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Higher Level Wife – 194 – Son-in-Law’s Visit (2)

Chapter 194: Son-in-Law’s Visit (2)

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou


Fu Shanlin chuckled, “Indeed, His Majesty’s favour towards you means that your responsibilities naturally become heavier. Speak then, what is the matter? What could trouble Fengju to come here personally?”

Jin Fengju smiled and replied, “King and Heir should already be aware of Qiuning’s responsibilities. In fact, the All Nations Cultural Festival is something that weighs greatly on my mind. Upon seeing His Majesty’s distress, I hastened to mention Qiuning’s skills in Huangmei Opera. When I returned home, I suffered a round of complaints from her. I tried many ways to placate Qiuning, thumped my chest and gave all kinds of guarantees to appease her just to coax a smile. Finally, I found the one thing that would persuade her to even look my way. Thus, I came here, in hopes that the King and Heir will assist me.”

Both Fu Shanlin and Fu Qinghe were bewildered, “What are you saying? How could that child be so ungrateful? Just by recommending her, Fengju had granted that child immense honour and prestige. Not to mention, didn’t she receive a noble title for this opera? What is there to complain about? That child is too outrageous.”

Jin Fengju hastily beamed, “We mustn’t blame Qiuning. She has her reasons. These days, Qiuning has been thinking about her mother a lot. However, before the Dragon Boat Festival, there were too many chaotic matters that occupied her time. Both King and Heir should also be aware of some of the issues we have been facing. We did not have a moment to spare then. Originally, we had planned for Qiuning to return and stay for a few days after the festival. Unexpectedly, I had to push her out into the limelight.

King and Heir should also understand that the All Nations Cultural Festival is of significant importance and that His Majesty values it greatly. Qiuning is busy teaching the songstresses and dancers about the operas and even has to aid the orchestra in composing music. How would there be any time for her to return here for a visit?

The other day, I dropped some hints to His Majesty, hoping she could take a few days off. However, my request was plainly rebuffed. His Majesty stated that since Qiuning longs for her mother and is afraid of neglecting her teaching duties, it would be better for her mother to go to her and stay for a few days at the Duke of Jing’s estate instead. The affairs in the imperial palace require her careful attention and there should be no distractions at all.

Thus, this is why I had no choice but to come today. Originally, I planned to bring Qiuning along, but who knew that the palace could not spare her at all? Time is of the essence, and nothing can be delayed even for a moment. Qiuning simply could not spare the time, or rather, the imperial palace could not spare her the time. During the short while I was standing at the Zhenjiang palace gates, I am afraid that Qiuning had already entered the imperial palace and started instructing.”

After his [a] long and dramatic explanation, both Fu Shanlin and Fu Qinghe couldn’t help but exchange glances with each other. [a] Wasn’t this fellow just a tad long-winded and dramatic? To the point of hysteria? This crazy fellow managed to express his words at length and even managed to invoke the Emperor’s name, leaving them not even an inch to refuse. Since they were from the opposite faction, they naturally would not want Jin Fengju to succeed in whatever scheme he had up in his sleeves, but… looking at this emotional and slightly hysterical person, it may well be possible that he was indeed desperately in love with Fu Qiuning and was at the end of his wits.

After a brief silence, Fu Shanlin laughed and said, “It is Qiuning who is considerate. The All Nations Cultural Festival is indeed an extraordinary event, and as the leader of a glorious civilisation with the most number of brilliant scholars and elites, if we allow those barbaric nations to surpass us, wouldn’t the entire world laugh at us? Considering its immense significance, Qinghe, go order the servants to help Qiuning’s mother pack up. Have her follow Fengju back to the Jing Dukedom.”

Fu Qinghe was taken aback for a moment, not expecting his father to agree so quickly. Although Jin Fengju’s [a] speech just now was rather… passionate, sending his woman to the Jing Dukedom, even if justified, was still against custom. Refusing might still be an option. However, thinking of Fu Shanlin’s earlier words, he felt he could understand matters a little.

Even so, how could he be willing to allow Jin Fengju just take someone from his harem away just like that? Where would he place the face of Zhenjiang Palace later? Just pick someone up? This brat was clearly here to settle some old score about them forcing Qiuning on him back then.

