You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 251 – Departure

Higher Level Wife – 251 – Departure

Chapter 251: Departure

Author: White Pear Flower


Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Gumihou

Gumihou: Welp, it looks like White Pear Flower doesn’t really know her own country’s ancient ships either.


Here is some information on ancient Chinese ships in general. If you watch these first, you’d be outraged when you read the story. Opera singing teacher Fu Qiuning should have a better grasp of China’s history than some newbie novel writer.

Ming Dynasty Ships –

The Voyages of Zheng He –

Zheng He (1371-1435): Admiral of the Treasure Ships –



[1] There was really no need to worry about the children misbehaving on the ship, especially since the precocious Jin Zhenyi had already been nabbed by Jin Fengju.

[1] Jin Zhenyi beamed ingratiatingly at his father, “Father, I have never been on a ship before. Can we go to the cabin and have a look? Mother, you have never been on a ship before either, right?”

[1] As expected, his cheap dad immediately beamed ingratiatingly at Honourable Mother to say, “That’s right, how about we have a look at our cabins?”

Fu Qiuning shrugged. [2] Weren’t they going anyway?

Jin Ming, being the one in charge, directed everyone to their cabins. When the children entered the room, [1a] Jin Xiuzhen exclaimed, “Why are the rooms so small?! Isn’t it difficult to even turn around?”

Fu Qiuning took a peek and found that she was right. [3] The room has a bed, a table and a couple of chairs and… that was it. This room looked like a 3rd class cabin from a modern-day ship. Wait, was he really going to put the children here? Were they all given tiny rooms like this? She looked around the corridor, noted the polished nicer nicer-looking wood finishing and concluded that if this was really the noble area, the ships in this era are not as large or advanced as Jin Fengju had boasted.

[3] A Ming dynasty junk under Admiral Zheng He could house several hundred to over a thousand crew members and passengers with special compartments for officials and nobles, but this… Had they been given small war-faring ships? Or, were these small because these are considered ‘canal ships’? After all, although the Grand Canal was named thus, it was not as wide as the sea…

[3] “Qiuning?” Jin Fengju smiled hesitantly at her. “Are the rooms too small for you? In fact, although we have two ships with us, with so many carriages, horses, goods as well as guards we have to carry, it is already good enough that we have these cabins to ourselves.”

[3] “Ah,” said Fu Qiuning. “I see.” She surveyed the mass of maids, servants, and trunks that made up of the ancient world luggage bag and cast Jin Ming a sympathetic look. Jin Xiuzhen was right, the rooms were actually shockingly small, especially for nobles. If someone had told her that she had been led to the 3rd class cabin in a remade Chinese Junk in the modern world, she would believe them. Too bad this 3rd class cabin does not have WiFi or small tablets for entertainment. No en suite bathroom with a flushing toilet either…

[3] In short, Fu Qiuning was far from impressed by these rooms. If Jin Fengju, someone who could command 300 Imperial Guards had to live in these tiny 3rd class rooms, she shudder to imagine what the servant’s rooms look like.

[3] Feeling a little claustrophobic, she made her way to the deck. It was a rare outing, after all, since the rooms were so pathetic, let’s spend more time outdoors. Leaving the maids with Jin Ming and the ever-capable Jiang Wanying to make the arrangements, she stepped out into the sunshine to watch as the ship left the harbour.

Jin Fengju was standing at the bow of the ship, looking like a masterful leader of this impressive Junk. After a while, the call to lift the anchor was heard and slowly, the large ship moved away from the harbour and began gliding over the calm waves. [3a] Fu Qiuning was wearing her useless embroidered shoes, so she made sure to keep a hold of the railing as she watched the parting waves.

[3a] Therefore, she was ready when the ship suddenly jerked over the waves and her hands automatically tightened at the rails. Even so, she felt an overly familiar hand touch her waist and she nearly jumped. However, the hand at her waist tightened and a voice whispered next to her ear, “What do you think of Great Ning’s Treasure Ship?”

[3] Fu Qiuning was stunned. “A Treasure Ship? This is a Treasure Ship?”

