You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 237 – Resolving Past Grievances
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Higher Level Wife – 237 – Resolving Past Grievances

Chapter 237: Resolving Past Grievances

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou


Fu Qiuning was absent-mindedly embroidering a handkerchief, thinking: Concubine Xu must [a] have seen Zhenyi by now. Hopefully, she will learn to keep her head down and focus on her children instead of sticking her neck out for others to chop off.

[b] “Madam is the official wife, and Concubine Xu’s status is lower than yours. Not to mention, that wench plotted against Madam in the past, so there is really no need for Madam to welcome her. I, Yu Jie, shall be the one to greet her instead. Humph, as Madam’s most trusted and trusted maid, this is already giving her face. Just who does she think she is…”

Fu Qiuning had mostly blocked out the rest of Yu Jie’s self-aggrandising words, but some still managed to reach her.

Just then, Jian Feng entered. [c] Her usually perfect posture was slightly hunched and she scuttled over secretively to whisper, “Madam, this servant just came from the side hall and saw Yu Jie leading Concubine Xu over here.”

Then, as if to transform her words into reality, a junior maid parted the curtains and announced, “Concubine Xu has arrived.”

Fu Qiuning put away her embroidery and went out to the hall. It had been almost a year since she had last laid eyes on Concubine Xu, so of course, there was some degree of awkwardness. Aside from that, however, she had no special feelings for Concubine Xu. She was just a woman of her era, blinded by her desire to be loved by the man she had married in good faith. Awkwardness aside, Concubine Xu looked calm.

[a] Perhaps she had achieved some sort of enlightenment? Enough to realise that the man she had married to was not someone worth fighting for?

[a] Smiling, Fu Qiuning said simply, “It is good that you’re here, Brother Yi misses you very much.” There was really nothing much to say beyond that, really.

“As soon as this humble woman heard about the incident, this humble woman nearly lost her mind and thought nothing but urging the coachman to rush over as fast as he could,” said Concubine Xu.

Fu Qiuning nodded and gestured to a table, “Have a seat, your journey must have been difficult.”

Concubine Xu gritted her teeth and suddenly fell to her knees in front of Fu Qiuning.

Fu Qiuning was shocked. [a1] It was… was this the first time someone literally threw themselves at her feet. It felt… very uncomfortable. As someone who had grown up in the modern world, she had never seen anyone kowtow in real life until she arrived in this world. To have one of her former ‘rivals’ bowing and scraping like this left a bad taste in her mouth.

Especially since she had seen Concubine Xu practically grimacing before the woman dramatically dropped to her knees. What else could she do but hurry over, personally helping the woman up to prevent any sort of misunderstanding from whatever slight this person may imagine?

All the while, she was muttering some nonsensical things like, “Just what are you doing? When did our family have such customs? Quickly get up; Third Young Miss is also shocked to see this. Come now, get up…”

Concubine Xu started shedding tears like a wet blanket as she exclaimed, “In the past, this humble woman was ignorant, constantly jealous of Madam. Brother Yi was also incited by me. Later, when I was sent to the farmstead, the only thing that occupied my mind day and night were my two children. Although the Jin Dukedom is considered a generous clan, deep in my heart, I know how unwanted children could be… overlooked within the vast estate of a noble clan. After Brother Yi and Third Young Miss’s unexpected visit, I… I saw that they both looked very well, so [d] lively and, and cheerful that I know, I just know that Madam must have been looking out for them. Thank you, thank you so much for treating the children so well…”

She managed to knock her head on the ground once, before Fu Qiuning managed to get the maids to help her get Concubine Xu get off the floor to sit next to her. Perhaps finally getting the message that she had no intention of deliberately humiliating Concubine Xu, Yu Jie and Jian Feng proceeded to proactively run off to fetch a basin and towels for Concubine Xu to clean up her tear-stained face.

Once Concubine Xu had calmed down a little, Fu Qiuning said, “There is no need to thank me. All children are precious and should not be punished for their parents’ faults.” [a2] [d] Perhaps Concubine Xu was touched by Fu Qiuning’s concise and no-nonsense statement. Other women would have used the opportunity to emphasise their position over her to make her know just who it was that she was indebted to. However, Fu Qiuning merely gave this one statement, which drew a clear line between herself and all other people.

Concubine Xu [d] swallowed and lowered her head, saying, “Madam, though I do not possess extraordinary talent, even I understand that it was true virtuousness and benevolence that drove Madam’s decision to care and nurture Brother Feng and Eldest Young Miss. It is Brother Yi and Third Young Miss’ fortune to be taken in by Madam. Th-this humble woman…”

Fu Qiuning [a] said, “It is fine. You should express such sincerity before Lord Husband. After all, though I was able to have you brought here on the pretext of caring for Brother Yi, it is up to you to secure a more permanent arrangement.”

[d] “This…”

[a] “Naturally, I shall support you if I can. I hope you understand that this support will only be granted so long as you behave. Do we have an understanding?”

[d] Concubine Xu paused. She thought: If Fu Qiuning had been blindly supportive, I may have risked getting into her good graces and perhaps even back into Jin Fengju’s embrace… However…

[d] “Yes, this humble woman understands.”

