Chapter 207: The Young Marquis’ Position
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Pill Bug
Edited by Gumihou
Gumihou: Fuming with anger, Fu Qiuning returned to Elegant Mansion.
Lol, nope, only AR Qiuning will act like this. Chapter 206 was, uh, ambitiously named
By the time Fu Qiuning reached Elegant Mansion, she had more or less forgotten about the pitiful show put on by Jin Fengju and his two hoes. She found Yu’shi and Luo’shi still chatting cheerfully with Jin Yanfang and nodded to them before excusing herself. She was still nursing a slight headache after interacting with Jin Fengju earlier, and wanted to lie down for a bit. With Luo’shi and Yu’shi in the residence, they could be called to entertain those random visitors. Yes, it was a good idea to bring poor Fu Qiuning’s mother back to live with her.
After the mistress of the house disappeared into her rooms, Jin Yanfang tactfully excused herself and left.
Yu’shi and Luo’shi followed after Fu Qiuning into the inner room.
Luo’shi cautiously said, “Madam looks tired, was it because of those performers? Madam should not take their actions to heart, as students of the arts, their tempers are a little delicate…”
Fu Qiuning was amused, “I know this well, it’s fine. The performers and musicians are all very motivated and driven. It was a joy to guide them.”
Yu’shi looked around nervously before stepping forth to say, “Has… Madam perhaps… has Madam found out something?”
It was clear that these two women would not let her go for the day. In fact, their gazes were similar to the two hoes from Jin Fengju’s study. Frankly, she was impatient for her nap, so she said, “Perhaps Mother could be more specific…?”
Yu’shi hurriedly said, “It’s just, there had been some hints from the Feng Sisters and…”
Luo’shi snorted and said, “They are really in such a hurry, aren’t they? Don’t they care about their reputations at all? Not to mention, they clearly know that Young Marquis already has a large pile of wives, concubines and children. To think they would still have this idea in their heads. These young ladies at the peak of their youth, ah, with that kind of beauty, what young talents can’t they hook? Yet, they simply had to choose to stab Madam in the back.”
Fu Qiuning raised her eyebrows and said lazily, “Oh? So, such a thing happened?”
Yu’shi sighed and said, “Qiuning, please do not blame me for saying this. Those three girls, even though they have not been mistreated at the Jing Dukedom, are still living as guests on another’s whim. With their looks, it is only natural for them to have ambitions. Who wouldn’t want to go from being guests to becoming the real landlords?”
Fu Qiuning waved a hand and said, “It’s fine. This has nothing to do with me. If the Young Marquis feels that he wants more children in this estate, he could attach more women to his harem. It’s not like I have the only claim to his affections. Others will deride me as a jealous woman if I do anything, so why bother?”
Luo’shi nodded, “Well, if Madam could be open-minded, that is good too…”
Yu’shi sighed, “While they reside within the noble estate, how could they not be aware of what goes on behind these grand doors? How can those children from rich families compare to our family’s Young Marquis? Just look around the entire capital, are there any young men as perfect in handsomeness and character, and as favoured by the Emperor as him? Once the Emperor designates Prince Rong as the crown prince, what will the future of the Jing Dukedom and its Young Marquis be like? Who isn’t aware of this? My dear naive daughter, there are few fools in this world. The three Feng sisters have seen how deeply our young lord cares for you, so it is only natural for them to desire a piece of the pie. This is simply human nature ah.”
Fu Qiuning snorted in amusement, “Did they never think that a man who could divide his affections once could be persuaded to divide it twice, thrice and more? After all, if a man is willing to compromise once, he will be willing to compromise a hundred times. What ‘deeply care for me’? It is all a joke to him. Women in the harem are nothing but a joke to men in power.”
Yu’shi looked nervously around, “Dear child, you should not speak like this…”
Luo’shi advised, “Let me tell you, Qiuning, you also should not be too stubborn about this. Those three girls’ appearances are all at peak level, and they are grateful to you. If the Master takes them as concubines… well, it is nothing unusual for a man to have three wives and four concubines. Haven’t you noticed that now, even Second Madam Wan no longer cares either? She used to be jealous of you back then, and that is why Master does not favour her now. She has learned to be obedient, so why should you not follow that same path?”
Fu Qiuning coughed, “Is that what it looks like to you? That Second Madam Wan no longer cares? She cares more than you think. However, that poor woman could not show it lest she is labelled as a jealous woman.”
The two women in front of her looked confused by her careless words. They sought to advise her not to be jealous, but… her seemingly callous behaviour went against the ‘warm and benevolent’ image that a woman should conform to. Should they comfort her or advise her? Should they tell her to be warmer to her husband? What ought they do?
In the end, Fu Qiuning put them out of their misery by saying, “No need to worry about this. If they are destined to be my sisters, they will be. It all depends on where Lord Husband decides to point his… affections to.” She almost said something scandalous but refrained at the last second.
That finally got Yu’shi and Luo’shi to get up and leave the room. Fu Qiuning reclined on the couch and fell asleep. Only when she felt an itch in her ear did she turn and see Jin Fengju sitting on the couch, smiling at her. Fu Qiuning was still not fully awake, and she asked, “Why are you here again? Didn’t I just went to the study?”