[3] “Of course! In fact, this ship is-”

[3] Jin Fengju went on talking, but Fu Qiuning had already checked out of the conversation. This tiny ship… this tiny ship that could not even hold 500 people on board is called a Treasure Ship? What dynasty are they in?! The Great Admiral Zheng He commands fleets of Junks that are bigger than this little ship. Not to mention, a Treasure Ship, the great pride of the Great Ming Dynasty is said to be able to carry 2800 crew and passengers! With special rooms for officials and nobilities. Those teensy rooms could only house 3 people, standing room only! Aren’t nobles expected to travel with at least 2 servants each? Where are the spaces for their clothes, accessories and personal beddings?

[3] To think that Jin Fengju actually had the cheek called this dinky little ship the Treasure Ship?

[3] Now, more than ever, Fu Qiuning was convinced that she had fallen into an alternate universe. Sure, there were Western historians who doubted the existence of such large ships in the past, thinking that the dimensions given were merely wishful thinking of Chinese historians, but ancient massive prows had actually been excavated that matched the dimensions given in the books. Although there were some contentions, Fu Qiuning believed that even if ships that could hold 8000 men may not exist, surely ships that could comfortably hold over 1000 men would?

[3] Not to mention, a smaller version of an actual Treasure Ship took years to recreate, even in the modern world. Sure, there may have been lost technologies, but no matter how she looked at it, this ship, and the one next to it, could not be impressive enough to claim the name of ‘Treasure Ship’. Were these actually little merchant ships meant to carry goods on a narrow ‘Grand Canal’?

“What is my Qiuning thinking about?”

[3] She absolutely did not say: How poorly you people are compared to my real country. 


[3] Not to mention, considering how proudly Jin Fengju described the ship to her, he must really think that this ship was the pinnacle of shipbuilding technology. No sense in making him believe otherwise.

[3] “I’m thinking how… fine this ship is,” she lied through her teeth, sure, the first impression was fairly impressive, but that’s only because she saw the ship from the shore, with the elevated from bit right in front of her face.

“Isn’t it so?” Jin Fenju answered happily. Beneath his cheerful façade, was an underlying sense of unease. He thought: My dear wife, ah. Do you understand that you are the wife of a disgraced official?

Instead of looking anxious or worried, Fu Qiuning had the same calm, indifferent expression as always. Even so, he felt comforted by the unchanging look of calmness on her face. That’s right, even though this trip may hold some risk, Fu Qiuning was ever dependable and reliable during such times. Nothing fazes her. Perhaps, while they were on this trip, the relationship between husband and wife would deepen…


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The children were eventually lured onto the deck by the unfamiliar sights and some even started running around to stare and point at things. [1] The two ringleaders were naturally Jin Changjiao and Jin Zhenyi, who ran about with Jin Zhenxuan and Jin Changfeng in tow. Meanwhile, Jin Xiunan had elected to look after the rest of the girls while Jin Xiuzhen remained indoors.

All of the children had maids and boy servants watching them. Well, it would be quite troublesome if their young charges were to slip and fall on a ship now. Not to mention, considering how miserably small the ‘noble’ rooms were, she could not bear to imagine what the rooms for servants were like. Eventually, the children tired themselves out and stopped running about.

[4] Yu Jie hurried over to Fu Qiuning to say, “Someone just cast a net into the water and caught several large fishes. Shall we have Fish Heads Stewed with Tofu for lunch? I was a little shocked to find that someone had packed some tofu on-board. That thing could not last more than two days, so we should try and eat them as much as we can. While it may be tempting to save the fresh vegetables and tofu since we can’t have access to any until we reach the next harbour, they won’t stay fresh for long.”

Fu Qiuning nodded, “That is acceptable. Inform the maids to wake the children for lunch.”

