Chapter 169: A Non-hypocritical Stepmother– Unedited
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Pill Bug
Fu Qiuning: … …
Gumihou: … …
Fu Qiuning: … this…
Gumihou: Please, please just read the Edited Version HERE
Fu Qiuning looked at his clenched fists and red eyes. Instead of getting angry, she felt relieved. She thought to herself: What a rash boy. This way, it’s actually much easier to educate him. Compared to Jin Zhenxuan, who hides his thoughts deeply, he is actually much cuter.
She smiled slightly and saw Bai Lu rushing to pull Jin Zhenyi and apologize to her. Fu Qiuning waved her hand gently, indicating for her to step back. Then, she calmly looked at Jin Zhenyi and sneered, “I never expected you to call me ‘Mother’. Your mother is Concubine Xu, my children are Feng’er and Jiao’er. If it wasn’t for your mother being sent to the village, do you think I would have liked to raise you two troublesome things on the way?”
“My mother was sent to the village. Who do you think caused it? How do you have the face to say such things to us?” Jin Zhenyi shouted, tears welling up in his eyes but refusing to fall.
Fu Qiuning sneered, “Yes, think carefully, you two siblings. Who caused your mother to end up like this? Do you think it’s me? If it wasn’t for your father inviting a royal physician that day and discovering that your injury was falsified, who would have ended up in such a miserable state? Do you think I held your mother’s hand and forced her to harm me and Feng’er?”
Her tone was severe, leaving Jin Zhenyi speechless. His face turned purple with shame and anger. Bai Lu couldn’t bear to see her young master like that and quickly knelt down beside Qiuning, pleading, “Madam, Young Master doesn’t understand. He only cares about his mother. Please consider that Concubine Xu has already been banished to the village and do not take the children’s words seriously. Young Master has always been strong-willed…”
“Precisely because he is strong-willed, he should understand the principles of what is right and wrong. If he blames others for his mistakes now, when he grows up, what kind of person will he become? Even more so, since he is smart.
You have also watched plays before. Those traitorous court officials and villains in the plays, being so smart and cunning, do you think that they had always been so evil right as they were born? As for the loyal ministers and big heroes, do you think they were born kind-hearted either?
All of them followed the guidance of their parents. Some don’t learn well and can’t distinguish between right and wrong, ending up as hated villains. Others understand morality from an early age, and in the end, turn out to become legendary and respected heroes, admired by everyone.”
Fu Qiuning spoke solemnly and eloquently, seemingly explaining not only to Bai Lu but also to the two children. Seeing that they were all silent, she took another sip of cold tea and continued, “Concubine Xu is your mistress and mother. It is indeed difficult for you to understand this. I will just leave these words here: her current situation has nothing to do with me. It was all her own fault for trying to harm others and ending up harming herself.
I did not say this, expecting you to live with me in harmony. I know you hate me in your hearts. No matter. You do not have to turn that hatred into admiration on the surface, so there is no need to pay your respects to me.
We will eat together every day. I will take care of other expenses, but this is all because your father entrusted you to me, so you do not need to be grateful to me. The people at Elegant Mansion are kind and will not smugly bully you because of your current situation. Similarly, you are not allowed to dominate and bully others in Elegant Mansion.”
After she finished these long strings of words, she picked up the cup on the table, took another sip of cold tea, and fixed her gaze on Jin Zhenyi and Jin Xiunan. Word by word, she said in a grave voice, “Do you understand what I just said?”
“Yes, we understand.” Jin Zhenyi wanted to go crazy, but for some reason, he couldn’t say anything when he looked into Fu Qiuning’s eyes. Even so, these three words were said through gritted teeth.
From the side, Jin Xiunan also whispered, “Understood.”
Fu Qiuning smiled slightly, stood up, and said, “If you understand, that’s good. Although our interaction may not be warm and harmonious, at least it’s not hypocritical. So, this is not the worst, right?”
Jin Zhenyi snorted, “Not the worst? I think it’s not much better.”
Fu Qiuning looked at him and smiled gently without blaming him for his retort and rudeness. She turned to Bai Lu and said, “Who are the maids and matrons serving Young Master and Young Miss? Tell me. If you think they are not enough, I’ll have a few more people sent over after I inform Lord Husband. Besides, Lord Husband has said before that he will choose some maids for Feng’er and Jiao’er, so he might as well choose some more for you.”
Bai Lu hurriedly replied, “In response to Madam, the main maids serving Young Master are Chan Juan and me, and the junior maids are Fen’er, Rui’er, and Si’er. There are also two young servants, Xiao Wu and Luo Jiu, a wet nurse, and a tutor. As for Third Young Miss, her maids include Hua Hong and Liu Lu, and the junior maids include Zhui’er, Xiang’er, and Xiao Yan. There is also a wet nurse and a tutor. They should be enough.”
”Fu Qiuning nodded and said, “These people are indeed enough. Well, let’s just transfer over two more maids and labourers from Calling Crane Pavilion. Anyway, we won’t need to clean Calling Crane Pavilion that much in the future. We can arrange for a thorough cleaning when the younger siblings grow up and want to move back there.”
