IBTBTED Chapter 6
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 6 Male Protagonist
When Zhao Chengjun saw the woman standing in the front, his eyebrows moved slightly, and his eyes seemed to be smiling. And Zhao Zixun’s expression, who was sitting on the side, was much more intense.
Zhao Zixun had a great impression on Tang Shishi. Previously, he did not want to be manipulated by the Jing Wang mansion, so he fled outside with great difficulty. Those who chased after him were his father’s personal guards, and so both parties were very cautious, neither of them dared to alarm Jing Wang. Zhao Zixun was hiding in the beam and was accidentally discovered by the woman in the room. The woman was intelligent and generous, and she was unique among the crowd of chirping beauties. Later, she found him when she was pouring a cup of tea. Zhao Zixun was ready to kill her. Unexpectedly, the woman was calm and did not disclose him.
Zhao Zixun had a good impression of this woman, but shortly afterward, another woman returned.
When Zhao Zixun saw Tang Shishi, he thought that the imperial court would not be involved in their personal affairs, the beauty sent over was pretty good. Tang Shishi was rather noisy when she was in the room, Zhao Zixun thought that since she was good-looking, just endured her arrogance for a while. This made Zhao Zixun think that she was another beautiful and arrogant but brainless beauty. Who could have imagined that after Tang Shishi left the room, she rushed forward and shouted, “This little girl knows where the assassin is!”
Zhao Zixun did not want to recall the scene for the second time. He did not know where Tang Shishi had such courage. He did not even know when Tang Shishi knew someone was in the room. Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua were caught off guard. Zhao Zixun broke the window before he could even warn Zhou Shunhua about it.
Thanks to Tang Shishi’s move, Zhao Zixun was deeply impressed by her face. On the contrary, Zhou Shunhua’s face was gradually blurred. As soon as this line of beauties came in, Zhao Zixun recognized Tang Shishi at the first sight. Zhao Zixun’s whole attention was drawn to Tang Shishi, so he did not even notice that Zhou Shunhua was also there.
Tang Shishi braced herself and bowed down, “Pay respect to Your Highness Jing Wang, pay respect to Shizi.”
Behind her, a line of beauties bowed down with Tang Shishi at the same time, their movements were elegant and uniform, each with their own qualities. Ji Xinxian made a special trip to dress up today, made a simple salute, and did her best. The dress she chose and the posture she performed was the best to accentuate her figure superiority.
Ji Xinxian felt good about herself. She thought happily, the most important thing for her was the first impression. However, it would be even better if she could attract the attention of Jing Wang and Shizi. Although the other women were not as eager for quick success as Ji Xinxian, they also put their minds on their clothes just to look good.
They either wanted to vie for a favor or to hide their inferiority, each had their own thinking. However, they waited for a long time, and there was no response from above.
Gradually, there was some movement. People with poor patients quietly looked up and found that Jing Wang was stroking the teacup, unable to distinguish his expression from joy or anger, and Shizi’s expression was gloomy, his eyes were staring at someone intensely.
They followed Shizi’s line of sight and found that his focus was on Tang Shishi.
Tang Shishi brought all the young ladies to pay respect, but neither Jing Wang nor Shizi asked them to stand up.
Tang Shishi stayed still, with her slightly drooping chin, pretending that she did not feel the gaze from all directions. Among these gazes, the two from above were the most prominent. Zhao Zixun stared at her closely without saying anything, while Jing Wang glanced at her from time to time, which made Tang Shishi extremely anxious, and cold sweat seeped from her back.
Tang Shishi thought with joy that according to the information disclosed in the book, Jing Wang would rebel, enter the capital in the future, and become the Emperor himself. It was not long before he was injured and died on the battlefield, and Zhao Zixun was able to ascend the throne and became the Emperor. At this moment, she was looking at the two generations of Emperors and reckoned it was not as easy as it looked.
Seeing that the situation was not right, Feng Momo quickly said, “Your Highness Jing Wang, these are the talented women carefully selected by the Empress Dowager from the imperial harem’s beauties. You are always busy with political affairs, away from home for a year, and there is no Wangfei* in charge of the mansion. Empress Dowager is worried that there is no one to serve you, so she sent these ten beauties here, especially for you. You don’t have to worry about these women that came from the Imperial Palace. Just treat them as maidservants. It will be their blessing if they can share the worries for Your Highness.”
