Who Cares – Chapter 57
Chapter 57 Magpie’s Nest
Even if the father and children smashed their heads, Guan Suyi would not be touched, not to mention they were just making appearance. She tapped her fingers on the table, and said casually, “It’s the same sentence, whether the Ye family can stay or not, it’s up to Lord Marquis to decide.”
She flicked her hand at Jinzi and asked, “Among those people just now, how many married women, elderly, young men and women, and young children are there?”
Jinzi’s heart was slightly stunned, secretly thought that Madam’s test had finally come, and she couldn’t help but racking her brain to recall, hesitantly said, “Reporting to Madam, there are sixteen married women, they are the mistress of Ye Mansion Liu shi, sinner Ye Quanyong’s nine concubines, main branch’s eldest daughter-in-law Song shi, second daughter-in-law Li shi, fourth daughter-in-law Tang shi, the third branch’s madam Wang shi, third branch’s concubine Wu shi, third branch’s eldest daughter-in-law Zheng shi. There are four elderly people, third old master, third old madam, and also two concubines of Old Master Ye. There are seventeen youngsters… six boys and eleven girls, this servant hasn’t been able to differentiate each one, asking madam to please forgive; there are four young children, namely Song shi’s young son, Li shi’s young daughter, Tang shi’s young daughter, Zheng shi’s young daughter.”
Guan Suyi gave her a thoughtful look, nodded and said, “You miss one person, there are eighteen youngsters, six boys and twelve girls, the youngsters are each branch’s di and shu children. Among the twelve young girls only Ye Fu, Ye Fen, and Ye Ran are the di misses, the rest are all excellent-looking people selected from various side branches, they are assess every month, and those who fail to meet expectations will be sent home, and there will be substitutes. The longest one stayed in Ye Mansion for several years, the shortest one only one or two days, you definitely won’t recognize all.”
Jinzi had been specially trained to recognize many faces in a quick glance and count many people, but Madam had sharper eyes and quicker mind than her, even if the leader of the dark guard came, he would be slightly inferior. Is this the so-called “gift of talent”? Madam is truly extraordinary!
Jinzi was already convinced, but Zhao Luli didn’t know what they were going on about, so he couldn’t help saying urgently, “Madam, we will count how many people in the Ye family later. Let’s find a place for them to settle down first, so they won’t get seriously ill by the spring cold weather. Didn’t you let me decide? I agree and let all of them stay.”
Zhao Wangshu smiled stupidly, thinking that he was looking forward to living with his cousins, but Zhao Chunxi turned pale and was reluctant.
Guan Suyi lowered her eyelids and slowly fiddled with the abacus, “It won’t be too late to make a decision after I finish my words. The Marquis Mansion now has 216 people, eight masters and 208 servants. Lord Marquis monthly expenses ranged from 500 to 1,000 taels, and it was as high as 4,000 to 5,000 taels during the New Years. The second master is not in Yanjing, so let’s not count him, but sister-in-law is pregnant, and still taking care of Mu Mu, the medicinal materials should not be lacking. There are also four seasons clothes, pearl hairpins, head ornaments and other items, which add up to about 200 taels. The old madam has always been frugal, but as she is getting older, it‘s indispensable to ask the doctor to check the pulse from time to time, and prescribe a few safety prescriptions. We also have to give offering to the temples, donate sesame oil, and these are 100 taels in total; Zhao Chunxi’s monthly silver is 20 taels each month, plus clothes, fabric, jewelry, rouge and other items from time to time, adding up to at least 80 taels. If she want to buy any precious jewelry, it can add up to several thousand taels at a time; Zhao Wangshu is given 20 taels per month, salary of private tutor is 20 taels, and 50 taels for brush, ink, paper and inkstone per month. There are also social amusement, clothes and exquisite items cost nearly 500 taels here and there; the main house has no expenses, so it’s only counted as 50 taels. In addition, every few months, there must be weddings and funerals held by close family members or superiors and subordinates, and the gifts will be paid from the public fund, which is also a lot of money.”