Fu Qinghe [b] pretended to think for a moment before reluctantly smiled and said, “You may be right, it’s just… this particular concubine of mine has not set foot outside of our palace since the day she married in. If she were to leave the palace to stay at my daughter’s place, would it not invite ridicule? If Qiuning truly misses her mother, then have her return to stay here for a few days. After all, going from here to the imperial palace is also quite convenient.”

Jin Fengju raised an eyebrow and glanced at Fu Qinghe. Although his face still wore a smile, his eyes gained a hint of sharpness. Slowly, he said, “Is that so? Strange, why did I hear Qiuning say that she and my mother-in-law lived in the village for many years? Now that Heir is saying this, I’m really not sure which is true.” When Fu Qinghe’s expression changed, he smiled slightly and continued, “Well, no matter. What happened, has happened. If circumstances had not changed, Qiuning would naturally come to stay at the palace to see her mother. However, with Qiuning leaving early for the palace and returning late, the children could barely catch a glimpse of her face and look forward to these brief, fleeting interactions.

If she were to return to the palace, they would not even have these fleeting glimpses. Not to mention, even if she does come here, she would still be leaving early and returning late. How could the children bear it?” [a] He sighed dramatically, fanning his face. After a while, he picked up his teacup with a smile, took a sip and praised, “Indeed, this is very good tea.”

Fu Qinghe’s lungs were about to explode from anger. He thought: You stinky brat, spare me your nonsense. Are those even my daughter’s own children? You’re talking as if they’re not your offspring as well. Just as he was about to retort, Jin Fengju spoke with an obviously fake smile, “Moreover, the whole capital knows that we are in-laws, but in recent years, there had been rumours that simply would not disappear. It is hard to say that these words haven’t tickled His Majesty’s ears. Heir, please give it some thought. If His Majesty knows that I came to fetch someone but couldn’t, and instead, let Qiuning go and stay with her maternal family, his discomfort might be secondary. The most crucial matter is that His Majesty might start getting suspicious. If the old man starts believing that the King and Heir have intentions against our Jing Dukedom, then, even if this son-in-law argues until he is out of breath, it might be to no avail.”

This was the first time he had referred to himself as ‘son-in-law’ since stepping into Zhenjiang Palace. However, there was not even a hint of respect in his tone. Even though he still wore a smile on his face, occasional glimpses of sharpness flashed in his eyes, revealing an air of arrogance. While Fu Shanlin and Fu Qinghe were itching with resentment, they could not help but be secretly shocked.

“What Fengju said makes sense. Qinghe, do not worry so much,” Fu Shanlin finally smiled slightly. He sighed inwardly, thinking: My son, even if you are dissatisfied, what can you do? Do not forget that this brat just mentioned that His Majesty knows of this matter, and His Majesty personally passed down orders. Even if you do not let him do as he pleases today, do you think the face that you are rejecting is his? You are rejecting His Majesty’s face, ah. Isn’t that seeking death? Compared to not letting go of the minor face-losing matter of a concubine being taken to Jing Dukedom, isn’t letting His Majesty harbour resentment far worse?

Today’s incident is a loss for us either way. Perhaps this brat already has already long had this plan in mind. Now, we can only choose the lesser of two evils. Moreover, it is possible that His Majesty is personally seeking justice for the slap we gave Fengju at Jing Dukedom back then. Let it be, let it be.

Fu Shanlin had spent decades struggling in court battles, so he naturally saw things more clearly than his son. Indeed, after hearing that, Jin Fengju immediately smiled and said, “The estate has prepared everything, there is no need to pack anything. Many thanks to the King and Heir.” He raised his hand in a gesture of respect and took another light sip of First Daybreak Snow tea.

Fu Qinghe was furious, but since things had reached that point, he could only wear a smile on the surface. He sent someone to inform Yu’shi. After quite some time had passed, seeing that there was still no reply, he furrowed his brows and stood up, saying, “Why hasn’t anyone come yet? These servants are already lazy, but now they seemed to be deliberately dragging their feet.”

Seeing Jin Fengju leisurely enjoying his tea, Fu Qinghe felt a sudden anger rising in his heart. Although the other person was indeed elegant and dashing, in his eyes, it was far from pleasing. He simply wished he could send off this adversary as soon as possible.

