Chapter 168: Indifferent
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Pill Bug
Edited by Gumihou
Gumihou: Great, now I have to remove the butt polishing on Fu Qiuning.
Fu Qiuning: I resent this, leave my butt alone!
As soon as the words were spoken, Jin Zhenyi suddenly stood up. He clenched his little fists, face turning red as he shouted, “Why should we go see her?”
Caught off guard, Jian Feng actually hopped backwards before smiling and saying, “It is probably nothing much. Isn’t it Young Master Yi and Third Young Miss’s first time here? Your servants must not be familiar with Elegant Mansion either. Since we must all live under one roof from now on, certain things should be discussed. There is no need for Young Master Yi to worry.”
Jin Zhenyi’s face turned two shades redder and said hatefully, “Worry? Why should I worry? I don’t believe that she would dare to eat me? Humph, even though Mother is no longer around, Father is still here.”
Jian Feng smiled and said, “It is as you say, therefore…” She raised her voice slightly and grandly gestured to the door, “Please.”
“Hmph, this young master is not afraid of her. Only, why should this young master go see her? If she has something to say, she may come and see us,” Jin Zhenyi jerked his chin up, staring at Jian Feng with large provocative eyes. The matrons and maids around them remained silent with their heads lowered, waiting to see what Jian Feng would do next. 
A cold smile appeared on Jian Feng’s face and she lost whatever warmth she had faked in her voice.  In a clear, bright tone, she said, “It would appear that Young Master Yi requires some explanation. This maid is happy to provide. Young Master Yi should go and see our Madam if only because she is the Young Marquis’ official wife. Even if Concubine Xu was in the room today, should Madam call for her, regardless of her willingness, it is only right for her to go and meet with our Madam.
If Young Master and Young Miss are unwilling to go, that is also fine. Our Madam prefers peace and quiet and never did agree to have you here. However, the Young Marquis insisted, saying that the Old Madam and Elder Madam are not in good health and cannot endure the noises of children. He feared that sending you to Clear Soft Pavilion or Gentle Twilight Pavilion would only result in you getting bullied…”
She noticed Jin Zhenyi and Jin Xiunan’s gazes flickered. Jian Feng beamed, her heart became as clear as a mirror.  It was as though the Young Master himself was speaking through her, and she was merely a mouthpiece as she eloquently continued,
“It would have been fine to send you to Concubine Cui and Yue Lan, but as for their situations, Young Master and Young Miss may not understand clearly. They are most honest and simple-minded and would never bully you. However, if something were to happen in the future, even if Young Master and Young Miss were to suffer, I fear they could not stand up for you either. The Young Marquis thought long and hard and knew that although our Madam is unwilling, you will still fare best here. In truth, our Madam is suffering a headache and is now just barely able to brace herself for a visit, but still bade me come. Should Young Master and Young Miss insist on not going, she will naturally acquiesce.”
Done with her little speech, she made to leave but one of the higher-ranking maids hurried forward to grab her sleeves. The maid beamed and said, “Elder Sister, please do not hurry so. The Young Master and Young Miss are merely saddened by Concubine Xu’s leaving. Moreover, they have not changed their clothes yet, how could they go and meet Madam? Please wait while we dress them up properly first.”
Jian Feng nodded. She smiled and said, “Since you have said so, I shall take my leave. I believe the tailors should be here soon. The money for the maidservants’ clothes is still in my hand, I should hand it to them.” When she was done speaking,  she sailed grandly out of the room.
One of the maids breathed a sigh of relief but the sudden crash of a cup breaking in the room made her jump.
Jin Zhenyi howled, “Who does she think she is? The moment I enter this Elegant Mansion, even a mere maid dares to speak to me like this? Who does she think she is?”
Jin Xiunan also started crying. Jin Zhenyi, still trembling with anger cried, “Bai Lu, why did you bow to her like that? We still have people at Calling Crane Pavilion, Father has not taken the place back. We can just go back and stay there. I don’t believe that we can’t survive without her. Humph, if it weren’t for her, Mother would not have suffered.”
