It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 23 Frighten Horse
Tang Shishi angrily walked to the horse. She quietly looked back at the other side while combing her horse mane.
Zhao Zixun taught Zhou Shunhua how to ride a horse and taught her how to control the reins. Later, Zhou Shunhua could not step on the stirrups, and Zhao Zixun held her waist, half dragging and half hugging to send her up.
Tang Shishi spat angrily in her heart. She was angry when she stepped on the stirrup and straddled on the horse. She was still thinking when she got on the horse, look at her, her movements were neat, her legs were straight, she has no bends or arches, her posture was perfect.
She, Tang Shishi might not be able to ride a horse, but she must have a good posture. Tang Shishi performed her beautiful movements on purpose, but it was a pity that Zhao Zixun was still comforting Zhou Shunhua, who was afraid to straighten up and did not look in her direction at all.
Tang Shishi was so angry that she kept pulling the reins. Now everyone on the meadow was moving about. It would seem strange if she stopped here. Tang Shishi could only let go of the reins and let the horse take small steps forward, trying to “unintentionally” go to Zhao Zixun’s side.
Tang Shishi was secretly calculating the distance. Unexpectedly, when she was halfway there, there were sounds of horse hooves coming from behind. A young man with a dirty face and inexplicably large clothes came up to Tang Shishi, sizing her from top to bottom very impolitely, “Are you the beauty everyone was talking about? I don’t think so.”
Tang Shishi snorted and chuckled, “Are you a man?”
The petite young man tensed up, “What do you mean?”
“As long as you are a man, you will never have this kind of thought.” Tang Shishi casually brushed off her messy hair, and raised her neck, “Obviously, I am beautiful and slender, and I am the first-rate beauty in the imperial court.”
The young man snorted heavily, and said with disdain, “Based on you?”
Without warning, the young man drew a whip on Tang Shishi’s horse butt, and the horse under Tang Shishi neighed and rushed forward.
Tang Shishi was tilted back by the force of inertia and almost fell off her horse. Tang Shishi panicked and immediately carried forward her fine traditions from childhood to adulthood. If Tang Shishi was unlucky, she would have to squeeze that young man back to death!
Tang Shishi did not have time to straighten up. Her first reaction was to whip that young man. Because of her position, Tang Shishi accidentally whipped the young man’s horse’s eye. The horse whined and ran around in pain.
Both horses were frightened, and especially the horse of the young man was seriously frightened. The young man’s horse could not see, and it ran around instinctively, which was extremely dangerous. The young man shrieked and grabbed the horse’s mane firmly.
This voice… Tang Shishi was surprised. Why was this young man’s voice so sharp? Was he a eunuch?
It was a pity that Tang Shishi has no time to think about that young man’s matters. Although her horse was tame, it was not without temper. The young man’s whip was very powerful, and the horse was frightened and galloped on the grassland at full speed.
Tang Shishi just learned how to ride a horse this afternoon. She could only trot with her horse slowly and could not control any intense movement yet. Tang Shishi even felt that her arms began to weaken, she was about to lose her grip on the mane and soon would fall off.
Zhao Chengjun was showing his mount to Anji Timur when he suddenly heard a horse’s neigh coming from behind him. Immediately afterward, another roaring neigh of pain came from another horse.
Zhao Chengjun turned around and saw Tang Shishi’s horse was out of control. She was bumping right and left on her horse as if about to fall anytime and anywhere. Not far away, a thin and weak young man’s horse was also startled.
The two horses ran in different directions, and both of them were in danger. Zhao Chengjun’s expression changed, before he had time to explain, he turned over and mounted on Jiaoxue, and galloped forward quickly.
Jiaoxue was a warhorse, had experienced many battles with Zhao Chengjun and had long been in touch with his master. After Zhao Chengjun mounted the horse, no need to command and Jiaoxue already ran forward at full speed. Jiaoxue passed by many people, and when he passed Zhao Zixun, Zhao Chengjun said quickly, “Go and save Narentuoya.”
Zhao Zixun was about to set off. Hearing Zhao Chengjun’s voice, he abruptly reined in his horse, swiftly glanced in the direction of Tang Shishi, and turned around silently.
Zhao Chengjun quickly caught up with Tang Shishi. He skillfully controlled Jiaoxue’s speed to match Tang Shishi’s horse. Zhao Chengjun said to Tang Shishi, “Let go of the reins.”
“No way.” Tang Shishi thought that Zhao Chengjun asked her to jump off the horse and held her mane more tightly. “Falling will hurt my face!”
She still has time to think about her face. Zhao Chengjun was helpless and urged Jiaoxue to get closer to Tang Shishi, “Let it go. Give me your hand.”
It was very dangerous for the two horses to be too close to each other. Tang Shishi’s arm was already so sore that she could not feel it. All she could feel was the horse’s forelegs rising and neighed forcefully. Tang Shishi could no longer hold her mane and fell backward. Time seemed to slow down when she was weightless. Tang Shishi clearly felt that she was falling backward and she could imagine that she must have landed on the back of her head when she fell.
Suddenly, there was a strong force on her arm, and then, her waist was encircled by someone, which completely led her in another direction. Tang Shishi was put on a horse and completely lost her reaction. She could only feel the arm around her waist was extremely powerful, as if it could not be shaken like iron.
Zhao Chengjun brought Tang Shishi to his horse, immediately held the reins, and controlled Jiaoxue to change direction. If two horses were too close, they would affect each other. If they were not careful, Jiaoxue would be frightened.
Fortunately, Zhao Chengjun had excellent horsemanship skills. Jiaoxue took a turn, galloped fast on the overgrown grass, and then his mood quickly stabilized. Jiaoxue’s speed was very fast, and Tang Shishi was still in shock. Immediately, her body was stiffened all over with fright.
Sensing that Tang Shishi was too scared to move, Zhao Chengjun asked, “Didn’t you say you could ride a horse?”
“I was just talking about it.” Tang Shishi closed her eyes, no matter what was behind her, she buried herself firmly to the rear, “Wangye, can you slow down?”
Zhao Chengjun could only control Jiaoxue to slow down slowly. Tang Shishi tightly clutched Zhao Chengjun’s sleeves. Thus, Zhao Chengjun was inconvenient to move and had to pull it out several times. He had no choice but to say, “Okay, it’s stopped. You can open your eyes now.”
Tang Shishi slowly opened her eyes and found that it was indeed safe. Jiaoxue was walking across the green grass steadily, and the evening breeze was cool and comfortable, blowing her hair around.
Tang Shishi could not help but breathe a sigh of relief. Then, she found that she was clutching someone’s clothes tightly, and yet the fabric looked very familiar. Tang Shishi was taken aback, reacted abruptly, and quickly released it, “Wangye, please forgive me. I didn’t mean it.”
Later, Tang Shishi realized that she was leaning on Jing Wang, in fact, for a long time. Tang Shishi’s whole body was stiff, did not dare to continue to use force, and did not dare to move away. She could only try hard to straighten her back and keep a distance from Zhao Chengjun.
At the moment, Zhao Chengjun did not pay attention to Tang Shishi’s movement. He was staring at the front, Tang Shishi noticed his gaze, followed, and found that Zhao Zixun was saving another person. Zhao Zixun’s horse-riding skills were not as good as Zhao Chengjun’s, so he could not save the young man and pull him onto his own horse. Seeing that the young man was about to fall, Zhao Zixun hugged her fiercely, buffered her with his body, and rolled on the gentle slope for a long time.
Tang Shishi was bewildered and wronged. Why did Shizi save this young man? Their horses were startled at the same time. Shizi would rather choose a man than her?
Could not think about it, the more she thought about it, the sadder she felt.
Tang Shishi was sad. She immediately transferred her anger to another person. She was too busy to complain to Zhao Chengjun, “Wangye, that person is plotting against me. He has absolutely no law, not only despising our imperial court but also despising you, Jing Wang! Wangye, you don’t despite him?
Zhao Chengjun chuckled softly and said from behind, “I can’t control it. That’s Anji Timur’s daughter. In our name, she should be a princess.”
Zhao Chengjun looked down at Tang Shishi, “It’s so obvious that she disguised herself as a man. Don’t you know?”
Tang Shishi really did not know. She was stunned for a long time and could not say anything, “So, is that a woman, or the daughter of Zhongshun Wang?”
Zhao Chengjun did not speak. He pulled his horse, Jiaoxue to slow down in the overgrown grass, and slowly walked up to the other two. Zhao Zixun stood up from the ground and asked in a low voice whether Narentuoya was injured. Hearing the sound of horse hooves, Zhao Zixun raised his head and saluted Zhao Chengjun, “Father.”
Narentuoya apparently did not seem to recover from her shock yet. Her face was white and black at the same time, and she looked unusually comical. However, her eyes were sparkling especially when she was looking at Zhao Zixun and her appearance almost glowed.
This time no one would admit that this petite young man was actually a woman.
When Narentuoya saw Zhao Zixun’s salute, only then did she react to Zhao Chengjun according to the etiquettes in the Beiting, “Jing Wang. Thank you for sending someone to save me.”
Zhao Chengjun sat on the horse, holding the reins loosely in his hand without any intention of dismounting his horse, “It’s my duty. However, Princess should be careful next time.”
Tang Shishi’s horse was startled first based on the horse’s neigh, followed by Narentuoya. Obviously, it was Narentuoya who provoked her first. Then she fell into this circumstance completely because of herself.
Had it not been for the sake of Beiting, Zhao Chengjun would not care about this kind of arrogant and reckless young lady. After Zhao Chengjun finished speaking, he moved his reins and wanted to go back.
Tang Shishi looked at Zhao Zixun, who had sacrificed his life to save a beauty, and Narentuoya, who has full of admiration for her savior. She felt a sense of crisis sprung up unbidden. Could it be that this was her rival in love?
Heaven ah… Tang Shishi could not even handle Zhou Shunhua. How could she fight with another foreign princess?
Tang Shishi was full of hostility to Narentuoya. She did not like the culprit who startled her horse. Now she knows that she is a rival in love. How could Tang Shishi have a good face? Tang Shishi found that there was only one horse left on the grass, but there were two people, Narentuoya and Zhao Zixun. Zhao Zixun would likely take Narentuoya back.
