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Transmigrating to the Ming Dynasty s Imperial Examination CH 80

Author:novelreader Category:urban Update time:2022-12-05 13:43:39

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Assistant Shopkeeper Ji and Cui Qi escorted Cui Xie home.

The Cui Residence all knew that Cui Yuan and his son had been banished to Qian’an with the Eldest Young Master but they had been released from servitude upon their return and had even earned a shop front.

In the past, just hearing it about had been nothing, but upon seeing Pengyan, this young manservant, wearing a newly made long gown and soft headwrap, dressed very decently and striding through the gates like a guest, the servants of the residence, from top to bottom, were full of envy in their hearts——

They had spent half of their lives in the Cui Residence and hadn’t even earned a few roof tiles or a few lumps of earth.

That father-and-son pair had not been very proud of themselves at home and now after being with Eldest Young Master for a few days, astonishingly, they had become good men with a home and a business! In the future, this little brother Pengyan would marry and give birth to a plump boy, in a few years, wouldn’t he become a rich moneybags

They were extremely envious and their hearts seemed to have been ignited with fire, feverish with heat.

They hoped that the Eldest Young Master would continue to be in charge of the residence for a few years so they would also be able to follow suit and earn the next family business.

Assistant Shopkeeper Ji did not get as much attention.

In his life, he had visited the Cui Residence once with his father and was driven away before they could take the money.

The rest of the people in the residence did not even recognize him and just regarded him as a general shopkeeper brought by Cui Qi.

Cui Xie did not explain his identity and only said that he was Assistant Shopkeeper Ji from Tongzhou, who had come to the residence to discuss business.

He ordered people to send some items into his bedroom and then clean out a courtyard for the two guests to reside in.

Now that he was the top dog in this residence, even if he was not as strict and did not demand exact compliance with instructions as Xu furen had, there were still servants who scrambled to curry favor with him.

A few young manservants vied to clean up the courtyard and some clever ones went to the kitchen on his behalf to ask for refreshments.

Cui Xie ordered people to move the contents of the carriage into his own courtyard and then had them wait outside the courtyard before leading his two confidants into the small study.

Right now, it was about the time for the two elders to take a nap, so there was no rush to pay their respects and the matters regarding the accounts could also be delayed.

The most important thing was to let the two of them look at the different colored portraits and ask if the artisans would be able to understand it.

Cui Xie took out the two newly drawn portraits from the storage tube and unfolded them for the two of them to review together.

Ji Du looked at the portrait, which was divided into small sections with very fine ink lines and each piece was assigned a color as well as drafts of the before and after printing with color for reference.

He continuously nodded, “This portrait is too detailed.

In truth, all of the artisans have become familiar with the printing method and they should be able to figure out how to print it by looking at the paintings from Young Master.

Even if it cannot be done at once, once they engrave a few more woodblock versions and color it repeatedly, the result will be top-notch.

Young Master is busy with other affairs, so it is better to do less.”

Shaking his head, Cui Xie explained, “If I do less, the artisans will have to mull over it more.

First, it will take time and second, it may not be what I am looking for.

Now that I am in the capital, it takes about five or six days to go back and forth.

If they cannot get the desired result, they cannot just find and talk to me about the problem immediately.

If the printing  is amiss, it will be worrisome for both sides.

It is better for me to separate out the sections and color it myself, so as to save trouble in the future.”

Cui Qi hurriedly added, “I can help da-ge draw! What I drew was based on your portraits when I learned to draw with those artisans! I don’t dare to say anything else, if one uses thin paper and copies the outline, it will be about 70 to 80 percent similar.

I can also color it.

Won’t it save you a lot of work”

Cui Xie pinched the tip of the youth’s nose and said, “Good Pengyan, da-ge will depend on you from now on.”

Cui Qi’s face turned slightly red from Cui Xie’s pinching and he droned, “Da-ge is drunk, I will ask someone to make you sobering soup.”

Cui Qi pulled that hand away, turning around and running to the kitchen.

The neatness of his actions were because he was much more familiar with this residence than Cui Xie.

Cui Xie leaned into his reclining chair and watched him leave, shaking his head as he smiled, “This little youngster is really fast, don’t know what kind of hideous mess of a medicinal soup he is making again”

He had just drank a bowl of bitter and salty medicinal soup at the Xie Residence, but the sobering effects were not very good and he was unable to even count the silver efficiently.

Ji Du saw that Cui Xie’s expression was still a bit sluggish, so he persuaded, “Young Master should take a break first.

After sleeping, can we discuss matters then”

Cui Xie waved his hand.

There was still a pile of portraits he had yet to draw.

