It’s all lovey-dovey this chapter.
Chapter Thirty Four Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
“I thought the holidays would be more relaxed, not busier than normal,” Qu Qing Ju held a thick stack of gift lists from each fu. She rubbed at her forehead and put the lists to one side, “After we finish with these, this year’s festivities will pretty much be over.”
“Celebrating the New Year is to indulge in the celebration so naturally there will be more gifts.” Mu Jin kneaded at her shoulders as she persuaded, “It has been tiring these past days going to the other wang fu. After you go to Xiang Qing Hou Fu tomorrow, it would be relaxing.”
Qu Qing Ju was very satisfied with Mu Jing’s skill. At this time, her eyes were at half-mast, “It’s not that simple. Tomorrow, at Xiang Qing Hou Fu, it wouldn’t just be me. Womenfolk from the other fu will also be there. It will still be busy.”
At year’s end, the tradition of visiting each other still hasn’t changed much in this place. Qu Qing Ju was sick of hearing plays, nauseous when she saw meat. Thankfully, due to her high status, she didn’t have to run around.
“Wang fei,” Yu Zan walked in. She saw Qu Qing Ju’s relaxed state and informed: “wang fei, Bao Rong Hou Fu sent you an invitation.”
“Bao Rong Hou Fu?” Qu Qing Ju remembered that this Marchioness of Bao Rong was at odds with Liang shi and was one of He Yuan’s so she waved her hands, “Put it down. Send somebody with a reply that I don’t have the time.” The type of house that was Bao Rong Hou Fu, they were shameless enough to send her an invitation. Did they think that because she didn’t like Liang shi, she would give them the honor, such a joke.
Yu Zan put away the invitation. She gossiped: “Nubi heard, this year, they had picked many beautiful women to enter the place from all the places. It’s unknown if some will enter our fu.”
Qu Qing Ju moved her neck to relieve the soreness there before replying faintly: “It hasn’t happened yet. There’s no need to worry. But get Huang Yang to look inside the fu. If somebody starts something, tell me straightaway.”
Yu Zan heard that wang fei’s tone with calm and assumed that wang fei had a plan so she stopped. She reported: “These last days, there wasn’t anything, but a few days ago, Han shiqie and Feng shiqie argued for a bit in the garden.”
Qu Qing Ju smiled, “Don’t stop them. Let’s wait a few day.” Han Qing He was a good hand at moving with the current. When Feng Zi Jin was favoured, she followed Feng Zi Jin like she was her alpha. Now that she, as wang fei, had the power, she naturally had to show her side.
There wasn’t anything interesting in this type of person. Qu Qing Ju was too lazy to see her act and sighed: “Get somebody to go without to inventory the gifts from outside and put them into stores with Qian Chang Xin and the others.”
Hearing this, Yu Zan bowed and retreated.
Mu Jin said hesitantly: “Wang fei, Han shiqie’s personality shifts constantly. Nubi is worried that she will have ideas in the future.”
“It’s still nothing no matter how many ideas she has,” Qu Qing Ju laughed lightly, “She is the oldest woman at wang ye’s side. Wang ye doesn’t like her anymore. She naturally has to find somebody to rely on. I don’t need to always keep an eye on such a person.”
Mu Jin understood what wang fei had meant. No matter how this flea was strong, it was still a flea, it can’t become a tiger. Spending too much focus on a flea, that was throwing away a watermelon to get a sesame seed.
In the afternoon, He Heng returned from a banquet. After he drank half a cup of tea, he finally controlled his drunkenness. He ordered the servants to prepare a bath and when he saw a few yahuan follow in, he waved his hand: “Retreat, ben wang doesn’t need your service.”
The people inside the room all retreated. He took off his clothes and relaxed in the bathtub for a while before he started to wash. After he put on his inner robe he then called for servants. He ordered: “In the future, ben wang doesn’t need any servants for a bath.” Just now at the banquet, he had heard a joke. A certain nobleman had been touching a servant girl during his bath. Who knew that he had been caught by his powerful wife. During the resulting argument, his manhood had been wounded. The rumor was that it was crippled now.
This incident had caused the male guests that heard it to feel their lower half hurt. And He Heng didn’t have any more interest in letting servant girls serve him during his bath. At least, he didn’t have any interest in the short term. Reminiscing back to the endless pleasure of that “mandarin ducks” bath with Qu Qing Ju, He Heng felt that his throat was itchy.
After he was attired, He Heng adjusted the deep blue pouch at his waist: “To wang fei’s place.”
Ming He, who had been serving at the side, was used to it by now. He took up wang ye’s cape and followed. He mentioned for the young taijian at the back to follow as well. Qian Chang Xin was sorting the gifts for stores right now so he had to focus for the time being.
It wasn’t early in the day when He Heng returned. After a bath, it was already time for the evening meal. Qu Qing Ju saw him come and the two could use the meal together. Even though vegetables occupied the majority of the dishes on the table, the two had a good appetite.
If Heaven would give He Heng a chance, he would never let Qu Qing Ju play weiqi with him. Looking at the terrible state of the board, and the interested look in Qu Qing Ju’s eyes, he helplessly put down a stone
“Ah, wang ye, how can you play here!” Qu Qing Ju saw her stones were blocked and couldn’t resist picking up the stone that had been put down before, “Then I won’t play here, change a place, change.”
“For gentlemen, once the stone is down, it cannot be moved. How many times have you changed your stones tonight?” He Heng couldn’t help but sigh. This was the worst game he had played his entire life. Even when he had just started learning, it hadn’t been as torturous as right now.
“I’m a woman, I have the right to regret it. It’s you men that are gentlemen, it doesn’t count with me,” Qu Qing Ju shoved the white stone into He Heng’s hand. She picked up her black stone and put it down somewhere else, “Here.”
