Chapter 189: The Dao of Couples (Unedited)
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Pill Bug
Gumihou: I really wanted to stop the ‘Unedited’ version, but this… this chapter it too unfair to poor innocent children!! It’s like the entire chapter is geared towards making JFJ’s ass shiny! !@#$!@#%!$%
Anyway, get your Edited Version HERE.
How would those few children have any idea that their unscrupulous father was secretly amused at the moment? They knew that they had done wrong, so none of them dared to speak up. Only Jin Zhenyi, at that moment, puffed up his chest. This fool was the one who was usually scolded the most by Jin Fengju, so his thick skin had trained well to become even thicker. Moreover, looking around and seeing his siblings being reprimanded as well, he felt that he was no longer the most unlucky one. As a result, he became somewhat smug.
Jin Fengju wasn’t genuinely angry either. He tried hard to suppress the overwhelming joy in his heart and relaxed his expression. Sitting in his seat and watching his sons and daughters being so respectfully silent, he laughed and said, “Alright, I understand that today, you were just too concerned about your mother, so you had no mood to focus on your studies. That is fine, Father has come here today specifically to answer your questions. Once everything is clear, put your worries aside and go to school diligently tomorrow. Understood?”
If Fu Qiuning were there, she would have definitely shouted that this guy was absolutely shameless. He had clearly been chased out by her, but he shamelessly took credit for showing his concern like a loving father. However, the children were oblivious to all that and couldn’t be more grateful to this respected father of theirs. They rushed forward, bombarding him with a flurry of questions.
“Father, did Mother go to the palace to sing an opera? What did she sing?”
“Father, is it true that the Empress Dowager and the Emperor are going to bestow Mother an imperial decree? Second Aunt was also granted one before, so will the Emperor change his mind and revoke it later?”
“Father, starting from tomorrow, will Mother no longer be at home? Then, what should we do? Who will manage this Elegant Mansion? Concubine Huo came over yesterday.”
“Father, what kind of play was it? Will you sing a few lines? Let me and my younger sister listen to it. Honoured Mother must be busy, and our older siblings don’t want to sing for us.”
Jin Fengju didn’t expect that his children would be as chirpy as little sparrows. Almost an hour had passed by the time he finished answering each of their questions. Sweat soaked his clothes, and he noticed his children’s foreheads were also glistening with sweat. However, all their eyes were sparkling, obviously from excess excitement. Though also enjoying the heartwarming sensation, he still stood up and said, “Alright, alright, we have played around for so long, yet all of you you are still not bothered by the heat. Yu Jie, bring them downstairs to rest. Tomorrow, you still have to get up early to go to the clan school.”
After giving the order, several maids walked in, but Yu Jie wasn’t among them. There were even two of them who he didn’t recognize. They all curtsied gracefully, and he rubbed his forehead, recalling that his wife had just selected maids for Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao. So, he carefully observed them and asked casually, “Are you the head maids for Feng’er and Jiao’er? What are your names?”
“This servant is called Qiu Yan (This servant is called Lotus Leaf) and greets the Young Marquis.” Both maids performed another wanfu salute. Lian Ye served Jin Changfeng, while Qiu Yab served Jin Changjiao. Jin Fengju noted that although they didn’t possess exceptional looks, they exuded a sense of stability and composure, which pleased him greatly. He nodded and said, “Not bad. Serve them well. If you serve well and take good care of the young master and young miss, your madam will naturally not treat you badly.”
The maids thanked him and led the children away. As he watched them leave, he recalled the scene of his children’s affectionate interaction and felt delighted. However, he soon thought of Jin Zhenxuan and Jin Xiuzhen, the elder siblings. He realised that he hadn’t visited the Clear Soft Pavilion for a while and decided it was time to check on them. Those two children were most sensitive and thoughtful since they followed their mother. He also thought of Jin Xiuru and Jin Xiufen. People in this expansive estate tended to praise or belittle others, so he should carefully choose some gifts for the children to prevent any sycophants from looking down on their charges if they thought that the girls had lost his favour.
Feeling distressed, he rubbed his forehead. He thought: Others only have to deal with mundane matters , while I am the one who is constantly bothered with state affairs, family matters, and everything else. Sigh, even if I am divided into eight pieces, it still wouldn’t be enough. If I had known it would be like this, I wouldn’t have listened to my parents back then and taken on these concubines. Now, besides adding to his troubles, what else can they do?
But it was too late for regrets. He could only think of how to manage everything as best as he could. While contemplating, he returned to his bedroom and noticed a silhouette near the window, illuminated by candlelight. It was dancing gracefully, yet it did not seem to be any of the usual songs or dances. Jin Fengju realised it should be Fu Qiuning acting out a play. However, her footsteps and gestures were extraordinarily beautiful, captivating the viewers. He wondered how enchanting it would be when paired with music and singing.
After silently watching for a while, Jin Fengju realised he had only heard Fu Qiuning’s clear singing before and had never seen her perform with such grace. He was fascinated and continued watching until she stopped dancing before he entered the room. He heard her singing a familiar verse, “Walking forward with sorrow and tears…”
“Yi? What opera is this? I have never heard you sing it before,” Jin Fengju raised an eyebrow in surprise. Hearing his voice, Fu Qiuning turned around and asked, “Have the children all gone to sleep?” After he confirmed they were, she replied, “Usually, I only sing a few pieces for you all. How could I perform the entire play? Do you know how many pieces there are in one play? Is it so unusual that you have never heard it? What is so astonishing about it?” She couldn’t help but stretch and yawn, saying, “Finally, it is almost done. Tomorrow, I still have to go to the palace and Lord Husband still has to attend court, so we had better sleep early.”
