It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 25 Drunk
Zhou Shunhua got drunk easily with just a sip, but she could not refuse it at the banquet. After two drinks, her face quickly turned red, her eyes blurred and she was obviously drunk. Zhou Shunhua was afraid that she would lose self-control if she stayed any longer, so she quietly left the banquet and wanted to go outside to sober up. However, Zhou Shunhua did not know how attractive she was. Zhao Zixun worried that Zhou Shunhua would be taken advantage of and soon followed after her.
Afterward, Zhou Shunhua was almost molested by a man. Fortunately, Zhao Zixun arrived in time and drove him away. Zhou Shunhua was already delirious. She saw Zhao Zixun, hugged Zhao Zixun with flushed cheeks, and confided a lot of truth.
At that time, the grassland was quiet and calm, and the two of them sat on the hillside and spoke for a long time. Finally, Zhou Shunhua fell asleep on the meadow, Zhao Zixun carried her up and took her back to the tent in front of everyone.
Tang Shishi closed her book and covered her eyes grieving. Because of her different brain circuits, she was often out of tune with men and women. It turned out that she could not be a female lead, not only because she was not kind enough, but also because her wine tolerance was too good.
Tang Shishi recalled what she had read, found that the female lead was either a delicate young lady of an affluent family or a steadfast peasant girl, but without exception, all of them were drunk after drinking wine. Her complexion was flushed and weak and she had a story with the male lead. Then she had close contact with him. Anyway, there was no such thing as Tang Shishi, who could drink like a strong Mongolian Han man and not inflict any damage.
Zhou Shunhua borrowed the wine to tell Shizi the truth and got carried princess style by Zhao Zixun. On the contrary, Tang Shishi and Narentuoya, two naïve people, were still together having drinks.
After her grief, Tang Shishi reluctantly sorted out her mood and thought about remedies. What had happened could not be changed. Instead of being upset and blaming herself, it was better to think about how to remedy it. Tang Shishi went to the contents of the book to check the spoiler. Relying on the title, she speculated that most of the following plots were related to Narentuoya.
Narentuoya was just an insignificant small role in the struggle of the female lead, and her play was not even as much as Tang Shishi. After entering the palace, Tang Shishi was granted the imperial concubine and was favored. At her peak period, Tang Shishi even threatened the status of the female lead. However, Narentuoya only appeared in autumn hunting, and her only role was probably to fall in love with the male lead. Because of jealousy, she constantly provoked the female lead and set off Zhou Shunhua’s indifference and magnanimity with her own pettiness and ignorance. In the end, she boldly confessed to Zhao Zixun but was bumped into by Zhou Shunhua, thus completing the important task of helping the male and female leads to recognize their feelings and transform their relationship.
In the plot, Tang Shishi did not participate in the autumn hunting, so there was no part of Tang Shishi’s role in it. In other words, Tang Shishi wanted to add her own play. After reading the titles of the next few chapters three times, Tang Shishi was afraid to make any decisions rashly.
She found that her thinking was different from that of the male and female leads. Starting from the discovery of assassins in the relay post station, Tang Shishi perfectly missed every correct option and succeeded in getting further and further away from the male lead. She could no longer follow her own way of thinking anymore. If she chose the wrong path a few more times, she would have to leave ahead of time.
After learning from her painful experience, Tang Shishi decided to sharpen her knife first before cutting the firewood. As the saying goes, to know oneself and the enemy, one could win a hundred battles. She must first understand Zhao Zixun’s ideas, and only then could she make a choice that Zhao Zixun likes.
When Tang Shishi heard a sound outside, she hid the book and crept outside softly and quietly. A guard was passing by with something in his hand. When Tang Shishi saw him, she immediately stopped him, “Wait, don’t leave.”
The guard saw that it was Tang Shishi. He stopped and asked respectfully, “What can I do for you, Miss Tang?”
“I’m just a maid. You don’t have to be so polite to me. We can just talk like normal.” Tang Shishi said and asked, “Has Wangye come back?”
“Yes, the banquet is over. Wangye already sent Zhongshun Wang away and he just got back.”
Tang Shishi gave an “Oh” sound. She looked at the things in the guard’s hand and asked, “What’s this?”
