You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 246 –  The Garden

Higher Level Wife – 246 – The Garden

Chapter 246: The Garden

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Pill Bug

Edited by Gumihou


It was a day when Aunt Yu brought her son over. The little boy had just turned two months old and although he could only blink and wave his arms about on the kang bed, he had a pair of lively eyes that seemed to chase after people [1] out of curiosity. This brought much joy to Jin Yanfang and the others who happened to be at Elegant Mansion. The ladies could not help but hug and kiss him over and over again.

With her son being doted on endlessly by the others, Aunt Yu made her way to Yu Jie’s room. The first things that caught her eye were the wedding dresses and other wedding paraphernalia that were being prepared for Yu Jie’s big wedding. “Here I thought that Madam must certainly be around, but it looks like Madam had gone to Health & Longevity Court instead. Who knows whether she will be back for lunch?”

Yu Jie tittered, “If you are so anxious, why not send one of the junior maids to Health & Longevity Court and let her know? I am sure she would hurry back after hearing the message.”

Aunt Yu’s entire body actually shook as she half-leapt off her chair. However, when she saw that there was no one else around, she shook her head and said self-deprecatingly, “Please do not tease me. Just what is my status? How could I ever make Madam return just with a word?”

Yu Jie laughed again, saying, “That is what you think. However, surely you of all people should know what Madam values most. She is an affectionate person who values personal relationships the most. If she knew that you were here, she must wish that she could attach wings to her back and fly here immediately to see you.”

Aunt Yu laughed too, “Indeed, Madam is someone who cherishes relationships most. I have always felt that she holds no airs in front of the servants. Even so, no matter how generous Madam is with her affection, we must remain clear about our own status.”

Yu Jie set down her wedding dress and murmured, “You have married out. Soon, I shall be married as well. In the future, neither of us would serve by Madam’s side. Yesterday, I heard from the main family servants that the two misses from the Feng family and that cousin of theirs have been matched. Although the families are not wealthy, all of them happen to be from scholarly families. I even heard that the Young Marquis had the prospective grooms secretly investigated for a long time and found that all three of them were knowledgeable and courteous people. Not to mention, the prospective mother-in-laws also seemed appreciative about receiving these ladies into their family.

In the past, we all know what those young misses were planning before. Madam also knew but held no grudge against them. If it were not for Madam whispering reminders in Young Marquis’ ear every day about the three Young Misses’ wedding matters, he might not have paid attention to it since he is such a busy person. When I sometimes asked Madam why she bothered so much about those immoral women [a], she would roll her eyes and say something like, ‘Since the Duke of Jing’s family had deigned to take those helpless young women in, we should help them till the end’.

Aunt Yu, don’t you think that Madam is such a compassionate person? I swear, she is like a Buddha or a heavenly being. They had mistreated her so much before, but she still bothered to think for them. Just think, she is so kind to servants like us too, not just out of obligation, but with her whole heart and soul. Even Young Marquis said that she must be a celestial reincarnated into the mortal world. Now that I am about to leave, every time I think about it, how can I be happy?”

Aunt Yu smiled, “I am most clear about what is on your mind. Before I married, did I not think the same as you too? Fortunately, you are to marry someone in the capital, so you can often visit. Jian Feng, Qiu Yu, and the others are gradually making themselves useful. So, there is no need to worry too much.”

As the two continued to chat, a maid poked her head in and said, “Second Madam is back. She [b] is at the East Wing with the infant boy. She wants you to see you two.”

Aunt Yu and Yu Jie quickly got up and hurried over to the East Wing where Aunt Yu had left her son. They arrived just in time to see Fu Qiuning about to hang a gold locket around the child’s neck. Aunt Yu rushed over to say, “Madam, how can this be? How can the boy be worthy of a gold locket?”

“Why not?” Fu Qiuning glanced at Aunt Yu and smiled, “Children from wealthy families often take on a humble nickname to suppress their fortune. Although your family is not poor, they cannot be considered wealthy either. A gold locket is a way to boost his luck. Who knows, he might become the carp that leaps over the Dragon Gate. [2] Here are four gold bracelets with bells on them. As the child’s wrists and ankles are still small, you should look after these for him as his mother. I had been too busy to attend to your childbirth or the child’s full moon celebration; it is only now that I can show a little care.”

Aunt Yu repeatedly expressed that she did not dare. However, Fu Qiuning ignored her protests and stuffed the gold into her hands. The weight of the gold felt very substantial in Aunt Yu’s hands. As someone who used to handle Fu Qiuning’s jewellery, she knew just how substantial these were and how much they were worth. Not to mention, the gold locket was exquisitely patterned, and therefore, mostly likely came from a goldsmith that she could never afford. Gratitude welled up in her heart, so much so that she did not know what to say.

