Higher Level Wife – 141 – The Return

Chapter 141: The Return

Author: White Pear Flower

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

Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou


A few moments later, the curtain was lifted. A beautiful young woman and three girls filed in, followed by several children and two or three married women.

The women all looked a little wary and reserved. All of them, except for the beautiful woman leading the entourage. The moment she saw Old Madam Jin, she broke formation and ran forward, throwing herself before the couch and crying, “Old Ancestor, Old Ancestor… This granddaughter thought that this granddaughter would never again meet Old Ancestor in this lifetime, but the Heavens have shown mercy, allowing this granddaughter to meet Old Ancestor again. Were I to die now, I shall rest in peace ……”

Old Madam Jin also could not hold back her tears. She embraced the beautiful woman and cried, “Foolish child, what foolishness are you spouting? It is Heaven and Buddha’s will that we manage to snatch this life back. Go and see your mother, she hasn’t been able to eat or sleep well since your accident. Now that you are back safely, you can finally put her mind at ease.”

Only then did Jin Yanfang stand up with tears in her eyes, throwing herself into her mother’s embrace and crying bitterly. Having survived a disaster, she could finally allow herself to cry from the pressures of life. After all, aside from the safety of one’s home, where else could she allow herself to properly express these sorrowful feelings?

Madam Jiang, Jiang Wanying, He’shi and the others were all wiping their tears as they came forward to offer comfort. Fu Qiuning [a1] awkwardly patted the crying Elder Madam who still hadn’t stopped crying. She had to lower her head to reduce the second-hand embarrassment she was feeling at all the dramatic wailing. When the maids laid down several mats in front of the Old Madam so that the other women could come and kowtow to Old Madam without hurting their knees too much, [a1] she had to cover her face so that none of the kneeling people could see her fascinated expression. This was truly similar to the scene where Lady Daiyu first entered the estate [1]. Except, instead of one beautiful lady in poor circumstances, several flowers were being offered this time.

As she studied these beautiful ladies, her eyes focussed on the three young girls behind Jin Yanfang. Two were particularly beautiful, [a2] no wonder Jin Fengju specifically mentioned them to her. Did he want more women in his harem? Was that a hint? Or was he just hinting that he could get more women to make her jealous or something?

[a2] Frankly, she had no idea what he was thinking except that he must be scheming something behind her back. Considering his current obsession with her (that fellow was still trying to stuff her into that so-called Elegant Mansion place), it was unlikely that he was actually interested in any of these girls, pretty as they were. At a glance, if they could not be said to be considered diving fishes, plunging geese, veiled moons, or shy flowers [2], it would not be too much to consider them Jade Lake Fairies visiting the mundane world [3].

[b] Fu Qiuning was not alone in studying the three girls. Everyone was pretty astonished by the sudden influx of shockingly beautiful relatives. The girls understandably shrank back at the many eyes looking at them. 

Jin Yanfang pulled a middle-aged woman over and said, “This is Concubine Mei.” Then, pulling the three girls over, she introduced them one by one, “This is my eldest sister Feng Mingzhu, this is my second sister Feng Zhenzhu, and this is cousin Han Qixue.” Then she pulled a pair of children who were hiding behind her and sobbed, “Come, come quickly and pay respects to your maternal great-grandmother. These two children are just too pitiful. From the moment of their birth, father-in-law was sent to a post outside and they have never even seen Old Ancestor’s face.”

The two children hurried forward to pay their respects, saying, “Greetings to Great-grandmother.” Clearly, they had been carefully coached by their mother to speak so well. Old Madam Jin hastily ordered people to help the children up. Jin Luanfeng also entered to give his greetings. However, as a man, he could not be around a place with so many women and left before saying much.

Maids came in with chairs and Concubine Mei, Jin Yanfang and the rest of the ladies were invited to sit down. Once seated, no one dared to bring up the day of the robbery for fear of causing the ladies to feel depressed. Instead, questions were asked about what happened afterwards.

In a choked-up voice, Jin Yanfang said, “That day, Father-in-law and Husband met with disaster. All the brothers and men of the family, including the servants, were killed, leaving only the women behind. Fortunately, the bandits had no intention of humiliating the women, only selling us for money. The heavens must have pitied us for they did not sell us to a shameful place. Even so, we did not know where the others were sold.

Concubine Mei and the rest of us were lucky to be bought together by the wealthy merchant who treated us well. The merchant did not appear to covet Mingzhu, Zhenzhu and Qixue’s beauty, nor did he separate us mother and children. Who would have thought that our luck went beyond this and Eldest Brother would appear at our doorstep? It was only then that we realised that the estate had caused a heaven-flipping and earth-churning commotion looking for us.