Tang Shishi thought that this was a Heaven-given opportunity. Was there anyone in the world who knew Shizi better than Jing Wang? She came forward to take the things, said to the guard, “I’ll send it in. You can go and have a rest.”
The guard knew that Miss Tang was unusual, and she was most likely the future mistress of the Jing Wang mansion. The guard did not say much, he handed the sober tea to Tang Shishi, and left wittily, “Thank you, Miss Tang. I’m leaving.”
Tang Shishi took the tea and walked cautiously inside. Zhao Chengjun was indeed inside. He took off his sword and was still wearing the big red dragon robe, but it was a little less stern and gentler than before.
Zhao Chengjun was sitting on the couch, pressing his fingers between his eyebrows, closing his eyes, and resting. When he heard footsteps, he said, “Bring it over.”
Tang Shishi put tea in front of Zhao Chengjun. Zhao Chengjun took the tea, and he was not surprised at all that it was her, “Just talk, what do you want?”
Tang Shishi smiled awkwardly and said softly, “Thank you Wangye for saving me.”
Tang Shishi thought that Zhao Chengjun would exchange pleasantries, but Zhao Chengjun just said “Hm” and stopped talking.
Tang Shishi’s smile gradually stiffened. When a woman thanked him, Jing Wang directly responded like that? This… how could she proceed with the next topic?
Tang Shishi could only bite the bullet and continued to talk to herself, “Wangye, thank you for just now. If it wasn’t for you today, I don’t know what to do. By the way, Wangye, Narentuoya is the jewel of Zhongshun Wang. I have defeated her several times, will it affect the overall situation?”
Zhao Chengjun laughed, and finally raised his head and glanced at Tang Shishi with a smile, “Now only you remember the effects of the overall situation? When you were singing and dancing just now, why didn’t you worry about the overall situation?”
Tang Shishi smiled awkwardly, and said flatly, “Wasn’t Wangye there. Only when Wangye is there, does this little girl dare to be presumptuous. Wangye, why did you let Shizi save Narentuoya today?”
Tang Shishi did not know what happened when she startled the horse, but without Jing Wang’s consent, Zhao Zixun would never have rescued Narentuoya. Anji Timur, Temur, and the rest of the Beiting people were there. If Zhao Zixun did not go, Narentuoya would not have had an accident.
Zhao Chengjun said in a light tone, “He was at the intersection at the time. There is nothing wrong with not saving people, but the people of Beiting will be bitterly disappointed. It is better to take advantage of the circumstances and do a good show.”
Tang Shishi paused for a while and asked quietly, “Then why is it have to be Shizi?”
As long as the people from the Yan Dynasty rescued Narentuoya, Jing Wang’s goal would have been achieved. Why did Zhao Zixun have to go?
Zhao Chengjun took the teacup and slowly skimmed the foam. After a long time, he said, “What do you want to ask?”
This was a very strange matter. Tang Shishi would choose proper words and sentences when she was in front of Zhao Zixun, hoping that every strand of her hair was perfect. However, in front of Zhao Chengjun, she did not care so much whether he minded or not. Tang Shishi asked, “Do you want Shizi to marry Narentuoya?”
Zhao Chengjun heard and immediately laughed, lightly sneering, “How is that possible.”
“Anji Timur had only got a daughter when he was nearly forty years old. He usually doted on her very much, and it is not an exaggeration to say that she makes endless demands. Zhao Zixun wants to inherit the Jing Wang mansion, which represents the face of the Yan Dynasty, so he must not have a foreign concubine but not all women are legitimate wives. If Narentuoya has feelings for Zhao Zixun, she will still remember Zhao Zixun after she returns to Beiting. When the time comes, Anji Timur spare the rat to save the dishes*, and he will inevitably be restrained, and even on some key points, it will have a miraculous effect.”
(spare the rat to save the dishes* – hold back from acting against an evildoer for fear of involving good people)
Tang Shishi was silent. After a moment, she said in a low voice, “Wangye, you are using the feelings of a young girl.”
“Why not.” Zhao Chengjun did not care, sipped his tea lightly,” The world is like a chess game, everyone is a pawn. I am a bargaining chip too. Why can’t I?”
