Chapter 221: Passing Feelings
Author: White Pear Flower
Translated by Gumihou
Proofread by Pill Bug
Gumihou: Wow, everyone here is all ‘excessive drama lol!’ . Also, we may have to assume that people in this ancient world (probably not earth), have never experienced a time when a crown prince was deposed after he had been made crown prince. Because everyone acted like that being a crown prince made it absolutely certain that he’ll get his ass on the dragon throne. ‘Tis over, boohoo. Never mind that a crown prince candidate could be discredited, made cripple, or even assassinated. Wow, like this never happened before, unthinkable, Prince Lie for Emperor is a sure thing now.
Zhao Lun laughed bitterly. His face was so bitter that it looked like if someone were to squeeze his cheeks, bitter juice would come trickling out. Prince Rong shook his head and said, “Although I lack ability, after many years of trials and tribulations, though I cannot claim to behave calmly at every turn, I can still maintain a calm façade should the situation call for it. The news struck like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. Fortunately, by the time Imperial Father called me forth, I had already regained some composure. Although I was unable to wittily answer everything, my words were at least coherent. Enough about that, what’s the purpose of speaking about this? In brief, the crown prince has been decided. Haha, with Old Six gone to Shandong, who knows what his reaction would be after hearing this news?”
Jin Fengju could finally see that this must be the Emperor’s way of testing his two sons. He could not help but sigh inwardly, thinking: This imperial father and sons, what’s the fun about being royalty? As dear Qiuning had said , how could they be compared to a common family where the parents and children work together for a prosperous and bright future? Enough, there’s no point thinking about this. Let us take things one step at a time, ba. However, I hope that I will not be reincarnated into an imperial family in my next life. In fact, it’s best if I don’t reincarnate into a noble family and be an ordinary person instead. Naturally, with dear Qiuning by my side, of course.
After pondering over the matter for a while, he decided not to inform Prince Rong about his and Fu Qiuning’s theories. Considering how shrewd the emperor is, he might notice it if he gave Prince Rong some hints. What’s more, although his brother-in-law had had his ups and downs throughout the years, he had yet to suffer any major setbacks. It would be good for him to temper himself through this adversity. If the old man truly regarded him as a potential candidate for the throne, this might be the best time for Prince Rong to polish his abilities. It was probably best not to interfere with the Emperor’s plans
While his mind was preoccupied with all kinds of thoughts, he did his best to comfort Prince Rong. Seeing his drooping countenance, Jin Fengju patted him on the shoulder and said in a firm voice, “Brother-in-law, it is alright to be depressed now, but tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, you must raise your spirits. The old man is not dead yet, so who is to say that the matter has been decided? No matter the result, even if we were to lose, let it not be because we have given up partway, thus destroying any chances of a future comeback. We must go forth and do our best. Brother-in-law, no matter what, you must do as you have done before. I shall do my best as well. So long as we move forward this way, though we may not secure a complete win in the end, we may still arrange for a way out. Otherwise, our only option is to wait for death.”
There was no need to sound the drum with a heavy hammer. Jin Fengju could see that Prince Rong was already moved by his words. Gratified, he patted Prince Rong on the shoulder again and left the study. At the door, he saw a beautiful maiden rushing over to the prince’s study in a hurry. At the sight of Jin Fengju, she quickly saluted even though there was still a great distance between them. She hurriedly said, “Is His Highness at the study? Her Highness has just fainted. This maid has been sent to beg for His Highness’s attention.”
Jin Fengju was so shocked that he threw all thoughts of propriety and ran towards Jin Yanqiu’s courtyard, thinking: Elder Sister must have received the news. But, surely that’s not right? Sister is not so weak as to faint over this kind of thing.
While he was still pondering over this, he soon arrived at Golden Wind Garden. He entered the house and stepped through the curtains to see that the room was packed full of people. The maids who saw him called out, “The Young Marquis is here! Your Highness, look, it is the Young Marquis!”
Jin Yanqiu woke up. At the sight of Jin Fengju, she gave a miserable smile and said, “Fengju, I have implicated him. I… I, how could I have been so wilful back then? I regret it so much now, but it’s useless, useless!” and she burst into tears.
Only then, did Jin Fenju understand why Jin Yanqiu was in such hysterics. He glanced around the maids and concubines around and waved them away. Once they had all left, he approached Jin Yanqiu with a smile and said, “Don’t think this way, Sister. This has nothing to do with you at all. If the Emperor and the Empress truly did blame you, they would have done something back then. However, aside from a few words of reprimand, they did nothing. Therefore, ah. This matter has long been considered closed. As for the old man raising Prince Lie’s status, this younger brother could only say that the emperor may have some hidden intention behind this decision.