He Heng pretended not to see the gap at that place and randomly put his stone down. Watching as Qu Qing Ju joyfully ate his stone, he asked: “Didn’t you just say that women had great intelligence?”
“What does women’s intelligence have to do with me regretting my move?” Qu Qing Ju raised an eyebrow, a face full of surprise, “Wang ye, you must have misunderstood.” Finishing, she put down another stone.
He Heng wanted to say that it was his move, but seeing the other’s cheerful state, he couldn’t open his mouth. The weiqi skill that he had so much pride in front of his wang fei, it was a total loss.
When a person just learned something, it was the time that they had the greatest interest. Qu Qing Ju was at the point where she had the greatest interest.
After playing for close to two hours, He Heng looked at the disaster of a match and avoided the interested face of Qu Qing Ju. He stood and walked in front of Qu Qing Ju, bending at the waist to lift the person: “It’s late now, Qing Ju, you should retire with me.”
Qu Qing Ju wrapped an arm around his neck: “Then you have to play with me tomorrow.”
He Heng felt his throat choke but the smile on his face was as warm as always: “We’ll talk about it tomorrow.” Finishing, he carried the person as he walked towards the inner room.
Ming He, Mu Jin and the others saw the situation and quickly retreated. But as they left, they both thought, wang fei’s weiqi skills, it stank terribly. It was a miracle that wang ye could tolerate it for this long.
Maybe it was that he was too worked up from playing weiqi, but after he finished with Qu Qing Ju, He Heng felt very relaxed. Under the light of the night luminous pearls, he saw the eyes with which she looked at him. With a look, he couldn’t help but reach out with his hand to that soft skin. The feeling under his hand was too comfortable, so comfortable that he didn’t bear move his hand away.
“Ticklish!” When He Heng’s hand moved to her waist, Qu Qing Ju couldn’t resist lightly kneeing the other. Who knew that she pressed on the wrong spot, and that hand moved from the waist downwards.
The mischievous hand caused Qu Qing Ju to squirm but was suppressed by He Heng. He rubbed against her chest and asked: “Is it ticklish here?” The hand had reached a certain warm place.
“En … …” Qu Qing Ju felt her body soften. On the bed, He Heng could be considered a very good man. At least, when the other was being satisfied, Qu Qing Ju was also satisfied. She reached across the other’s back, her moist lips brushing past his slightly cold ear. She blew a warm breath, “Also ticklish.”
This move lit a great fire. He Heng bit down gently on her collarbone: “I’ll help you stop it.”
It was another physical exercise full of hotness. After both of them were comfortable, Qu Qing Ju leaned against He Heng and rubbed against the other’s body for warmth as she fell asleep.
He Heng put his hand at Qu Qing Ju’s waist. Looking at her sleeping visage, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
The second morning, Qu Qing Ju sat up on the bed and looked at the man wiping his face with a cotton cloth. She said with some surprise: “Wang ye is coming with me to Hou Fu?”
“A husband accompanying the recently married daughter to perform New Year greetings to the elders, isn’t it normal?” He Heng threw the towel back into the basin and mentioned for the kneeling servant girl holding the basin to leave. He walked in front of Qu Qing Ju and pinched her face. The smooth feeling he received made his mood even better, “Wake up quickly and eat. Later, you still have to attire yourself.” Finishing, he didn’t look at Qu Qing Ju’s reaction and walked out the inner room.
Qu Qing Ju stilled and was speechless. A man satisfied in a certain area, he did become much gentler.
After the morning meal, when Qu Qing Ju was dressing, He Heng sat with interest at the side. Seeing the servant girls present box after box of jewellery, he opened: “Put on that buyao I gave you.”
Hearing this, the hand Qu Qing Ju was using to pick a buyao made a turn and held up that qing luan buyao to Yu Zan who was doing her hair. Looking at this peerless buyao inserted in her hair, Qu Qing Ju’s lips curled: “This buyao is so beautiful I don’t bear wear it.”
“No matter how beautiful, it needs somebody to wear it,” He Heng came behind her, touching the buyao. He took the forehead jewel and personally put it on Qu Qing Ju. He bent down to look at her image in the mirror, “As long as you like them, these coarse items don’t cost anything.”
Qu Qing Ju rubbed the forehead jewel. She raised her head to look at He Heng. There was a warm smile on the others face as though he was an infatuated man looking at his beloved woman.
She smiled and turned her head down. She drew with an eyebrow pencil to make her brows even more beautiful. After she finished drawing the flower between her brows, she raised her head again and asked with a bashful smile: “Is this good?”
He Heng felt as though he was struck by this smile. The smile on his own face was so gentle it was like water: “Very good.” Pulling up the person by the mirror, he exclaimed, “That ‘The teeth are as white as a rhinoceros’ horn, the eyebrows are as beautiful as a butterfly, the blushing face is akin to a blooming lotus, the pale skin is like the frost.’ is just so. But there aren’t enough poems in this world to describe the feelings I have at this time.”
“In wang ye’s eyes, I am that good?” Qu Qing Ju tilted her head, “I don’t believe it.”
“Has Qing Ju ever heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” He Heng smiled as he touched the hair next to her face, “It’s fine, you’ll naturally understand in the future. It’s late, we should go now.
Yu Zan and the younger yahuan who had been doing the attiring were blushing at one side, amazed at the depth of feeling between wang ye and wang fei.
It was the people by the door, Qian Chang Xin, Ming He and Mu Jin who had much steadier faces. They quietly had their heads low as though they couldn’t hear what wang ye and wang fei said. And they were just wooden puppets that couldn’t hear or speak.
 棋: (qi) can refer to many kinds of board games but the one they play here is weiqi or go.