Tang Shishi was a little angry but did not know how to say it. She held back for a long time, and said angrily, “You are unmarried yourself, why don’t you use your marriage instead of playing tricks with your son?”
“This.” Zhao Chengjun put down the tea and said casually, “Because I am Jing Wang, and he is just Shizi. Is that enough?”
“… …” Tang Shishi was dejected and utterly speechless.
The more Tang Shishi felt that Zhao Chengjun was not easy to deal with, the closer she got to him, the more dreadful he was. Those people who grew up in the Imperial Palace’s ground were all cold-blooded from the bottom.
Only now did Zhao Chengjun look at Tang Shishi, and suddenly say, “You can drink well.”
Tang Shishi was thinking about something when she heard Zhao Chengjun’s voice. She was stumped for a moment, “Yes, my grandfather started from scratch and has been in business for many years. Although my father was in dire straits when he was young, he was also from a business family of several generations. In fact, I rarely drink alcohol and my capacity for alcohol cannot be counted as excellent. Only thanks to the good foundation given by my elders.”
Zhao Chengjun chuckled, “It’s also your rare strength. It’s a good way to avoid being taken advantage of.”
Tang Shishi was a little moved and was just about to thank him, she heard Zhao Chengjun continue to say, “All the mistakes were made by oneself when sober, can’t blame anyone.”
“… …” Tang Shishi silently withdrew her feelings. She felt that her brain was damaged by alcohol, even feeling that Zhao Chengjun actually cared about her.
How could it be possible, he even used his son’s feelings.
In another tent, Zhao Zixun watched Zhou Shunhua finish drinking sober tea with his own eyes, and asked, “What about now, is it better?”
Zhou Shunhua lay on the couch and nodded silently, “It’s much better. Thank you, Shizi.”
Zhou Shunhua’s face was still blushing. After the dizziness, she gradually felt a headache. Due to the influence of her health, Zhou Shunhua’s state of mind was indescribably downcast. She looked at Zhao Zixun and said in a low voice, “Shizi, I don’t have the ability to hold drinks. So I can only leave the banquet early, but Shizi is different from me. There are still so many people at the banquet…”
“It doesn’t matter.” Zhao Zixun said, “You are in danger, and I can’t just sit back and watch. Besides, there is also my father. The Beiting people are mainly here for my father, I just accompany him.”
When it came to Jing Wang, Zhou Shunhua did not dare say anymore. She knew very well that Jing Wang was different from other men she had met. He was both capable and heartless enough. If Jing Wang wanted to kill her, Zhou Shunhua would die silently, immediately. She still had her life now and Zhou Shunhua did not think her life was in any danger.
Zhou Shunhua did not dare to instigate Zhao Chengjun’s relationship with Zhao Zixun. She could guarantee that if she expressed this kind of meaning a little bit, even if she just mentioned it, she would be killed suddenly in the tent tomorrow morning. At that time, everything would be over.
In this sense, Zhou Shunhua was quite envious of Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi made no secret of her ambition. Everyone felt that her mind was simple, malicious, and stupid, and not a threat, so everyone trusted her. For example, Empress Dowager Yao, Feng Momo, and Jing Wang.
Was Tang Shishi really stupid? No one knew. In the end, Tang Shishi wandered back and forth among several influences, each side trusted her, each side felt that she was their own, and firmly believed that she would not betray them.
Maybe when dealing with smart people, you had to have Tang Shishi’s type of personality. No matter how close two people are, they could not really genuinely trust each other.
Zhou Shunhua, on the other hand, did not really hide her inferiority or win the trust of Jing Wang or Empress Dowager Yao. She always trembled with fear. Even in front of Zhao Zixun, she would calculate which was a better choice to please him than to show her true feelings. The more she calculated like this, the more she was concerned about gains and losses, the more she would be abominable.
Zhou Shunhua clearly knew where her crux was, but at this moment, she could not help lowering her eyes and saying speciously, “Thanks to Miss Tang today. Miss Tang is good at singing and dancing. Even the little princess of Beiting is inferior to her. She really stood up for me.”