As to what will happen in the future, we cannot yet foresee. Brother-in-law is feeling very depressed now. Although he has always been very resilient, he truly needs your support now. Sister, you must encourage and comfort him and have him regain his ambition as soon as possible. If you fall as well, what will happen to Brother-in-law? What will happen to this great Prince Rong’s palace?”
Jin Yanqiu was sharp enough to note the lack of sadness on her brother’s face and realised that matters may not be as dire as they first appeared. However, this was not the time to ask detailed questions. Instead, she pulled at Jin Fengju’s hand and said, “My brother is right. However, my heart is in chaos and I am so confused as to what to do next. How am I to comfort and advise His Highness?”
“How, you ask? Just one word, ‘forbearance’.” Jin Fengju stood up and smiled down at his sister, “Sister must tell Brother-in-law that in all things, patience is the best virtue. Prince Lie has just succeeded the crown prince title and will not dare be too arrogant and bully him excessively. Even if he is bullied or taken advantage of, he must endure. As for Elder Sister, you must maintain everything well within the palace, there is no need to do anything else.”
Having received these instructions from her brother, Princess Consort Rong calmed down.  That’s right, she still had her beloved younger brother to depend on. Jin Fengju was so clever and dependable that there was no need to do anything else but carry out his instructions to the best of her abilities.
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 After leaving the palace, Jin Fengju immediately went home. There was no point staying outside now that such a major thing had happened. As he entered one of the side gates, he encountered Jin Zhenxuan and his sister. At the sight of the brother and sister, he finally recalled that he had not been by Clear Soft Pavilion for a few days. Although he despaired over his cousin’s attitude problem, they were nevertheless still a pair of husband and wife. These days, she had become more restrained as well. Not to mention, [3a] Fu Qiuning had always given him this look of slight disgust whenever he admitted to not paying attention to his other children… thus, he quickly scooped up Jin Zhenxuan into his arms and made his way to Clear Soft Pavilion.
He arrived at the courtyard to hear bright laughter coming from the rooms. He automatically listened in on the sparkling conversation and found that Concubine Huo was also there. The maids, seeing his arrival, rushed to pull back the curtains and announced his arrival. Jin Fengju entered the room to see Jiang Wanying sitting in place with a smile on her face. Concubine Huo quickly jumped to her feet, the smile on her face looking a little unnatural.
“Yo,  just how did Lord Husband find time to come by my Clear Soft Pavilion today? Has the sun risen from the west? This humble woman thought that you had completely forgotten us in your happiness at Elegant Mansion,” Jiang Wanying did not look at all glad to see Jin Fengju. She wore a smile, but here every word pierced through Jin Fengju.
As for Jin Fengju, [4a] he had already spent all his charitable feelings trying to comfort Prince Rong and coax Princess Consort Rong. He had thought that Jiang Wanying had calmed down these days and would act in a more dignified manner, if not more happily at the sight of him. Seeing her being all sarcastic lit a fire of anger in his heart as he bristled with the annoyance of having to coax a woman from his harem. However, he heroically endured this annoyance and said, “I happened to be free after court and met Zhenxuan and Xiuzhen on the way in. I thought of you and came and see you for a bit. What were you talking about just now to laugh so happily?.” “Hah!” Jiang Wanying sneered. “Why? Is Lord Husband unhappy to see us have a little fun? Elegant Mansion is a place that is filled with laughter and joy every day while my Clear Soft Pavilion brims with nothing but mist and rain. Today, I heard something funny from Sister Huo and laughed out loud. Who would have thought that I’d attract the attention of the inspectors with my crime? Could it be that aside from that place, not a single bit of laughter is allowed in this Duke of Jing’s Estate? Are we, your mere secondary wife and concubines, not worthy to even laugh in this place? What sort of nonsense is this?”
Jing Fengju’s face darkened with fury [4a] and shame as he coldly said, “When did I ever say this? Wanying, you have always been too small-minded. These days, I believe that you have restrained yourself and thought you have finally matured a little. However, I can see that I was wrong. You laugh freely when I am not here, and become angry when I am in front of you. It’s fine, I shall leave now. You may continue with your cheerful little chats after I leave.”
Jiang Wanying snorted coldly as Jin Fengju made to leave. When she saw the children still clinging to Jin Fengju, she sneered, “Just let your father go. How could he bear to stay in this place? Careful, or he will smack you away for clinging to him.”
Jin Fengju became [1a] especially alarmed by this. He thought: Goodness, what if news of this interaction reached dear Qiuning’s ears and she misunderstood me?! I cannot let Qiuning think I mistreat the children.