Bai Lu breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Madam is wise, that is precisely the correct way to do it.”
After returning to his room, Jin Zhenyi vented angrily, “Who does she think she is? She wasn’t even fit to even enter my mother’s sight before, but now she dares to speak to me like this, not allowing me to dominate or bully others? On what basis? I’m the young master of this estate. I can bully whoever I want. Can she control me? Pei, and she even has the audacity to say that this is not the worst outcome. If this isn’t the worst outcome, what could be worse?”
He stomped his feet in frustration and couldn’t help but look at his sister. He asked in anger, “Xiunan, have you lost your voice? Why did you not even say a word when that woman treated us like this? What happened to your sharp tongue?”
Jin Xiunan’s eyes turned red as she glanced at her brother and shook her head sadly, “Brother, what that woman said is right. She doesn’t need us to pay respects to her, nor does she allow anyone here to bully us. Although she doesn’t let us bully others, that’s already not bad. Don’t forget, it was Mother…who harmed her first.”
“How can you say that? You’re such a traitor, have you forgotten about our mother? Do you want to climb up her tall branch? Fine, go ahead, I won’t stop you.” Jin Zhenyi couldn’t believe his sister would say such things. He was shocked and angry. He knew his sister was different from him, usually silent, but always scheming. He had hoped to let his sister cook up some schemes, watching how she would stir things up in Elegant Mansion, but he never expected this response.
“Elder Brother, I’m not trying to climb any tall branches or forget about Mother. I just think… what she said makes sense. Elder Brother, think about it. Would you willingly go to Clear Soft Pavilion? I would rather die than go there. Remember how much we suffered at Zhenxuan and Xiuzhen’s hands while Mother was still around? Have you really forgotten all about it? Now that Mother is gone, do you really think Second Mother is as kind and agreeable as she appears on the surface?”
Jin Zhenyi fell silent when his sister asked him that. He sat down on the ground, pondering for a while, before saying with resentment, “Anyway… anyway, I will not forgive that woman.”
“Don’t call her ‘that woman’. Father might not be pleased to hear it. We still have to address her properly. She is Father’s lawful wife, even back when she was not favoured, the rules cannot be disregarded, even more so now that she is favoured. Besides, do you think she cares about your forgiveness? In this well-furnished mansion, I think it’s fortunate that we have ended up in this position. If it were someone else, do you think they would hand over the properties under Mother’s name to Bai Lu?”
Bai Lu approached and said, “What Third Young Miss said is correct. Everyone used to say that Second Madam Ning, although mild-mannered, had a good temperament. Now, it seems that if her arrangements are carried out as she said, she would be an honest person. We are better off staying here than elsewhere. Well, although Concubine has been sent to the village, given time, after Young Master and Young Miss have made some progress and we mention it to the Young Marquis more often, we might be able to bring her back. But for now, let’s not dwell on it. Rest for a while, we will probably have lunch soon and take a nap after that. Doesn’t school start again the day after tomorrow? This maid will go prepare writing materials for Young Miss and Young Master.”
Watching Bai Lu walk away, there were only a few maids and matrons left in the room. Jin Zhenyi sighed, feeling that all his grand plans had turned into nothingness in the unexpectedly delighted gazes of those around him. He felt even more resentful towards Qiuning, thinking: She said that she was honest and had no schemes? Hmph, it was just a few words, yet she managed to make everyone in my house like her that much. Sooner or later, all these people would be bribed to her side.
However, no matter how angry and resentful he was, Jin Zhenyi didn’t dare to make trouble in Elegant Mansion. He also knew that when he provoked Jin Changfeng and framed him, although Mother shouldered the blame for him, Father might not be oblivious. It would be better to stay honest and low-key for the time being and not risk being expelled from the Jin Estate to the village. If that time comes, who else would strive to bring Mother back?
With that in mind, he behaved himself for a while, and even in school, he was more well-behaved than usual, so Jin Fengju didn’t punish him further.
This bout of turmoil was then considered resolved.
However, the gloom hanging over the Jing Dukedom was still far from being dispersed.
Although Jin Fengju’s consecutive schemes allowed Prince Rong to regain the Emperor’s trust and favour, the Emperor still had not summoned Jin Fengju to court by imperial decree. This inevitably made everyone in the Dukedom, from the Old Madam to the maids and servants, feel uneasy. Everyone knew that in other families, it was the child who relies on the father’s authority, but in this dukedom, it was the opposite. The entire family relied on this young marquis, who was only twenty-five years old.
Amidst the anxiety of the people, only Jin Fengju and Fu Qiuning remained calm and composed. Jin Fengju had long intended to rein in his sharpness, so the Emperor’s neglect played into his hands. Fu Qiuning understood Jin Fengju’s intentions, so she wasn’t in a rush either. Besides paying respects to the Old Madam and spending time conversing with her, she wholeheartedly cared for the children and made preparations for Aunt Yu’s marriage. She didn’t meddle in other matters, and coupled with Jin Fengju’s previous ruthless methods, the mansion was peaceful for a while.
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