You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 186 – Return in Brocade Clothes
Chinese opera traditional dress in temple translation language is 'lucky and prosperity for all'

Higher Level Wife – 186 – Return in Brocade Clothes

Chapter 186: Return in Brocade Clothes

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Gumihou

Proofread by Pill Bug


Jin Fengju was stunned for a moment, but he soon grinned back to say, “If it is an order from the Empress Dowager, this minister dares not disobey. However, Qiuning has always been weak and is not used to appearing before others. Adding on to that, without a title, it is not proper for her to meet with a person as illustrious as the Empress Dowager. Not to mention, this minister must apologise for our hasty entrance that goes against all etiquette, if she had to stay at the palace…”

The Empress Dowager laughed as she scolded, “We understand, you are hinting for a reward for your wife. What of it? Your Majesty, Fu’shi is both talented a virtuous, how about a Fifth-Rank title?”

The Dowager Empress was a true opera enthusiast. For the sake of listening to more unique opera songs, would she care about the cost of bestowing a title? Not to mention, with the national treasury so abundant, it was more than enough to fund a little Fifth-Rank title worth 10,000 taels of silver. Leave aside this low-cost low-level rank, the treasury is abundant enough that funding a First-Rank title worth a million taels of silver would be nothing.

The Emperor had always been a very filial person, after living for so many years, it was rare to see the old Empress Dowager getting excited about something, so how could he go against his mother’s wishes? Thus, it was settled.

Jin Fengju had not expected this when he brought Fu Qiuning into the palace. However, he felt a great weight off his heart when he thought about how Fu Qiuning would now have a Fifth-Rank title. Surely this would make up a part of what he once owed her? Therefore, his heart also felt at ease. He thought lovingly at Fu Qiuning: My beloved wife, I shall now give you all the titles that you deserve. After all, what does a wife expect from her husband if not the glory and honour he could give her? Surely Qiuning is also thinking the same?

While he was busy congratulating himself, Fu Qiuning threw herself to the floor, all the while her mind going: Nani? Stay in the palace? How many palace intrigue dramas and movies have I watched? I could die here?!

“Th-th-this humble woman is gratified to hear that Your Majesty likes opera, however, this humble woman never imagined to ever set foot in such a heavenly place and dares not overstay her welcome. This humble woman’s skill is poor and limited. This humble woman would be ever so grateful if Empress Dowager could allow this humble woman a day or two to properly practice the rest of the songs so that this humble woman would not humiliate herself before Your Majesty.”

Fu Qiuning’s desperate plea caused both the Empress Dowager and the Emperor to smile. Both thought: Goodness, just now, this girl did not show any signs of timidity when performing before us. To think that she would actually be so nervous at the prospect of staying at the palace alone. Sure enough, she must be anxious about being apart from her loving husband and close family members. No wonder she is suddenly so timid.

Pity welled up in the Empress Dowager’s heart and in the end, she did not insist for Fu Qiuning to stay. Instead, she said to Jin Fengju, “It appears that the weather for the next two days will be very fine. It has been a long time since I have last seen your mother and grandmother. Tomorrow, you should invite them to come to my palace for a visit and entertain this old lady for a bit.”

Jin Fengju was quick to agree. Seeing that the sky had already darkened, the Emperor, who had wanted to keep Jin Fengju back for the following banquet, relented and said with a smile, “Enough, since you came out so suddenly, your family must be anxious. Go back and reassure them, ba. We will not keep you any longer.”

Only then did Jin Fengju pull Qiuning up, and after one final salute, the husband and wife left the palace. [1] As they stepped out of the palace, Fu Qiuning muttered, “I should never have sung in front of the children if I had known that this would happen.”

Jin Fengju laughed and said, “Were you that frightened? This husband could not tell at all! You were very poised and elegant, answering each question that was posed to you. No, I could not see a bit of fright from you.”

Fu Qiuning’s mouth tightened, “Naturally, you only see what you wish to see and hear what you wish to hear, what could my inconvenient feelings matter in the face of your ambition?”

“How could my Qiuning say that? Of course, your feelings matter to me, in fact, nothing matters to me more than your feelings. Why…” Jin Fengju felt himself sweating as he continued to talk next to his wife, doing his best to coax a smile from that flattened mouth.

Both were so engrossed in their own thoughts that neither noticed that others had left the Clear Jade Hall just behind them. Prince Rong had wanted to rush over to congratulate his incredible brother-in-law for making such a great contribution to the Convention. However, Fu Qiuning was right next to him. Even he, a prince of the country, could not casually approach the wife of another man, therefore he could only hold himself back.

While he was feeling very pleased with the situation, Prince Hong and Zhenjiang Palace’s father and son looked like their world had turned upside down. Prince Hong, Zhao Min, glared at them and said, “Back then, to humiliate that Jin Fengju, you pushed a shu-born daughter into that family to slap the Jin Marquisate in the face. Now what? Only now did I know that you have granted an incredibly talented daughter who is both virtuous and intelligent to the benefit of that Jin Family. Is this your way of securing a retreat for yourselves?”

Zhao Min had always been a suspicious, narrow-minded, vindictive character who had always wanted revenge for the pettiest imagined insults. His words were clearly filled with insinuations, causing King Zhenjiang and his son to stumble over their words as they attempted to explain what had happened. In fact, they were also shocked. They thought: That girl, although she could be considered something of a talent back home, had never displayed such ability before. Just what is going on, ah?

