Chapter 126: Relentless Winds
Author: White Pear Flower
Proofread by Pill Bug
Gumihou: *sighhhhh* Anyway, bring down the overall mood of the aftermath. Delete all traces of ‘yay~ yay~’ on FQN’s side
“It’s just a night in bed, it’s not like I am with child. What’s there to nourish? Enough, you go on your way to court. Don’t make trouble here,” she moved to get up again when Jin Fengju said, “Alright, I’ll go after I wash up. Sleep a little longer. Don’t get up, I won’t be eating breakfast here.”
Fu Qiuning paused. [1a] A prick of conscience stabbed her. That’s right, she had just used this man last night and she was now kicking him out without breakfast. Isn’t that considered rude? Should she at least feed the man before making him leave? What’s the proper after xx etiquette anyway?
[1b] Finally, she got up and said simply, “Have breakfast first,” before leaving for the kitchen, ignoring Jin Fengju’s increasingly faint protest. [1c] It was no trouble throwing some leftover rice into a pot of hot water and letting it boil away to a plain porridge while she gathered up some random pickles, a salted duck egg and other small side dishes for Jin Fengju.
After setting the tray down, she leaned against the kang bed to stare into the distance, [1b] wondering just what life was going to be like from then onwards. As for Jin Fengju, the man was eating very slowly, as though every single pickle and every drop of porridge was his last meal. It wasn’t until Jin Ming came in, and only after repeated urging, did the man finally leave.
 Aunt Yu and Yu Jie also got up early, but not early enough to serve Jin Fengju in time for him to leave for court. When they realised that Fu Qiuning had personally cooked and served the master, they felt apologetic [2b] and hurried off to do their work. However, when they got to their mistress’ bedroom, they were gobsmacked.
Wait, did Madam and the Young Marquis spend the night together? Isn’t this wonderful news? Has Madam finally come around?
In the end, Aunt Yu was the smarter one. While pretending to tidy up the unusually messy bed, she spotted some very obvious red (and white) stains. As expected! Madam had spent the night with the Master! Hurrah! Nearly wriggling with glee, she whispered, “Madam…” to herself, but did not know how else to express her happiness. Should she say, ‘Congratulations on finally consummating your marriage?’ Was that too explicit? Other congratulatory remarks she could think of included words like ‘Pleasures of Fish and Water’ or ‘Passionate Rain and Clouds’ were a little more euphemistic, but they were also too explicit, ah. After agonising for a long time, she finally blurted out, “Is Madam going to sing ‘Husband & Wife Return Together’?”
Fu Qiuning [1d] coughed, luckily she had not been drinking tea when Aunt Yu asked her question. [3a] She had been wondering how the maids would bring up the elephant, or rather, her v to her face. Looks like Aunt Yu hit upon the perfect balance of taste and allusion. On the other hand, Yu Jie was looking around stupidly, saying, “Why would Madam suddenly sing Husband and Wife Return Together? [2c] Are you stupid, Aunt Yu? Madam only sings when Master is here, have you forgotten?”
Instead of answering, Aunt Yu raised a hand to point at the kang bed. Finally, Yu Jie got the hint and excitedly ran over to look at the blood stain. [1d] Fu Qiuning sighed to herself. Looks like her privates are no longer private…
In a tired voice [1e], Fu Qiuning said, “What’s so interesting about it? Won’t you experience it one day too? Aunt Yu, put that stained bed cover away. Unfortunately, [1e] I might have to take it out and parade it before an audience soon…”
“Take it out and parade?” Yu Jie happily helped Aunt Yu fold the bedsheets, thinking: [2c] Is Madam going to make a flag and parade it around? Kyaa~ Madam is that proud of having caught the Master?
Once the bedsheets had been changed, she helped Fu Qiuning put up her hair into a simple bun, complete with a single pearl hairpin. Lips pursing, Yu Jie said crossly, “The Young Marquis gifted Madam so many accessories, but Madam barely touched even a tenth of them. Is Madam planning to let those phoenix hairpins and pretty buyao  eat dust in their boxes?”
“You like them?” said Fu Qiuning [1f] with a faint smile. “When you get married, I’ll gift you some. I have already prepared a set of accessories for Aunt Yu’s wedding. As someone who had shared all my bitter days, this is the least I should do for you.” She stood up gracefully before pausing. [3b] That’s right, Jin Fengju would not be in tonight. Just yesterday, Jiang Wanying had poked for information about her v. So, if she was Jiang Wanying and desperate to get rid of a rival…
She turned to Yu Jie, “Order the maids to clean up the place. If I’m not mistaken, we should have some visitors soon. If not today, then in the next three to five days. I fear that Night Breeze Pavilion will become very lively very soon.”
“Madam? [2d]” Yu Jie was staring at Fu Qiuning worriedly.
