Chapter 184: So, Shit was Stirred Up by You (Unedited)
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by AI
Edited by Gumihou
Gumihou: Honestly, the promising title is wasted since the entire chapter was basically one big scam to make JFJ look good. Read what it should have been HERE
When Jin Zhenyi saw his sister choke on her words, even though he knew that Jiang Wanying was just another woman, at this moment, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction. Raising an eyebrow and humming a tune, he left.
Leaving aside the children waiting for their mother to return in the mansion, Fu Qiuning and Jin Fengju, as soon as they stepped out of the courtyard gate, there was a sedan chair waiting for them. After getting into the sedan chair, less than a quarter of an hour later, they passed through the West Corner Gate. At this time, there was already a magnificent Eight Treasure Fragrant Carriage waiting outside the gate. Fu Qiuning and Jin Fengju boarded the carriage, and the carriage started moving, heading straight towards the palace.
The couple sat facing each other, and Jin Fengju carefully observed Fu Qiuning. However, she didn’t expect that Fu Qiuning was still angry. Seeing the infatuated look on his face, she couldn’t help but snort and say, “What are you looking at? Don’t you recognize me anymore? I wish you had never recognized me.”
Jin Fengju chuckled, “What are you saying? It’s just that I think you look more beautiful than usual. Although you have the demeanor of a scholar, as well as the simplicity of a chrysanthemum, seeing you without any makeup, suddenly dressing up gives off a different charm.”
Fu Qiuning sneered, “You really don’t know how lucky you are. The Marquis has countless beauties by his side. If we talk about enchanting beauties, aren’t there plenty? Lady Wan and the other concubines, they are all one in a hundred. Even if the Marquis wanted to buy a beautiful maid, wouldn’t everyone fight over it? But now you say this to me, it seems like you are belittling me, right?”
Jin Fengju opened the folding fan and waved it a few times before smiling, “There’s a hidden meaning in those words. What’s wrong? Are you angry because I asked you to perform in the palace? I remember telling you before that if the opportunity arose, I would need you to showcase your talents. You didn’t object at the time, so why are you angry now?”
Fu Qiuning thought to herself that she had only done it to save her life, and besides, she wasn’t his legitimate wife back then. Thinking of this, her anger grew even stronger, and she turned her head coldly and said, “So you also know that this is performing in the palace. What do you think of me? Am I just some lowly street performer?” She said this while silently praying in her heart, thinking that the world has a conscience. My soul from the modern society doesn’t look down on performers at all. It’s all because of this despicable feudal society that I have to say these things.
But Jin Fengju said strangely, “Performer? Qiuning, you actually have such a self-deprecating view of yourself? No wonder you’re so angry with me. So that’s how it is.” As he spoke, he closed the folding fan and lightly patted his palm while saying with a smile, “What kind of performer? This play you’re performing is unprecedented and incomparable to those lowly actors. This pioneering work should be called a masterpiece by you. Moreover, now that we’re in front of the Emperor, even a few esteemed old officials from the court, when they have free time and are summoned by the Emperor, during times of joy between monarch and subjects, they might even sing a song or two in front of us. Even the Emperor and Empress, when they are having a good time in front of the Empress Dowager, they might sing a segment. Not to mention how you compare to those esteemed old officials, even compared to me, what difference is there? Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a good singing voice, nor do I know how to sing. Otherwise, I would have sung a few songs in front of the Emperor during my leisure time. I’m afraid I would have received many rewards.”
What? Just because it’s performing in front of the Emperor and Empress, does it give such a big face? Does it instantly elevate one from a lowly actor to a master? What kind of logic is this? This damn feudal society is too superficial.
Fu Qiuning wondered in her heart, then she remembered that this feudal society was indeed superficial, with extremely strict class distinctions. Everyone regarded the Emperor as the heavens, and in front of him, no matter what you did, receiving praise was a great honor. Otherwise, why would there be so many girls willing to do anything to accompany the Emperor in his carriage? In their eyes, he wasn’t an old man, he was the heavens. As long as they could enter the harem, it was a great glory. No wonder during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, even Heshen, who was highly esteemed, often sang for the Emperor, and even had to dress up while singing. It turned out to be for this reason.
Thinking of this, she became even more angry, looking at Jin Fengju with her eyes, only to see him looking at her in confusion. When he saw her gaze, he laughed and said, “Qiuning, you really are unexpected. Do you think performing in front of the Emperor is nothing? It’s an honor, a great honor. If you receive the Emperor’s praise, the entire Duke’s Mansion will be proud, and no one will dare to oppose you in the future. How can you not understand such a simple truth, even a three-year-old child knows?”
