First look at Rui Wang and Rui Wang Fei. He Yuan and Qin Bai Lu will be frequently appearing from now on.
Rui Wang is really beautiful (disregard the blue tint in the picture.)
Chapter Sixteen Schemes
Qu Qing Ju turned her head and saw a male and female walking together. The man looked about the same age as He Heng. His appearance was very fine, fine to the point that the word beautiful could be used to describe him. But between his brows, there exuded the arrogance that belonged to those of high position and made it difficult for others to feel close. The female beside him was only about sixteen or seventeen, just a girl. She wasn’t very beautiful, but her movements exuded a sense of dignity that told the observer this girl came from a noble family with a good upbringing.
The four people stood three steps apart. Qu Qing Ju saw the man opposite give a fake smile and say: “Huang di greets er huang xiong, er huang sao.” The girl beside him followed with a bow.
Taking back her gaze, Qu Qing Ju slightly lowered her head. So this was the rumored Rui Wang, He Yuan, the most favored by the Emperor. This pair of brothers did seem more polite than affectionate.
“Sandi doesn’t have to be so courteous,” He Heng smiled and returned a bow, looking at the numerous attendants and maids behind him, “Between us brothers, there isn’t a need to be so polite.”
“Er huang xiong is joking, courtesy cannot be thrown away,” He Yuan placed his hands behind his back and looked coolly at the docile Qu Qing Ju standing at one side, “Huang xiong and huang sao are very much in love.” The Qu Family was a joke but this good huang xiong of his, to get the support of the Tian family, had very good tolerance.
“Sandi is teasing,” He Heng didn’t like He Yuan’s attitude but he didn’t show it on his face, “The day grows dark, didi can walk together with wei xiong.”
Qu Qing Ju silently stood to one side but hearing He Yuan’s words, she furrowed her brows. As a younger brother who wasn’t emotionally attached to his older brother, yet carelessly discuss the relationship between his brother and his sister-in-law so, this He Yuan was very impudent.
“Huang xiong first,” He Yuan’s lips forced themselves into a smile, “didi will follow after.”
“Then weixiong will go first,” He Heng didn’t waste words with him, taking Qu Qing Ju and walking away. At the carriage, he helped Qu Qing Ju climb on first before following after.
“Che, ben wang’s huang xiong is such a kind lover.” He Yuan looked at the far away carriage, his face showing a disdainful smile. A few days earlier, he had been angry on behalf of his wife and struck out at Chang De Gong Fu. Now, right in front of the palace doors, he was full of meticulous concern for his wang fei. Who was he acting for?
The silent Rui Wang Fei, Qin Bai Lu, standing to one side, raised her head upon hearing the words. She looked with a complicated gaze at the far-away carried and said in a low voice: “Maybe it’s true.”
“My good wang fei, are you not yet clear about the Imperial Family?” He Yuan scoffed as he walked forwards, “Let’s go, don’t look anymore.”
Qin Bai Lu curved her lips as she followed. Her eyes looked at He Yuan as he climbed onto a carriage at the front as she held a yahuan’s hand go get on a carriage behind.
Inside the slightly swaying carriage, Qu Qing Ju reclined back on the cushion: “His Highness Rui Wang, his actions are really honest and uninhibited.”
He Heng heard that description, his eyebrow slightly moving. If these words were used to describe famous people and scholars, it was a compliment. Used to describe an imperial son, it wasn’t a very kind description. This wang fei of his, she was a wondrous person, “This description wang fei used is very unique.”
This man definitely did not like Rui Wan very much. She, as his wang fei, naturally will be in the same trench as him during battle. Hearing He Heng say this, Qu Qing Ju smiled as she straightened: “Is wang ye complimenting qie?”
He Heng smiled, looking at her for a beat, before saying: “Naturally.”
The smile on Qu Qing Ju’s face became brighter. If He Heng could say this to her, this meant that he had some basic trust in her. As to how deep that trust went, that wasn’t something she needed to be concerned about.
He Heng also didn’t keep talking about Rui Wang and leaned back against the soft cushions behind.
When Qu Qing Ju closed her eyes, she thought, He Heng was even more complicated than she had thought. This type of man was like the epitome of a person of the Imperial Family. Anything other members of the Family had, he also had.
The journey into the palace ended like that. The following month, she spent it peacefully passing time in the wang fu. But the weather was getting colder and the fu had to change to winter clothes and use charcoal. That meant that Qu Qing Ju had to meet all the stewards multiple times. As the wang fei, she didn’t have to do everything herself. For many things, she only needed to make the decision and there would be enough servants to do the work for her. It was just like the CEO’s of big companies in her previous life that didn’t need to personally order what duties a janitor had to do. If she had to manage everything herself, she didn’t need to keep being this wang fei and this fu didn’t need to support these people.
In the silent hall, Qu Qing Ju leisurely flipped through a ledger. On the ground, there knelt a few of the major stewards of the wang fu. These major stewards had come from the palace and had gone through tribulations but at this time, each had an expression of fear and their faces were full of sweat even in this cold winter as they knelt on the ground.
Eggs are one tael of silver for five,” Smiling as she closed the ledge, she looked at the steward responsible for buying vegetables and other groceries. Qu Qing Ju gently threw the ledger in front of him, “I heard that a normal family in Da Long Dynasty, they live on about twenty-five taels of silve a year. I hadn’t known that our Da Long Dynasty’s people were in such difficult conditions that their living expenses for a year isn’t enough for us to eat a hundred eggs?! Just like this, you, a major steward, still say that there isn’t enough money to go around. Come on, say how there isn’t enough?”