(Wangfei* – legitimate wife of a prince)
When Feng Momo spoke, Zhao Chengjun finally moved. He raised his eyebrows and said unhurriedly, “I’m afraid it’s not appropriate. The beauties selected by Empress Dowager are probably noble young ladies when they are at home, with such a family background, they can easily be a mistress in the capital. I’m afraid I’ve insulted many of them if they became a maidservant in this prince’s mansion.”
“It’s not a disgrace.” Feng Momo said quickly, “It’s their honor to serve Jing Wang. You say, right?”
Tang Shishi and the beauties bowed their heads and said in unison, “Yes.”
The beauties even responded tactfully and beautifully. Zhao Chengjun thought that if ten people under his command responded in such a manner, he would certainly use military law on them. Since these beauties were sent by Empress Dowager, they could not be mistreated or reprimanded and had to be kept in the mansion. Zhao Chengjun was no longer interested and said, “Thank you for Empress Dowager’s concern, I dare not decline the kindness from the elder. Since it was Empress Dowager’s kindness, this prince will accept it. Someone comes, send them to the rear courtyard.”
Feng Momo was very relieved, she smiled while observing Zhao Chengjun’s expression and said, “Empress Dowager was afraid of their stupidity and afraid Your Highness might not like them. They were taught singing, dancing, needlework, and cooking before they depart the capital. If there are any that are not in line with Your Highness’s order, Your Highness can discipline them and don’t have to worry about Empress Dowager’s reputation.”
While Zhao Chengjun and Feng Momo were exchanging pleasantries that no one would believe, Tang Shishi and the others had been led out of the main hall by the attendant. After she walked out for some time, Tang Shishi felt that someone was staring at her from behind, as if wanted to stare until a hole came out of her.
Tang Shishi sighed inwardly, she had already offended the male lead before she even entered the mansion. Blessing from heaven ah, hopefully, the male lead was a man who would not hold on to grudges.
Today, Tang Shishi finally knew what the male lead looked like. He looked about the same age as them with slender eyebrows and passionate peachy blossom eyes. Sitting in the main hall, he also could be counted as a charming young man.
However, with such an excellent man right in front, Tang Shishi felt that the male lead’s appearance was not up to par. Zhao Zixun’s appearance could not be said to be unsightly, but when he sat next to Zhao Chengjun, everyone could tell at a glance that Zhao Chengjun was the Master.
It was not about the looks, it was more of an aura. Furthermore, Zhao Chengjun’s appearance was not bad, he had the typical majestic appearance, sword-like eyebrows, starry eyes, and a straight and angular nose. When he sat there, even if he did not talk, others would just bow down to him.
This was the temperament nurtured by generations after generations of imperial power. The prince who came out from the Imperial Palace was different from the imperial member who was raised outside.
But these have nothing to do with Tang Shishi already. Tang Shishi sighed, proactively thinking of how to change the male lead’s impression of her and compete for favor among the beauties.
Feng Momo had been sent off. At this moment, only Zhao Chengjun and Zhao Zixun remained in the main hall. When Zhao Chengjun got up, Zhao Zixun naturally followed him and followed him to his study room.
Zhao Chengjun asked, “What do you think of today’s matter?”
Zhao Zixun pondered for a moment and said, “Empress Dowager Yao has no good intentions. These women can’t stay.”
Of course, Zhao Chengjun knew that Empress Dowager Yao had no good intentions. Empress Dowager Yao was Zhao Chengjun’s nominal legitimate mother. Since the death of his birth mother, Imperial Concubine Gonglie, the relationship between Zhao Chengjun and Empress Dowager Yao has completely ended.
However, due to the imperial family’s dignity, both sides had to maintain their countenance. In fact, everyone knew how much they hated each other.
