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Higher Level Wife – 212 – Self-Incrimination

Chapter 212: Self-Incrimination

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou

Gumihou: The Author can’t seem to tell the difference between drama and melodrama. Also, child character abuse is not funny.


Bai Lu was startled by Jin Changfeng’s words. How could she not be familiar with her young master’s reckless, daredevil character? Jin Zhenyi’s mutinous little face was all she needed for her to be on high alert. [a] He might as well be jumping up and down in place and shouting ‘traitor’ at the top of his voice from the way he was glaring at Jin Changfeng. Bai Lu quietly made up her mind to have a few more servants follow Jin Zhenyi around and swore never to allow him out of the house.

Unable to do anything about Jin Changfeng exposing his plans, Jin Zhenyi could only run back to his room, [a] fuming and muttering under his breath in frustration. Jin Xiunan was seated in a chair, practising her embroidery when her brother came in. She looked up once and immediately knew what happened, [a] “I take it that your plans have been exposed?”

Jin Zhenyi retorted irritably, “What do you know? Today is the day when the palace is opened to commoners. This day is when the best excitement happens! Stalls for all kinds of food and toys would be set up, but with the Emperor and Empress Dowager having declared their intention to come on the third day, the stalls would only last two days. Today and tomorrow! Today is already too late, but tomorrow…”

[b] “Why are you so interested in the stalls anyway? Isn’t the main attraction Mother’s opera?” Jin Xiunan said idly.

[b] “What would a girl like you know?” he flopped to the chair, kicking his legs in the air and grumbling, “As for that Jin Changfeng, why is he such a downer? Isn’t he a man at all?”

[b] “From what I can see, you are the abnormal one,” said Jin Xiunan as she trimmed off her thread and checked her embroidery. “You should be spending your energy on your studies, or your martial arts at least. That way, if you ever get kidnapped, you will have a better chance of escaping.”

[b] “Why would I be kidnapped?” Jin Zhenyi looked puzzled.

[b] “… …” Jin Xiunan had no words.

Bai Lu must have been really frightened by the thought that Jin Zhenyi would get himself kidnapped because she set a bunch of young attendants to shadow him. They watched him doing everything, including his business with the chamber pot.

He was still muttering to himself, trying to think of a way to shake his watchers, when a junior maid appeared and announced, “Young Master Yi, Third Young Miss, Young Marquis has sent someone to call you over to the small garden pavilion.”

Jin Zhenyi paused in his muttering. [a] He thought: What could Father want with us? Surely Jin Changfeng couldn’t have informed him of my plans?

However, there was no use speculating. He could only trail after the maids along with Jin Xiunan, wondering just what [b1] his cheap father was going to say to them.

Finally, they reached the small garden pavilion. [b1] Jin Fengju was seated in a chair next to Fu Qiuning, who looked as impassive as usual. Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao were seated to the right of Fu Qiuning.


The first thing Jin Fengju said was, [c] “Zhenyi, have you caused trouble again at school? Take the chance to make your confessions now. Otherwise, if I personally investigate, you will suffer for it.”

Although Jin Zhenyi had harboured thoughts of escape, he had not done anything yet. However, he knew that [b2] this cheap father of his would probably try to find fault with him no matter what. Therefore, it was best to go on the offence right away. Thus, he quickly threw himself onto his knees and loudly declared, “Father, I absolutely have not caused any trouble. Although I have not completely memorised the Four Books, I have already memorised hundreds of poems. If Father does not believe me, Father may test me.”

Jin Fengju frowned and asked, “If you have not caused trouble at school, why are you behaving so suspiciously?” Turning to look at Jin Changfeng, he asked, “Did your younger brother really not cause any trouble? You are not allowed to cover for him, otherwise, you will be implicated as well.”

Jin Changfeng smoothly stood up and answered, “Replying to Father, Younger Brother truly has not caused any trouble. Teacher even praised him for his talent in poetry.”

Jin Fengju glanced again at Jin Zhenyi. He snorted and said, “If that is the case, why act so guilt-ridden? What is the use of being talented in poetry? You should focus on mastering the Four Books and Five Classics. Then, when you can excel in the Eight-legged essays, that is when you can be considered to possess the true studying spirit.” [1]

Fu Qiuning sighed audibly. [a] “I see, so it turns out the Young Marquis is rather narrow-minded,” she murmured. [a1] For a moment, everyone within the pavilion tensed. The one who was the most anxious was Jin Fengju. He laughed out loud and added, “Naturally, that is true for those who pursue the path of a scholar! Everyone has their own strength and not everyone can be the same. I see that Zhenyi is very boisterous and cheerful. Perhaps a more martial path would be more appropriate? Speaking of which, if Brother Xuan and Brother Feng choose an academic path, then the next generation of our Jing Dukedom can be considered to be complete in both academical and martial arts.”