After Zhou Shunhua finished speaking, she observed Zhao Zixun’s expression. Zhao Zixun paused, avoiding talking, and just said, “You are not the same as her. She is too sharp that everything is written on her face, which is out of character.”
Zhou Shunhua lowered her eyes, and she naturally did not miss it. From Zhao Zixun’s words, he no longer showed obvious disgust as before. Zhao Zixun hated Tang Shishi very much at first, but his ill-feelings gradually turned better as time went on.
Zhao Zixun said that Tang Shishi was out of character. Noblewomen should not fight or seize, be as elegant as lotus, and Tang Shishi was very actively competing for what she wanted. This was indeed not implicit enough, and not decent enough, but it was undeniable that Tang Shishi got everything she wanted in the end.
Even Zhao Zixun, who Tang Shishi had been fighting for, had unconsciously changed his attitude. Tang Shishi finally had succeeded.
As a result, what was the use of saving dignity? The real deal was only if one could live well.
Zhou Shunhua stared at Zhao Zixun silently. She knew that she had to take strong medicine to eliminate her inferiority.
On the second day, the camp was bustling with noises and excitement early in the morning. Today was the first day of hunting, and everyone was gearing up and very excited. Before daybreak, the entrance of the camp was full of people with gorgeous attire of the rich and dignified people with tall horses, which showcased the splendor of noble hunting.
But these have nothing to do with Tang Shishi. Because she was a woman, she could not ride a horse or shoot an arrow, so she had to stay in the camp and wait for the hunt to return. Tang Shishi respectfully sent Jing Wang out. It did not take long for the sound of the whole team to come from outside, then the ground shook and the sound of the horses’ hooves began to disappear, and gradually you could not hear it anymore.
Jing Wang left, and the camp was quiet. Tang Shishi walked around the tent. She was so bored that she went outside to practice horseback riding.
Waiting for good luck to happen was never Tang Shishi’s style. If she had no chance, she would create opportunities for herself. The reason why Jing Wang did not bring any womenfolk was that women’s riding skills were poor. What if her riding skills were enough to keep up with most of the team?
Although it was unlikely, it was better to have hope than to sit quietly and wait for death. Tang Shishi went to practice horseback riding on the meadow for a whole day. She was much stronger today than yesterday and could already control the horse trot. Tang Shishi focused on controlling the horse, did not pay attention to the distance, and did not realize she had gone far away.
Tang Shishi looked back at the starting point and thought it was not suitable to take the risks to wander around. She planned to ride her horse back to the camp. She only managed to trot a few steps, when suddenly the ground under her feet vibrated, and Tang Shishi immediately realized that Jing Wang and the others had returned.
Her horse was obedient earlier, with that she quickly pulled the horse to one side. However, when she was anxious, the horse became disobedient. The more anxious Tang Shishi was, the more mistakes she made. When she turned her head, out of hopelessness, she discovered that Jing Wang had returned, and she happened to be stuck in the middle.
She felt really wrong, and she did not mean it.
Zhao Chengjun was originally advancing at full speed. He saw someone in front of him from a distance and was familiar with the silhouette. He had anticipated what would happen next and reined in his horse prematurely. People behind noticed that Zhao Chengjun was slowing down, and they stopped one after another.
Jiaoxue stomped his horse’s hoof irritably and stopped halfway impatiently. Zhao Chengjun held the rein loosely in his hand and asked, “What are you doing?”
Tang Shishi pointed at the horse, and said innocently, “To Welcome Wangye. I didn’t mean to interrupt, but this horse, it’s not very obedient…”
Before Tang Shishi finished speaking, the horse moved, walked forward slowly, and step aside. Tang Shishi was extremely embarrassed, and she tried to make herself more sincere, “Just now, the horse was really disobedient.”
Anji Timur laughed, and the attendants behind Jing Wang also had an expression of “we understood”. Tang Shishi had lost her face for this lifetime, she moved aside silently, and did not want to speak anymore.
The inside camp also heard the outside movement, Narentuoya rushed over quickly, and her voice could be heard from far away, “Father Khan, where’s the white mink I wanted?”
Narentuoya rushed over on horseback, and Anji Timur saw Narentuoya and said with a smile, “Naya baby, look at the wild boar I brought back for you.”