It’s just… it’s just this granddaughter really did not have the face to meet with Old Ancestor again. Especially now that father and elder brothers are all court officials, if this granddaughter were to bring shame upon the family reputation, even 10,000 deaths would be insufficient to atone for this granddaughter’s sin!

This granddaughter has received courtly education since childhood. If this granddaughter’s two children were not still so young, this granddaughter would have atoned for her sin with death. However, this granddaughter still had too many worries left in this world…” She closed [a3] her long narrative by covering her face and sobbing so hard that her shoulders heaved. Behind her, Concubine Mei and the other ladies also cried, [a3] providing background support for the main character. 

Soon, the room was filled with sobs again.

[c1] Fu Qiuning had a hard time forcing the corners of her lips not to curl up at the excessive dramatics within the room. So, it looks like Jin Fengju was not the only one who likes to perform solo dramas. She could only bite her lip and wondered if she should even try and diffuse the situation or just let them enjoy themselves because seriously, she didn’t know what’s the etiquette, ah!!!

Jin Yanfang finally noticed her. Fu Qiuning found herself being stared at and wondered if they realised her true feelings. She was starting to get nervous when Jiang Wanying laughed and said, “Does Little Sister not know your sister-in-law? That’s right, back when Elder Sister was wedded in, I’m afraid Little Sister has never seen her. Did you forget? She is your Elder Brother Fengju’s wife, the shu-born daughter of Prince Zhenjiang.”

This statement not only surprised Jin Yanfang, but Concubine Mei and the three cousin sisters as well. They faintly remembered that the young marquis of the Jinxiang Marquisate had indeed married an official wife with a poor background. Not only that, but, didn’t they hear that it was a forced marriage? That from the moment she was wedded in, she lived like an abandoned wife in the marquisate? So… why was she here now?

Jin Yanfang was the most surprised. After all, she was there when the entire Jinxiang Marquisate suffered this deeply insulting situation. On the day she married out, she had more or less forgotten about the existence of this sister-in-law of hers. How was it that she would suddenly reappear here? Seated next to Jiang Wanying with such a tranquil expression and so gorgeously dressed too?

Though her heart was wary, nothing but sweet remarks crossed her lips. Jin Yanfang and the rest of the girls came over to give their greetings to Fu Qiuning, who hastily moved to return them. It was at this moment that the maids outside suddenly called out, “Second Master has returned.”

The curtains parted and in walked Jin Fengju in elegant steps. He was dressed in a water-green outfit, a jade belt wrapped around his waist. Instead of a cap with a jade, his hair was half pinned up with a single jade hairpin, leaving the rest to float gently in the winds, striking a suave and jade-like affluent figure.

“Second Elder Brother,” as soon as Jin Yanfang saw him, her eyes reddened and she flung herself to him excitedly. Jin Fengju quickly caught her and said with a smile, “It’s good that you’re back, so long as you’re safe.”

Jin Yanfang nodded. She wiped her tears and introduced the Feng side of the family to Jin Fengju. The three girls had never seen the young marquis who was said to be famous in the capital, and now that they have met in person, they could not help but have their maidenly hearts fluttering wildly, all of them quickly saluting with a faint hint of shyness on their cheeks, making themselves look especially pitiful and sweet.

Jin Fengju spared them a single glance. He thought: Well, looks like the rumours were true. What a bunch of beauties.

He smiled faintly and said, “Do sit down. Think of this place as your own home, there is no need to be reserved.” Then, he stepped before Old Madam Jin and said with a smile, “This grandson greets Old Ancestor. Where is Elder Brother?”

Old Madam Jin smiled and said, “He left soon after escorting your younger sister here. I believe he should be at the study right now. Is there no business at court today?”

Jin Fengju laughed and said, “Today is the fortuitous day of Younger Sister’s return. No matter what business there is, I must delay it.” Then, he turned to his mother and asked, “Any letters from Elder Sister? When I saw Prince Rong today, he kept stammering and swallowing his words. I’m not sure what is going on with them. He asked me to visit him, but with so many things going on, where would I find the time to do so?”

Madam Jiang frowned, “No letters, ah. Surely there’s nothing wrong?”

Jin Fengju nodded and said, “No news is good news. It must be some small matter between husband and wife.” He turned to Jin Yanfang, refraining from asking about the murders. He kept the conversation light, focusing on her stay at Yangzhou these past few days as well as her journey to the Capital. Jin Yanfang answered each of his questions one by one.

Jin Fengju then got up and said, “Old ancestor, since all is fine here, this grandson will retire. I shall go to the study and see Elder Brother and ask after the Yangzhou matters.”

Old Madam Jin laughed and said, “Go quickly, ba. It is only right for you and your brother to focus on proper business.”