[c] Pretending to ignore Aunt Yu so that she would not have an opportunity to push the gold back, Fu Qiuning picked up the child and inquired about Yu Jie’s dowry preparation. As expected, all attention was immediately upon Yu Jie as the Feng Sisters (and cousin) started teasing her about her future marriage. In the end, Yu Jie blushed, harrumphed and retorted, “Enough of that, stop making fun of me. I heard that your marriages have been set too. Humph, just wait, I’m going to laugh at you soon.”

The ladies all laughed at that while the Feng girls blushed and started to playfully chase after Yu Jie. Jin Yanfang turned to Fu Qiuning and said, “Yu Jie’s temperament is exactly like my sister-in-law’s, a needle hidden in the cotton. She is a bit better when not provoked, but once pushed, she would reveal her sharpness and stab other people.”

Fu Qiuning, [c] still holding the child, looked at her with a puzzled expression, “What are you talking about?”

Before Jin Yanfang could follow up, Jian Feng happened to enter the room with a vase filled with fresh and colourful flowers. [d] She said, “Now that the peach and apricot blossoms have mostly withered, it is the right time for peonies and roses. When Yu Jie gets married, why don’t we pick a few from the garden to make a flower basket?”

[d] Jin Yanfang smiled, “If we are talking about truly beautiful flowers, they are not those from Yong Cui Garden, but the garden built when His Majesty personally visited. However, we still do not know what that garden looks like. I heard that the people there are palace maids and eunuchs sent from the palace to clean and live there. They actually have better luck than us, since they can enjoy the beautiful garden every day, while we can only dream about it.”

[d] Fu Qiuning shrugged and said, “That is the garden for welcoming His Majesty. Naturally, it cannot be open to the public.”

[d] Jin Yanfang’s smile widened and she said, “But now that my sister-in-law also has a Fifth-Rank title, you can have Second Brother take you in to have a look. As for permission to enter the garden, there was an additional imperial grace from His Majesty back then. He felt that it would be rather pitiful for such a beautiful spring garden scenery to be wasted, so he issued an extra decree, allowing the masters of the households to go in and stroll around every year. But as Elder Madam has grown older and does not like lively places, and Sister-in-law Wan is busy, no one else has visited ever since I returned.”

Fu Qiuning [e] nodded, not really listening as the child in her arms suddenly farted and the ladies in the room became all aflutter as servants hurried to change his nappy. Therefore, she had completely missed the eyes of the three girls from the Feng family shining enviously in that garden.


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It was nightfall when Jin Fengju returned. He happily sat beside Fu Qiuning as they watched the children having their dinner. Now that Jin Zhenyi had recovered, Concubine Xu had been moved to one of the minor backrooms at the inner court. Every now and then, the two children were allowed to spend a day with her. Still, Jin Fengju kept an ear out for the woman’s activities, and when he heard that she did nothing but fast, eating simple vegetarian meals and chanting Buddhist scriptures every day without causing trouble, [e] he stopped wasting any attention on her.

After dinner, Jin Fengju went to the study to check on the children’s homework. [e] Although he had started doing this as a way to attract more of Fu Qiuning’s attention, he found himself looking through their work with more interest, especially since he could see visible improvement in Jin Changfeng and Jin Zhenyi’s essays. Though their writing could still be improved, it was more structured and mature than before. It made him proud as a father, knowing that his children were doing better in their studies.

When Jin Changjiao led her troupe of sisters over with gifts of embroidered sachets and handkerchiefs, he felt even prouder to be the father of such sweet and thoughtful daughters. It was the first time that he felt that having daughters was such a wonderful thing, especially if those daughters were as thoughtful and praiseworthy as Qiuning. After lavishing his girls with many praises, he took himself off to the bedroom to see the girl he loved most.

Fu Qiuning had just removed her jewellery and hair accessories and was in the middle of letting her hair down while Jian Feng prepared the bed. When Jin Fengju entered the room, Jian Feng quickly made herself scarce. [e] Jin Fengju approved of this maid’s discretion and stepped forward to put his lips to Fu Qiuning’s exquisite neck and said, “A little bird told me that during your little chat this afternoon, someone brought up the imperial garden? Now that you have your own title, you are allowed to stroll through the garden. Though, of course, I should guide you in case you get lost…”

[e1] “Why would I want to go there?” asked Fu Qiuning. She had some idea why this question was brought up, but there was no reason for her to make it easy for him. “Am I such a shallow person as to blur the line between public and private matters, to knowingly enter a restricted place?”

Jin Fengju laughed, “I know you are not that sort of person. What I meant was that visiting the garden together would not be considered an offence for us.”

When Fu Qiuning still did not show any interest in the matter, he desperately added, “What if we bring the three young misses from the Feng family and Yanfang along? It is also perfectly reasonable for your servants like Yu Jie and Jian Feng to escort us.”