Where would he have the time for a nap

Not to mention the new garments to be made for Colonel Xie, manuscripts for the 《Six Talented Scholars and the Three Kingdoms》needed to be completed.

Each book could be printed with five chapters and each chapter was to be accompanied by two large pictures that spanned two pages.

When important figures entered the scene, one needed to draw a front or side-profile whole body portrait.

In the future, they could be printed for the dress-up kits.

After the painting of Wo Long (Zhuge Liang) Pays a Condolence Call was finished, he would have to properly draw a painting of Xiao Qiao in mourning.

In the next chapter, Ma Chao would enter the scene and he needed to create a large painting of Ma Chao[1].

Then there were two famous scenes of Ma Chao leading troops to avenge his father and Cao Meng De cutting his hair to touch the head…..

After mentally deciding which scenes to draw in his mind, he asked Assistant Shopkeeper Ji to remain in the residence for a few days so he could take them away once he was finished.

Ji Du was thinking of the business in Tongzhou and smiled, “Then it is fine if Cui Qi stays in the capital.

This subordinate is in Tongzhou and it only takes a few hours to enter the city.

After checking the accounts, I will head back first and pick up the portraits once the Young Master is finished.”

“I almost forgot that you are in Tongzhou, I thought you had come all the way from home.”

Cui Xie also laughed, but his gaze was fixed on something in the air and seeing this, Ji Du could not help but persuade him to nap for a while.

However, Cui Xie just kept saying he was not drunk at all: “Then you can stay for the night and wait for me to check the accounts.

Send some clever clerks to the capital when you go back.”

When Ji Du heard the Young Boss’ orders, he immediately raised his spirits and no longer urged Cui Xie to take a nap——if you wanted to persuade him, one would have to listen to what he has to say first.

If he was truly intoxicated, it was not too late to persuade him later.

Cui Xie looked at the white wall on the side and although he looked sluggish, after careful deliberations, he analyzed, “We have three stores in our family.

I see that business is not doing very well and the accounts are full of nonsense.

The shopkeepers do not admit to the truth in front of me.

Summon some people to visit them to check out the goods and real prices of the three stores and see which product sells the best.

Hire a few beggars to count how many people come in and go on the main streets outside the stores every hour, how many people enter the store, as well as the peak and low times of customer flow…..”

At first, Ji Du just listened, but after hearing all the things he had never even heard of people doing or what use it had, he was afraid he would be unable to remember it so he hurriedly took out the charcoal pencil and notebook he was carrying on his waist, swiftly writing everything down.

With great difficulty, while Cui Xie took a break to drink a few sips of tea, Ji Du quickly wrote down a few characters only he could understand and seized the moment to write down the next few sentences.

He then looked up and asked, “Young Master, what is the use of recording these down I really do not understand.”

These were the items needed for a company’s market research in modern times, not to mention the shopkeepers of the Ming Dynasty, even entrepreneurs during the Industrial Revolution did not understand it.

When Cui Xie worked temporary jobs regarding investigation and research, he often needed to watch for these types of things.

Now, fate had changed direction and revolved.

He was now a boss that needed others to do those same duties.

There was indescribable happiness in his heart, and he mysteriously chuckled, “Don’t understand it now, once you obtain the data, you will understand it.

At that time, I will teach you……”

This boss of yours still has so many statistical methods, analytic tables, line charts, histogram, pie chart, bar chart and other such data visualization methods just waiting to teach you.

In the future, once you transfer to the capital, you and Pengyan can work together to make a manual ppt…….

Looking at Cui Xie’s shiny eyes, Ji Du  actually felt a slight chill at the back of his beck and he could not help but rub his neck, cursing at himself: why are you so bothered by this sentence! The Young boss was a student in the Imperial College, a child prodigy acknowledged by the Emperor, could it be that his knowledge cannot compare to a mere shopkeeper! Whatever he wants you to do, just do it, if you don’t understand it, then can the Young Boss possibly not understand it

Ji Du clenched the book tightly, got up and said, “Young Boss still has other matters to attend to so I will return first and wait for your summons.” He only waited for Cui Xie to agree before he swiveled around and ran out of the courtyard.

When he walked out, he almost humped into Cui Qi, who had returned back with hangover soup.

He did not stop and ran away as if he was being chased by a dog.

Cui Qi looked at the disappearing figure in bafflement, shook his head and entered the room with the soup.

What the cook had prepared for him was not medicinal soup, but crucian carp stew sprinkled with some aromatic vinegar and green onions.

It smelled dense and savory.

It was a pity that Cui Xie had just returned from the Xie Residence after eating a hard meal.

At present, even if shark fin’s soup was served, he wouldn’t be able to taste anything so he just gurgled it down like medicine.