The eyes of the maid called Bai Lu’s reddened as she hugged Jin Zhenyi and said, “My Young Master, have you never heard of the saying that one should bow their head when under someone else’s roof? Do you understand why Madam Concubine left this maid here and went alone to the village? Isn’t it because she genuinely cares for Young Master and Young Miss?
Just now, that Jian Feng’s maid’s attitude could be considered good. Otherwise, had you been sent to Clear Soft Pavilion or Gentle Twilight Pavilion, it would be as she said. If we were sent to Concubine Cui or Yue Lan’s place, though they may not bully you, it is because they are too preoccupied with surviving this place. Young Master, listen to this maid. When you need to lower your head, lower your head. Keep the hatred and grudges in your heart. In the future, when you grow up and have control over this household, would you still fear not being able to bring Madam Concubine back? All her hopes are pinned on you.”
As she sobbed her words out, the matrons kept a wary eye at the door, fearful that someone would overhear this conversation. After a while, Jin Zhenyi did indeed calm down and he clenched his fists, saying, “Yes, Bai Lu, you’re right. Ten years is not too long for a gentleman to seek revenge. Help me change my clothes.”
Bai Lu let out a great sigh of relief and quickly found two fairly new outfits for the siblings to change into. Then, they all headed towards Fu Qiuning’s main residence.
Fu Qiuning was sitting in her room with her tea when they arrived. Seeing them, she said to Yu Jie, “Serve tea and snacks to Brother Yi and Third Young Miss.”
Yu Jie acknowledged her order and left, soon bringing two plates of delicate pastries and two cups of tea before leaving once more. Fu Qiuning set down her teacup and looked at Bai Lu with a smile, “You must be Concubine Xu’s dowry maid. I heard that Concubine Xu insisted on leaving for the village alone and having you stay behind. I see that she trusts you deeply.”
A sudden chill pierced through Bai Lu’s heart. A trace of panic filled her and she hastily beamed an ingratiating smile, saying, “Madam must have misunderstood, Madam Concubine had this maid stayed back because the Young Master and Young Miss grew up under my care and this maid is most familiar with them. The Young Marquis also kept this maid back for this.” She was afraid that Fu Qiuning would want to cut the wings off Jin Zhenyi and his sister. If that were the case, the first thing the official wife would do is remove her from her position. Because of this, she brought up Jin Fengju’s name in hopes that Fu Qiuning would take more care in her decision. [3a] Fu Qiuning blinked slowly at her, “Be at ease, Concubine Xu should be commended for her motherly heart.” [3b] She tapped her finger on the table and continued, “The Young Marquis mentioned that Concubine Xu had several properties and businesses under her dowry. As Concubine Xu’s most trusted maid, you should take care of it.”
This simply-spoken statement caused Bai Lu’s mouth to drop open as implications behind the words flooded her mind. Having grown up by Concubine Xu’s side since childhood, she could be considered a maid who had been trained in a noble estate. The only things she had ever experienced were power struggles and intrigues. Considering how ridiculously favoured this woman was, it had to be the Young Marquis who personally offered Concubine Xu’s properties to her. Otherwise, as the children’s most trusted maid, surely she would have received direct orders to manage the estates? Had she ever seen someone give up the benefits they had gained? Especially, from someone who had known real poverty? Could Fu Qiuning truly let go of such a large fortune? It should be known that although it wasn’t much, it still amounted to one or two thousand silver taels each year.
The more she thought about it, the more she felt that it could be a trap. Therefore, she cautiously smiled and said, “How could Madam say that? S-surely if the Young Marquis mentioned it to Madam, he would wish for Madam to take care of those businesses? The Young Master’s and Young Miss’ food and other expenses all came from the estate. If the Young Marquis had decided for Madam to look after the properties, surely Madam ought not refuse…”
Fu Qiuning glanced at her, “No need to be shy. I have no need for extra money. I managed to live six years at Night Breeze Pavilion without receiving so much as a single coin, a grain of rice, or a piece of cloth from the estate. You take care of the accounts on behalf of the Young Master and Young Miss. Just hand over the accounts book at the end of each season. Show the results to the Young Master and Young Miss as well. Should you do well, I’m sure they would want to reward you come New Year.”
“This maid [4a] thanks the Madam,” Bai Lu quickly knelt and touched her forehead to the floor, thinking that Second Madam Ning’s reputation for benevolence was not a lie. She felt relieved as she beamed and said, “This maid shall do as Madam says.”