As for Jin Fengju, how could he not be anxious? [c] This was the one mission that Fu Qiuning had entrusted him to! The only thing that she had ever asked him for! Though he appeared relaxed on the surface, he was actually sweating under the gazes of the two old Fu geezers. Every time he looked at them, it reminded him of that time back then. Resentment and gratitude roiled inside him, confusing him in turns. [c1] He was resentful of being married to the Zhengjiang King’s granddaughter; he was glad to finally have Qiuning look at him. He hated the feeling of helplessness when forced to marry that woman; he was grateful to Fu Qiuning for taking in the twins and raising them well. He- he-

He stood up and said, “Indeed, it is no longer early. I still have matters to attend to at the government office. Since my mother-in-law is someone who pays attention to detail and must have a lot of things to pack, Zhenjiang Heir, why not escort me to the inner court? I shall personally explain matters to my mother-in-law and coax her to travel lightly so that we may set off right away. How about it? It would not only be convenient for us, but would also save Zhenjiang Palace some trouble.”

Fu Qinghe was even more annoyed. He thought: This stinky brat! He is the esteemed Young Marquis, yet he refers to a mere concubine as ‘mother-in-law’. He calls me Zhenjiang Heir’, but has yet to call me ‘father-in-law’ even once. Even if your position now is different from the past, aren’t you being a bit too arrogant?

While he was fuming, he heard his father say calmly, “Since Fengju says so, Qinghe, escort him to the inner court. Women can be a little too chatty, wasting time and effort indeed.”

With no other choice, Fu Qinghe had to escort Jin Fengju to the inner court. When they reached Concubine Luo’s courtyard, they saw a few maids rushing about in the room and Concubine Luo nagging at Concubine Yu, “Don’t forget your medicines, take them fifteen minutes before meals. And these tonics as well. There is some bird’s nest left from last time, you should take all of it with you. Knowing your personality, you probably wouldn’t trouble others to get it. Even though our young lady is meticulous, with such a monumental task on her hands, she might struggle to take care of everything. And, yes, although it is summer now, don’t forget about your condition. Remember to wear an extra layer when you go out…”

Jin Fengju raised an eyebrow. He noticed that Concubine Yu was listening from the side and Concubine Luo’s tone gradually choking up. He immediately understood, thinking: Right, which servant in these grand residences doesn’t flatter the strong and step upon the weak? The Zhengjiang Palace masters themselves were the very picture of this despicable attitude. Is there any hope that the servants would behave any better? He believed that only Concubine Luo had been taking care of Concubine Yu’s health. Otherwise, she would not have been able to recount these things so meticulously.

“That’s enough, why are you all so long-winded? When you get to the Jing Dukedom, there will naturally be people to take good care of you,” Fu Qinghe suddenly spoke. He then gave Concubine Luo a stern glare, which frightened both women so much that they practically jumped. They quickly took their places before the men and saluted, then seeing Jin Fengju behind Fu Qinghe, their unease deepened.

Concubine Yu was weak. So, it was Concubine Luo who organised the maids to carry her various luggage. Jin Fengju paused. He recalled the last time he was here, seeing how sympathetic Concubine Luo was with Concubine Yu. He turned his gaze to Fu Qinghe’s dark expression. Once Concubine Yu left, this pent-up frustration might land on Concubine Luo. So, he thought that since he was going to do a good deed, he might as well see it through to the end and bring her along to add another favour to Fu Qiuning.


[Gumihou: But of course, anything for points]


[a] Little additions to enhance other characters’ awareness of JFJ’s perceived insanity and unnecessary dramatics

[b] Instead of portraying Fu Qinghe as ‘petty minded’ vs JFJ’s ‘benevolence’, have a drama queen vs drama queen thing.

[c] Emphasis JFJ’s desperation to highlight FQN’s indifference. Gumi could play the game too, Author-san

[c1] Take this opportunity to address the feelings that JFJ would have felt for FQN and her family. Like, White Pear Flower-san? This is a precious turning point moment for your scumbag character, which you have wasted since you decided to whitewash his ass and polish his butthole way back then!


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Melissa

    In for a penny in for a pound. Love that we got looking into the minds of all three Roosters upset with each other. Glad he’s getting both out though.

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