Pressing the corner of his mouth with a handkerchief, he said, “The taste is alright.

If you weren’t full from lunch, go get some rice to eat.

I will start painting, no need to hurry to attend to me.

Cui Qi replied: “Then I can help you grind ink and mix colors”

No….although he planned to draw the Three Kingdoms, there was a more urgent portrait that needed to be done first.

Drawing that type of painting needed references that required him to shut himself in a small dark study to draw by himself, otherwise he would be deeply embarrassed.

Cui Xie blushed slightly and shook his head, “I have to figure it out myself, you are dismissed.

I will probably finish the painting by nightfall and at that time, I will take you to pay respects to Grandmother and Grandfather and inform them about the matter of you staying here.”

Cui Qi didn’t dare to disturb Cui Xie’s proper business so he left with the empty bowl and closed the doors.

Cui Xie bolted the doors from the inside and spread the paper, grinded the ink and pre-mixed the alum sealant.

Then, he sat down at the table, closed his eyes to open the hard disk and clicked through the folder History – Chinese History – Ming Dynasty – Ming Dynasty – Set in Ming Dynasty before finally finding 《New Dragon Gate Inn》.

Great, with this, he did not have to go through the pile of 《Golden Vase xx》in the “Ming Dynasty Porcelain” folder.

The flying fish python robes in New Dragon Gate Inn were considerably close to the original style, but the cuffs were tighter than the ones in the Ming Dynasty and the waist was form-fitting.

The two sides of the hem did not have the piece that unfurled outwards, rather, it smoothly and freely spread out from the waist, lining one’s waist and made the legs look long, which highlighted one’s figure.

Colonel Xie had yet to reach the status of being able to wear the flying-fish python robe[2], so these robes would not be made with cloud shoulders, decorated sleeves and knees[3].

It would still be very good-looking if one were to use draping gauze and muslin adorned with flowers.

Decorative golden brocade contrasted against crimson materials would be used to make the yesa while a protective snow-white collar would be placed around the neck.

Then, a wide black leather belt with gold was to be tied around the waist.

Jade-colored Jacquard weave damask pants would be worn underneath the yesa and finally a pair of black sheepskin boots would complete the set.

In fact, a white yesa would look good too.

White garments matched against a black cape seemed to contrast better than red garments, maybe he should just make one more set

While his heart was thinking “maybe”, he had already drawn the white set with his brush.

He didn’t know how to paint Ming Dynasty clothing designs so he just drew three full-body portraits of a faceless man wearing a robe, outer jacket, and outer jacket from the front, side, and back.

Since the brocade would have its own woven gold embellishments,  only an outline needed to be drawn for this portrait.

No color needed to be laid and it did not take much effort to draw.

He used the movie as a reference for an entire afternoon and in the evening, he finally finished drawing the garments and accessories separately.

He had a headache and droopy eyes and wished he could just climb into bed to sleep.

But, someone knocked on the door and asked in a low voice, “Does da-ge want some dinner You have been locked in there for an entire afternoon and didn’t use any refreshments.

I am worried you will be hungry earlier than usual.”

Hearing that it was Cui Qi’s voice, he opened the door and pulled him in, covering his yawn and saying, “No need, I have been so busy that I did not feel hungry.

Since it is not dinner time yet, come meet Grandmother and Grandfather with me so we can inform them about you staying here in the future.”

He dragged little Cui Qi with him, swaying out in a floating manner.

The truth was, it was actually Cui Qi who supported him the entire way for fear that one of his Eldest Young Master’s strides would be too small and he might accidentally trip on the ground.

Fortunately, there were no mishaps along the way and they walked to the main hall safely to give their greetings to the two elders.

Old Song furen had not seen Pengyan for a long time and was somewhat happy upon seeing him.

She smilingly asked, “Did you come back from Qian’an How is the family doing Didn’t your father say you have opened a shop and can do business well”

Cui Qi beamed, “Thanks to Old furen’s fortune, everything is fine.

My father’s business was opened thanks to Young Master’s help/ Otherwise, with our family being servants, in such an unfamiliar place like Qian’an, how could we have the ability to start a business.”

Old furen thought that he was referring to borrowing Cui Que’s influence as an official and Cui Xie’s status as an Imperial College student and she smiled lovingly, “That is because your father is willing to endure hardship and work hard.”

Cui Xie also praised the father and son, “It is the father and son pair who helped me a lot.

Without them earning money outside, how could I study with peace of mind, become a Little Tertiary Winner and have the Emperor’s special grace to enter the Imperial College Now that I think about it, Cui Qi is still young.

If he studies at home with me and works in our store, he will have a whole set of skills when taking over his father’s store in the future.

