You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 210 – Loss of Power

Higher Level Wife – 210 – Loss of Power

Chapter 210: Loss of Power

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Gumihou

Proofread by Pill Bug

Gumihou: Hmm… Mmmm…. Haahh… Since this chapter was supposed to showcase an intelligent FQN, let’s have an actually intelligent FQN on stage.


Fu Qiuning blinked at the sudden outpouring of words from this overly emotional maid.

Juren? Jinshi? Changfeng marrying a virtuous lady? Those snot-nose little brats married?

[1] Even if they married, what did it have to do with her fortune? As a parent and a responsible adult, her main hope for the children was for them to marry someone decent. Someone who would love them if possible.

Before she could think of something appropriate to say to that kind of claim, they were within sight of Health & Longevity Court. Moreover, it sounded like there was some kind of commotion going on. From the tone alone, it sounded like there were a bunch of excited birds twittering together.

Yu Jie huffed and said, “Goodness, who is so daring as to talk so loudly at Old Madam Jin’s place?”

Then, she hurried forth, curiosity obviously overcoming her sense of dignity. Fu Qiuning followed at a more sedate pace. They found themselves looking at more than 20 large bamboo baskets filled with palm-sized black-green crabs. Some of the crabs were still crawling about while others spat out foam.

“Oh? Could this be the Yangcheng Lake Crabs that Master mentioned before? Madam, look! These crabs are so big. I have not seen crabs of this size before.”

Fluttering around the baskets of crabs were many maids and boy servants. When they heard Yu Jie’s comment, some of them looked up. At the sight of Fu Qiuning, they all hastily rushed forward to bow at her. While that was happening, Jin Ming suddenly appeared to beam at Fu Qiuning and said, “Yo, Second Madam has arrived as well? This servant is just about to deliver some of the crabs to Elegant Mansion.”

Then, he proceeded to direct the servants on the delivery of crabs to various houses and courtyards. Because the Duke of Jing’s mansion was so large, nearly each dwelling place had its own kitchen with no centralised kitchen for all the various large and small spaces. This made it convenient for the maids and servants to cook to their master’s or mistress’s taste at their desired time to eat. That way, the houses that received the crabs could choose how they should be cooked, be it as a sweet and delicate soup or boiled in plain salt water.

Fu Qiuning went up the steps to the main room. The lesser maids pulled the door curtains apart with smiles on their faces. Jin Fengju’s voice could be heard even from the outside. After stepping around the screen, she found him sitting next to the Old Madam, telling her all about how he had gotten hold of the crabs, while Madam Jiang, Madam Fang and the rest of the occupants in the room hung off his words.

No wonder this fellow developed a swollen head.

“Yo, Elder Sister is late. You arrived after we had almost finished dividing up the crabs,” said Jiang Wanying. Though she was [2] determined not to let Fu Qiuning and Jin Fengju’s relationship affect her, she still could not help but show her displeasure now and then. After all, the crying child gets the milk, so why should the childhood sweetheart, whom she had married below her status, be left to happily pamper the woman he swore would divorce later? So long as she could make trouble for them, she would.

[3] Madam Jiang was already there with Jiang Wanying and the rest of Jin Fengju’s concubines when the man arrived with his many baskets of crabs. While she was happy to see him, her poor niece had been showing signs of discontent. It would not do for a family man to favour one woman and neglect the rest, even if she was the official wife. Her poor niece had married into the family as a secondary wife while he was at his lowest point, so how could he abandon her now just for that low-blood hussy?

[3] However, she dared not voice out her thoughts.  That shrewd woman had trapped her and Jiang Wanying too many times, causing her son to be discontented with his own mother. Not to mention, that woman now had the backing of the Emperor and Empress Dowager. Since she could not touch Fu Qiuning, she could only gently reprimand Jin Fengju over his neglectful behaviour. The day before, Old Madam Jin had scolded him for not paying attention to his children. Today, she should advise him to comfort his wives and concubines through small actions.

As for Jin Fengju, when pressured by his mother and secondary wife, he merely smiled and agreed to it. He knew that Fu Qiuning would not covet luxury things no matter how expensive and that these other women were just being petty-minded.

As expected, Fu Qiuning merely smiled at that jab and said gently, “I am glad that my sisters get to enjoy the crabs. It must have been difficult to bring so many crabs from Yangcheng Lake to here alive, right? How far is the lake? About seven or eight hundred miles?”

Jin Fengju was quick to jump in and say, “Of course, it is possible to bring them here alive. Although the lake may be far away, it is only a day or so on a fast horse. So long as the crabs did not touch salt water, they can live for several days in baskets. These crabs are the fattest in this season, so it is best to eat them fresh.”