He smiled faintly at this before stepping back and making his way out. On the way, he noticed Qiuning sitting next to Jiang Wanying. Beaming with delight, he leaned forward to whisper a few words into her ear. His action was immediately noted by everyone, [d1] Jin Yanfang being especially surprised by this.

Jin Fengju was actually whispering for Fu Qiuning to quickly move to Elegant Mansion, saying that if she did not move, it would be occupied by other people. [c2] Fu Qiuning froze in place. She thought: Why is he saying this to me now? Is this some kind of joke? Is he provoking Jiang Wanying who is sitting right next to me and deliberately hurting her? Did he think it would make me happy to see him hurt my ‘rival’?

[c2] Fu Qiuning turned calm eyes at Jin Fengju. There was really nothing she could say. No action she could do would make whatever he was whispering to her ear be something other than a teasing spat between lovers. Her grip tightened on the handkerchief. How disgusting. The people of these so-called noble houses are just too disgusting. She had just witnessed a roomful of women sobbing and wailing as though they were about to raise the dead for people they barely know, and now…

[c2] Now this so-called brilliant man is putting on a show of being intimate with her in the entire room for the benefit of the old vixen, his other wives and concubines and… what? The other beauties? Was she supposed to feel touched by this?

[c2] Thoughts such as these roiled in her head and she pressed the handkerchief to her mouth, trying not to throw up. Jin Fengju was now saying something that sounded soothing, but she merely shook her head, moved the handkerchief over her nose and sniffed.

[c2] The smile on Jin Fengju’s face stiffened for a moment, but the wattage increased as he beamed around the room before finally leaving.

Feng Mingzhu, Feng Zhenzhu and others had been secretly observing this action. All of them were thinking: Her looks are nothing special, so how did she grab the Young Marquis’ gaze with more to spare? Even those few concubines had better birthrights than her, not to mention the Duke’s granddaughter, whether it is status or appearance, was so much better than her.

While the roomful of ladies was thinking thus, Old Madam Jin asked, “The two Miss Feng and Miss Han, do you have any family members or relatives in the Capital?”

The hearts of the Feng sisters and Han Qixue seized for a moment, and all three girls lowered their heads. Jin Yanfang sighed and said, “The Feng clan has always been thin in numbers. Father-in-law was a son of a branch family in remote lands. After moving to the Capital, there was not much contact with the clan. Now that he is gone, I am afraid that the clan may not be willing to take in my two sisters, not to mention Sister Han.”

Old Madam Jin said, “If that is the case, then from now on, you can stay here. We have prepared the Yong Cui Garden residences for you. The journey was long, have the servants escort you to rest. Once you’ve rested for a while, take the ladies for a tour around the estate. It is good to familiarise yourself with the place.”

Jin Yanfang, Feng Mingzhu and the others quickly rose and said, “Many thanks for your care, Old Ancestor.” After that, Old Madam Jin nodded and had people escort them out.

Madam Jiang, Madam Fang, Jiang Wanying, Fu Qiuning and the others were also busy bidding their farewells, but Old Madam Jin suddenly said, “Qiuning, stay for a while. I have something to say to you. The rest of you may leave.”

Jiang Wanying’s expression did not change when she turned to face Fu Qiuning. Although jealousy and hatred were burning in her heart, there was nothing she could do about it but leave after making a sound of agreement. Once the room had emptied out, leaving only a few trusted maidservants, Old Madam Jin smiled benevolently at Fu Qiuning, “Ning girl, ah. Do not make things difficult for Fengju. Won’t moving early into Elegant Mansion save all of us a lot of worries?”

Fu Qiuning had long known that this [a4] old vixen was just dying to assist her sleazy grandson in harassing her. Therefore, she had her answer prepared. It was not much of a preparation, actually. [a4] Like Jin Fengju, Old Madam’s strategy was mostly guilt-tripping and wrapping her true intention under an act of benevolence. The application of simple logic and a bit of drama was good enough to counter their tricks.

[a4] Thus, she sighed theatrically and said, “Old Ancestor, it is not that this granddaughter-in-law lacks understanding. It’s just… after six years, this granddaughter-in-law has gotten used to living at Night Breeze Pavilion. Old Madam was there when Elder Madam and Little Sister Wan came storming into my place. Though Night Breeze Pavilion is far away and secluded, I still attract jealousy and hatred. Were I to move into the inner court, who knows what kind of disputes or battles would happen? How many schemes and plots would I, and the poor children, be subjected to?

Moreover, with so many guests settling into the estate, are we to entertain them with jealous and spiteful battles all day long? Old Ancestor, do forgive this granddaughter-in-law for being crude with her words but, this granddaughter-in-law is unwilling to become entertainment for others.”