Narentuoya rushed to her father, saw the prey behind, and said in disgust, “Who wants to see the wild boar. My white mink?”
Where could you find mink in this season. However, Princess Narentuoya had a fit of temper and was quite indifferent. Anji Timur and Temur showed Narentuoya several kinds of prey, but she was not satisfied.
Tang Shishi followed, and carefully hid in the large team. She found that Zhao Chengjun took a look at Zhao Zixun, Zhao Zixun understood immediately, and took the initiative to say to Narentuoya, “Princess, although there is no white mink, I saw a fox today.”
“Fox?” Narentuoya’s interest had shifted, and she turned around, “Where is the fox?”
Narentuoya was originally mixed in the Beiting’s team and did not pay attention to Jing Wang’s side. At this time, she turned around and found that there was a woman in the team, and she was Tang Shishi.
Narentuoya suddenly seemed to have seen something amazing and did not ask about the fox anymore. She rode straight across the team and asked aggressively, “Why are you here?”
Tang Shishi was also very innocent, “I came here and happened to meet Wangye who came back from hunting.”
“Coincidentally?” Narentuoya snorted and raised her eyebrows, “Who believe it! Did you go hunting with them?”
Tang Shishi secretly looked at Zhao Chengjun. After all, Shizi was still waiting to send the fox to Narentuoya. Why did Narentuoya not pester Zhao Zixun, but run to Tang Shishi instead? Tang Shishi tried to turn Narentuoya’s attention back to Shizi, “No, how can I go hunting with my riding skills? Princess, I’m going back. I will not accompany you. “
Tang Shishi turned around, but Narentuoya did not leave. She still followed Tang Shishi closely, “Where are you going? Are you hiding something from me, and now you have a guilty conscience?”
The original intention of Tang Shishi was to make room for Shizi, but as the result, the room was not opened, and she actually took Narentuoya away from the team. Tang Shishi shuddered, quickly returned to the team, and trot softy towards Zhao Zixun.
However, Narentuoya’s whole attention was on Tang Shishi, and she asked questions around Tang Shishi, but she did not answer Zhao Zixun at all. Tang Shishi was embarrassed. Narentuoya as an unruly supporting character, should not her goal be Shizi, and for what reason did she look for Tang Shishi?
Tang Shishi was forced to enjoy the enthusiastic attention of the Beiting’s Princess and stayed with her along the way but Tang Shishi ignored her. Narentuoya reluctantly took the initiative to find a topic to talk about with Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi could not even sit on her horse peacefully. Fortunately, she was a woman. If she were a man, she would have been beaten to death by Beiting people.
Narentuoya circled Tang Shishi all the way and did not pay attention to other people. The fox that Zhao Zixun got from the hunting was naturally unsettled. After arriving at the camp, everyone dismounted and counted their prey, and Narentuoya was finally called away by her father. When Tang Shishi was free, she ran to explain to Zhao Chengjun, “Wangye, I didn’t mean it.”
Last night, Zhao Chengjun spoke without reservation, and Narentuoya was part of his plan. Zhao Chengjun naturally would not let Zhao Zixun have a substantive relationship with Narentuoya, but the specious ambiguity between men and women, on the contrary, was more of prodding than catching people.
No matter how brave Tang Shishi was, she did not dare to confront Zhao Chengjun. It was Zhao Chengjun’s idea to send the fox today, but Tang Shishi did not know what was going on. Narentuoya boldly showed her love to Zhao Zixun yesterday. Today, as if she had amnesia, she kept circling Tang Shishi.
As a result, Zhao Zixun finished talking, but the fox did not get to get sent it out. It seemed like Tang Shishi deliberately sabotaged his plan.
Zhao Chengjun smiled lightly, “No worries, it’s also good.”
Tang Shishi’s back was chilly. Zhao Chengjun’s smile was more frightening than his cold face. Tang Shishi had goosebumps on her arm and said cautiously, “I’m sorry, Wangye. What can I do to make up for it?”
Zhao Chengjun looked at her with a smile, “Those who don’t know are not guilty. You don’t need to apologize. Anyway, it’s the same for anyone to send it. It’s alright, you can go.”