Chapter 207: The Young Marquis’ Position (Unedited)
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Pill Bug
Edited by Gumihou
Gumihou: In this chapter, Fu Qiuning’s character has clearly been swapped with Jiang Wanying. I shall now do my utmost best to reverse this
Fu Qiuning: Please do, it’s all disgustingly superficial and tsun-tsun,
Gumihou: You may read the edited version HERE
Fuming with anger, Fu Qiuning returned to Elegant Mansion. She happened to find Yu’shi and Luo’shi still conversing with Jin Yanfang. None of them had ever seen Fu Qiuning look so grim. She exchanged greetings briefly and then excused herself, claiming she wasn’t feeling well as she headed to the inner room. The three women didn’t think much of it and assumed it was related to difficulties in the drama rehearsal. Therefore, Jin Yanfang hurriedly bade her leave as well.
Yu’shi and Luo’shi followed Fu Qiuning into the inner room. Luo’shi spoke to Fu Qiuning, “Those are all performers from the palace. Speaking of their temperaments, they would naturally be quite a bit more delicate…”
“Mother, Concubine Luo, I am not this angry because of them,”
As the two people in front of her were the closest people to her, Fu Qiuning’s belly full of anger had nowhere to vent, so she didn’t want to hide it from them either and sent Jian Feng out to stand guard. She looked straight at the two women and said, “Mother, Concubine Luo, did you not notice anything unusual these days? For example, the three Feng misses from the Feng family? Have they been oh so well-behaved in our Elegant Mansion?”
Luo Shi and Yu Shi exchanged glances, both showing signs of shock. Yu’shi cautiously asked, “Qiuning, so you have unearthed some clues?”
Fu Qiuning responded with a cold smile, “It appears that Mother and Concubine Luo both have ideas in your hearts too. They are really in such a hurry, aren’t they? Don’t they care about their reputation anymore? Not to mention, they clearly know that Young Marquis already has a large pile of wives, concubines and children. They actually still had that idea in mind. These young ladies at sweet sixteen ah, with that kind of beauty, what kind of young talents can’t they hook? Yet, they simply had to choose to stab me in the back.”
After clarifying Fu Qiuning’s account of the situation, Yu’shi and Luo’shi couldn’t help but exchange bitter smiles. Then, Luo’shi sighed and said, “Qiuning, please do not blame me for saying this. Those three girls, even though they have not been mistreated here 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 furrowed her brow and said, “What is so hard about wanting to be landlords? If they fear the struggles within the Duke’s estate, then simply have them married off. I was only worried they could not handle those conditions. With their meek attitudes and pitiable experiences, how could I wrong them? However, it seems I have wasted my concerns.”
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 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.”
“Human nature?” Fu Qiuning was on the verge of exploding into flames. She couldn’t believe her mother would describe such a shameless person and shameless nature as ‘human nature’. However, she quickly realised: I am not in modern times, but instead in a patriarchal society. In modern times, the spittle from condemnation would be enough to drown those three sisters. However, here, apart from myself, and perhaps Cai Lian and Bi Yu who are worried that they will become bystanders once the Feng sisters enter the household, other people simply see the three sisters’ setting their sights on Jin Fengju and pulling all these actions as very normal behaviour. It just seemed a bit scandalous.
Nursing those thoughts, Fu Qiuning knew that it was impossible for her to find any common language with Yu’shi and Luo’shi. Instead, she decided to ask Jin Fengju about his intentions directly. If he truly harboured any thoughts of enjoying multiple relationships, then, don’t blame her for immediately kicking him out. From then on, for the rest of her life, she would rather fend for herself, even if it meant becoming homeless, starving or freezing to death, and he could forget about her ever giving him any more affection.
“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 Master takes them as concubines, 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 follow that same old path?” Luo’shi advised.
Fu Qiuning thought: See, see, see, see?! This is clearly how women in ancient times think. Why don’t they think whether Jiang Wanying was really that magnanimous? She is delighted to pretend to be generous, waiting for the Feng sisters to compete for Jin Fengju after they enter the harem doors while she sits by the sidelines and watches the drama. People’s desires are insatiable. If the Feng sisters can now ignore the affection I had shown in caring for them, committing themselves to Jin Fengju, should I expect to show any consideration for me in the future? Dream on.