Once Yu Jie left, Fu Qiuning went back to watching the waters. The canal waters were so clear that she caught sight of a few fishes swimming along the ship. At least, seafood from the ancient world has yet to suffer heavy metal poisoning or other such pollutants. It was nice to enjoy some fresh fish without having to think about metal poisoning in this world. [5] 

Fu Qiuning eventually made her way to the dining room. At least this place was a nice big place, unlike their tiny rooms. [3] A red-faced Jin Changjiao rushed in with Jin Zhenyi, followed by Jin Changfeng. The rest of the girls eventually wandered in with Jin Xiunan. [6] It wasn’t until most of the adults were here that she finally noticed that Jiang Wanying as well as her two children were not there.

[6] “Where is Second Madam Wan?” she asked.

[6] “Goodness, Young Master Xuan and Young Miss Zhen aren’t here either,” said Concubine Cui.

It was at that moment that Jiang Wanying made her shaky way in while holding Jin Zhenxuan and Jin Xiuzhan’s hands. The three of them looked very pale.

[6a] Just as Jin Fengju sneered and said, ‘Who does she thinks she is to waltz in so late-’ Fu Qiuning nodded at some of the nearby maids, saying “Help Second Madam Wan in, she must be suffering from seasickness. Bring in some ginger tea, and prepare some candied ginger too. Do we have any plain cakes or soup?”

[6a] “Madam, I can ask the kitchen to prepare medicine for seasickness,” Yu Jie suggested. Her expression was stiff, but at least she did not display any looks of outright disdain.

[6a] “Yes, do that.”

[6a] “No need, I’m fine,” said Jiang Wanying.

[6a] “You look like you’re about to collapse,” Jin Fengju scolded sternly. “If you’re so sick, there’s no need for you to be here. Just go back to your room.”

[6a] “But,”

[6a] “Since Second Madam Wan is already here, at least let her have some tea first. I’m sure she did her best to be here for the first meal aboard the ship,” said Fu Qiuning.

[6a] “Of course! It is as you say!”

[6a] “… …” Honestly, if she was Jiang Wanying right now, she would also hate the woman who turned her husband into this weird idiot.

[6a] Fortunately, the ginger tea settled their stomachs somewhat. Fu Qiuning had instructed Yu Jie to add plenty of sugar in the tea, so that the seasick people would have some calories from the tea. The two children recovered quickly and managed to swallow two small bowls of fish soup, but Jiang Wanying had to be carried out on a stretcher to her room. 

For the next three days, Fu Qiuning took over Jiang Wanying’s role, much to [7] Jin Fengju and Yu Jie’s delight. It was only then that Fu Qiuning realised just how much work Jiang Wanying had on her shoulders. For the three days that Jiang Wanying was unable to get out of bed, she did the woman’s duties, reported what happened to her and… as an unexpected bonus, she was able to tell Jin Fengju that she was too tired from working all day to do anything but sleep at night.

Anytime that Jin Fengju suddenly wanted to chat at night, she would bring up the poor, seasick woman.

“Second Madam Jiang worked really hard, I barely kept up. We should give her more credit for her work…”

That topic quickly brought any conversation to a halt.


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On the third day, the ship dropped anchor at Ningbo. Jiang Wanying was beyond thrilled to hear that they would be going ashore. Unfortunately, Fu Qiuning had to burst her bubble by reminding her that they would only stay on land for two or three days before having to board the ship again.

Naturally, Jiang Wanying was deeply resentful about having Fu Qiuning coming into her domain, but there was nothing she could do about it since she was rendered bedridden by the wretched waves. She had no idea how these people could bear to be on board without falling sick. Even so, once they got on shore, she made sure to take over the moving and unpacking, as well as making sure that she had all the ginger tea, ginger candy and seasickness medicine that she would need.

Regardless of her feelings, after two days at Ningbo Pier, they set out on the same two ambitiously named ‘Treasure Ships’. The Grand Canal itself was an interesting place, especially when it passed through townships where they could see structures stretching out on the banks. Eventually, the ships made it to the sea and Fu Qiuning could feel that even the way the ship moved was different. Hopefully, poor Jiang Wanying was able to cope…

“You really do enjoy being on the sea, don’t you,” came a very unwelcome voice.

