You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 211 –

Higher Level Wife – 211 –

Chapter 211:

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou


Jin Fengju laughed and said, “Indeed! If it were not for you, I would be happier than anyone else when it comes to adding to their suffering. Qiuning, ah, you are too good a person, and I am grateful now that they married you into our family. But what were their intentions back then? Everyone within the estate was very clear that they intended to do harm. If not for my great hatred, I would never have thrown you into Night Breeze Pavilion for six years. However, now that I have you, enough, enough, let’s not talk about that anymore. After all, it is all in the past now. If I happen to have the opportunity, I shall plead their case before the Emperor. I shall do my best to try anyway. After all, now that they have fallen to dire traits, they are no longer a threat to us. Just one thing to keep in mind, man proposes, and heaven disposes. If I cannot save them, do not blame me either.”

Fu Qiuning nodded serenely, “It would appear that the Young Marquis has now learned to put clauses into his promises. Indeed, one can never be too careful about such things.”

“Qiuning, ah…”

Fu Qiuning turned away from the despicable man in front of her. In truth, she had very little feelings for King Zhenjiang and his son. She only felt that they were rather foolish and entitled. Clearly, some people only grow older, but not wiser. Let Jin Fengju think whatever he liked about her remark. [a]

“You also need not to worry too much. No matter what, as a daughter, you have contributed greatly to the nation’s prosperity now. The Emperor will not ignore that. The Emperor may strip them of their title at best and demote them to commoner status. Even then, their fate is unclear,” said Jin Fengju comfortingly. He thought: My Qiuning is such a wonderful, kind-hearted and benevolent person that she must be feeling sad for her unworthy elders.

He smiled and said, “Right, let us throw all this trouble aside for now. Look, we have arrived at Elegant Mansion. Let us go in and enjoy some crabs. You just need to not reveal anything, lest your mother suffers for it.”

Fu Qiuning rolled her eyes, thinking: In that case, you had better stop talking about it right now.

When Jian Feng and Yu Jie spotted their masters, the maids immediately hurried over to get the servants to set the tables and serve the food. [b] Maids were also sent to call Concubine Yu and Concubine Luo as well as the children to dinner. The family of eight sat down at the dining table, all eyes were on the plate piled high with freshly steamed crab, each one of them round and plump. Even Fu Qiuning couldn’t help but salivate.

Fu Qiuning picked out four large female crabs stuffed full of roe and placed them on a plate. Then, she handed the plate to Jian Feng and Yu Jie and said, “Go and eat, these things are best eaten when still warm. We shall shell the crabs ourselves.”

Jian Feng and Yu Jie cast a glance at Jin Fengju, who generously waved his hand and said, “This is Elegant Mansion, so naturally, what Second Madam says, goes. Go, go.”

Fu Qiuning easily shelled a crab with deft hands, placing the meat and roe onto a small plate before handing it to Yu’shi. Yu’shi replied to the gesture with a smile, saying, “My body has always been weak, and I dare not eat this. You should all enjoy it. Seeing you eat them so happily really comforts my heart.”

Fu Qiuning smiled and said, “Though Mother needs to be careful with your food due to poor health, there is no need to be overly cautious. Surely it is fine to have just a little? There is no need to completely avoid certain food since Mother is not really ill, you only suffer from a weak constitution.”

Yu’shi was moved by her daughter’s persuasion and looked at the little plate of crab meat and roe with some anticipation. She accepted the plate and said, “You are right, there is no need for me to avoid every kind of food. I already have so many food taboos. I shall eat this one crab. Ah, there’s no need to shell anymore crab for me, you should enjoy some yourself.”

Fu Qiuning smiled and picked up another crab, intending to shell it for Luo’shi. Luo’shi quickly took one for herself, saying, “No need to shell one for me, Young Miss. As mentioned before, it is so much fun to shell our own crabs. Even so, though crabs are delicious, children should not eat too many. Young Miss and the Young Marquis should pay attention to this.”

Fu Qiuning raised an eyebrow as she thought: Was this woman trying to assert her authority or just being a grandmotherly figure?

Still, it was good advice. This was also an opportunity to enforce her authority with the children. [c] Let’s start with the cute but most unruly one first, “Brother Yi, you heard what Madam Concubine said, right? Don’t eat too many crabs or you will suffer from stomachaches tonight.”

Jin Zhenyi made a face and was about to retort, but from the side of his eye, he caught a glimpse of his father’s gaze shifting in their direction. He immediately shrank back, finished eating the crab roe, and reached for another crab. However, Fu Qiuning’s chopsticks were already on the crab, preventing him from taking it. She said flatly, “Eat the crab meat too. Do you know how expensive these crabs are? Ordinary families would find it difficult to have a single meal with them, let alone waste them like you do.”