The Old Madam sighed. She thought of trying to persuade Fu Qiuning again, but seeing Fu Qiuning’s [c3] distraught expression, the Old Madam grudgingly thought back to the time when she was younger. She had been stubborn back then too. Once she had made up her mind, it was difficult for anyone to change it.

Finally, she could only nod and say, “Enough, since you have said so, this old lady have will not rebuke you. Do as you wish.”

Fu Qiuning got up and bid her farewell, returning to Night Breeze Pavilion with Yu Jie and Jian Feng.


Gumihou: In your opinion, what kind of person is Yanfang? She kind of feels like an NPC to me, just there to make FQN and JFJ (and Old Madam) look good.

For anyone interested to know why I can be so certain about JFJ and FQN’s character, well, I talk to them. Or, they talk to each other while I listen in. Anyway, here’s one of the excerpts that happened purely inside Gumi’s mind:


AR Qiuning: *sobbing, screaming, throwing up* Sister Yanfaaaang~~ *sob!*

Jin Yanfang: Who is that?

Fu Qiuning: A pest

Jin Yanfang: Do you know me?

Fu Qiuning: No?

Gumi rushing in with talismans stuck to the end of a stick like a feather duster: Coming through, coming through~ Sorry, we’ve been trying to get rid of this nuisance for a while. Apologies~

Jin Yanfang: Why is my character so bland? Look at this line: Jin Yanfang answered each of his questions one by one. It’s literally just that.

Gumihou: Sorry, you’re just here to make others look good. But don’t worry, you’re covered under USMiC (Union in Support of Minor Characters). We will do our best to flesh out your character once we have received more information.


Pill Bug TL Notes:


[1] Referencing <<红楼梦>> <<Dream of the Red Chamber>>, part 3, <<林黛玉进贾府>> <<Lin Daiyu Enters the Jia Estate>>


[2] Chinese idiom. “闭月、羞花、沉鱼、落雁” “Veiled Moon, Shy Flowers, Diving Fishes, Plunging Geese” is a historical allusion composed of wonderful stories: “Diving Fishes” tells the story of Xi Shi when she washed the yarn; “Plunging Geese” refers to the story of Zhaojun going out of the fortress; “Veiled Moon” tells the story of Diao Chan worshipping the moon; “Shy Flowers” tells the story of Yang Guifei watching flowers.


[3] Another Chinese idiom. 瑶池 is the Jade Lake on Mount Kunlun (where deities cultivate)


Gumi’s Notes:

[a] Added details

[a1] Add awkwardness to FQN’s actions, because seriously…

Fu Qiuning: I don’t know this female from Eve!!!

[a2] Add reasons why she thinks JFJ brought these girls up

[a3] Add ridicule. Because the loooong sob story is really ridiculous.

[a4] Add details to show Old Madam’s sleaziness. Because she is a sleazy old vixen.

[b] Adjust the text to make it more Fu Qiuning-ish (the real one) 

[c] Replacement:

[c1] Replaced sympathetic AR Qiuning with cynical Fu Qiuning.

Deleted a half-hearted: It was hard to pacify them. In order to clear the air, Fu Qiuning asked a few questions about the situation in the capital.

The line was mostly there to put AR Qiuning into the situation to make it look like she had anything to do with these absolute complete strangers

[c2] In view of [d1] switch POV from JFJ to FQN. Delete the ‘humph~ pui~!’ reaction from AR Qiuning and maintain a more realistic FQN reaction AND point of view.

Clearly delete this line as well, mostly because it’s disgusting: The result was that Qiuning rolled her eyes and spat gently. Only after that did he leave with a smile.

Fu Qiuning: …

Gumihou: … there, there, Gumi’s been taking off JFJ’s whitewashing since 2022, not planning to stop anytime soon

[c3] Switch out ‘firm expression’ for ‘distraught expression’. Because we are totally sick and tired of all your BS. A ‘firm expression’ only denotes wilful stubbornness and did not carry as much weight. Also, it just makes Old Madam delude herself into thinking ‘oh my~~ this lady is the same as me when I was young~~’

[d] Deleted:

[d1] Deleted ‘the volume was very low and others could not hear’ because dude, you’re already whispering??! Also, deleted ‘everyone was used to seeing them like this except…’ because when? Haahhhh??!! When?! This never happened! Don’t invent situations that did not exist!!! For all the teehee teehee scenes, this ‘whispering intimately’ scene NEVER appeared in writing!!

This scene was clearly taken out of someone’s ass for the Beauties’ benefits and for readers to see just how much JFJ lurrrve FQN. Absolute NOPE.



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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Melissa Hom

    if Rooster knew what you were doing he would be PISSSED! Keep him Pissed!

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