Those thoughts made her heart restless as she kept rolling them around in her head, but she didn’t want to worry Yu’shi and Luo’shi, so she forced a faint smile and said, “I have a plan in mind for this matter. Mother, Concubine Luo, please go rest in your rooms for a while, let me have some peace and quiet here.”
Yu’shi and Luo’shi got up and left the room. Fu Qiuning reclined on the couch, lost in thought. She was so preoccupied that she didn’t even notice when someone approached her. 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 go 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?”
After he finished speaking, Fu Qiuning also had completely woken up and could only suppress the anger in her heart for the time being. She nodded and said: “You are right. I really have been so unbearably busy these days. I haven’t even carried out the standing rules for a long time. If I don’t go now, during the next visit, Elder Madam will beat us up.”
Jin Fengju smiled and said, “If she beats you up, do not drag me into it. I have never missed my twice daily morning and evening greetings, you know?”
Fu Qiuning had risen up while he finished speaking and changed into fresh clothes, casting a sly glance at him and retorting, “What’s this? Are you already trying to draw a clear line between us now? The crisis has not yet arrived, but you won’t help me carry a tiny bit of this burden? ”
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 couldn’t help but laugh as well and spat, “You have such wonderful thoughts. If there are any benefits, there is no share for you. If they come after you with a big stick, then help me take the beating. If you say that it is, then it is unfair. How do you feel about it?”
“Naturally, I am only grateful,” Jin Fengju laughed. He noticed that Fu Qiuning had finished changing her clothes, and the couple walked out. They first went to speak with Yu’shi and Luo’shi in their room before heading to the Health & Longevity Court.
On the way, Jin Fengju let Jian Feng follow them from a distance while he spoke 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 chuckled and said, “I appreciate your concern. If you had not brought it up, I might have forgotten about it these past few days.” She then recounted Yu Jie’s concerns from that day.
To her 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 it 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 easygoing person himself, and it appears the both of them have compatible temperaments.”
Fu Qiuning had initially put aside those thoughts after hearing Yu Jie’s words, but listening to Jin Fengju’s perspective at that time, she felt a renewed interest. She ask while she pondered, “Did you confirm it? Is this is his true intention? If he really thinks that way, I also will not be worried about Yu Jie facing discrimination due to her lower status after marrying him. Do you know his personality well? Could he be hoping to marry Yu Jie and gain your backing?”
Jin Fengju shook his head and said, “No, he definitely would not do that. He and I can be considered to be 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’s heart shook, looking at Jin Fengju with surprise. She had been considering discussing the matter of the three Feng sisters with Jin Fengju at a later time, but it seemed that he had already been looking for suitors for them outside the estate. Thinking back to Cai Lian’s words, it appeared that Jin Fengju was well aware of the feelings of those girls and did not favour them. She sighed inwardly, realizing that she might have misunderstood Jin Fengju’s magnanimous intentions with her petty heart.
“Why the sigh of relief?” Jin Fengju didn’t know that Fu Qiuning had already learned about the three Feng sisters’ feelings. He thought that Fu Qiuning had spent her days inside that house all this while, so how would she know what happened in that estate? Little did he know that his two lesser concubines had already sensed the impending crisis and leaked the truth out early. So, he felt a little curious.
Fu Qiuning had initially intended to tease him a little more, but now that they had entered Health & Longevity Court, she decided to keep playing the villain to the end. She glanced briefly at Jin Fengju with a sly smile and said, “There’s a reason for my relief. I will tell you when we return. With so many wandering eyes and sensitive ears around, it is inconvenient to discuss it here.”
This sentence did indeed pique Jin Fengju’s curiosity, but he could see that they had arrived at the main courtyard and that several maids at the door were already bowing and greeting them. He naturally realised that it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask further questions there, so he could only clench his teeth and whisper, “Stop dragging the matter along like this, why would you leave someone dangling like that?”
He nodded after that, and several maids quickly pulled the curtains, rushed inside and shouted loudly, “The Young Marquis and Second Madam Ning have arrived.”
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