You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 242 – Performance
Killer woman with a knife. Violence aggression. Criminal murderer. Assassin

Higher Level Wife – 242 – Performance

Chapter 242: Performance

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Gumihou

Proofread by Pill Bug

Gumihou: This… urgh…


“I know you have been wronged this time, so you will not beaten for this. However, you should understand that this incident was ultimately caused by your pointless recklessness. Do you know that you have just turned eight years old? Do you imagine that you have turned into an adult? Who asked you to go and investigate? Even if you have some suspicions, you should still come home and report the matter to me and your mother. Your reckless act could have gotten you killed. If not for Luo Cui and the maids who had gone into the plum blossom forest on a whim, if your mother had not been such a careful person, you would have lost your life. Do you understand?”

As Jin Fengju spoke, he felt a wave of fear in his heart [1] as he recalled Fu Qiuning’s stony expression. What would Fu Qiuning think of him if Jin Zhenyi had really died? Especially since it looked like the culprit was his own cousin? The woman who had caused trouble for her over and over again just because he was not able to control her?

[2] Meanwhile, Concubine Xu trembled in place. She clearly wanted to defend Jin Zhenyi, and perhaps, snatch him away from Jin Fengju’s stern presence. However, she dared not say anything. Taking pity on her, Fu Qiuning said, “Enough, Brother Yi has just recovered from a long illness. Don’t question him any more.”

Jin Fengju’s expression immediately softened and he said, “Qiuning, ah. You should also be more careful these next few days. This child loves meat and greasy food. You should get the cooks to spend a little more effort and make something nutritious, yet delicious for him…”

[3] Fu Qiuning privately rolled her eyes at the sudden show of solicitous behaviour. Look at him lecturing her about how to take care of his child’s diet as though he had ever taken any real interest in them.

Just then, hurried footsteps were heard from the corridor and Fu Qiuning sighed, “What is it now?”

Qiu Yu burst through the curtained doorway, the cloth audibly swishing to the side as she cried, “Young Marquis! Second Madam! Just now, someone just brought news that… that Miss Qiu Xia from Clear Soft Pavilion and Miss Tian Yu from Concubine Huo’s place have… have… they have both hanged themselves!”

[3a] Fu Qiuning thought vaguely: Ah, but of course.

“What?!” Jin Fengju had leapt to his feet, his expression rapidly changing.

The shock was so much that Concubine Xu’s tongue was loosened and she snarled, “Those two wenches sure know how to get out of trouble. Humph, they have clearly gotten off easy by hanging themselves to death-”

She suddenly stopped speaking, feeling Jin Fengju’s cold gaze at her. [4] Too late, she recalled that Fu Qiuning, Lord Husband’s most beloved wife now, had once hung herself at Night Breeze Pavilion…

“When did they die?” Jin Fengju said as he walked out the door, his face cold and imposing.

Qiu Yu trembled with fright, “D-don’t know. This maid heard it from Xie Yue, a maid from Second Madam Wan’s place, who mentioned it briefly before running away. This maid was so frightened by what she said that she forgot to question her further.”

“I understand, leave now,” Jin Fengju said curtly. He turned to Fu Qiuning and said in a solemn voice, “Qiuning, you come with me.” He flashed a look at Concubine Xu and said, “You look after Brother Yi. He has just recovered from a serious illness and should not get out of bed or move around carelessly.”

As if the drama was not enough, Bai Lu’s voice rang out from the corridor, “Third Young Master, Second Young Miss, Fourth Young Miss and Fifth Young Miss are all here?” Then, as if to prove their existence, the curtain lifted and in walked all of Jin Fengju’s children.

[3b] They were probably all here to see Jin Zhenyi and were shocked to see Jin Fengju standing there with a stern expression. They quickly saluted their father, anxious not to seem impolite. Jin Fengju nodded at them. He was not in the mood to ask after their homework or whatever. Just as he was about to leave, he paused as though he had just recalled something. He turned to Jin Zhenxuan and said, “Something just happened at the estate today. All of you just stay here, don’t go back to your courtyards. Stay at Elegant Mansion for the next two days. There is no need to go to school either. I shall have someone go and greet your teachers for you. Zhenyi is ill right now and cannot bear the loneliness. All of you stay here and keep him company.”

[3a] Wow, way to make your kids feel at ease, thought Fu Qiuning sarcastically.

Although Jin Zhenxuan looked surprised [3b] (and a little anxious), they had little choice but to agree. After that, Jin Fengju left with great formidable strides. Fu Qiuning followed a little more slowly from behind. When she finally reached the room, he closed the door behind her and sneered, “Wanying and that lot are too ruthless. The moment they heard that Brother Yi had woken up, they did not even bother to investigate the matter properly before taking matters into their own hands.”

[4] Fu Qiuning blinked at the vindictive sneer on the Young Marquis’ face and thought: This must be how he had looked back when he first banished poor original!Fu Qiuning into Night Breeze Pavilion.

When it grew too quiet, she realised that Jin Fengju was waiting for some pearls of wisdom to fall from her lips. She obliged him by saying, “I supposed that is possible.”