Fu Qiuning was at the prow of the boat again, this time looking out at the endless sea and sky. She had been tracking the movements of seagulls when a hand touched her waist. [8] Fu Qiuning did not do anything as obvious as tensing up or moving away, but Jin Fengju must have sensed something and put his hands on the railing instead.

He even ventured to ask, “How is Wanying doing now that we are at sea? Is she getting better?”

“Second Madam Wan is still unwell. Her condition is not as bad as before, but she still could not take care of the household,” said Fu Qiuning bluntly.

Jin Fengju did not follow up with the question, [8] maybe he considered his husbandly duty done by nicely asking after an unwanted wife. Perhaps he even considers himself extremely generous for caring about the well-being of a traitor.

Fu Qiuning had turned around to stare at the 9 massive sails affixed to the little ship. [9] Even some of Zheng He’s more ambitious ships were only 6 masted, with only four on full sails, just what kind of statement was this shipbuilder trying to make by sticking so many sails on this tiny ship? 

She sighed and muttered under her breath,

Time to ride the wind and waves

Sail from the sea and up the clouds. [10]

Jin Fengju could not help but vibrate with excitement at these two lines. He laughed as he looked at his beloved and said, “My dear Qiuning is such a romantic!”

Fu Qiuning ignored him. [10a]

Fortunately for Jiang Wanying, they only had to be at sea for 5 days before reaching Quanzhou Pier. [6b] By now, most of the people were glad to be on shore. After all, there was really not much to do on the tiny ship dominated by 9 sails which took up valuable space that could have been allocated for a recreation room, slightly bigger rooms or even a little library…

In short, it was a relief for everyone when they finally arrived at the shores of Quanzhou. The local officials there appeared to greet them with many civil servants swarming up to help move the Jin Clan’s many, many luggage. From two small ships claiming to be the Treasure Ship.

Even now, Fu Qiuning could not help but glare at the ridiculous-looking little ships dwarfed by 9 massive sails (5 of which had been kept rolled up throughout the entire voyage). Thankfully, Jin Ming was there to help her direct the people while Jin Fengju rode a horse down to greet the officials. Most of them were dressed in military-esq outfits. Hmm, perhaps the 300 imperial guards were for the handling of these so-called Japanese pirates?

[11] Whatever, Fu Qiuning had no idea and little interest in the politics of the court unless it had a direct impact on her life. For now, because Jiang Wanying was out of commission, it was up to her to double/triple check everything that was being moved out of the ships. Even supervising a day trip for 20 children was nightmarish enough already, but now, she had to supervise the movements of over 50 people, 7 of which was Jin Fengju’s children. There was also their mother, their maids, their servants, their things and so much more. With Jiang Wanying out of commission, and the older concubines and Jin Fengju’s concubines having little to no housekeeping experience… the whole thing was a nightmare waiting to happen.

[11] She felt harassed and exhausted, and not in the mood for Jin Fengju’s cryptic ‘Strong Winds Knows Strong Grass and the Grass will Know the People’s Hearts Over Time’ remark. Whatever, so what if the leaders know the hearts of the people? It’s not like they would actually fulfil what the people wanted unless it was in line with whatever it is they wanted. Jin Fengju was meant to be a clever person, right? Surely he knows what is in her heart? However, had he ever fulfilled any of her wishes unless it coincided with whatever it was that he wanted?

Eventually, the huge group of close to 500 people along with their horses, carriages, carts etc marched through the city of Quanzhou, attracting the local people’s curiosity and attention. This huge group of people were led to the local magistrate’s office. Rather than an office, the location was more like a self-contained estate. The estate was a magnificent beast with a clean and spacious backyard and several houses scattered between 6 courtyards. Despite the huge space, there was no one living there. Well, rather than no one living here, it looked like everyone had hastily packed up and left…

After all, despite the lack of people, the gardens were well-kept and flowers bobbed in the wind, scattering their fragrance everywhere.

Then, just as Jin Fengju dismounted from his horse, a maid came up to say, “Master, the Madam asked where the people of this estate had gone to.” [12]

[12] The person who answered was the military general next to Jin Fengju who said, “Lord Jin is a Marquis, and thus deserves a newly built residence. However, as we know Lord Marquis is not one who like to cause difficulty, so we decided on an alternative solution. The people at the government office had a discussion and decided to hand over this government estate to the Lord Marquis and have the people live elsewhere.”