Jin Zhenyi mumbled, “You said we are not allowed to eat too much. If I just eat the crab roe, isn’t that fine?”

Fu Qiuning [c] raised an eyebrow, “And who is going to eat the rest of the crab for you? As for the crab roe, it is still part of the crab. What is the difference? Eat your food properly and don’t only pick the parts that you like.”

[c1] “But, you pinched off the corners of the Rice Dumplings I had last time! Isn’t this the same?”

[c1] Fu Qiuning narrowed her eyes at this smart-mouthed little brat. “You are right,” she said finally.

Jin Zhenyi’s little face brightened.

“Next time, I should only allow you to eat only one Rice Dumpling in the future. It was an oversight of mine.”

Jin Zhenyi gave a little wail of despair, causing everyone to laugh. On the side, Jin Fengju coughed. He thought: Look at how wonderful my wife is! She even knows how to handle a hard-headed little gangster-like Zhenyi.

After making everyone laugh, Jin Zhenyi defiantly picked up his crab and crunched into the soft body, chewing at the softer inner shell along with the meat.

Fu Qiuning observed his defiant attitude and said, “This way of eating is not bad either. The shells are good for strengthening your bones.”

“Is there such a thing?” Jin Fengju also looked up.

Fu Qiuning shrugged. Knowing that the ancients probably had no concept of ‘calcium supplements’, she casually said, “I have heard that people eat shrimp skin to strengthen their bones. So, it is probably the same with crab shells. However, there is no need to force anyone to eat them if there is no need. The shells can be made into a broth or fried until crispy before consuming. However, if Brother Yi likes to eat them like this, that’s fine too.”

Jin Zhenyi almost vomited blood, realising that he could not get the better of Fu Qiuning and gave up beating his drums of war.

Fu Qiuning and Concubine Luo made sure the children did not eat more than two each. “The crabs are quite large, so two is already a lot.”

After everyone was done with their crabs, they had a little rice and some suitable side dishes to make it a proper meal. When the table was cleared, Jin Fengju [d] made eye contact with Fu Qiuning before announcing, “I shall check the children’s homework now.”

[d] He looked very proud of himself, thinking: Qiuning must think of me as a wonderful and responsible father and husband, right?

[c] Fu Qiuning eyed him for a moment, then nodded at the children, “Right, do your best.”

[c2] The children, with the exception of Jin Zhenyi, nodded back calmly. Jin Zhenyi merely rolled his eyes. Naturally, he did it with his face turned away from Jin Fengju.

Once the children left with Jin Fengju for the study, Fu Qiuning spent some time chatting with Yu’shi and Luo’shi. Whe it got close to seven o’clock in the evening, they each retired for the night.

The All Nations Cultural Festival was fast approaching, and Fu Qiuning did not bother teaching any new songs or music. She had the musicians and performers rehearse <<Celestial Couple>> over and over again, making minute changes and perfecting their steps. Between rehearsals, the troupe also put on performances for the Empress Dowager’s pleasure. The Empress Dowager was enamoured by the dancing and singing, saying that she was very pleased with the troupe even though the costume design and dancing were still not quite perfect.

Mid-Autumn Festival passed by in a flash.

Jin Pengzhan was unable to return due to his official duties, but Jin Luanfeng was able to rush home for the family reunion. Prince Hong had sent a memorial to beg for an audience with the Emperor. He pleaded for an opportunity to confess his sins, wanting to spend Mid-Autumn at the capital. However, the Emperor had steeled his heart and refused permission till the end. Prince Hong, whose glory once soared to the clouds, had no choice but to leave the capital miserably before the Mid-Autumn Festival.

“The Emperor naturally knows what he is up to. Prince Hong was hoping to shed some tears and maybe perform some poems and songs he memorised earlier during the family gathering on the Mid-Autumn Festival, in an attempt to move the Emperor. But since the Emperor does not want to forgive him, and also does not want to ruin the mood during the family gathering, he naturally would not allow him to stay,” Jin Fengju mentioned this matter to Fu Qiuning during a leisurely moment to ‘clear up her confusion’, whatever that means. After receiving a blank stare and a slow nod, he never brought it up again.

In the blink of another eye, the Mid-Autumn Festival was over and it was time for the All Nations Cultural Festival, which was held with great fanfare.

The All Nations Cultural Festival took place every three years. As it concerned politics and national prestige, the Great Ning Empire and other countries considered it the top priority yearly event. The Lingji Palace, specifically reserved for the festival, opened its doors a day before the event. Those three days were the only days in those three years when Lingji Palace served a purpose and the only time it allowed the common people to spectate.

For the past few days, Jin Zhenyi had been pestering Fu Qiuning, hoping to join in the festivities at Lingji Palace on the day it opened. Of course, he could not say that directly and went round and round the topic, talking out loud at Fu Qiuning’s direction, going on and on about ‘finding a good seat for Old Madam, Elder Madam and his aunt’ [e].