This steward was frightened to the point of shuddering. He had assumed that wang fei and the yahuan beside her were used to luxurious living and would know how much profit there was in here. And the stewards that did the purchasing in other wang fus were the same as him so he had been confident that there weren’t any slip-ups. Who knew that wang fei would just flip a few pages of the ledger before erupting with anger.
“Replying to wang fei, you may not know, but twenty-five taels is the yearly expenses of rural areas. In this Jing City of ours, everything costs multiple what they do in other places. Nucai is helpless.” The steward had no other way except refusing to admit anything.
Qu Qing Ju didn’t look at him and continued to flip open another ledge: “A bolt of cotton is five taels, normal satin is twenty taels a bolt… …” She threw the ledge onto the person responsible, not listening to the excuses and continued to flip.
In just an hour, all the ledgers had been thrown to the floor. Qu Qing Ju raised a tea cup and took a mouthful: “Huang Yang, get the people you found to copy the prices at the market to come in. Tell those people, if they copied it well, they will be the new stewards.”
The people heard the words and their expressions changed. They had assumed that wang fei would only berate them, not that she was going to discharge all of them. Instantly, some started yelling that they were innocent, one of them that had been responsible for purchasing cloth, relying on the fact that he had been with wang ye when he came out of the palace, actually said: “Wang fei, nucai has served wang ye for many years and wouldn’t do anything to harm the wang fu. What you are doing, it is saying that wang ye was mistaken in his choices.”
Qu Qing Ju heard this and suddenly smiled, viciously throwing the teacup in her hand in front of this person: “What things are you, that you say you are worthy of being picked by wang ye. The only servants in this fu that deserve these words are Qian Chang Xin, Ming He and a few that serve him directly. Wang ye hasn’t punished you yet, you already started over-reaching. If these words spread, wouldn’t they say that I, wang fei, isn’t as valuable as you servants?!”
Qian Chang Xin and Ming He coincidentally heard those words as they just walked to the doorway. The two exchanged looks, stopped walking and guarded the doorway, looking as though they were protecting wang fei.
Huang Yang had coming in with a few taijian. He bowed in greeting to the two before entering the rooms. Qian Chang Xin and Ming He found that these people were some of those that were capable in this fu. If wang fei chose these people to take over from the originals, that would be the best solution.
The two suddenly felt cold. It had appeared that wang fei didn’t care to manage this houyuan so they hadn’t thought that she understood the servants of this wang fu this well. Thinking of this, the two found that they had been underestimating wang fei in the past. They had assumed that she had some skill with wang ye but didn’t think on these matters, she was also unremarkable when not moving, but shocking when she moved.
“This year, the harvest of rice is two hundred and fifty wen per dan, eggs are two wen each, normal satin is five taels per bolt … …” As the people that came in recited the prices of good, the kneeling stewards’ faces grew pale and the only reason they didn’t collapse was that they were holding their breath.
“Look at how this has exhausted these stewards,” Qu Qing Ju held a newly changed tea cup and said calmly, “Somebody come, bestow these stewards each a big bow of iced pickled plum soup.”
The season was already winter. Each bowl of pickled plum soup had more ice than water. After the stewards drank it down, their teeth started to chatter. The rebellious steward of before looked at Qu Qing Ju and said stutteringly: “Wang fei has such schemes, wang ye should really look at your might.”
This was telling her, if she was harsh, she would be disliked by wang ye?!
Qu Qing Ju didn’t get angry but smiled instead. She blew on the tea in the cup and slowly announced: “This person disrespected ben wang fei, beat twenty times and then send the person to the Department of Household Affairs. Just say that he hasn’t learned etiquette well-enough, that Duan Wang Fei can’t retain such a servant.” Since he said her schemes were good, how could she disappoint him?
When she finished, there were people who dragged this steward down. The remaining few instantly became respectful, only begging wang fei to not sent them back to the Department of Household Affairs. Servants that had been sent out from Household Affairs that were sent back, even if they didn’t die in strange circumstances, their fates would be worse than death. They would rather get beaten than go back to that place.
Seeing the stewards quiet in fear, Qu Qing Ju set down the teacup: “Do you know your mistake?”
The stewards heard the tone of wang fei’s voice and it seemed that this matter could still be negotiated so they instantly started to kowtow and admit their wrongs.
Qu Qing Ju said out of the corner of her mouth: “Since you are sincere and you know your wrongs, I have a soft heart, so you are only sentence to ten strokes, and half a year’s salary, the position … … just vice steward, and these people are now the main stewards. Any opinions?” She pointed at the people who had copied the prices.
The stewards didn’t think that they wouldn’t be sent back to Household Affairs and could keep a position of vice steward. All were brimming with gratitude and said that wang fei was benevolent and would work hard for the wang fu etc etc.
“In the future, you should all do good work. Who really did work, who slacked off, I will know. If people will do this again in the future, I won’t take your life, just compliantly go back to Household Affairs.” Qu Qing Ju sighed and held Mu Jin’s hand as she stood, “Go back to work if you have work, punishment if you have punishment, you can all leave.”
Standing at the doorway, Qian Chang Xin and Ming He looked at the people that came out. Each looked as though they were lucky. They sighed again, wang fei had good schemes.
皇弟：imperial younger brother
二皇兄、二皇嫂: second imperial brother, sister-in-law
 为兄: wei(为) means as or is, xiong(兄) is older brother so weixiong is this older brother or I, your brother
 文: denomination of money. 1000 wen is one tael of silver
 石: one dan is 103.55 liters, it is a volume measurement