[Gumihou: White Pear Flower tried so hard, I tell you. So, very, very hard to flip black to white and vice versa, but she’s just not experienced enough]


[1] Natural children’s behaviour. Let’s not have Jin Zhenyi work overtime misbehaving for 7 kids.

Deleted: “Okay, okay, let’s go to the cabin and have a look.” Fu Qiuning was afraid that Jin Fengju would scold the children as she hurriedly winked at Jin Zhenyi.

Jin Zhenyi: Will I really misbehave even with cheap dad holding my hand?

Gumihou: Apparently your IQ dropped below negative as needed…

Jin Zhenyi: … Give me back my IQ points!!

Gumihou: Already done, you’re still a cute, if slightly transparent little schemer

[1a] Deleted ‘the children looked around puzzled with flattened mouths saying’ because all 7 of JFJ’s kids share one single brain.

[2] Deleted ‘Hahaha, this rascal’ moment between JFJ and AR Qiuning, because… wut?

[3] Realistic ancient China ship dimension knowledge vs whatever the shit is happening here.

By the way, information about the cabin is limited because AR Qiuning ‘had no time to pay attention to them’, probably cause she had to flirt with JFJ

[3a] Deleted ‘she screamed and nearly fell, but a big hand caught her~’ moment. Another point for the romantic bingo card

[4] Gave Yu Jie credit for saying this. It was probably meant for Fu Qiuning. You know, the same Fu Qiuning who did nothing to help move the things in just now and probably doesn’t know about things that were brought on board by an unknown ‘someone’.

[5] Bingo card: Pollutant-free food! Have Fu Qiuning think about heavy metal poisoning in present-day China rather than salivating over ‘natural’ and ‘pollution-free’ fish. Especially since she had been living in this world for over 6 years eating ‘pollution-free’ food. 

[6] The author really skimped on describing everyone else and focussed her attention on dissing Jiang Wanying as much as she could, even though she already made the poor woman seasick

[6a] She even took the time to make FQN look like a saint here.

Fu Qiuning was stunned for a moment, thinking, right? Several of our people are fine, are they the only three who are seasick? He quickly stepped forward and asked, and it turned out to be true.

However, as you can see, it’s all very perfunctory with not even a dialogue to make it more interesting or plausible. The ‘seasickness’ was a convenient plot device to take poor Jiang Wanying’s authority and children away from her.

Deleted: Fu Qiuning had no choice but to arrange the two children next to him so that he could take care of them nearby.

Like, oh, really?

[6b] Can you not

Jiang Wanying almost lost half of her life after walking this way. Naturally, she couldn’t show off her talent to the limelight like before, so she had to rely on Fu Qiuning to coordinate everything.

[7] Since the people who are most delighted are not here, let’s put them back in place

[8] Jin Fengju’s absolutely unbiased, for sure, totally

[9] It’s rare even for actual Treasure ships to have 9 masts or even 9 sails. Have FQN be all disdainful about it. Some of Zheng He’s largest treasure ships were 6-masted, 2000-liao (料, presumably old Chinese timey ‘volume’) ships.

So, this 9-masted ship is just… giant dildos on a small ship, since they can’t even carry an extra 450 passengers in one ship.

[10] Deleted some romantic moments, because they were sickening

[10a] Deleted: Husband and wife looked at each other and smiled, fully at ease with each other

Because WORD OF GOD says so

Yeah, nope

[11] Deleted 250 words of Prince Rong-related politics that FQN just happened to know and think about so that readers could be impressed by Jin Fengju’s brilliance. Yeah, nah. Let’s talk about how difficult it is to supervise 50 clueless people and their things.

[12] Like, you don’t need 150 words to explain that FQN remember in a novel that lots of people live in this place normally? Don’t you have eyes? Change the question from an ‘Eh? No one lives here? Blep’ to ‘Where are they?’


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