You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 227 – Bustling

Higher Level Wife – 227 – Bustling

Chapter 227: Bustling

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou


[a] Fu Qiuning listened to Jin Fengju’s long and winding explanation with a grim expression. The only feelings she dared to reveal were ‘unhappiness’ and ‘dissatisfaction’. It was not difficult, since she truly was disgusted by how the wealthy treated talented and beautiful people from showbiz, and was especially appalled by Jin Fengju’s dismissive behaviour towards people he deemed as beneath him. How dare he look down on her fellow artists!

Fortunately for Jin Fengju, Jin Ming soon returned to knock on the carriage door. With a smile, he said, “Reporting to Young Marquis, those people have no significant background. They are just some wastrels of wealthy merchants. The mere mention of the Young Marquis’ name was nearly enough to make them soil themselves. Master Yun happens to be in Jiangnan right now, which was why they suddenly decided to make their move.

When this servant arrived, the troupe leader just so happened to return. He kowtowed to the ground, giving thanks to Master and saying that he would always remember this bit of gratitude and promised to report this favour to Young Master Yun when he returned. From the sound of it, their relationship seems quite close.”

Jin Fengju chuckled, “That is even better. It seems this trivial matter resolved itself quite conveniently.” He then laughed out loud and continued, “Alright, let us head back to the estate.” Turning to Fu Qiuning, he added, “Now you may rest assured. With the Yun Clan as backing, even without my presence, regular riffraffs will not dare cause trouble. From there on, the Cloud Stage Group would not face any problems. Now, surely you can show a little smile? Hm?”

Fu Qiuning considered her response. It was clear that this was only a stop-gap measure that could not protect all artists and actors from being bullied by rich and privileged people who felt entitled to their attention, but then… was it unreasonable for her to want protection for those working in this industry? If she were to laugh and praise him for his action of… something that amounted to sending his steward to threaten people… would it help more people in the future? No, she could not praise this.

In the end, she gave an obviously false smile along with a very fake trill of laughter to indicate her displeasure.

Unfortunately, instead of taking it as intended, Jin Fengju laughed heartily in return as he said, “Good, good, good! You actually laughed! You should laugh more, you look better when you laugh. If you were to frown, then my heart would also be weighed down with anxiety and distress. I wish I could personally smooth out those wrinkles on your forehead.”

Was this supposed to be an expression of affection? Fu Qiuning kept her hat and veil on as she leaned back and looked out the window. She thought: As expected, this Jin Fengju is too exceptionally talented and good-looking (compared to others) to the point that he cannot fathom the idea of someone actually disliking him. I have shown him nothing but indifference and vague disgust, but he still wilfully interpreted everything as sweetness and sunshine in his delusion. No wonder the rest of his harem was so obsessed with him. If this man focussed his attention on a single woman like this, it would not be impossible to imagine him in love with me, when in actual fact, he was just good at coaxing people. From what Concubine Huo had said during those brief intervals when we had conversed, he has never been one to speak sweet words.

To hear him speak all these nauseating words now shows just how deep his obsession with me is. However, it is only a matter of time before Jin Fengju gets tired of the chase or decides that he is ‘in love’ with someone better. Therefore, in the end, there is no good reason to even entertain his obsession in the first place.

While she was lost in her thoughts, Jin Fengju noticed her distracted look. He sat beside her, pulled her into his arms, and said, “Alright, what are you daydreaming about again? We will not arrive home for a while longer, so you might as well rest against me.”

As he spoke, feeling Fu Qiuning’s sweet warmth in his arms, he showed a satisfied smile and leaned against the solid carriage compartment, closing his eyes to relax.


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As the New Year approached, things were very lively at Health & Longevity Court every day. Relatives who lived nearby would come by nearly every day. However, today was an exception. Still, although there were no visitors, the atmosphere was livelier than before.

“Old Ancestor, you did not see it, but that day, ah, she was meant to stroll through the market but what did she do? She acted like a money-spreading boy. [1] Oh, wait, that’s not right. As a woman, she should be called a money-spreading girl.”

Since there were no outsiders present, with only Madam Jiang and Madam Fang in the room, Jin Fengju took the opportunity to talk up his dearest wife by relating a story about their visit to the market. As expected, Madam Jiang had some complaints about her noble son visiting a commoner’s market with his official wife. However, when Old Madam Jin showed no signs of disapproval, she could only sit and laugh at the right places as her son happily related the stories about their trip to the market.

“What do you mean by ‘money-spreading girl’? Even though you bought many things, just how much would those common things cost? Moreover, the more valuable items are purchased using the public treasury, right?” Old Madam Jin’s sharp eye quickly noted the quality of the New Year paintings unfolded by the junior maids and she knew that hardly any money was spent on the bundle of those cheap things.”You still have the nerve to boast in front of me.”