In that year’s battle for the throne, Empress Dowager Yao and her son Zhao Chengting won, Zhao Chengjun’s two brothers died, and he was seriously injured. At that time, Empress Dowager Yao was very proud. However, she did not expect that Zhao Chengting died of illness within a few years after he ascended the throne. On the contrary, Zhao Chengjun lived longer than him. Empress Dowager Yao assisted Zhao Chengting’s only son ascending the throne, who was the little Emperor now.
Empress Dowager Yao was afraid of Zhao Chengjun, and yet had no choice but to rely on Zhao Chengjun to guard the frontier and contain the enemy from the Northwest. Finally, she came up with a beauty stratagem.
Zhao Chengjun thought it was funny. Did he look like a man who would be bewitched by the beauty’s schemes? Counting on a few women to watch him, Zhao Chengjun did not know whether to say that Empress Dowager Yao was naive or that she was whimsical.
Zhao Chengjun said these words were to test Zhao Zixun. Zhao Zixun’s opinion was right, but it was too superficial. Zhao Chengjun did not say anything and just said, “You know it’s a good thing to guard against them, but as a superior, you have to be able to tolerate others. No point in killing them, they are just pawns.”
“Just keep them, throw them in the rear courtyard and let them fend for themselves. Anyway, this mansion can afford them.” After saying that, Zhao Chengjun gave Zhao Zixun a cold glance, “On the contrary, you should focus on more serious things.”
As a dignified Shizi, how could he do such a thing as escaping marriage?
Zhao Zixun confided that he was unwilling to accept his father’s arrangement to get married, and he did not dare to disobey his father, so he could only escape outside for a while. Zhao Zixun did not believe that if he was not there, the six rites could still go on. When he ran away, he did not dare to alarm Zhao Chengjun, and those who pursued him did not dare to alarm Jing Wang. At the relay post station that day, the soldiers did not even dare to reveal their identity.
In the end, Zhao Chengjun still knew about it. Anyway, to think about it, what else could be hidden from Jing Wang in his territory of the Northwest?
Zhao Chengjun was really angry, and personally led people to catch Zhao Zixun back. Because the people from the capital came, Zhao Chengjun had been tolerant and did not expose or criticize him. Now seeing Zhao Zixun’s behavior, Zhao Chengjun was starting to flare up again.
If he did not want to get married, he could just say it. Would the ability to escape marriage could be regarded as his capability? Such a big man, he did not even have this responsibility.
If this was Zhao Chengjun’s own son, his leg must have been broken at this moment, but Zhao Zixun was not. Zhao Chengjun thought that Zhao Zixun’s birth father had sacrificed himself to save him, causing Zhao Zixun to lose his father at a young age, and to be displaced. Zhao Chengjun did not say anything in the end, and said, “Never mind, this matter will be put on hold since you don’t want to get married yet. But I don’t want to see it a second time.”
Zhao Zixun dared not breathe, so he responded promptly. After a while, he asked hesitantly, “Father, those women…”
“If you have someone you like, just pick it out.” Zhao Chengjun did not care about it. He did not even want to look at the people sent by Empress Dowager, what favor to talk about? However, Zhao Chengjun thought of a person and glanced at Zhao Zixun indifferently. He did not discern joy and anger in his tone, “The woman in charge, Tang Shishi, is ambitious. It’s all right for you to have a concubine but take good measure and don’t be led by the nose* by these women.”
(led by the nose* – to follow blindly)
Zhao Zixun was relieved when he heard this and finally showed some sincere smiles. He stood up straight and said, “Yes, this son understands.”
Zhao Chengjun became more and more dissatisfied when he saw Zhao Zixun’s expression change. He has never seen him so energetic when he went to the battlefield fighting the enemy or studying martial arts. On the contrary, he was quite at ease handling these women. He still could not control himself after knowing that these women were sent from the Imperial Palace.
In fact, Zhao Chengjun disagreed with Zhao Zixun’s idea of fooling around with these women. What would he become if there were many concubines before he got married? Only the son from the legitimate wife could inherit the inheritance according to the patriarchal clan system.
However, Zhao Zixun was not Zhao Chengjun’s own after all, and it was difficult for Zhao Chengjun to say something. He could only keep an eye on Zhao Zixun secretly, and never let Zhao Zixun be seduced by these women.
Especially Tang Shishi.