Everyone cheered and praised Jin Fengju for bringing such largess to the family. The happiest of them all was Old Madam Jin. Even so, after a few more exchanges, Jin Fengju made to leave. Although he had the favour of the Old Madam, it was not appropriate for him to spend too much time with a group of children and dependents.

However, before the maids could even lift the curtains, Jin Ming’s voice was heard from the outside, saying, “Master, someone from the Imperial Palace came. A decree came down from the Emperor, and Master has been instructed to enter the palace right away.”

Jin Fengju’s expression changed, and he quickly stepped forward with a frown. In a low voice, he said, “Do you know the reason?”

“Unclear. Eunuch Guo conveyed the message in person, looks like it is not some small matter,” answered Jin Ming.

Jin Fengju frowned and said, “There haven’t been any great movements within the court recently. Moreover, it is close to the Mid-Autum Festival. What could be so important right now?” Even though the reason was unclear, he still hurried to change his clothes and enter the palace with the eunuch who delivered the decree.

This sudden incident burst the harmonious and cheerful bubble that surrounded Old Madam Jin’s living room. Madam Jiang and Madam Fang left. Jiang Wanying also excused herself, along with Concubine Huo, Concubine Cui and Yue Lan as well as other female relatives. Somehow, Fu Qiuning found herself left behind with Yu Jie in the living room. [4] She was about to leave when Old Madam Jin sighed loudly, and pointedly. Fu Qiuning cursed herself for being too slow and dug around for something to talk about since the old lady obviously wanted someone to say some comforting words to her.

In the end, all she could say was, “There is no need for the Old Madam to worry. The Young Marquis is often called in by the Emperor. That’s right, a few days ago, you were admiring the [5] fortune knots made by Yu Jie, right? Since she is about to be married off, I had her come over to make a few more for Old Madam before she leaves.”

“I have troubled you,” Old Madam sighed again. Naturally, she could not care less about a maid’s marriage. While Yu Jie sat on the side and knotted red strings into intricate patterns, Old Madam Jin sighed and said, “From the year Fengju received favour from the Emperor, who knows how many times this has happened. So long as the decree does not bring harm, it would almost certainly bring glory. Even so, the Heavens are unpredictable. I fear that he would one day fall from a high place. Now that I am older, this fear grows evermore, aih…”

[1a] Fu Qiuning privately rolled her eyes at the dramatic sighs. She knew this was the old woman’s indirect way of boasting and gaining sympathy for her grandson. Even if Jin Fengju had deluded himself about her true feelings, Old Madam Jin should be sharp enough to know that Fu Qiuning does not harbour any real feelings for her favourite grandson. In short, that old vixen was just performing on her behalf. If the old woman was really worried, she would have made all the other ladies stay behind and have a grand ‘wuwuwu’ session together and not do a solo performance like this.

It was a pain, but appearance had to be kept.

Anyway, Fu Qiuning stayed with a sighing and lamenting Old Madam Jin until evening fell and the other ladies came trickling back to the Health & Longevity Court. Crabs were being steamed in the kitchen for the Old Ancestor while the ladies chattered anxiously together under a tense atmosphere when Jin Fengju suddenly appeared again.

Seeing him all in one piece, Old Madam Jin sighed with great relief and asked him, “Why have you been summoned so urgently today?”

The room where the ladies were currently sitting only contained close relatives aside from the Feng sisters and cousin. Still, since it was not a particularly confidential matter, he said, “Prince Hong somehow managed to anger the Emperor. He was bestowed the Liuzhou prefecture in Shandong and was told to go there quickly and look after Liuzhou as a vassal state. We tried to persuade the Emperor otherwise, but it looked like the Emperor had already decided and would not change his mind.”

[1a] Fu Qiuning was not too surprised by the news, since it was clear that Prince Hong would offend someone important sooner or later. However, everyone around her gasped in horror and even Jin Fengju did not bother to sit down when he delivered the news. Instead, he said, “Father has ordered me to see him in his study. I have only come here to reassure Old Ancestor. Please do not worry, I shall leave for the study now.”

Then, he left.

Whispers and chatter burst in the wake of his leaving. Everyone was shocked by the news. [4a] However, they could not help but be secretly happy since that was the fall of their family’s rival faction. On the other hand, since it was the Emperor’s own son who was being effectively banished away, they could not show too much happiness on their faces.

After dinner with Old Madam Jin, everyone quickly left, clearly excited to talk about the matter in the privacy of their own courtyard or house. This time, Fu Qiuning made sure to leave with the masses.

She was almost at Elegant Mansion when someone called out “Qiuning!” from behind.

Fu Qiuning managed an eye-roll before turning around to see Jin Fengju hurrying after her. He beamed and said, “What a coincidence! I was worried that I would arrive too late and be left with the crab legs at home. What great timing, you must be in a hurry to go back and steam the fresh crabs for dinner, right?”