Jin Fengju started to pace in her room. “Yes, that is possible. It is also possible that the maids had hung themselves out of guilt and had nothing to do with Wanying. But, what are the odds? No matter, their deaths save me some trouble. The killer may imagined that I have been thrown off the scent, but in fact… I shall continue to investigate and find out the true culprit behind the scenes.”


“Of course, it is unfortunate, but the Old Madam and Elder Madam are likely to be shocked and confused by the incident. Please find some time to go and offer them some comfort. Aih, Elder Madam has always doted on and cared about Wanying. If she knew that the niece she had loved like a daughter turned out to be a poisonous snake, I really do not know whether she can withstand this blow.”

Jin Fengju closed his speech with a sad sigh.

[3c] To be honest, Fu Qiuning had no real love for her mother-in-law. While she did not exactly hate the woman for being the product of her upbringing, it was difficult to like someone so self-absorbed and out of touch with reality. Fortunately, she was saved from having to commiserate with Jin Fengju about how sad that Elder Madam’s perfect world was about to be shaken by a sudden announcement that Jiang Wanying had arrived at Elegant Mansion.

Jin Fengju’s expression hardened and he sneered, “Send her in.”

[3c] As expected, Elegant Mansion was never truly ‘hers’ anyway.


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Jiang Wanying had wept so much that her eyes were like a pair of swollen peaches. As soon as she crossed the threshold, she fell to her knees and cried, “Cousin, Qiu Xia is dead. It is up to Cousin to decide. She had served me for so long and even gave up on marriage. Now that matters have come to this, someone must have forced her into it and… and… wuwuwu… this stupid girl. Although I scolded her a few times out of annoyance, have I ever truly punished her? Even if she happened to be in trouble, surely she should know that I would always do my best to help her? Why did she do such a stupid thing? To hang herself with a bolt of white silk, I, I, wuwuwu…”

[5] Fu Qiuning stared at the performance before her with fascination. To think that Jiang Wanying would be so bold as to come and throw herself before an unforgiving Jin Fengju to plead her innocence… who could refute her now without looking bad? Regardless of whether she was really working with the crown prince’s faction, not even the stone-faced Jin Fengju could justifiably make trouble for her.

[5a] “Stand up. Why are you wasting your tears on a mere maid?” Jin Fengju’s lips actually curled with disgust as he stared down at the still-crying Jiang Wanying. He had draped himself on the kang bed like an indifferent king annoyed by a dirty subject’s petty problems.

[5] It was kind of distasteful, but not out of character for this showoff.

Jiang Wanying suddenly leapt to her feet and shouted, “What are you saying? What mere maid? Qiu Xia is my dowry maid. Of the four dowry maids that followed me, Yue Lan and Qiu Shuang became your concubines. Qiu Shuang even became Concubine Cui, which could only be a good thing for her. Cui Liu died and only Qiu Xia was left by my side. She served me so wholeheartedly, only to end up like this. Who would have thought… Cousin, I don’t care about anything else. You must investigate this matter to the end-”

“There is no need for that. Brother Yi had just told me everything. He saw Qiu Xia and Tian Yu sneaking about the Plum Blossom Forest and tried to find out what they were doing when they panicked and struck him when his back was turned to them. Even so, their actions were hasty and their strength lacking. Additionally, Old Madam’s Luo Cui and another maid happened to be there to collect plum blossom branches, thus frightening the two maids into fleeing. This may be the reason Brother Yi’s life was preserved. Now that they have committed suicide, what of it? You should pull yourself together and find out who these two had been in contact with and why they were at the plum blossom forest in the first place. Was it really to murder Brother Yi?”

Jiang Wanying looked stunned.

[5] Fu Qiuning winced on the side at Jin Fengju’s lack of sensitivity.

It took Jiang Wanying a little while to collect herself enough to say, “What? Brother Yi… he?”

Jin Fengju continued, vindictive satisfaction clear in his voice as he said, “That’s right, it was windy at that time and Brother Yi heard nothing at all, which was why that foolish boy tried to approach the maids to eavesdrop and was found out. Apparently, that little brat thought the maids were planning to steal something. However, I do not believe that is the case. Since you are in charge of house matters, you must put in every effort to investigate this matter for me. There is also the matter of how the crown prince got hold of rumours relating to our household so quickly back then. You and I have searched through the entire estate, yet found nothing and no suspicious individual. Now, it would appear that the mole may well be one of those two maids.”

At this, Jiang Wanying’s face paled. She stammered, “C-cousin… how could cousin even suspect…? Qiu Xia has been with me since she was a child…”

Jin Fengju snorted coldly and said, “So what? Although she had been with you since she was a child, did she not have many opportunities to leave the estate? Who knows what unsavoury people she had come into contact with? Do you think a heart cannot be swayed by gold and silver? Is there a heart in the world that can devote itself to one man forever?”

[5] Fu Qiuning nodded along on the side. She thought: Indeed, there is no heart in the world that cannot be swayed. Just look at her supposedly devoted Yu Jie, she was bought with the prospect of a ‘better future’ and a few gold leaves. As for Aunt Yu, she was bought into Jin Fengju’s camp with a single divorce letter.