Finally, Fu Qiuning lowered her embroidery to glare at him, [a1] “If you wish to go, ask for the Duke’s permission. If he is happy to have you join the common people in pushing yourself into the hall, I shall have nothing to say.”


[a1] “Mother, what is the Lingji Palace like?” Jin Xiunan blinked large curious eyes at her.

[a1] “There are four floors to Lingji Palace,” she said. “The fourth floor is for dignitaries and officials, the third floor is reserved for the female relatives of various noble families. However, given our family status, it is likely that we shall accompany the Empress Dowager on the second floor.”

[a1] “We will be sitting with the Empress Dowager?” Jin Zhenyi gasped. The other three children coughed but said nothing.

[a1] Fu Qiuning looked at him with amusement, “Why do you think that you will be going?”

Jin Zhenyi’s face fell.

[c3] Three years ago, he was only four years old and missed the grand occasion. He had heard from older relatives who had attended the previous All Nations Cultural Festival just how exciting and lively it was and was looking forward to it. After hearing Fu Qiuning’s direct rejection, and knowing that there was no way his father would ever go against this woman’s decision, he was even more devastated.

[c3] Even so, plans to secretly run off and join in the fun were already brewing in his mind. He had already angered his father multiple times and was not afraid of things like family discipline. However, there was no way he could pull anything off with the servants watching, he would have to be careful and-

[c4] Someone grabbed him by the arm. It was Jin Changfeng.

[c3] [c4]

“Hey, what-”


“Don’t what?” Jin Zhenyi tried to play dumb as he widened his eyes at this annoying ‘elder brother’.

“Don’t do it, whatever plan is going on in your head, don’t.”

Jin Zhenyi attempted to shake Jin Changfeng’s hand off, “What? Are you afraid of being implicated? Don’t worry, I don’t care about punishments. So what if they spank me black and blue? I’m going.”

“Do you think that spanking is the worst thing that could happen to you? Wealthy young boys are targets for kidnappers. Once you are taken, who will you cry to then? If you really want to go, it’s not like Mother will never let us.”

Jin Zhenyi was immediately deflated by this argument. He had thought that Jin Changfeng, this elder brother of his, whom he had traded weapons of war for jade and silk with, [1] would also be itching to enjoy the Festival and was hoping to rope him into The Plan. Who would have thought that this good brother of his would be such a spoilsport?

He grumbled, “Our father has travelled extensively and seen so much of the world, why are you so timid? Forget it, forget it, since you are not going, I will not go either.”

Looking at his shifty eyes, Jin Changfeng knew that this fellow still had plans to sneak out. Right then, he had to make a decision. Should he keep quiet and try to monitor Zhenyi on his own or…

“Bai Yu, come here. Find a few reliable servants to watch over Zhenyi. He plans to sneak into Lingji Palace to watch the festivities after Mother has decided to not bring him. Take care not to lose him. If something happens, your people are the ones who will have to wash your necks and wait for death.”


[Gumihou: That last remark by Jin Changfeng is borderline OOC, but managed to frame it in a way to make it kind of plausible. Cut out some unnecessary bits. Cut out a lot of unnecessary bits]


[a] Nope to spoon-feeding techniques

[a1] AR Qiuning just read an entire pamphlet’s worth of information re Linjing Palace’s structure out of the blue. Nope to this. Have the children come and join in the discussion to disperse this information more naturally

[b] Don’t forget the children, or your mom, AR Qiuning

[c] As usual Jin Zhenyi is being made the butt of the joke. Author even devoted 50 words to something that could be described with less than 10 to emphasise this poor boy’s unruliness.

[c1] Since this was supposed to be JZY being sassy, have him be sassy by bringing up past events rather than just have ‘everyone laughed’ at everything he says

[c2] Since JZY is canonically sassy, let him be sassy

[c3] Have JZY be realistically JZY

[c4] Realistic Jin Changfeng action in trying to stop his brother

Deleted this word vomit:

“Do not expect to pull me into trouble with your schemes too, thinking that when you get exposed in the future, we will not get disciplined because everyone is doing it. I will not join you in this escapade. Have you ever thought just how old you are? When you arrive there, and people see you, a wealthy young boy from a good family, they might kidnap or harm you. Who will you cry to then? Mother is also worried that we are too young. Wait for another three to five years, and when we have grown up, even if we do not want to go out, Mother will most probably push us out.”

[d] pretentious JFJ

[e] Assume 大娘 is Jiang Wanying’s mother and therefore his ‘aunt’


Pill Bug TL Notes:


[1]       化干戈为玉帛 Chinese idiom, means going from enemies to friends.



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