It could be considered as not having accompanied me in vain.”

Old furen did not treat Pengyan like an outsider and hearing Cui Xie say becoming the “Little Tertiary Winner” was something the father and son pair had helped with, she felt that the pair had toiled and made several contributions.

She smiled even further, “You can arrange this however you want.

Set up a courtyard for little Qi-ge to live in and treat him like a relative to walk around with.”

She then turned to Cui Qi: “You too, you still have to invest money in your business, why are you still making clothes for Xie-ge This family can still afford a tailor, there is no need for you to supplement it.

Alas, the material is very good and it fits our Xie-ge quite well…”

A handmaid waiting upon the Old furen on the side made fun and added: “Isn’t that right, as soon as da-ge entered, I thought it was a golden child from the celestial heavens who graced his presence to our residence.

These garments contrast well, the material is good and the lines made all over the body are good….to make such robes, I am afraid that it costs more than ten or two silver taels.

Shopkeeper Cui is truly kind.”

Cui Qi quickly explained, “This is not what we did, it was one of the Jin (Jinyiwei)…..”

“It is from one of this grandson’s former benefactors and friends.” Cui Xie patted the back of Cui Qi’s hands and moved closer to the Old furen, “It was that Xie da-ren who saved me by pre-destined coincidence and often sent things to help me.

Originally, he was in the capital and I was in Qian’an, so it was not convenient to meet him.

Today, I brought some gifts to see him, but didn’t think I would end up accepting a few sets of clothes from him.”

When the Old furen heard the word “save”, she immediately set aside the clothes in her mind and hurriedly asked Cui Xie when he had been in danger.

Cui Xie dared not tell her he had been held as hostage at knifepoint, so he said, “When going to our ancestral home, I fell ill.

Xie-xiong hired a physician for me and I was able to go to Qian’an safely.”

As soon as he mentioned his return to the ancestral home, the Old furen recalled how he fell ill and could not help sighing: “Your father…..”

Cui Xie held her hands and comforted, “This grandson is already fine now, let’s not mention matters of the past.

However, Xie-xiong has saved me several times and even gave me a gift today.

I plan to make him a few sets of clothes as a gift in return.”

Old furen sensibly agreed, “That is natural.

Since the other treated you with sincerity, no need to be stingy with the costs, just use whatever money we have.

If the money in our public coffers is not enough, I always have some private assets on hand.”

Lips opening to reveal a smile, Cui Xie said, “How can I ask my Grandmother to repay back the favor for me I must pay it back personally to show my sincerity.

Our residence still has enough money for a month or two, but I am afraid it will not be enough to invest in the stores.

Seeing that the shop was urgently asking for money, this grandson decided to close it first and exchange it for some silver to use it for something else.”

Hearing about the store and silver, the Old furen got a headache and massaged her temples, “Don’t tell me this, as a old woman, I don’t understand such economic affairs.

You are the Eldest Young Master and grandson.

From now on, this store will be yours.

Keeping the store open or not, it will be according to you, no need to ask others.”

Cui Xie sat at her feet, cuddling her legs with the side of his body, sighing, “I am just afraid that when father returns and sees that I have lost our forefather’s assets, he will be unhappy.

Moreover, my father is a Clearist official, but Xie-ge is a Colonel in the Jinyiwei.

I am afraid that if he knows of my dealings with Xie-xiong, he will blame me for damaging our family’s dignity….”

His brows furrowed, his eyes slightly red from drawing for so long and it gave the impression that he had been gargantuanly wronged.

The Old furen was distressed and did not know what to do, so she put her arms around his neck and said, “What forefather! Isn’t it just store bought using your Grandfather’s money Your Grandfather will let you sell it if you want to sell it! Besides, what happened with the Jinyiwei, when the Colonel came to our residence to announce the decree, not only were they majestic and dignified, they also announced the Emperor’s imperial edict!”

The Old furen had selectively forgotten how the Jinyiwei had forcefully arrested her daughter-in-law and paralyzed her second grandson out of fright.

She pouted, “Aren’t the Jinyiwei also officials used by the Emperor and isn’t Majesty quite affectionate in using them As I see it, they are not much different from those Clearist officials.

He has also saved you.

If you ignore people for the sake of your reputation, then what kind of people does that make the Cui family”

Footnotes:

Ma Chao: Chinese military general and wordlord who lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and early Three Kingdoms Period.

He was one of the Five Tiger Generals under Liu Bei.In the Ming Dynasty, the flying-fish python robes could be worn by a handful of civil officials, military officers and chief eunuchs.Cloud shoulders, decorated sleeves and knees:most typical decoration of auspicious clothing in Ming Dynasty.-

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