Jin Fengju chuckled, “What were you thinking about so deeply? You have even lost track of time. Look at the sky outside. Do you know what time it is? Am I not supposed to come back for dinner? Since you finally have some free time, and it is no longer early in the day, why don’t we go to Elder Madam’s place for a chat?”
“Elder Madam’s place? Why? What for?” asked Fu Qiuning grudgingly. She had no love for that hypocritical woman.
Jin Fengju smiled and said, “I have never missed my twice daily morning and evening greetings, you know?”
Fu Qiuning had risen up to sit in front of the mirror to comb her hair, “I have yet to give any greeting to Elder Madam aside from the times we meet at Old Madam’s place. Is there a reason why I should start?”
Jin Fengju laughed heartily and said, “If my Madam gives the order, I dare not disobey. Not to mention just carrying a tiny bit of the burden, carrying everything is not a problem either. I am just afraid of how much that Old Madam has taken a liking to you because of that opera. Not only will she not punish you, she might even reward you. At that time, will you let me carry it for you?”
Fu Qiuning had no idea what he was talking about. Burden? What burden? What is he planning to carry for me? Had he carried out an entire conversation in his head without consulting me?
Let’s just change the subject, “I’m ready to leave now.”
Jin Fengju was quick on his feet and escorted her out happily. He even made sure to greet Yu’shi and Luo’shi first, knowing how emotionally attached his beloved Qiuning was to those two ladies. Finally, they left the courtyard to make their way towards Health & Longevity Court.
On the way, Jin Fengju had Jian Feng follow them from a distance as he said to Fu Qiuning, “Did you ask Yu Jie about what I mentioned last time? I think Ling Yun is interested in Yu Jie, but I wonder what she thinks.”
Fu Qiuning frowned and said, “Yu Jie is shy but interested. There should be no great obstacle on her side. She is more concerned that the other side’s parents would object to her slave status.”
To her vague surprise, Jin Fengju clapped his hands and laughed, saying, “That is unexpectedly great, the two of them are suitable to form a couple. Ling Yun also mentioned this to me. Although some wealthy families have come to propose marriage recently, both of his parents come from humble backgrounds and he does not want to marry a wealthy young lady, fearing it would upset his parents. He also claims to have no grand ambitions and to only possess a shallow foundation. He does not want a wife who expects her husband to ascend to the heavens, to avoid having to endure complaints in the future, saying that he is a cheater and made a girl use up her youth in vain.
When we visited the farmstead last time, he saw Yu Jie, and even though he did not express to me explicitly, it seemed like he was pleased. He said that she looked pretty, and most importantly, she lacked a pretentious and sheltered demeanour. He is a carefree and easy-going person himself, and it appears the both of them have compatible temperaments.”
Fu Qiuning nodded, she had no idea whether any of this was true, but since Yu Jie had stuck with her all this while, she could still help the girl if anything went wrong with her marriage, “That is good.”
Jin Fengju continued, “He is definitely not the type that would marry for backing either. He and I can be considered to have spent quite some time together, and he has been very sincere. I have also met his parents once, and they are both honest and straightforward people. Since he claims to have no big ambitions, why would he want to gain his backing through me? Besides, if he wanted to gain my backing, why would he choose Yu Jie, a maid? I have mentioned the matter regarding the Feng family’s misses to him before, but he declined, saying they are like celestial maidens from heaven, and he would not dare to covet a girl of such high status.”
Fu Qiuning gave him the side eye, thinking: Sir, I never asked you about all of this. However, it looks like Jin Fengju must have been alerted by the Feng girls’ attention and was now doing his best to get rid of them before the news could upset his latest ‘love’.
She nodded to herself. While it would be nice to have some of the heavy attention away from her person, it would not be good for the children if Jin Fengju married more women and produced more kids just to abandon them for his next great love. Even now, her heart ached for the children he already had. Children which he neglects even now while showering his attention on Jin Changfeng just because he was ‘her child’. How would Jin Changfeng feel once Jin Fengju got her pregnant and began to spoil her natural child instead? That future was just too bleak to consider.
“Did you just sigh with relief?” Jin Fengju teased. There was no way the two bedroom maids in his study would not find a way to tattle to Fu Qiuning. There was a reason why he did not have the servants bar the Feng girls from leaving Yong Cui Garden. That way, they would be free to make trouble and perhaps fall into the eyes of his beloved Qiuning.
Fu Qiuning looked to the side and rolled her eyes. She already saw through the two hoes’ bad acting. Did he really think that her eyes were nothing but holes in her head? Fortunately, they had entered Health & Longevity Court and she did not have to hear any of his nonsense anymore.
Jin Fengju must have caught her rolling her eyes because he suddenly said, “What is it now? Why did you roll your eyes? Have I said something to invite ridicule?”
However, there was no time to shake an answer out of Fu Qiuning, several maids quickly pulled the curtains, and one rushed inside and shouted loudly, “The Young Marquis and Second Madam Ning have arrived.”
[Gumihou: Ever since I knew that this was White Pear Flower’s first novel, I gave even less f*cks when editing.]
Pill Bug TL Notes: