IBTBTED Chapter 7
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 7 Target
Ten court beauties were sent to the side courtyard. The old woman who led the way did not give them any good face or even glance at them along the way. When they reached their destination, the woman gave them a cold look and said, “This is it, you can go in. Our Jing Wang mansion is different from the capital. If you live in peace, His Highness will not let you suffer. If someone dares to make trouble…”
The old woman had not finished her words, but how could those who were present not understand what she meant? The old woman saw that they were still perceptive, she lowered her eyes and said, “This mansion is small, there is no room for an idler. Two persons in a room, go find your own room.”
After speaking, the old woman snorted and turned away.
Two persons in one room? The beauties who heard it all showed their unwillingness, even Tang Shishi frowned when she heard it.
It was fine given under previous circumstances due to the rush of the journey. When we all arrive at Jing Wang’s mansion, do we still have to live with others? Tang Shishi was not lacking in material since she was a child, even when she entered the Imperial Palace, she was regarded as someone with good prospects and had never been treated badly.
Unexpectedly, after entering Jing Wang’s mansion, her treatment plummeted. Tang Shishi did not believe that such a large mansion would have no extra rooms.
Obviously, Jing Wang was extremely unwilling to see them and did not even want to see them at all. Just cast them to the side courtyard and let them fend for themselves.
Tang Shishi was silent for a short while, before taking the lead to pick a room. It was no use complaining, it was more important to solve the problem. If you could endure hardships, you could be a master, think about the glory of being the Empress Dowager. So what did this setback count as?
Ji Xinxian and her little sister were aggrieved. When she saw Tang Shishi heading inside, she hurriedly called out, “Hey, Tang Shishi, what are you doing?”
“Naturally, to pick a room.” Tang Shishi glanced at Ji Xinxian coldly, “Didn’t you hear the old woman’s words?”
Ji Xinxian eagerly took two quick steps to enter the best room first. Tang Shishi saw that and sneered at her stupidity, the bird which takes the lead gets shot first* and exposed herself to others as soon as she entered the mansion. Ji Xinxian really thought this was a good thing?
(the bird which takes the lead gets shot first* (idiom) – the person in the limelight bears the brunt of the attack)
Tang Shishi did not think so. She was about to find another room when a group of maids walked over. The leader of the maids, Gugu’s hair was meticulous, had a solemn expression, and the corners of her eyes wrinkled, but Tang Shishi could see that she was a beauty when she was young. Gugu stood at the door for a while and coughed softly.
The beauties in the disorderly courtyard stopped immediately. They turned around, noticed the Gugu, and greeted together.
“Gugu, how are you?”
Gugu held her face and said, “Little mistress have been too polite. This servant’s name is Tongxiu, who has served His Highness Jing Wang since his early years, and later came to the fief with His Highness, and now became the head of internal affairs in the Jing Wang mansion. Little mistress came from the capital as our distinguished guest in the Jing Wang mansion. In the future, if this servant and the maids are thoughtless, please forgive us.”
As soon as Tongxiu said that all the women understood. It turned out that Tongxiu also came from the Imperial Palace and had served Jing Wang since then. When Jing Wang was sent to the border, she followed him out of the Imperial Palace. This old woman next to Jing Wang was the head of internal affairs, it could be seen clearly that Jing Wang extremely trusted Tongxiu.
The attitudes of the women towards Tongxiu suddenly changed, and they were obviously much warmer and cordial. Tongxiu smiled secretly when she saw it. She had seen many ups and downs in her life. In her eyes, these young women’s thoughts were all written on their faces, so superficial.
Tongxiu did not bother to give any attention to them, her eyes swept through these women. When she saw Tang Shishi, she paused slightly.
Tongxiu sized Tang Shishi up vaguely. This woman was very careful about her true appearance, and she could not find any fault with Tang Shishi. She did not know was because of her preconceived ideas, Tongxiu even felt that Tang Shishi did not flatter her like other beauties, but rather pleasing to her eyes a lot.
This idea frightens Tongxiu herself. She halted quickly and with a stern face, she slightly bowed to Tang Shishi, “Miss Tang.”
Tang Shishi raised her eyebrows in surprise. She was not surprised because Tongxiu acknowledged her beauty, but rather surprised by such a strange occurrence, Tang Shishi was surprised that Tongxiu called out to her.
Tang Shishi stepped forward and paid respect to Tongxiu with a sense of propriety, “Tongxiu Gugu.”
The whole courtyard was quiet, and only Tongxiu’s flat voice can be heard, “Miss Tang, just now Feng Momo specifically explained that Miss Tang’s body is delicate, and ordinary beds may hurt your body. Since it was entrusted by Feng Momo, it was hard for His Highness to refuse. So he deliberately sent a message to let Miss Tang not have to live together with other beauties.”