[e1] Fu Qiuning finally looked at him fully. She stared at him long enough for him to squirm in place before saying, “I see that Sister Yanfang has pleaded her case very well to you.”

[e] “Oh no, no, of course not! I, your husband, know just how much you love strolling through gardens. Is there a garden more beautiful than the one commissioned to welcome the Emperor? How could I allow my dearly beloved wife to miss strolling through such a garden when it is right within our estate? In fact, after the Emperor left, this garden was sealed for many years. Even the old palace servants left behind have either become sick or dead. Now, the people cleaning the area inside are the servants we bought for our estate. Bringing them in may be a bit overstepping, but the Emperor is the most considerate about human affairs and etiquette and will not seriously blame us. However, if the Crown Prince finds out, that is another story. Well… it is an excellent idea. Let us go with it.”

Fu Qiuning [e1] frowned, “If you are already in such a precarious position. I would rather not go near that place. Forget it, why would you bring up such a preposterous suggestion?”

[e] Jin Fengju felt a thump in his heart. He thought: I knew it! Deep down, my Qiuning truly loves me! Look how she looks out for me, enough to give up something that must mean so much to her!

Touched and happy, he generously said, “Perhaps it would truly be too conspicuous if I were to go with you. [e2] However, you hold a Fifth-Rank title and can legitimately enter the place. Even if you go against etiquette and bring others in with you, I can just declare to the court that I am unable to control my wife. Hehe, what do you think?”

When Fu Qiuning still hesitated, he said, “You have accomplished such great feats and have the favour of the Empress Dowager. Now that I think about it, it is likely fine to leave Yanfang out. She of all people should know the rules and may not escape punishment. Just bring the Feng girls and a few maids with you.”

It looked like no matter what, she could not escape this bit of ‘reward’ and accepted the order to guide the Feng girls and maids into the forbidden garden. Jin Fengju wanted to chat more, but she had rolled over to sleep.

The next morning, after sending a few children off to school, Fu Qiuning changed her clothes. After debating with herself for a bit, she also asked for the phoenix hairpin. Jian Feng and Qiu Yu immediately giggled and asked, “Madam! What is the special occasion today? Most days, though we nearly wear our mouths out from persuading Madam, Madam is unwilling to wear these things.”

[e2] “Certain work requires certain looks,” she said simply. “I have to be somewhere that requires this kind of look, and that is why I put these on.”

Naturally, the maids immediately tittered and asked, “Where could Madam be going?”

“The Imperial Garden inside the estate, your master wants me to go there.” [e1]


[Gumihou, while kneading her forehead: Just when did Fu Qiuning transform into this shallow person? Also, deleted a lot of OOC hyuk hyuk moments]


Deleted the original ending: “Today, I am going to visit the garden that was constructed to welcome the Emperor. I heard there are many exotic flowers and plants inside. Although I do not have the looks to eclipse the moon and shame the flowers, I should still dress up nicely so that in front of those exotic flowers and plants, I would not lose even the last bit of face.”

Why don’t you just add ‘hohoho~’ at the end of that line, eh?


[a] Mitigated the ‘sigh, FQN is a celestial descended from the clouds above’ by sticking in a drop of reality

Deleted this saint-like shit. Occasionally, when I asked Madam why she helped so much, she sighed and said that women have it hard in this world and have to rely on men to make a living. If those three Young Misses were a little older, they might really have trouble finding husbands. 

[b] Deleted a certain 姑奶奶 because that person never did anything, said anything or was ever described ever again in the rest of the chapter.

[c] Give FQN a little more agency besides being a benevolent heavenly celestial who also happens to be a descendant of Buddha, a reincarnation of Guanyin and probably distantly related to the Jade King

[d] Use editorial magic to make the dialogue all from other people trying to push FQN into something unnecessary

[e] Use editorial magic to make it so that FQN is pushed into the ‘Imperial Flower Garden decision’. Why not? Since the author likes to misuse her Power of God to whitewash JFJ and blacken JWY?

Gumi using her Editorial Magic to push things back to what they should be

[e1] Fu Qiuning being uninterested in the imperial garden

[e2] Replaced a kyaa moment with a dose of reality. The deleted ‘If I bring them in, I can just say that I was ignorant and did not know about such rules, and that would be the end of it. As for you, not being able to control your wife is a hat that cannot be taken off. This way, the accusation will be neither heavy nor light, right?



Pill Bug TL Notes:

[1] Wait, what? Wasn’t the baby only able to wiggle their limbs around? Babies typically start crawling only when they are around 7-10 months old!

Gumihou: Maybe his eyes were chasing people? Now I’m imagining his eyeballs floating out of his head… Just chalk it down to ‘more things author knows close to nothing about’

[2] Chinese idiom, you are probably familiar with this if you read Xianxia stories. Describes someone from a lowly background transforming into someone influential.



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