Aunt Yu [2e] looked at the folded, stained bedsheet in her arms, “Madam, does it have anything to do with this…”
Fu Qiuning [1e] sighed, “Just carry on as usual. I’m sure you can imagine the reason if you try. Do you really think Second Madam Wan, the granddaughter of a duke, would be happy in her current place? [1g] It’s one thing when I am not actively poking her eye out with my presence, but with the Young Marquis running here all the time, it’s only a matter of time before they strike at us.”
Aunt Yu and Yu Jie [2f] fretted. “Wh-what should we do?”
[3c] “What can we do? Just defend,” said Fu Qiuning. “This is the reward for getting along too well with the head male of the family. Whatever, there’s no need to overthink matters. Go and get the children ready for school.”
By then, the other servants had already woken up and helped the twins and their two study friends get ready. Qiuning personally inspected their bookbags after breakfast, before finally sending them off. Once the children were gone, she turned to Yu Jie, “Pack up some of the snacks we made yesterday. We’ll bring them with us when we greet the Old Madam later. She likes crisp and delicately fragrant pastries the most. So, let’s bring her some Osmanthus Cakes and Flaky Almond Pastries.”
Yu Jie accepted the order. Then, Fu Qiuning returned to her room to continue with her sketching. Though she now periodically visited Health & Longevity Court, she would never allow herself to go too early. After all, there was no reason to subject herself to Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying’s presence more than absolutely necessary, especially since the Old Madam  did not care one way or another.
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What she did not know was that, far from being lively and laughter-filled as usual, the visitor’s room of Health & Longevity Court was rather gloomy today. Instead of the usual bustle of people, there was only Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying facing off against the old lady.
“Is that so? Surely this cannot be true? Look at how close and intimate Fengju and Fu’shi are, clearly, their relationship is very good. If they did not perform the proper ceremonies as husband and wife, where did this mutual respect and affection come from?” Seated on the couch, the Old Madam slowly rotated the tea cover as she studied the two women before her.
Just now, Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying had dismissed the servants and personally reported Fu’shi to her. The main crime was that Fu’shi had refused to share a room with Jin Fengju. On the Old Madam’s side, she knew that this daughter-in-law and granddaughter-in-law refused to give up on driving Fu Qiuning out. This would be their second attempt now.
In fact, the Old Madam already has some thoughts on the matter. Whether a woman is a virgin, she could tell in one glance. Therefore, she knew that her grandson had not spent the night with Fu Qiuning. On this matter, her grandson must have felt ashamed about taking the initiative to push forward first. Since he did not plan to clash with Fu’shi about it, Old Madam Jin merely closed one eye on the incident. However, which parent or grandparent was not partial to their offspring? Therefore, the old lady tried to give Qiuning hints in the form of advice. However, seeing nothing much comes out of her subtle hints, she decided to just let the young couple muddle along at their own pace. Now that Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying brought this matter up so suddenly, though the Old Madam appeared calm on the surface, inside, she was shocked.
“This matter is absolutely true, this granddaughter-in-law dares to stake her head on it. Old Madam, you have seen with your own eyes how Cousin treats Fu’shi. Only, who could have thought that she would have such guts? No matter how Cousin had treated her in the past, it was all karma planted by her own parents and thus, the treatment she received never should be blamed on her husband’s head. Leave aside how obedient and doting Cousin is to her now, anyone with a shred of conscience should have shed tears of gratitude and abide by women’s morals and principles to have their husband love them again.
But she! Instead of being grateful as she should, she had become proud and arrogant after being spoilt and pampered by Cousin. Not only that, she threatened Cousin with the past and lorded it over him like a shrew. Women like her, with guts filled with snakes and scorpions, should never be retained within the estate. I understand that it is not my place to say anything, but… but I am too outraged on Cousin’s behalf!”
Following Jian Wanying’s indignant statement, Madam Jiang stood poised and indifferent as she gravely said, “Indeed, things that are in the past should remain in the past. She absolutely should never, and could never, disregard her husband’s wishes and harbour a grudge. Such a woman, let alone a daughter of the Zhenjiang Heir, should she be a daughter of an ordinary official, a duke’s estate should never tolerate it. Therefore, this daughter-in-law came to ask Old Madam for advice. To see how best to handle this matter.”
Old Madam Jin snorted coldly, “Haven’t you two already decided? Why even come to my place? Now that everything in the estate is under your control, this matter should naturally be handled as you please.”
Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying turned white at the obvious implication that she was displeased by their actions. However, for the sake of chasing out this thorn in the eye called Fu Qiuning, they could only risk offending Old Madam for now. Once that woman had been driven out, they could slowly wheedle their way back into her good graces in the future. After all, they were one family. It would be impossible for the Old Madam to completely disregard their relationship as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.
Therefore, Madam Jiang stood up straight to say, “Yes, since Old Madam is not willing to manage this matter, this daughter-in-law will question Fu’shi with Wanying. If she continues to remain stubborn, there is no need for her to serve Fengju any longer. How could a mere woman like her look down on a dignified marquis?” with that, she turned to leave.