Fortunately, in this situation, Fu Qiuning quickly came up with a reasonable excuse and said angrily, “Singing for the Empress Dowager and the Emperor is indeed an honor, but what about afterwards? Now that I’m the only one who knows this type of opera, am I supposed to perform for those barbarians from all over the world like those street performers? Where do you place me?”
Jin Fengju laughed and shook his head, “My god, if it were really like that, how could you think of me as such a worthless scoundrel? Not to mention that you are the only one in my heart and my lifelong beloved, even if I neglected you at that time, just because you are my legitimate wife, there is no reason to let you appear in public, let alone perform in front of people. Even your father and grandfather, if they didn’t care about you, they would never let you do such a thing. It’s a disgrace to the family, how could it happen? Can you compare those commoners and the Emperor and Empress?”
Fu Qiuning frowned, “If that’s the case, then how did you win first place in that cultural convention?”
Jin Fengju smiled, “What’s difficult about that? You naturally can’t appear in public, but you can personally select some talented individuals from the royal theater and teach them to sing. There are still more than four months until the convention, so during this time, rehearsing one play should be enough. Just this one play is enough to win first place. The Ministry of Rites didn’t choose any outstanding talents this year, but many countries want to make a name for themselves at this convention since there hasn’t been any war on the borders for many years. If we lose this time, the next convention might be held in the winner’s capital. That would be a huge blow to Daning. That’s why the Emperor was dissatisfied before and even scolded the officials from the Ministry of Rites. When I saw his worries, I immediately thought of your play and reported it to him. Sure enough, he was delighted and urged me to come back and get you. Look, it’s already late afternoon and he couldn’t even wait until tomorrow morning. It shows how much he cares about this matter.”
Fu Qiuning frowned, “Even so, if I don’t appear in public, won’t people still know that I’m the one who created this play? What will they say about me?”
Jin Fengju proudly smiled, “Are you worried about what others will say? Who dares to say a word against you? You are the legitimate daughter of the Duke of Zhenjiang and my legitimate wife. Even if you create this opera, everyone will only praise your extraordinary talent. They will think you came down from the heavens. Do you think you’re just the daughter of a lowly commoner, allowing those ordinary people to gossip about you over tea? It’s a joke. Don’t worry, everyone will only admire and respect you, there won’t be any rumors. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need you. Those esteemed old officials I mentioned earlier, who would dare to look down on them when they sing in front of the Emperor? Including me and several princes, who wouldn’t be respectful to them?”
After hearing Jin Fengju’s words, Fu Qiuning slowly relaxed. She couldn’t blame him for being so cautious and indirect. It was because she had read too many novels about palace intrigues. The fact that she had the knowledge of opera that didn’t exist in this era had always been a big burden on her mind. If what Jin Fengju said was true, then this burden could finally be put down.
“How about it? Are you reassured now?” Jin Fengju saw her expression ease and smiled, then sighed, “Speaking of which, that old lady in your village has no luck. Otherwise, she would have enjoyed this glory instead of falling on your head after her death.”
Fu Qiuning remained silent but couldn’t help rolling her eyes in her heart. What’s the big deal? Just singing a couple of plays for the Emperor. She didn’t expect Jin Fengju to be so impressive-looking but not much different from ordinary people. He regarded the Emperor so highly. Although she thought this way, she knew that loyalty to the monarch was deeply ingrained in the people of this era. Unless someone had rebellious intentions, they would always prioritize the emperor over their own lives and loved ones. The Jin family had received the Emperor’s favor for generations, so it was not surprising that Jin Fengju had such thoughts.
Jin Fengju thought she was considering what repertoire to perform in front of the Emperor and said, after pondering for a moment, “I mean, there’s no need to perform both Huangmei opera and Yue opera at once. There will be a World Civilization Convention in the future, and it would be a waste to spread both types of opera right away. For now, you can just sing one type, and in three years, you can make another achievement with the other type. If there are talented individuals by then, it wouldn’t hurt to preserve this one type. Who knows, maybe we can use it in a certain year. What do you think?”
Fu Qiuning thought that this kind of thing was naturally up to him to decide, so she agreed. She then heard Jin Fengju say, “Which one should we sing first? It’s really hard to choose. What do you think, Qiuning? Should we start with Huangmei opera or Yue opera?”
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