How could she have forgotten just what had sent her to the farmstead in the first place? All her scheming was for nought since Jin Fengju was blindly devoted to this woman who had consistently proven herself to be both virtuous and talented. So what if she did not have the support of her maternal family? From what she had heard, Fu Qiuning had the support of the Empress Dowager thanks to her skill in opera singing. No, not opera singing, but in the creation of entire new opera performances, if the rumours were to be believed. In short, it would be utter foolishness to go against this woman.

If, by some miracle, her scheming succeeded, the chances that Jin Fengju would take that woman’s side no matter what, were too high. No, she could not risk her children on a foolish bet. Since Fu Qiuning was willing to overlook her past, it would be best to prove that this mercy was not wasted.

Fu Qiuning smiled and said, “Have you seen Brother Yi yet?”

Concubine Xu noted that this woman only smiled when mentioning the children. She nodded and said, “Yes, Bai Lu mentioned that Brother Yi was tossing and turning around for quite a while before falling asleep, so I did not wake him up and came to Madam’s place first. Madam, do you know who could be so ruthless? When I saw the white cloth wrapped around the child’s head, my… my heart felt like it had been twisted by a knife. Thinking back, how could I ever be so blinded by jealousy to the point of ruthlessly carving a wound on Brother Yi’s head? I… could this be retribution the heavens have bestowed upon me? If it could be said that I am able to harm my own son, then what about others? If that is the case, then why did the retribution not fall on me…”

Concubine Xu’s voice cracked at the end of her emotional speech. Fu Qiuning quickly handed her a handkerchief and said, [a] “So long as you understand the harm our actions could befall our children and continue to keep this in mind from now on. As for what happened with Brother Yi, the only thing we could ascertain was that he had been attacked. Fortunately, he survived the ordeal. You may also rest assured that the people of the estate would not take this attack lightly-”

Just then, Qiu Yu rushed in to say, “Madam, Old Madam Jin has arrived; she should already be in the garden by now.”

Fu Qiuning’s eyebrows raised. She nodded at Concubine Xu, “What did I say?”

Before Concubine Xu could answer, [e] a breathless voice from outside said, “Keeping secrets from me, every single one of you is keeping secrets from me, do you think I am useless just because you see that I am old?”

Fu Qiuning thought to herself: [e] Well, well, looks like you really cannot stand being away from the drama, eh? Despite Elder Madam’s best efforts, you have somehow gotten a whiff of the spectacle happening at my place and… now here you are.

[e] Even though she disdained the Old Madam for her hypocrisy, appearance had to be kept and she went swiftly out with Concubine Xu to escort the wheezing Old Madam Jin into the room. Upon seeing Concubine Xu, Old Madam Jin snorted and said to Fu Qiuning, “Very good, you have taken care of everything very well, to the point of bringing Brother Yi’s mother back. Are there any walls that can contain all the secrets in this world? Do you think that just because the estate is large and that this old woman has difficulty walking, you could keep anything from me?”

Fu Qiuning [a3] considered her response to this ridiculous claim. While she could beam and flatter that old woman, it would be like entertaining a second, much older and fussier Jin Fengju. Not to mention, if she were to give that old woman too much face, she might want to come by her courtyard too often. On the other hand…

“Old Madam, the order to maintain silence over the matter came from Elder Madam and Lord Husband.” There, let’s throw those two under the bus for now. “Qiuning never thought of keeping secrets from Old Madam, but…” she trailed off with a concerned look on her face.

[e] “But what? What nonsense are you going to say next?” Old Madam wheezed accusingly.

[a3] Fu Qiuning glanced at the maids behind Old Madam Jin and said in a slightly stern voice, “Did none of you maids think of getting a sedan chair for Old Ancestor? Can you not see how you have made the Old Ancestor suffer-”

Old Madam Jin suddenly started coughing and wheezing again, effectively cutting off her speech. “Enough about that, has the boy recovered? What is his condition now? Take me to him now, quickly!”

[a3] Fu Qiuning would have laughed at Old Madam’s attempt to cover up her scheme. However, since none of the maids behind the old woman laughed, she swallowed her own laughter to respond, “Brother Yi is still asleep. The imperial physician had examined him and pronounced that the injury was not serious. Even so, it is still best for him to rest quietly for now. I shall hide nothing from Old Ancestor. The imperial physician’s main concern was Brother Yi’s mental health, hence why Concubine Xu had been called back to look after him. Concubine Xu had only just arrived and would be tasked to take care of him. Old Ancestor, since you have come, do sit for a while. We had some unique snacks prepared; if Old Madam try them here, it would save me a trip to Health & Longevity Court.”

Old Madam Jin sat down with a sigh. She shook her head and sighed again, “I do not know what is happening with the estate. This past two years, it had been one incident after another. Fengju’s matter last time had frightened this old woman half to death. After that, I ordered people to send a few hundred taels of incense money to White Cloud Temple, asking those eminent monks to light more lamps for us before the great Buddha. How is it that even with that, there is still no peace in the house? But why, even now, is there still no peace? Brother Yi is not only Fengju’s child, but a young master taken under the official wife’s wing. Just what sort of heartless person could have the audacity to dare touch a noble son?”