Behind her, Old Madam’s voice said, “Hold on. Have you consulted Fengju on this matter? Was Fengju the one who told you that he did not complete the husband and wife ceremony?”
Madam Jiang went still. Then, she turned around to respectfully say, “It is Wanying who asked Fu’shi. That woman even flaunts her chastity as something like a great feat. Perhaps she feels that she is being impressive for having ridden on her husband’s head and holding her chastity hostage. Old Madam, just think, how could such a cheap and frivolous woman be a daughter-in-law of a duke’s family? As for Fengju’s side, is there anything Old Madam doesn’t know? He has been bewitched by that woman, to the point that he is now confused and disorientated, having completely lost his direction. Could he still view this matter with any objectivity?”
“I believe that it is still best to consult with Fengju first. Otherwise, once he returns, would he not harbour dissatisfaction? You two should understand on whose credit we may now call ourselves a dukedom. He is no longer your son, but a master in his own right. If you discipline his wife without him knowing, isn’t it too inappropriate?”
The Old Madam swallowed the last of her tea and turned to Luo Cui, “Bring me my cloak. It’s been days since I’ve gone out. There is some pain in my legs, but no matter, now that things have come to this point, I shall go with you. If that Fu’shi refuses to repent, even I would not tolerate it.”
Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying were startled. However, after some consideration, they thought: This is good too. We know just what kind of person Fu Qiuning is. Someone who would break rather than bend. She refused to share a room with Jin Fengju out of resentment and no other reason. If we go and interrogate her on her crimes now, we could drive her out using the women’s principles. According to her personality, she would rather be dismissed and banished than agree to serve Jin Fengju for the rest of her life.
Speaking of which, Madam Jiang and Jiang Wanying’s assessment of Fu Qiuning’s personality was fairly accurate. However, what they did not expect was that Fu Qiuning would be moved by Jin Fengju’s persistent attention.  That their actions had actually pushed her into taking that final, drastic action that was almost akin to cutting her nose to spite her face.
[Gumihou: …is this why White Pear Flower had been pushing AR Qiuning into FQN? That without ‘lurrrve’ one can’t do the deed?? Excuse you?]
 Yeet the AR Qiuning
[1a] AR Qiuning was all ‘
nooo you must be hungryyy, eat~ eat~’
Maintain the breakfast scene but let it be motivated by guilt rather than ‘kyaa~’
[1b] Deleted AR Qiuning’s ‘
How can that be? Won’t you be hungry? Who knows whether there will be anything to eat? What if you have to wait till noon etc etc’
Fu Qiuning: Isn’t that… Jiang Wanying?
Gumihou: Sure sounds like her to me.
[1c] Instead of ‘
make special breakfast uwu’, just throw some stuff together
[1d] Deleted ‘
Puuu~ of laughter’, because this is no laughing matter.
[1e] Replaced ‘
Pun pun, humph, anger’ with ‘tiredly’ because she basically has to show her private business, how can anyone be cheerful at this?
[1f] Replaced ‘
with a smile’ with ‘a faint smile’. Doing her best to stay strong
[1g] Replaced typical ‘
humph, let’s see her methods, hehehehe’ with ‘sigh, whyyyy’
 Annoying maids
[2a] Give a reason why they did not manage to serve JFJ but still manage to catch sight of him.
[2b] Delete ‘
they saw spring blooming on their mistress’ brows’
Gumihou: …your maids are better than lizard dust.
Fu Qiuning covers her face.
Gumihou: I’ll change it so they saw the ‘spring scene’ on the bed instead of your face.
[2c] So, Yu Jie is being particularly stupid in this chapter. Might as well play it up in the following paragraphs.
[2d] Yu Jie is really breaking records for being the doofiest of doof. Return some intelligence to her. Instead of going ‘Eh? Eeehhhh?’ at every other thing FQN says, be more like usual herself.
[2e] Aunt Yu is suddenly vomiting information left and right. Reduce the blerggggh.
[2f] Instead of the maids going ‘
hehehe, our madam has a plan’ give a more… ‘madam is being targeted…? What should we do??!!’ feel
 Wet Blanket – Here to bring down all ‘tee hee~’
[3a] Replace ‘tee hee’ with ‘seriously?’
[3b] Add detail, ‘JFJ will not be in tonight’. Instead of focussing on ‘tee hee~ I’m so clever~’ lay out the thought process behind the following action.
[3c] Add reaction thanks to [2f]
 Buyao, literally ‘step swing’, so basically hair pins with swaying accessories
 Old Madam’s hypocrisy. Replace ‘would not blame’ with ‘would not care’
That she had been moved by his affection. That she had been resisting his advances because she had been forcibly suppressing the growing affection in her heart… that they are now truly husband and wife~~~
Dude. No. That’s sick.
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