Fu Qiuning lifted her teacup and took a sip of her tea.

Jin Zhenyi [b]… was impressed! How could Mother be so amazing?! Indeed, there was not a moment in his life when he did not yearn for the day he could ride a noble steed, galloping on the battlefield and slaying enemies by the hundreds. It was even more impressive because she made this cheap father of his say all those things with barely a move on her side! As someone who had grown up witnessing the scheme of others within the noble house, he had to admit that Fu Qiuning’s ability was far too outstanding. 

While he pondered, Fu Qiuning nodded at him and Jin Xiunan, gesturing for the two to sit down next to Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao. Of course, he went willingly.

Jin Fengju coughed, clearing his throat pointedly to draw everyone’s attention. “I have summoned all of you here for something. I have received an order to assist Lingji Palace in making preparations tomorrow. As you all rarely leave the estate, I thought it would be a good idea to take a few of you to enjoy the festivity tomorrow.”

Silence fell as all four of the children stared at Jin Fengju. Naturally, Jin Zhenyi was the first to jump up and scream out his happiness. [b] “Is it true, Father? Oh, my heavens, this is too great, this is too great!” 

As he continued to shout, he noticed Jin Fengju’s expression darken until it resembled the bottom of a pot. Fu Qiuning coughed into her hand. Feeling oddly chastised, he settled down in his chair and pretended that he had not been jumping up and down, screaming his head off earlier.

 [d] Fu Qiuning smiled and said simply, “Zhenyi being so overjoyed that he lost his composure is only natural.”

The moment he heard that, Jin Fengju’s pitched black expression reduced a little and he immediately agreed with his dear, wonderful beloved wife about these naughty little children. Fu Qiuning continued to tolerate the situation, but Jin Zhenyi noticed the minute flicker of eyes that landed on him before she took another sip of tea.

How could Jin Zhenyi not realise that he had narrowly escaped a disaster? He was naturally full of gratitude towards Fu Qiuning. He wished he could run up and hug her thigh, calling her his dearest mother.

Seeing the children all staring at him fawning over Fu Qiuning, Jin Fengju felt a mixture of anger and amusement. He scolded, “Now that you know, aren’t you going to hurry up and prepare? I, your father, still have so many things to attend to. Do you expect me to go pack your clothes and money?”

Of course, Jin Zhenyi was the first to hastily jump up and kowtow to Jin Fengju before joyfully running out.

“It looks like Brother Yi is delirious with joy,” said Fu Qiuning as the other three children bowed and gave their thanks in a more sedate manner. She turned to Bai Lu, who was still waiting for Jin Xiunan and said, “Go and help prepare clothes for Brother Yi and Third Young Miss. Be sure to assign a few more junior servants with them tomorrow.”

Bai Lu acknowledged the order and left. Jin Changfeng and Jin Changjiao had also returned to their rooms to instruct their maids, Jin Zhuan, Lu Hua and the senior maids to pack their belongings.

When all the children had left, Jin Fengju looked around and, after making sure that there was no one else around, said, “The Gengtie cards [2] have been exchanged, and we have also consulted an astrologer to match up their Eight Characters, [3] and it turns out that they matched each other very well. Ling Yun’s mother will likely come with the offer of marriage tomorrow. Even though she’s a maid, Yu Jie has been with you for many years and bears the merit of caring for Feng’er and Jiao’er. Not even Third Brother Zhang can compare.”

Fu Qiuning resisted the urge to fold her arms, if only because it would wrinkle the long flowing sleeves. However, her steady stare told him to hurry up and speak his mind.

“Wh-what I am saying is that you should bring them to Old Madam’s place and have the Ling family know that our Yu Jie is not an ordinary servant. Elder Madam does not concern herself with matters like this and, well, she is not as sociable or personable as the Old Madam. Anyway, what do you think?”

Fu Qiuning replied, “Of course, I would be happy to do it. However, it is best to inform Old Madam’s side in advance.”

Jin Fengju laughed, “Have you not noticed that we often have less well-to-do relatives visiting us on the faintest bit of connection? This is because Old Madam enjoys such gatherings and loves helping others. I have told her once that while it is good to help others, she cannot be indiscriminately helpful to everyone. Some of these people take the money and use it to go feasting, drinking or gambling, so, what is the point of us helping them? After that, the number of people trying to pull at her purse strings decreased somewhat. Otherwise, our threshold would already be been broken by their footsteps.”