As soon as the statement landed in the courtyard, everyone was shocked, including Tang Shishi herself.
What, she had another place to live?
Tang Shishi was surprised and quickly calmed down. Although Feng Momo was good, Tang Shishi was certain that Feng Momo would not say such a thing. Ten of them had just entered the mansion and had not even made any social connection yet. How could Feng Momo make such a big enemy for her?
This was mostly because a certain master did not want her to live well and deliberately put her on the hot seat. With just a short statement, not only did the people in the mansion regard her as a thorn in the eyes, but the ten beauties who came along with her would also have a rift with Tang Shishi.
She just ridiculed Ji Xinxian for taking the lead and would get shot first. Now, someone wanted to hold Tang Shishi up high as everyone’s first shot.
Currently, there were only two masters in the Jing Wang mansion, Jing Wang would not do such a boring thing, so it was not too hard to guess who the messenger was.
After Tang Shishi understood the whole story, she immediately calmed down. Anyway, her relationship with others was not good, so she did not care if it got worse. Since she could enjoy better accommodation and better expenses, why would she refuse?
For Tang Shishi, there were only first place and last. In her life, there was no mediocre middle value.
Tang Shishi answered calmly, gave Tongxiu a gentle smile, and replied, “Many thanks to Jing Wang, Shizi, and Gugu’s kindness.”
Tongxiu who has seen many ups and downs in the palace for half a lifetime, no one knew better than herself of one’s countenance. When Shizi specially came to say these things to Tongxiu, Tongxiu immediately could guess what Shizi wanted to do. Offended the master, this woman prone to have a bad life, but… Why was Tang Shishi not panicking at all?
She did not even feel disheartened, as if she did not understand what “green eyes” meant.
Tongxiu only glanced at her, then withdrew her eyes, “Miss Tang is a fortunate person. This servant does not deserve Miss Tang’s honor. Someone comes, and go helps Miss Tang carry her things. Don’t let her be tired.”
The maids behind Tongxiu immediately rushed forward and cordially took over the bags from Tang Shishi, surrounding her like countless stars surrounding the moon, and left. The women were dumbstruck as they watched Tang Shishi leave. As she walked further and further away, Ji Xinxian stomped her feet hard, slammed the screen, and went into the room.
The sound of breaking objects soon came from inside the room, and people outside either lowered their eyes or remained silent as if nothing has ever happened. Ren Yujun walked to Zhou Shunhua’s side, and frowned slightly, “She just looks better and has no other good qualities. It’s enough that Feng Momo to think highly of her, why…”
Did Jing Wang and Shizi?
Zhou Shunhua shook her head lightly, she did not think it was a gracious favor at all. Zhou Shunhua held Ren Yujun’s hand and squeezed it lightly, “Wraths and rewards are all imperial favors. We just need to do our best and are not qualified to speak of others.”
Zhou Shunhua saw that Ren Yujun was still full of anger, so she had to be more specific, “Think about it, if the Shizi really fond of her, he can just reward her privately, why would he order her away in front of so many people? It’s not necessarily a good thing to flaunt.”
Zhou Shunhua’s explanation seems to have a point. Ren Yujun thought about it and suddenly understood.
Ren Yujun immediately respected and admired Zhou Shunhua. She held Zhou Shunhua’s hand firmly and said, “You are so attentive. It’s me who is confused.”
Tang Shishi saw beautiful scenery along the way to the new courtyard. This courtyard was for a single person, spacious and bright, and it was incomparable to the small courtyard just now. After that, there were even jewelry rewards.
Tang Shishi was thankful for the rewards, the serving maid saw it and said to her enviously, “Miss, there are so many women in the rear courtyard. I’ve never seen Shizi care so much about anyone. This is your first day in the mansion. In the future, your future is limitless.”
It was precisely her first day that it sounded like she has ill intentions. Tang Shishi lightly hooked the corner of her mouth and said, “I’ll borrow your auspicious words.”
Of course, Tang Shishi’s future was limitless. She was going to be the Empress Dowager. So what if Zhao Zixun liked her or disliked her, what Tang Shishi wanted was only the most superficial reputation.
As for who Zhao Zixun’s true love was… she did not care.
Tang Shishi comfortably went into the room to rest. She lived in the best room. She did not have to squeeze a room with others and did not have to cross paths with the other beauties. There was even a small kitchen in the courtyard. If this was the treatment of a vicious supporting female, then let it be.