He looked meaningfully at Yu Jie who burst out laughing at Jin Fengju’s suggestive wink. “Yes, yes, this maid still has to steam the crabs. This maid will leave now!” and off she went.

After Yu Jie left, Jin Fengju gently took Fu Qiuning’s hands and sighed gustily before saying in a low voice, “I know that Qiuning must be feeling some lingering sadness in her heart. Indeed, Prince Hong has completely fallen this time. Otherwise, if there was any room for negotiation, the Emperor would not have made him look after a vassal state. With the Zhenjiang Palace so closely connected with Prince Hong, it is inevitable that they share both glory and loss.

Even so, you should look at the bright side. At least, neither Mother nor Concubine Luo have been implicated in this. I believe that your father would not dare to come and ask for them. They have suffered half their lives and now, they finally do not have to return to that despicable place. Isn’t it so?”

[1a] Fu Qiuning looked down at the hand that was holding hers. Then, she looked up at the man who was sighing again, obviously doing his best to look sad. Who knows just how gleeful he was really feeling inside now that her only other possible backing had fallen to pieces?

Instead of addressing this, she asked, “Why is the Emperor so angry?”

[1a] It was not that she was actually interested, but at least it would give this man an opportunity to talk, since he seemed to like his dramatic solos so much.

Indeed, the moment he received the question, Jin Fengju immediately launched into an explanation, “I am unclear of the details. From Eunuch Li’s explanation, Prince Hong appeared to have accused Prince Lie of something, infuriating the old man. The punishment must be related to that matter. Before this, Prince Lie and Prince Hong had been seen in each other’s company many times. Now that Brother-in-law’s reputation is flourishing, they should have joined forces to deal with him. I had been worrying about this and even warned my brother-in-law repeatedly before leaving for the Western Regions. Who would have thought it would suddenly turn into this ‘dogs biting each other’ situation?”

[1a] Fu Qiuning thought: What a long-winded way of saying that he didn’t really know what happened.

Taking her frown as Fu Qiuning doing her best to try and think through complicated palace intrigue, Jin Fengju laughed and said, “Enough, no need to worry over it too much. Prince Hong is irritable and suspicious whereas Prince Lie is arrogant and conceited, and aside from putting on a show in front of the emperor what else could they do? Who would believe them if they tried to put on a show of sincerity or humbleness? The two of them are in this for their own interest. Now that Prince Lie has the upper hand, he must have said something that made Prince Hong jealous, causing him to retaliate.”

“Ha ha ha…” said Fu Qiuning, when it was obvious that he wanted her to laugh at this incredible bit of revelation. She thought: I noticed you did not say anything about the stupid and horny one your sister was married to.

In response, Jin Fengju laughed even louder than her as he said, “Who knows why the Emperor would even want to consider those people as crown prince, ah, no, no, I should not say this. They are still princes after all. Moreover, Prince Hong is your maternal family’s backer, right? For all his faults, he has some good points. He is a generous one and spares no effort when it comes to winning people over. If it were not for his enthusiasm, your father and grandfather may not have followed him to this day.”

Fu Qiuning… was not clear what she was supposed to say to this snide remark.

Jin Fengju sighed heavily, “Then again, it may not be easy to withdraw after having thrown one’s lot with him. Yes, for now, don’t let your mother or Concubine Luo know about this. After all, they are your father’s women. It would be difficult for them to hear about this. Think of your mother’s health.”

Another long pause coupled with an expectant look.

After casting about for something to say, Fu Qiuning decided to go with, “No matter what, they are my father and grandfather,” and left it at that.


[Gumihou: I sigh, you sigh, everybody sighs]


[1] Address some weird out-of-date notions to emphasise FQN’s foreignness in this era.

[1a] Actually intelligent Fu Qiuning. You know, instead of the cleverer-der-der one.

[2] Give poor Jiang Wanying some realistic reaction.

[3] Give Madam Jiang a more realistic, slightly hypocritical POV

[4] Why is AR Qiuning being such a goody-goody shoe polisher here? Strike that out and replace it with a ‘yeah, whatever’ attitude

[5] Chinese fortune knots


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Melissa

    Oh dear wife please don’t be like that. I know the true reason your gleeful. My family loss Is your gain as well as now in your eyes I only have you to rely on as my family is in disgrace. Oh how you love that you think you now have more power over me your golden goose. That I can only rely on you my dear husband. I relied on myself as I had to before and I will continue to. You are just the means for my children’s best future nothing more. BWAAACH!

  2. Melissa

    Oh how gleeful I am my enemies have fallen though they are your family my beloved wife I am so sorry. Once again dear husband if I not have talents you deem useful your selfish cruel treatment of those not worth your time would be toward me and honestly I miss those years. How I dispise you. I would have rather worked for my bread then have to simp for you and your self absorbed family.

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