightly at his own mouth and said with some affected anger, “This useless mouth is really useless. Still can’t change even now. That is… The Duke bade Second Master over. The Eldest Master, Second Old Master and Master Feng [4] have gone to the study.”

Jin Fengju sighed, realising that this shower of royal grace must have overwhelmed his father and the rest into confusion. Although his heart felt like it was on fire, he had no choice but to send the children away, [4] “Jin Ming, you take them to Night Breeze Pavilion first. I shall come over in a little while.” With that, he made his way to his father’s study.

 

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[4] The day before, Fu Qiuning had been staring absently at the budding peach, apricot, pear and other trees in the backyard when she was struck by a wave of nostalgia. The feeling was so strong that it burst out of her in a song. The luscious melody flowed and ebbed around her like eddies until she forgot herself. The strong breeze teased her hair and picked up the ends of her sleeves, and she sang and sang, completely forgetting that she had been too thinly dressed to stay outside for long.

That night, she went to bed with a slightly dry throat and a throbbing head. It did not take long for the symptoms to develop itself into a slight fever. Still, she did not think too much of it, merely having Yu Jie and Aunt Yu boil some cooling medicinal herbs, which she diligently took. Who would have thought that the fever refused to loosen its grip on her and she woke up feeling worse again?

This time, she had the maids simmer more medicine, which she drank with some difficulty before falling back to sleep. [1c] Really, being sick in this era 

\was so inconvenient, what she would give for some paracetamol or aspirin now?

[4] Aunt Yu watched her mistress diligently. When she finally saw a layer of sweat forming on Fu Qiuning’s head, she breathed a sigh of relief. After dabbing the sweat away, she left the room to quietly inform Yu Jie, “She is sweating now. The fever should leave with the sweat and cool her body down. I believe madam should recover soon.”

Yu Jie giggled. [4] When she caught Aunt Yu’s disapproving gaze, she laughed and said, “Madam had been with us for so many years, but had never fallen ill like this before. To think that a fierce sickness would strike her the moment our Young Marquis favours her, well, once the Young Marquis finds out, I wonder how worried he will be~? Truly, this illness is most timely. [4] Who knows, perhaps Madam would be softened up by it too…”

 

Pill Bug TL Notes:

 ̄\_(ツ)_/ ̄

Gumihou: Umm?

Pill Bug: I turn off my brain and just enjoyed the drama, lol

Gumihou: I was too busy judging everyone’s behaviour… Also, why are this chapter’s lines so awkward? The f*ck is:

The day before, because Fu Qiuning was reminiscing on her own days in modern times when she was enjoying the view of the budding peach, apricot, pear and other trees in the backyard, she could not help but sing a few lines of opera. 

Note 4!!

 

Gumihou:

[1] Add Detail

[1a] Add details re JFJ’s dramatic showmanship nature

[1b] Add detail to make it clear that Old Madam thinks that FQN might be faking her illness. (It was vaguely implied in the original text)

[1c] Add some random ‘I miss modern meds’ moment. After all, she had ‘been missing the modern times’ earlier, so it made sense.

[2] Gumi’s Rant:

[2a] ‘Now that you have a wife

Ma’am, what? Have you already forgotten Jiang Wanying? It’s one thing to forget about the concubines, who are often regarded as little more than egg-bearing chickens, but Jiang Wanying is your daughter-in-law’s niece! By saying ‘Now that you have a wife’ you’re dismissing her existence!

Why would the Old Madam do this?

Well, she is working in sync with JFJ to reduce the existence of the ‘other women’ in his life because she knows that JFJ plans to raise FQN up. She is also assuaging her guilt for not paying more attention to FQN and the two grandchildren in the past. By declaring ‘now that you have a wife’, she is hinting that ‘things start now’ and all matters in the past are negligible.

It’s all self-serving and selfish.

There’s also this golden phrase ‘Seeing how she dislikes trading barbs with these people, I allowed her to abstain from giving her greetings to me

The terrible implications behind this phrase are…

  • She KNOWS that FQN doesn’t like butting heads with the local chickens
  • She KNOWS the chickens like to scratch and quarrel among themselves
  • The chickens are there every day, day after day, quarrelling and comparing their features against each other.
  • Conclusion 1: She ENJOYS being the head chicken overseeing this bunch of clucking, clawing, and self-destructive chickens
  • Conclusion 2: She is the vixen overseeing this chicken coop

[3] Adjust the text so that the emperor’s decree is clearer

[4] Adjust text for smoother and prettier delivery. I’m fine if the characters acted awkward, but why are the sentences also awkward?!

[5] I swear, seeing Yu Jie going ‘tee hee’ over her mistress’ illness really pissed me off

[6] li = 0.31 miles

 

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