Fu Qiuning [a3] listened boredly as Old Madam whined on and on. From the earnest look on Concubine Xu’s face, it looked like she shared Old Madam’s sentiments. Well, no wonder, since a ‘son’ was important to a patriarchal family regardless of their quality, an attack on an important ‘son’ was probably like an attack against the entire Duke of Jing’s estate.

Old Madam Jin’s concern was probably not fake, but she was likely more concerned for the ‘face’ of the dukedom than anything else. After all, Jin Fengju already had three sons under his knees and would likely produce more, possibly with his official wife too. In the grand scheme of things, Jin Zhenyi was more like the last ‘spare’, the son who would likely have to go into trade or the military to distinguish himself from his more talented brothers.

Well, technically, Jin Changfeng had the lowest status among the brothers, but he was favoured now because of Fu Qiuning, hence why Jin Fengju favoured him most. It was all so unnecessarily complicated, actually.

After rambling on for a while, the old lady finally stopped, gasped a few breaths, and drank two mouthfuls of water before looking at Fu Qiuning to say, “I heard that the place Brother Yi was found was the plum blossom forest, yes? Where was he? That afternoon, Luo Cui and two or three maids went to pick plum blossoms for me. How did they not see anything?”

[a] Fu Qiuning blinked. It took her a couple of seconds to realise that she was being addressed. She touched a hand to her chin in a thinking pose and said instead, “Old Ancestor, when did Luo Cui and the maids go to the plum blossom forest?”

Old Madam Jin shook her head, saying, “How would I remember such details? Luo Cui, do you still remember what happened?”

Luo Cui replied, “It was in the evening, past 5 o’clock. The plum blossoms in Old Madam’s room had withered. Seeing that Old Madam appeared unwell these days, I fear that seeing such withered blossoms would only ruin Old Madam’s mood. Therefore, after reporting to my superior, I brought junior maids Hui’er and Qiao’er with me to the plum blossom forest. At that time, I was only concerned about picking the plum blossom branches and did not pay attention to anything else. Besides, it was getting close to dusk. After collecting the branches, we left. Had we known about this incident, we would never have left the forest no matter what and searched for Young Master Yi. That way, Young Master Yi would not have been left in the cold for so long…”

Suddenly, Luo Cui turned pale, and she quickly defended herself, “Old Madam and Madam, we did not see Young Master Yi, and certainly could never conceive such a thought of harming our young master…”

[a4] Fu Qiuning watched as the Old Madam (and Concubine Xu) looked increasingly angry the longer Luo Cui spoke. She thought: Goodness, there really is no such thing as loyalty between master and servant. Well, a servant is supposed to be loyal to their masters, but the moment they misstep, all the past good deeds are forgotten. How tragic.

Finally, she interrupted Luo Cui’s increasingly desperate torrent of explanation to say, “Do not worry, Luo Cui, I know this has nothing to do with you. Indeed, it is likely that Brother Yi’s survival may be due to your presence.”

Old Madam Jin and Concubine Xu still looked suspicious, so she said to them, “[a2] It is possible that whoever had attacked Brother Yi may have left in a hurry when they noticed Luo Cui and the other two maids. Although the poor child was left in the snow for a long time, he survived because the attacker ran off before they could finish the job.” [f]

Everyone literally gasped at Fu Qiuning’s matter-of-fact phrasing of ‘finish the job’, but at least Luo Cui was off the hook.


[Gumihou: By the way, deleted two mentions of JFJ that were basically ‘my most humble hubby thinks so too~’]


[a] Eliminating AR ‘Sparkles’ Qiuning since 2021

[a1] Give plausible reason for the aversion to others kneeling to you aside from general kindness, benevolence and abstract shininess. Also deleted a lot of ‘wow, kleberrr’ statements from super brainy AR Qiuning

[a2] Deleted 150 words of ‘wow, like, I’m so good and wonderful and generous to you miserable people’

[a3] Reduce the flatteringly smiling AR Qiuning, because that just smacks of OOC

[a4] Fu Qiuning’s general observation

[b] Have Yu Jie be the one to voice out all the self-indulgent, pompous words in place of Fu Qiuning’s ‘stream of thought’ that was basically author trying to validate AR QN’s existence and make her look good

[c] Reinforced Jian drama-loving Feng characteristics to explain her weird behaviours

[d] Realistic reaction from Concubine Xu. Like, what is this statement: Unexpectedly, back when Brother Yi and Third Young Miss went to the farmstead to see me, they had become more promising than before.

This statement promotes nothing but AR Qiuning worship, replaced with actual genuine motherly concern from Concubine Xu without the added like, wow, ur so shiny and beautiful and wonderful and generous and like, totally dope

[e] The Old Madam scene was meant to be a wonderful ‘concerned elder’ scene. Note how Gumi turned it into a complete circus

[f] Deleted this incredibly unlikely line ‘I believe Brother Yi must have discovered something unusual, prompting him to take a risk….He would not have gone on such an adventure.

Gumihou: What the heck? He totally would. You wrote him that way!!


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