How could this work! Tang Shishi got agitated immediately, “Wangye, thank you for saving me. I dare not trouble you anymore. Please put me down.”
“Good ah.” Zhao Chengjun faintly replied, “Then you can go back by yourself.”
Tang Shishi looked at the endless overgrown grass in front of her, then looked back at Narentuoya who was already on the horse, and immediately said, “Thank you, Wangye.”
On the return journey, Zhao Chengjun seemed to take care of Tang Shishi’s well-being, the speed was not too fast. After he reached the meadow, a group of people immediately surrounded them, Zhao Chengjun dismounted and handed the reins to his men. Sitting on the horse, Tang Shishi also followed Zhao Chengjun’s agile movement and jumped down.
It has to be said that whatever the beauty did was pleasing to the eyes, especially the movement of Tang Shishi dismounting from the horse. She deliberately practiced her movements, natural and smooth, which were valiant and beautiful. After Tang Shishi stood up, she found many people looking at her and asked in confusion, “What’s the matter?”
Zhao Chengjun turned around and ignored Tang Shishi’s words and continued to give orders in taking care of Jiaoxue. At this time, Zhao Zixun also returned with Narentuoya. As soon as the two of them got closer, Anji Timur hurried up to meet them, “Naya!”
“Father Khan!” Narentuoya jumped off the horse and quickly rushed into Anji Timur’s arms. Anji Timur asked gently for a while, and then took his daughter to Zhao Chengjun’s side and thanked Zhao Chengjun, “Thank you, Jing Wang, for the rescue. Naya, this child who is disobedient and ridiculed us.”
Zhao Chengjun replied with a smile, “No harm. Next time, please ask Princess not to do this kind of thing that will harm others and herself.”
Others would spoil Narentuoya, but Zhao Chengjun would not. Zhao Chengjun made no secret of his dissatisfaction with Narentuoya, and Narentuoya stuck out her tongue and hid behind her father.
She turned her eyes to the back and saw Zhao Zixun not far away. Narentuoya thought that Wangye was indifferent and harsh, but his son was likable.
In the evening, the camp held a bonfire banquet to welcome the guests from Beiting from afar. Tang Shishi changed her clothes. When she arrived at the banquet, she found Narentuoya was already there. Narentuoya changed into a woman’s clothing and her hair was combed again. When she dressed up as a man during the daytime, she looked weird. However, now that she changed back into a woman’s clothing, she looked gorgeous.
At this moment, Zhao Chengjun had not come yet, and Zhao Zixun had arrived early to greet Temur by the bonfire. Narentuoya showed an extremely strong affection for Zhao Zixun, and that was certain. Relying on the convenience of her identity, she surrounded Zhao Zixun and made no secret of her teasing words and actions.
Zhou Shunhua stood far away on the fence, looking at the other side, and a little lost. Tang Shishi walked to her side and said softly, “He treats you differently. Why not stop it since you don’t like it?”
“Me?” Zhou Shunhua sneered and said sarcastically, “What can I stop? A man with three wives and four concubines is ordinary. Besides, she is the daughter of Zhongshun Wang, and I am just an ordinary maid. What qualification do I have to tell the princess of Zhongshun Wang?”
Tang Shishi did not speak, and after a while, she said softly, “Why not. She is just a princess, is it different?”
Tang Shishi always felt that she would fight for what she wanted. It was destiny to be born into a family, but it was her own choice to live.
For what reason to let her go just because she was a princess and the daughter of Beiting’s Wangye? Tang Shishi insisted on fighting with her.
The grassland people were worthy of their name, good at singing and dancing. Narentuoya had no accompanying music, but she could dance spontaneously. When she was spinning, she had no idea whether she did not see or did not control well, but she spun directly to Zhao Zixun. Zhao Zixun stepped back and held Narentuoya’s arm, “Princess, please be careful.”
Narentuoya took advantage of the situation and leaned on Zhao Zixun, raising her eyebrows, “Shizi, what do you think of me compared to the women in the Central Plains?”
Zhao Zixun did not dodge and said with a smile, “Princess is joking. Each has its own merits. There is no comparison between them.”
Narentuoya snorted and said, “You Han people are always so ambiguous in your speech and refuse to make others happy. You just want me to say that women in the Central Plains can’t go out of the door, and they cry when they are pierced by a needle. They are just like a sheep, inflexible and boring.”
Narentuoya was not polite with her words, but Zhao Zixun was a man. It was not easy to compete with her. He just smiled, “Naturally not as talented as Princess.”
“I can’t agree with what the princess has said.” As Zhao Zixun and Narentuoya were talking, Tang Shishi walked over. Tang Shishi wore a red dress that made her look very valiant and extremely gorgeous. Her countenance against the flame was magnificent with an inviolable sense of majestic, and when she smiles, it was like spring flowers blooming instantly.
Tang Shishi smiled, “Hearing a hundred times is not as good as seeing it once. Since Princess is curious about Han’s women, why let others assess it, why not try it yourself? Princess Narentuoya, please enlighten me.”