Tang Shishi changed into her home clothes in an unhurried manner and then asked the maid to boil water for her bath. Tang Shishi took the bath to her heart’s content, she came out with water vapor all over her body and tried the rewards she received today one by one in front of the bronze mirror.
In order to express his displeasure toward her, Zhao Zixun rewarded a lot of bright gold and silver, ornaments made with pearls and jade, and just short of written words like these were very valuable and wanted to promulgate her. Tang Shishi was perfectly contented to receive these things, she put them away in her dressing box and was very satisfied with this kind of life.
A maid’s voice came from the outside, “Miss, are you going to sleep?”
Tang Shishi responded. The maid came in and helped Tang Shishi to bed. She gently pulled down the curtains, blew the light off, and then left.
Tang Shishi laid behind the curtain for a while, when there was no sound outside, she quietly got up and took out the book from her bag.
Tang Shishi did not allow anyone to touch this along the way. Others thought it was Tang Shishi’s personal valuables, so no one paid attention to it. No one knew that there was a book in it that could foresee the future.
Tang Shishi did not dare to light the lamp. She quietly opened the curtain of the bed and tried to read the words on the book using the light from the moonlight.
The last time Tang Shishi read this book was the day she met the assassin. At that time, she only read the title and went to report the assassin with confidence. After that, she was called away by Feng Momo. Later, she was busy on the road to the mansion. For such a long time, Tang Shishi did not find a chance to read it.
Now, she was free at last and could carefully read the plot.
Sure enough, she guessed the plot wrong. This script really belongs to the female lead, she was supposed to cover the assassin, use her ingenuity to deceive the chasing soldiers, and then win the appreciation of the male lead. Later, on the day of entering the mansion, the female lead mingled with the beauties in a low-key manner. She obviously did not stand out whether in clothes or appearance, nonetheless, she could instantly grab the attention of the male lead from the crowd.
The male lead finally saw this beautiful and intelligent woman again and fell in love with her. Later, when the beauties were divided into their residence, the female lead kept a low-key and peaceful manner, which made the male lead feel that she was out of the ordinary.
Unfortunately, Tang Shishi was the control group. The plot in the book was fixed and would not change because of real-life dynamism. In the book plot, Tang Shishi did not report the assassin, but after entering the mansion, because she stood in the front, she attracted a lot of attention, and this made a sharp contrast with the low-key and beautiful female lead.
The male lead instinctively disliked Tang Shishi. Later, when choosing a room, the male lead was afraid that the woman he admired would be calculated. Therefore he drew Tang Shishi out as a target and deliberately gave reward to Tang Shishi alone. There was no doubt that Tang Shishi became the target of public criticism, and later, the other women would stand together and hate Tang Shishi.
The latest chapter was about Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun’s night chitchat. Initially, they were not familiar with each other in the boudoir. They did not expect that a selection decree would connect their fate together. Along the way, Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun gradually became familiar with each other. The more familiar they were, the more Ren Yujun felt that Zhou Shunhua was good-natured and completely different from the women she had known before.
The noble ladies only played with the noble ladies. Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun chose the same room because they wanted to stay together. Tonight, the two of them lay on the bed and chat. After some inquiring, Ren Yujun was completely bowled over by Zhou Shunhua’s insights. They even exchanged keepsakes and became sworn sisters.
Tang Shishi rolled her eyes vigorously, and in the end, it was the vicious supporting female Tang Shishi who promoted Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun to unite together. Everyone wanted to deal with Tang Shishi, naturally formed an alliance in pairs and then formed groups.
Tang Shishi deliberately went through the book with malicious intention. Sure enough, the sisters’ bond with the female lead would break down eventually, these sisters betrayed the female lead one after another. In the end, Ren Yujun even became the biggest rival to the female lead.
In any case, no matter who was the best friend of the female lead, only the female lead could have a good life. The fate of these sisters was extremely miserable. Naturally, Tang Shishi was also quite miserable.
Tang Shishi read the updated plot back and forth twice to make sure that no details were missed, close the book and seemed to be lost in thought. In the story of the original book, although Tang Shishi was exposed, she was not transferred to another residence and merely took the reward from Shizi. Today, the flow of the plot was more or less the same, but many details were different.
Tang Shishi immediately enlightened that the plot could be changed! She just guessed the key point wrong once. Tang Shishi believed that as long as she continued to strive, she would definitely be able to reverse the impression of the male lead on her and snatch away the role of the female lead!
Tang Shishi was ambitious to go through the book. This time she had to figure out what the next plot was.
Tang Shishi looked at the contents of the next chapter and gradually fell into contemplation.
“Ren Yujun mistakenly poisoned, Zhou Shunhua solved the puzzle timely.”
Solving puzzles? What puzzle?