Jin Fengju embraced Qiuning and rested his chin on her face, sounding somewhat forlorn, “I really have bashed my own foot with a stone. If it weren’t for my loose mouth, how would you be so busy until we cannot even enjoy some intimacy?”
Fu Qiuning laughed, “You only realise this now? Wanting to love your country, and also wanting to love your family, how would there be any perfect outcome for both of them? Alright, stop dawdling, go to sleep. I am also sleepy now.”
Jin Fengju grinned playfully, “If I said that in the past, you would have sent me to another house. Why aren’t you anything now?” He was joking, but when he saw Fu Qiuning’s expression turning cold, he remembered that she was different from other women. If it were anyone else, even Jiang Wanying, she might playfully suggest going to another house but meant it half-jokingly. Only Qiuning, ever since they became husband and wife in name and reality, had never spoken such words again.
He also remembered those heartfelt words she had told him before: “Jealousy is one of the Seven Divorcing Offences, but if you truly love someone, how can jealousy not exist? For example, if I were thinking of another man right now, besides feeling ashamed and angry, wouldn’t you feel sour inside too? In the past, I could push you away because I didn’t have you in my heart. But once I had you there, how could I push you away?
You can say that I am not virtuous enough, you can even call me a ‘Lion on the East Riverbank’ , it is fine. Anyway, whenever I see you going to someone else, I feel uncomfortable in my heart, and I won’t willingly push you towards someone else. I am not a saint either, advocating for universal love. But making those young ladies follow you and remain unmarried spinsters from then on is indeed cruel, especially considering they have borne your flesh and blood. So, in the future, if you go to someone else’s house, you don’t have to tell me. As the saying goes, ‘Ignorance is bliss’. If we could be a little more ignorant about some things in this world, we’d be much happier than being aware of everything.” Thinking about that, he regretted his careless words even more. Thus, he quickly expressed his affection, trying to comfort and please Qiuning.
Fu Qiuning knew that in the current era, it was common for men to have multiple wives and concubines. Even though women like Jin Yanqiu were formidable and reason was on her side, she still had to bow to the Empress Dowager, suppress her sharpness and swallow her words. This revealed how low the status of women was. Jin Fengju’s treatment of her was truly a rare depth of affection that allowed such tolerance and indulgence. However, there was still some discomfort in her heart, which she didn’t show on her face. She merely said softly, “Lord Husband doesn’t have to do this. Brother Xuan and the Second Young Miss have not seen you in a while too. Take this opportunity to spend time with them, or you, as a father, would gain a reputation for being biased.”
Hearing her words, Jin Fengju felt relieved. He knew he didn’t need to be so accommodating and indulgent to Fu Qiuning. But for some reason, he wanted to cherish and love this woman in his heart. As long as it wasn’t something unreasonably cruel, he was willing to let her have her way. When he saw her jealous, there was only joy in his heart, feeling that it was because she cared about him. When she was angry and distant, a sense of fear crept into his heart. If he couldn’t appease her, he wouldn’t even be able to swallow rice. At that moment, only did he understand why some men feared their wives like tigers. It was more like being deeply in love than being afraid. For many of them, when they truly loved, there were no resentments. Wasn’t that how he felt?
The pair of husband and wife sighed silently in their hearts, then blew out the lights and went to bed. Needless to say, there were no words spoken throughout the night.
This lasted all the way until just past dawn when Fu Qiuning got up early. After seeing Jin Fengju off to court, she also got busy with dressing and grooming herself. Meanwhile, she watched Jin Changfeng, Jin Zhenyi and the others in their group of four children eating their meal. She advised, “Today, I am afraid I will not be home all day. You two should behave well at the clan school. You are not allowed to cause any trouble, especially you, Brother Yi. I talked with your father last night, and he mentioned that your poetry has shown some improvement. Don’t you get into any more trouble and ruin the good impression he has of you. Xiunan, you are well-behaved, help me keep an eye on your brother when you have the time.”
After speaking, when she saw Yu Jie entering the room, she asked, “Did you bring the salty pastries for them today as I instructed? The weather is hot today, and the school only provides regular meals. People tend to sweat a lot, so would be good to have some salty pastries with water, which is good for the body.” This was common knowledge for modern people, but she had to come up with an absurd excuse since she couldn’t openly talk about such things in ancient times.
Hearing that Yu Jie had prepared everything, she took the box and saw that each person had an egg and two rolls of stuffed vegetables, nodding in satisfaction. After finishing her meal, she saw the junior servants holding the food boxes and accompanying the children away, and so she hurriedly brought Yu Jie and Jian Feng to Health & Longevity Court. There, she saw Old Madam Jin and Madam Jiang, who were already prepared, waiting for her together.
“I am a little late because I had to send the children off to school,” Fu Qiuning smiled as she entered. Perhaps Jiang Wanying disliked seeing her being favoured, so wasn’t in the room that early in the morning. Only Madam Fang and He’shi were there sitting there, accompanying Old Madam Jin.
Pill Bug TL Notes:
The original Chinese couplet is 风声雨声读书声声声入耳，家事国事天下事事事关心 (The sound of the wind and rain, the sound of reading, the sound of reading; family affairs, state affairs, world affairs, and everything concerned), used to educate people to not only to devote themselves to studying, but also to the need to care about politics. The two should be closely integrated to apply what they have learned.
Jin Fengju was experiencing 我这是国事家事天下事事事操心 instead of 关心, meaning he was getting annoyingly bothered by all the affairs instead of merely being concerned with them.
 河东狮 Chinese idiom, means a jealous woman or a shrew. The original idiom is 河东狮吼, Lion roaring by the east of the river, describing a jealous wife making a commotion about her husband.
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