Fu Qiuning had vaguely noticed some [e] poorly dressed sycophants flattering the Old Madam now and then. These must be the ‘unfortunate relatives’ who came to beg favours from the richer side of the family. She could not help but be reminded of Grandmother Jia in the novel <<Dream of the Red Chamber>>. [4] Yet, so far, she hadn’t encountered any impoverished relatives who were as straightforward and somewhat shrewd as Granny Liu. She also hadn’t experienced the lively scene of “Granny Liu’s Second Visit To Rongguo Mansion.”


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After dinner, Fu Qiuning called the four children to her room and handed each of them a heavy purse. “These four purses are identical. Each contains two taels of silver fragments and two hundred copper coins. Tomorrow, your father will be on official business. Buy what you need for yourself and experience what life is like on the outside. If you come across some genuinely unfortunate, old, weak and disabled beggars, do not hesitate to give them a few coins. This is also a way to accumulate some good karma for yourself.”

After that, she turned to the four junior servants, each sixteen or seventeen-year-old, who had accompanied them and said, “Each of you will also have ten taels of silver. Tomorrow, the Lingji Palace will be filled with tens of thousands of people. When you accompany your young masters and young misses, make sure to always stay within an inch of them. If they run out of money, take it from your funds. I will reward you when you return. Understand?”

The young servants eagerly acknowledged the order in unison. After a few more instructions, Fu Qiuning dismissed them. She thought: tomorrow, I shall go and see the performers one last time. As professionals, they should know not to overdo their training, but I should still be there for moral support.


[Gumihou: Replaced the ‘I so clever der der~ tee hee~ ending with… an actually intelligent person with proper thought processes. The final ‘wow, back in the modern world, I would not have curry favour like this, hihihi~’ is just to make it look like FQN has ‘gotten used’ to life in the ancient world]


[a] There’s drama and there’s melodrama, mitigated Jin Zhenyi’s ‘jumping around and shouting traitor’ into something more realistic.

[a1] Insert a melodramatic scene

[b] Reduce the Jin Zhenyi character abuse, delete all lame toilet jokes

The more he grumbled, the more frustrated he became. He couldn’t help but direct another round of complaints towards Jin Changfeng. Those young attendants who were shadowing him were also watching him too

closely. They even followed him to the toilet, making it impossible for him to even piss in peace. 

I guess the above line is meant to be funny? But it was too forced. Not to mention, since this is a noble household, the chance of them using a private loo is lower than a chamberpot behind a screen. So, the joke is lost to the ether.

[b1] Deleted more forced comedic scene 

[b2] ‘this cheap father of his’ do you seriously think that a sassy kid like Jin Zhenyi would not think of his father this way? All the author does is have JZY ‘fear and respect’ JFJ, like, no, that’s not what kids are like

[c] Delete excuse for JFJ’s asshole behaviour towards his kids

[d] Deleted 150 words of AR Qiuning polishing someone’s ass

[e] Judgy Fu Qiuning, because Old Vixen is the Fox’s senior

[f] Math does not add up: invited Jin Changfeng and Jin Zhenyi into her room. She took four hefty purses from a chest and handed one to each of their hands, I’m so going to consequence this in the next chapter, you just wait.


Pill Bug TL Notes:


[1] Eight-Legged Essay: The eight-legged essay was needed for those candidates in these civil service tests to show their merits for government service, often focusing on Confucian thought and knowledge of the Four Books and Five Classics, in relation to governmental ideals.


[2] 庚帖 These are not wedding invitations!

Marriage negotiation involves sending the woman’s birth stats (including the date and hour of birth) written on a piece of paper known as “Gengtie (庚帖)” to the man’s house. The man then puts the Gengtie on his

home’s altar honoring gods and ancestors.,altar%20honoring%20gods%20and%20ancestors.


[3] 八字 The Four Pillars of Destiny, also known as

“Ba-Zi”, which means “eight characters” or “eight words/characters” in Chinese, is a Chinese astrological concept that a person’s destiny or fate can be divined by the two sexagenary cycle characters assigned to their birth year, month, day, and hour. This type of cosmological astrology is also widely used in South Korea, Japan and Vietnam.


[4] 贾母                

Baoyu and Daiyu’s grandmother and the oldest and most respected authority of the Jia Clan. Grandmother Jia is at heart a fun-loving

elder who greatly enjoys conversation and the company of her many

grandchildren. A Chinese opera fan, despite her great wealth and prestige she is mindful of the rustic poor like Granny Liu, and is pious and enerous in alms giving.



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