Jin Fengju laughed and said, “Old Ancestor, I have also contributed quite a fair amount to the public treasury this year, haven’t I? You still want to hoard it. Even if you are the old ancestor, you also cannot be so insatiable.”

The room burst into laughter. Not wanting to be left out, Madam Jiang pointed to her son and said, “You are becoming more and more disrespectful. How can you talk to Old Madam like that?” Then, she turned to Old Madam Jin and said, “This is all because Old Ancestor spoils him. He is getting more and more outrageous.”

Old Madam Jin laughed, “I do spoil him. So what? Though I have many grandsons, how many of them are by my side? Only Fengju would come and put on a little show before me. If I do not spoil him, who should I spoil? Should I spoil all of you? You are all grandmothers. Do you still need me to spoil you?” After saying this, everyone laughed again. She then turned to Jin Fengju and said, “Do not leave the story hanging. How did Qiuning become the money-spreading girl? Speak up quickly.”

She had hardly finished speaking when a junior maid announced, “Second Madam Ning is here.”

Following that, Fu Qiuning lifted the curtain and walked in. Seeing everyone look at her, she mentally braced herself before giving her greetings to the elder ladies and was about to move to sit on the side when Old Madam Jin snickered and said, “Look at this girl. She must have heard me say her name, yet she still maintains a stoic face. Are you not afraid of us scheming against you?”

Fu Qiuning responded to the obvious bait with a faint smile and a vague, “Qiuning would never…”

Jin Fengju laughed heartily and said, “What scheming against you? Who would dare?” He looked lovingly at Fu Qiuning. His dear Qiuning had changed into different clothes and appeared even more charming than before, especially with her demure and reserved behaviour. Ah, my Qiuning is too shy~

Pointing at her, he said, “Does Old Ancestor still not know her character? She is the most benevolent and kind-hearted person in the world. Look here, look here, come now, all of you come and take a look at these paper cut-outs. Anyone in our family could make them, yes? And yet, because the person selling these was pitiful-looking, she bought them. As for these New Year paintings, just because the stall owner had a child with a drippy nose with them, we bought half of their paintings from them. Also, these ribbons, does our family even need them? They are all to be divided among the junior servants to take home and use. Oh, and another thing, we even encountered a few beggars and this shrewd thing withdrew a string of coins from my sleeves to hand them out to those beggars…”

As stories of her ‘spendrift’ nature were revealed, Old Madam Jin played along with the farce, chanting ‘Amitabha’ at every revelation of her supposed ‘generosity and great benevolence’. When he was done with his part of the play, Old Madam Jin nodded grandly and said, “I have always liked Qiuning’s compassionate nature. If everyone could be as kind as her, the world would be so much better.”

[b] Madam Jiang had no choice but to nod at everything that was being said, especially since Fu Qiuning’s actions were so obviously compassionate and generous, Jin Fengju so obviously pleased and Old Madam Jin so obviously approving. As someone who thought herself to be a devout Buddhist, Madam Jiang could not say anything against Fu Qiuning’s actions. With her son and Old Madam Jin obviously praising Fu Qiuning non-stop, she could not even accuse this woman’s actions of being hypocritical or attention-seeking.

In contrast, her niece, Jiang Wanying, looked petty and controlling. When servants had to be disciplined, Wanying would sometimes have to scold the maids for their mistakes or even have them struck for their insubordination, all of which would naturally make her appear like a tyrant to some. Even more so when compared to the much favoured Second Madam Ning, who only had to sit on her hands and do a few good deeds to come up smelling like flowers.

Therefore, it was no wonder that the servants feared the ‘fierce’ Second Madam Ying and favoured the ‘kind and gentle’ Second Madam Ning instead. She had hoped that Fu Qiuning would insist on taking charge of the household and eventually do such a bad job of it that she could criticise her legitimately. Unfortunately, Second Madam Ning made it known that she had no intention of taking on this job, thus frustrating the people who wished for a more benevolent mistress and thwarting her potential schemes.

As she continued to ruminate over this in her heart, Madam Fang gave a faint smile and said, “What Old Madam said is true, everyone has their own temperament. [b1] Even so, I find Wanying a little harsh lately. Just the other day, I heard she had a servant flogged with sticks 10 times [3], just because they lost a single dragon-phoenix tallow candle [2].”

Madam Jiang’s brows furrowed deeply upon this [b2]. Because she and Jiang Wanying shared a surname, and she had openly and covertly supported her niece all this time, it was difficult not to be offended on behalf of her niece. On the other hand, she was also annoyed by Jiang Wanying because, even if she had to discipline the servants, did she have to impose such a heavy punishment on a servant who was the son of Madam Fang’s dowry maid? It was no wonder that she would be unhappy enough to reveal the matter right at that moment.