She fiddled with the abacus quickly, and the white fingertips lined with the bright yellow abacus beads were so beautiful that Jinzi was entranced.
The old madam had already tasted the taste, and finally let out a slow sigh of relief.
“Among the two hundred and eight servants, the rough servants are 300 copper coin per month, the third-class servants are 500 copper coin per month, the second-class servants are one taels , the first-class servants are two taels. Each divisional steward has two or three taels, the deputy housekeeper has four taels, and the housekeeper has five taels of silver. Among them, there are sixty-eight rough servants, fifty-four third-class servants, thirty-seven second-class servants, thirty-six first-class servants, five stewards, and four deputy housekeeper, and one housekeeper, the total monthly salary is 192 taels and four coin, which is 2308 taels and eight coins in one year, plus the expenses of the masters…”
She cracked and counted for a while, then raised her eyes and said, “Lord Marquis, you can see that the annual cost of the Marquis Mansion is as high as 19,182 taels and 8 coins, and it is still calculated according to the most economical cost. If I really calculate thoroughly with you, the chewing of a few hundred servants alone are not a small amount, and if the master has to wear clothes and eat, so they don’t need it? If the monthly silver not come out, who would care to serve and run errand for you? However, how much income does the Marquis Mansion earn every year, you also very clear in your heart. The shop, the fields, your and my official’s salary, and the money for the public fund that the second master sends every year, can barely maintain the balance of income and expenditure. Now that you want to take in the Ye family members, you think it’s just a matter of lip service, by all means just go to the accountant to get the money, but I am in charge of central feeder, I have to tell you clearly. When I come to ask you, how do you want to take care of them? Is it only to give a bite of food or to follow the example of the Marquis Mansion’s masters? If we compare the master’s example, the annual fee is…”
In the room, there was another crisp sound of bead collision and the woman’s tactful announcement. Gradually, Zhao Luli’s forehead was covered in cold sweat, and his head was getting lower and lower.
After a while, Guan Suyi pushed the abacus to the table and said coldly, “The expenses of the sixteen married women and the four elders are all compared to the old madam, 24,000 taels per year; The six young masters compared to Zhao Wangshu is 36,000 per year; The twelve young misses compared to Zhao Chunxi, 11,520 per year; four young children compared to Mu Mu, 1,920 per year, the total is 73,440 taels, plus the monthly silver of the servants brought by the people, is about 74,000 taels. This is not even counting legal fees and the management of the Ye Mansion’s men who are imprisoned in the Heavenly Prison, and expanse to lighten the punishment. Dare to ask Lord Marquis where the annual expenditure of nearly 100,000 taels comes from? To steal or to rob?”
The old madam was completely at ease. While twisting the Buddhist beads, she watched her son sweat like rain, embarrassed and disgraceful.
“How about just give a bite of food?” Zhao Luli’s face was red as blood.
Guan Suyi glanced at him contemptuously, slowly smoothed the abacus, and said in a low voice, “It’s also costs a lot of money to give a bite of food to eat, so Lord Marquis needs to be prepared. To provide so many people, food, clothing, housing, and transportation, as for food……”
Everyone stared at her fingertips that were flying up and down, blooming like a flower. In fact, when she fiddled with the small abacus it was indeed beautiful, and the results were obtained in a moment. Even if it was reduced again and again, it would take about 23,000 taels.
“Lord Marquis, please give me your word, should the Ye family leave or stay?” Guan Suyi pushed the mess back to him.
Zhao Wangshu had already shown timidity at this time, and quietly hid by his grandmother’s side, while Zhao Chunxi looked up at her father, desperately wanting to get the word “leave” from his mouth.
However, if Zhao Luli could give up Ye Zhen and her maiden clan, he would not be the infatuated bastard who could even harm his own wife and children like in the previous life. He thought for a while, then hesitated, “If we let them stay, is there a more economical way?”