Seeing these two covered in nervous sweat, Zhao Min smiled slightly, “Very well, this prince is only making a little joke. What’s more important is that our Great Ning Empire won the Cultural Festival again this year. It looks like Madam Fu would shine the brightest this year. Tsk, tsk, what a pity that this girl has fallen cheaply into the paws of a fox-like Jin Fengju.”

Feudal King Zhenjiang and his son appeared relieved, but they were filled with questions in their hearts. They knew Zhao Min’s temper well and understood that under his smiling face, he must suspect that their family were not entirely loyal to him. If the prince believed that they had secretly sent a talented girl to Jin Fengju to indirectly curry favour with Prince Rong… a chill went down their spines. Could it be that their unwavering loyalty towards Prince Hong was now wasted due to this incident?

What’s more, with Prince Rong on the rise and Prince Lie looking good before the Emperor, they realised that despite not facing any great oppression and still receiving the occasional rewards, the prince they had bet on did not appear to have received much favour from the emperor. Father and son exchanged a glance and saw the same hesitation and calculation in each other’s eyes for the first time.

In short, Fu Qiuning’s sudden appearance and incredible skills had shocked the senior officials of the Great Ning Dynasty to the point that everyone was now reevaluating their thoughts and plans.


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Back at the Duke of Jing’s residence, maids were waiting in the front courtyard when Jin Fengju and Fu Qiuning arrived. A young maid stepped forward with a face wreathed in smiles to say, “Would Second Master and Second Madam please wait a moment? Old Madam has been waiting for you. The Old Madam bade this one to wait for Master and Madam to return and instruct this one to invite you for a visit.”

Jin Fengju smiled at Fu Qiuning, “You say you do not wish to be famous, but this is fate. Though you do not wish to come out, each time you make an appearance, a great wave is formed. Let us see what our Old Ancestor wishes to see us about.”

Fu Qiuning clenched her fist. She said bitterly, “Is this my fault? Who was it that painted a target on my back and forced me out? Why don’t you think of this?”

Jin Fengju grinned at her, “Do not worry, now that you have been tasked to perform an important job, no one would dare to plot against you for at least a few months. Any slight against you would be like a slight against the royal family. In fact, I’m afraid even I must be more polite when I speak to my beloved wife.”

Fu Qiuning gave him a withering glare and decided not to waste words with this deluded man.

Jin Fengju continued to grin. He was feeling very proud of himself. Look at his wife. Fu Qiuning was so incredibly talented that he could feel nothing but pride and joy as he walked beside her. Yes, this was right, it was only right that people recognise his wife for the great talent that she is and be in awe of her. Therefore, he did not take her little tantrum seriously as he cheerfully said, “Are you still angry at me? Just say the word and I shall bear all the guilt you heap on me~”

He was still coaxing her when they arrived at Health & Longevity Court. There were many new maids in the courtyard, with most of them still inexperienced and not understanding their duty well. However, they all knew enough to wish the newcomers well and congratulate them with smiles on their faces. They thought: Look at how the Second Master is beaming, something good must have happened, let’s congratulate him first.

One of the young maids pulled back the curtain door and Jin Fengju eagerly pulled a reticent Fu Qiuning in. The room was filled with people. Not only were Madam Jiang, Jiang Wanying and He’shi there, but Jin Yanfang, the Feng family as well as the various children in the clan were present as well.

The children went forward to give their greetings to them first. Then, the couple came forward to give their greetings to Madam Jiang and Old Madam Jin when Old Madam Jin quickly interrupted and said, “Just what is happening? You, quickly tell me now. I heard that you dragged Qiuning off the palace in haste. What is going on? Why do you need her there?”

Seeing so many female relatives there, including the Feng sisters, he decided that it was not good to spend too much time there and instead, decided to quickly explain what happened. Naturally, he also had to use the opportunity to exaggerate his dear Qiuning’s role. Therefore, he said, “Naturally, it is something good. The court could not find any good talent to compete in the All Nations Cultural Festival this year, at least none that could decisively win this important competition. After all, as the host and the consecutive winner, how could we, the Great Ning Empire, lose face in this festival?

Fortunately, Qiuning has a talent for singing operas and the songs she sings are different from the ones we usually hear. As no one could suggest a good plan and the emperor was getting angrier by the moment, I tentatively suggested Qiuning, and the Emperor insisted on seeing her. With the Empress Dowager there as well, there was nothing I could do but hurry home and quickly brought Qiuning to the palace.

The Emperor and Empress Dowager had nothing but praise after hearing her opera songs. The Empress Dowager immediately conferred a Fifth-Rank title upon Qiuning on the spot. I fear that we shall soon receive the official decree soon. What’s more, the Empress Dowager insisted on having Qiuning stay the night at the palace, but Qiuning lacks education on palace etiquette, so we managed to quickly slip away.

From tomorrow onwards, she shall be very busy. Old Ancestor, you must take every opportunity to speak with her as we may not have many opportunities to meet her in the future. I shall go to the study first. I fear that Father and Second Uncle must also be anxiously waiting for news.”


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hime

    Scumbag husband is a typical man of the era. He only thinks about having a wife who looks good at his side – whether it be looks or talent. The only value of a wife seems to breed the next generation, look like a pretty vase which enhances his appeal to the mass or have a talent which can be exploited to enhance the family name.

    Whether the wife gets poison or backstabbed by others or step on in the harm is not important. What is important is making the family rise in the eyes of the Emperor

    Women are no different to money in which they are a currency to be traded off to exchange for ambition.

    1. Melissa

      Nicely summarized.

    2. Momocucupiu

      A painfully real examination.

    3. Gumihou

      What the author had been trying to sell as ‘true love’ was really just absurd obsession.

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