“While it may have seemed a little excessive, it is largely thanks to Second Madam Ying’s strictness that the estate is so well-organised,” said Fu Qiuning softly.

It was so obvious that these people were all looking to push her up while stepping on poor Jiang Wanying at the same time. Not to mention, considering how cunning and shrewd the servants were in this estate, it probably took someone like Jiang Wanying to keep them under control. In <<Dream of Red Chamber>>, Wang Xifeng was known for her shrewdness and cunning and was not at all well-liked.

Admittedly, Wang Xifeng had committed numerous misdeeds, even causing the death of her Second Elder Sister. Yet, when chaos erupted in the Ning Estate after the death of Qin Keqing, it was she who skillfully managed the situation. Some servants even commented that the Ning Estate needed someone like her to restore order.

As for herself? She, Fu Qiuning, could not even keep the loyalty of two servants who had stayed by her side for five years, enduring life and death situations. Those two had sold her out on what they imagined to be a ‘better future’. She was just… too different for this world. She could never take care of this estate effectively.

Fu Qiuning looked into the distance with a pensive expression, thinking about how different this world was from the one she could never return to. However, Old Madam Jin and Jin Fengju must have misunderstood something because they were looking at her with weird shining eyes.

On the side, Madam Fang also remarked, “It is said that forgiving past grievances and repaying hatred with virtue is a rare quality. Today, I can be considered to have truly witnessed it. No wonder Fengju always praises you, both publicly and privately. I know your words were not meant to excuse Wanying, but their value lies in how rare this word is: Fairness. Indeed, you are an admirable person.”

Fu Qiuning flushed, feeling the urge to hide herself. She thought: What is that cringy remark? Do you even know what you are saying?

Just then, a junior maid outside could be heard saying, “Miss Jian Feng, are you here for Second Madam Ning?”

In an equally loud voice, Jian Feng said, “Yes, is Second Madam Ning inside?”

Fu Qiuning stood up just as Jian Feng entered, “What is it?”

“Replying to Madam, Concubine Lan from Prince Lie’s palace has come and is waiting for you in the garden pavilion.”

Fu Qiuning was surprised, “Did you ask why she is here?” [c]

Feeling the eyes staring holes at the back of her head, she turned around to explain, “Concubine Lan from Prince Lie’s mansion is my second uncle’s di-born daughter. She married Prince Lie as a lesser concubine and was later uplifted to a proper concubine after getting pregnant. However, I heard that the child was stillborn. Regardless, since she has come, I should go back and say a few words. Old Ancestor, Elder Madam, Second Elder Madam, this humble woman will take her leave first.”

“Since she is a relative, go and entertain her quickly,” Old Madam Jin instructed in a hurry. Fu Qiuning respectfully bowed her head and bent her knees in a salute before departing.

At Elegant Mansion, she found Fu Qiulan waiting at the small garden pavilion. Try as she might, no matter how Fu Qiuning searched original!Fu Qiuning’s memories, she did not find many interactions between the sisters. After that one visit, Fu Qiulan did not visit again. For Fu Qiulan who had married into Prince Lie’s faction, she could only imagine why this sister of hers had come for a visit.


[Gumihou: As usual, deleted all superfluous ‘I r kleber der der’ remarks.]


[a] Remove all ‘tee hee’ and ‘phew~’ impressions with reality.

[b] Deleted: This time, even Madam Jiang nodded nonstop. She was a Buddhist herself, and even if she didn’t like Fu Qiuning, hearing those words made her feel joyful and content. It reminded her of her niece, Jiang Wanying, who had always been competitive and needed to put on a strong facade.

Gumihou: Yeah, if that’s not deliberately tarring poor Jiang Wanying, I don’t know what it is.

[b1] More Jiang Wanying tarring, but mitigated it to something more ‘elegant ladies talk’ and less ‘spitting blood’ all over the place

[b2] Deleted: Madam Jiang’s brows furrowed deeply upon this. She knew that Jiang Wanying had somewhat gone too far this time, and the servant who was beaten was even the son of Madam Fang’s dowry maid.

Gumihou: Yeah, rather than being angry on behalf of the servant, it’s more likely for her to be angry at ‘being a known associate’, because Madam Jiang is too selfish to think about the servant. Why would she when she could use the time to think about herself and her standing in the family?

[c] Deleted supposed ‘funny’ episode about FQN’s napping habit. It’s… just cringe


Pill Bug TL Notes:


[1] 散财童子 “Money-spreading boy” is a term derived from the image of a good-luck boy. It is mostly a mocking term for people who gamble and often lose in real life.


[2] 龙凤烛 Mostly used for weddings.,%E9%BE%99%E5%87%A4%E7%83%9B%2D%20CHINESE%20WEDDING%20CUSTOMS


[3] The flogging punishment back then was no joke. These aren’t small sticks at all, more like baseball bats!



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