He quickly turned around and hotly said, “What are you talking about? Are you hoping to make Xuan’er and Xiuzhen distance themselves from me? You have gone too far. You may believe that I have failed you, but just pat your chest and think. Have you completely forgotten all the things you have done in the past? I have forgiven you time and again, giving you plenty of opportunities to repent, but you? When will you learn how to stop? You push all the blame on my head, but have you thought about your own behaviour? Now that things have come this far, I have only this to say. You best fend for yourself from now on.”
With a dramatic swirl, he swept up the dazed and confused Jin Zhenxuan and Jin Xiunan into his arms and loudly declared, “Come, Father shall take you to Elegant Mansion. You shall play with your elder brothers and sisters there. I believe the children of that courtyard should all be there, there is no need for you to stay shut inside Clear Soft Pavilion and hide away from the world. Aside from studying, it is also important for children to have fun.” Jin Fengju nodded to himself, thinking: There, that is a speech worthy of dear Qiuning. Indeed, life should be more than just studying. Children should be allowed to be children and to play with their peers. [3a] “Stop! Let the children go! You may have allowed yourself to be seduced by Elegant Mansion, don’t you dare send my children to that place!” Jiang Wanying shrieked as she stood up shakily, fear making her voice shrill. However, Jin Fengju did not even turn around to look at her as he strode out of the room with the children.
“Elder Sister, please stay calm. After so many years, is there anything that cannot be endured?” Concubine Huo finally found the courage to venture forth and say something. She anxiously continued, “To think that Lord Husband would suddenly come by and saw us together… what if…”
“What if what? What’s there to ‘what if’ about? In the past when I had his favour, you and Concubine Xu made trouble for me. Now that he was snatched away by that woman, are we not allowed to gather and form an alliance? Women are meant to hide knives in our smiles and poison on our lips. As someone who grew up in a noble family, how can he not know this? Don’t jump at every shadow or start seeing snakes when there’s only a bow. If you are too uncomfortable, just go back to your own courtyard.”
Concubine Huo hurriedly took this opportunity to leave. As for Jiang Wanying, she sat in her room until everyone had left before lying down with a frown. She sneered and said, “What time do you think it is now? Cousin, how long can you remain calm? Your family is finished. However, don’t think that I will allow you to bury me and my children with your clan.”
On Jin Fengju’s side.
The children dare not say anything as their father more or less stomped his way towards Elegant Mansion. Fortunately, the way was not long and they were soon at Elegant Mansion. The children kept their eyes on the ground, afraid of catching their father’s attention.
That day happened to be a day when Fu Qiuning gave the performers and musicians a day off to rest their voices. Jin Fengju found her in the middle of a group of women, including Concubine Yu and Luo, as well as Jin Yanfang as well as the Fang Sisters (and one cousin) and Concubine Mei. In short, the ladies of the Yong Cui Garden had gathered together. The Feng Sisters (and cousin) all looked down, ashamed of their past behaviour. They believed that Jin Fengju was just playing hard to get, but it looked like he was truly determined to be loyal to Fu Qiuning. To maintain whatever position they had within the Jin Estate, they did their best to pretend that they had never sought Jin Fengju’s attention and ingratiate themselves subtly with Fu Qiuning instead. After all, their marriage prospects have not been decided yet, but it looked like Second Madam Ning was determined to help them choose a good family of their choice.
[Gumihou: Yeah, that was… yeah…]
 Author is trying extra hard to make JFJ sound wordly, but he’s just quoting Fu Qiuning, Gumi made it more obvious [1a] Do you really believe that he will be offended by the children ignoring him? It’s more likely that he’s worried about FQN ignoring him once she heard how he had ignored the children.  Add details to show just how JFJ-dependent everyone else is in this wretched world. No wonder he got big-headed.  The JYQ incident and Qingwant Pavilion incident were sort of lumped into the same paragraph, which indicates just how inconsequential her existence was to the author. Poor Jiang Wanying, let’s add a scene break and start her moment off with a new paragraph. [3a] Author tried very hard to paint JFJ as a saint vs JWY scum. Eh, but you’re THE scum, JFJ  Jiang Wanying was being portrayed as a vindictive beetch here, gave her a more ‘woman scorned’ feeling rather than ‘asshole villain’ [4a] JFJ being angry at not being pampered and forgiven is more likely than him being all 淡淡的烦闷 (indifferent and gloomy) for no good reason.  Add more details for the Feng Sisters (and cousin)’s thoughts to it more than just about JFJ
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