“In short, she was someone close to you. Therefore, I cannot help but be suspicious. In this estate, aside from those few, very specific rumours, there was no turmoil within the house. Wanying, you tell me now. Can I afford to not be suspicious?”

[5b] Fu Qiuning nearly applauded Jin Fengju at that moment. No wonder he was considered a shrewd schemer and an incredible politician. The very fear he had harboured for himself, that others might laugh or be suspicious of him for nurturing a spy by his side, had been cast upon Jiang Wanying instead. Now, instead of Jin Fengju having to suffer explaining why his bedmates and wives were spies, he could turn around and demand Jiang Wanying to explain why she was nurturing spies by her side.

Having no other choice, Jiang Wanying could only stammer and say, “Y-yes, I shall investigate this matter fully. I shall find out why that wench made such a blunder and, and give my cousin an explanation.”

More tears were rolling down Jiang Wanying’s cheeks, but Jin Fengju merely frowned at her and said, “She is already dead. I want you to investigate and find out if there is anyone else involved. Why would I need an explanation from you about her death? Do you think I am the type who enjoys gossiping about a servant? She is merely a slave who did not live up to her master’s expectations, what does that have to do with you? You are the di-born granddaughter of the Duke of Lu, my cousin and secondary wife.

Even though you have acted with much partiality in this past year, I do not believe that you are so confused as to do something that would be detrimental to yourself. After all, if the nest is overturned, can the eggs remain unbroken? If the Duke of Jing’s estate were to fall, wouldn’t you suffer as well? Enough about this, you may go now.  Now that something like this has happened at Clear Soft Pavilion, it is best for Xuan’er and Xiuzhen to stay here. They are still young and may be frightened if they go back. You have two days to handle the matter, after that, they may return.”

It would be difficult for Jiang Wanying to oppose this, therefore, she could only hastily acquiesce to Jin Fengju’s ‘suggestion’.

Then, Jin Fengju said, “Tian Yu has also died, where is her mistress? Why has she not shown her face?”

Jiang Wanying said, “Before coming here, someone brought news to me saying that after Concubine Huo found out about this news, she was so frightened and heartsick that she immediately fainted. Even now, she can barely get out of bed. Once she gets up, I fear that she would wish to come and beg Lord Husband’s forgiveness.”

Jin Fengju knitted his brow and sneered, “She has always been the daring type. To think that she would be frightened by this incident to the point that she could not get out of bed? Surely she is not afraid that I would interrogate her for her part in this incident? You had better investigate her carefully. Though her father may appear stable on the surface, who knows what ambition lurks in his heart now that Prince Lie has been appointed crown prince?

Enough, go back for now. Since she is so frightened, there is no need for her to come and see me. Be sure to take good care of her. If she has committed a crime, have her tell me as soon as possible. As we are husband and wife, I will not wrong her. However, if you all continue to hide things from me, don’t blame me for being ruthless once I find out about it later. Xiuru and Xiufen will stay here as well, send someone to inform them separately.”

[3a] On the side, Fu Qiuning grimaced at the thought of having yet more of Jin Fengju’s children hanging around her place. How should she put it? It was as though he was gathering all of his children to her place in a show of letting people know that he trusted her the most, without even considering the consequences of his actions.

What could Jiang Wanying do but nod and bow out of the room [6] before slowly shuffling out of Elegant Mansion? It wasn’t until she was a good way away from Elegant Mansion that she finally touched her forehead. Cold sweat clung to her fingertips and she sighed. She thought: Well, at least I have cast off suspicion on myself. Qiu Xia, don’t blame me. Do you think I don’t know just what you hide within your heart? If I had not struck first, you would have sold me out the moment the Lord questioned you. Instead of an ending where the two of us died together, it is better for you to die on your own, you know? After all, it is you and Tian Yu’s own carelessness that cost you your lives. Otherwise, I would never have resorted to such ruthless methods.


[Gumihou: The ending paragraph was 95% in author’s own words. This convinces me that White Pear Flower is talented and has great potential (and why I continue to translate and edit this work), she was just inexperienced at that time and the premise she had set herself back then was too difficult for a new writer to fulfil]


[1] Reasonable reason for his fear that is not pure ‘omgee, my boy~’

[2] Add detail per USMiC (Union in Support of Minor Characters)

[3] Realistic reaction to a fake reaction

[3a] Realistic reaction from someone who had probably watched a lot of dog blood drama

[3b] Realistic reaction from the children

[3c] Realistic reaction to manipulative ML

[4] Replace verbal White Lotus ‘aww it may not be her’ response with reference to Night Breeze Pavilion thoughts

[5] Insert real admiration on FQN’s part rather than just reiteration of what had happened that were probably meant to show how kleberr AR Qiuning was. There was some mention of an earring in the study (le gasp), but that was actually inconclusive evidence anyway.

[5a] Switch POV to FQN, so that we can see his pretentiousness more clearly.

[5b] Show JFJ to be actually intelligent, or at least cunning

[6] Real reaction from Jiang Wanying that is not ‘gasp! I is ebil!’


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