The old madam, who thought her son would choose to compromise, almost fainted, severly broke the Buddha beads in her hand, and scolded “unfilial son”. Zhao Chunxi stopped breathing, and then quickly buried her head so that everyone could not see her resentful expression.
Guan Suyi was naturally unmoved, and she flipped the abacus lightly, “There are two ways to be more economical, one is to expand financial resources, the other is to control the money flow . There are only so many shops and fields in the Marquis Mansion, and there are no money to buy more. If want to expand financial resources, the only way is to ask the second brother to send back more silver every year.”
“No! The second brother is defending against the enemy at the border, and he always puts his life on stake, it’s unknown whether he can return safely in this life. The silvers he sent are his blood and sweat, and I am too ashamed to take it.” Zhao Luli unexpectedly refuse.
Even you still have some conscience. Guan Suyi pursed her lips and continued, “Then there is only one way, to control the money flow. If the expenses of Marquis Mansion and Ye Mansion is to be reduced by half, you can barely make do with the situation. But let me say it first, the old madam is in her old years, and her spirit is not good, her expenses must be not less.”
“Naturally.” Zhao Luli nodded.
“My sister-in-law is pregnant and taking care of Mu Mu, so the cost of the second house can’t be less.”
“I will be responsible for the cost of the main house in the future, and I will not take a cent from the Marquis Mansion, lest some people make irresponsible remarks behind my back.”
“No!” Zhao Luli and the old madam refused in unison.
Guan Suyi was not a living Bodhisattva, so why should she sacrifice herself for the Ye family? However, she had long planned to draw a clear line with the Marquis Mansion, so she took advantage of this pretext to completely separate the main house from the Central Feeder, which also saved a lot of entanglements in the future. Besides, she even gave up the cost of the main house, no matter how dissatisfied the Ye family was, this alone could make them speechless, and outsiders could not find the slightest mistake.
She didn’t care about her own reputation, but she had to take care the reputation of the Guan family, so it was better to act carefully.
“If I don’t make a statement, the Ye family will be not be able to endure a poor life in the future, and won’t the main house never be peaceful?”
“Mother-in-law is not that kind of person. If I explain to her carefully, she will understand my difficulties.” Zhao Luli said firmly.
Hearing this, the old madam and Guan Suyi both smiled coldly, even Zhao Chunxi shook her head secretly, slandering: If my grandmother could really understand others, she would not force everyone to kowtow at the gate of the palace on rainy days, and she would not cry and shout to live in Marquis Mansion. The selfishness of the Ye family is engraved in their bones, even if I have half of the Ye family blood, I have to admit it. I don’t know what my mom did in the past to make my dad value the Ye family so much. Mom, you are the most selfish person in the world!
After all kinds of changes, Zhao Chunxi actually held a grudge against Ye Zhen, and her mood became more and more difficult to calm down.
Guan Suyi was too lazy to argue with this idiot, and said lightly, “What Lord Marquis can say whatever he want, but the decision I make cannot be changed, the main house’s expanse is to be separated from the Central Feed, and there will be no interference in the future. Next we continue to how to save money. After all, Lord Marquis still wants to have dealing with others, so the cost can be reduced by half, Zhao Wangshu and Zhao Chunxi will be reduced by two-thirds, and the servants serving in the front yard, Penglai Garden, and Jingzhe Tower will also be reduced to 30%, which can distribute eight or nine thousand taels, barely able to feed the Ye family.”
Zhao Wangshu still didn’t realize what the concept of reducing by two-thirds was, but Zhao Chunxi complained into the bone marrow, and her eyes were red. Why should she give up the beautiful clothes, luxurious fabric, jewelry, and rouge powder for the Ye family? When the Ye family was extremely wealthy, they didn’t think about her at all.
However, Guan Suyi knocked on the table and said, “Eating and clothing have been settled, but there are still housing and travel arrangements that need to be arranged. The Ye family has forty-two masters and eighty-four servants. Where this one hundred and twenty-six people live, does Lord Marquis have an idea?”
Zhao Luli was questioned again, and his sweat gushed down.