Fu Qiuning nodded, “Work hard and accumulate money the best you can for your young masters. I have no authority over anything aside from the expenses within this courtyard. This means that all food, clothing, educational and daily expenses will be taken care of here, so there is no need to spend Concubine Xu’s money on those.”
Bai Lu was taken aback by the unexpected words. She was too shocked to know what to say. Before she could say anything, Fu Qiuning turned to Jin Zhenyi and Jin Xiunan. The two children had been sitting together in sullen silence throughout the conversation.
Fu Qiuning tapped her finger on the table again before saying, “As for you two… now that your father had entrusted you to me, I supposed I shall have to take on this  responsibility…”
Before she could finish speaking, Jin Zhenyi suddenly jumped up, his eyes very red as he screamed, “I don’t care what hypocritical things you say. Don’t expect me to call you ‘Mother’ even once. I only have one mother, and I will never acknowledge you as my mother!”
[Gumihou: Poor Jin Zhenyi, the author is really doing her best to make you into a hole of the ass. The subtitle is ‘indifferent’ but AR Qiuning was being all sorts of ass-like, so… Gumi is duty-bound under SPOOCS (Society for the Prevention of Out Of Character Shenanigans) to make her actually ‘indifferent’]
 Some random text adjustments to make Jian Feng exactly what she appears. That is to say, no inflation of her intelligence via unnecessary ‘it would appear’ and ‘so it would seem’. Delete words that made her look ‘elegant’ and replace them with ‘snobbishness’, because seriously?  this chapter would be the 3rd and 4th time we see the ‘Old madams are old and sick, Huo and Jiang might bully you and Cui and Yuelan are weak’ excuse. You only see it for the 2nd and 3rd time here because Gumi had trashed that scene in chapter 167 where AR Qiuning scrambled to vomit out JFJ’s excuses to the children like it’s some sort of competitive sport.  Reduce ‘horn effect’ type of language that makes the maids appear worse than they are. The ‘horn effect’ is the opposite of ‘butt polishing’. For reference, please study the following paragraph.
How could Qiuning not understand her small-minded intentions? She sneered inwardly, thinking to herself: Do you think I’m the same kind of person as Concubine Xu or Second Madam Wan?
It not only serves to make the maid look petty, it is also meant to make Qiuning look better. The actual effect is AR Qiuning looking even more petty. It’s all very ugh and Jiang Qiuning-esqued. Deleted.[3a] Redid AR Qiuning’s snobby ‘psh, I so better than u’ remark. [3b] Deleted over 100 words of ‘hubby told me to take over Xu’s property, lol, but I dun wanna~ behold my overwhelming benevolence~~’  Delete/Edit 250 words of I’m so much better than you petty mortals~
Fu Qiuning glanced at her, wearing a smile that wasn’t really a smile. “You don’t need to test me. You must have thought that I would skillfully put these under your name, make you manage these properties, and whether it’s at the end of the year or on a regular day, I would find a way to take the money from your hands.
You underestimate me.
In the six years that I had stayed at Night Breeze Pavilion, I never received a single coin from this estate. I still managed to raise the two children and live happily. Although I can’t say I regard money as worthless, I do have a certain pride. I don’t meddle in things that don’t belong to me. However, since Lord Husband has entrusted them to me, I also do not dare to fully leave them to you.
To be honest, Concubine Xu trusts you and I am starting to trust you now, but Brother Yi and Third Young Miss are still young. If these people obtain money, their ambitions may grow. So, you will assist Brother Yi and Third Young Miss in managing Concubine Xu’s properties on a daily basis. Just show me the accounts every season so that I know you’re not embezzling. Naturally, you will have to work harder, but I won’t let your efforts go to waste. Around the New Year, Brother Yi and Third Young Miss will reward you handsomely. If you’re afraid that I am simply speaking sweet promises now and will find ways to get the money later, I swear to you right now…”[4a] No need to polish AR Qiuning’s butt since over 200 unnecessary words had been deleted.  Reduce the ‘I’m so benevolent~’ air to more ‘ugh’
Pill Bug TL Notes:
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