IBTBTED Chapter 31
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 31 Rescued
Tang Shishi’s cold fingers held the sword tightly. She did not know whether she was afraid or cold, and her whole body was shaking. In fact, she did not know how to use a sword at all, and she could not lift it with her strength. If they were really Tatars, the only thing Shishi Tang would do was to stop them by herself.
The place was soon surrounded. The leader clearly saw the situation inside. He was overjoyed and yelled, “Found him, Wangye is here!”
A crowd of people swarmed up, and Tang Shishi drew her sword, without shying away from the tip of the sword, and pointed directly at this group of people, “Who are you?”
The leader was determined to save Zhao Chengjun, and he did not pay attention to Tang Shishi next to him. Tang Shishi suddenly drew her sword, and he was almost cut. He stepped back in a hurry to avoid the danger. After calming down, he looked at Tang Shishi and frowned, “What are you doing? Oh, you really are from the palace, and now you have finally revealed your foxtail.”
Tang Shishi had been tense all night, and now her spirit has reached its maximum. She sneered, no matter who he was, she shouted with all her strength, “Get out!”
There was confusion around them. They wanted to go forward to rescue Jing Wang, but Tang Shishi was swinging a sword at them. They were afraid that Tang Shishi would accidentally hit Jing Wang, so they had to stop being reckless at once. In the middle of the deadlocked, a man came up from behind and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Everyone turned around, and they were overjoyed when they saw the newcomer, “Shizi.”
Everyone gave way to Zhao Zixun. Zhao Zixun separated the crowd and walked to the forefront. There was still a bandage on his arm, which seemed that he had just been bandaged. Zhao Zixun saw Zhao Chengjun at a glance. He then looked at Tang Shishi, who was holding the sword tightly and somewhat deliriously. He sighed a little, “Tang Shishi, it’s me. Put the sword down. My father has lost too much blood and needs immediate treatment.”
Zhao Zixun originally thought that Tang Shishi did not know the people of the outer courtyard of the mansion, so it was normal for her to refuse to release the sword, but Zhao Zixun was Shizi. Once he came forward, people who were suspicious and did not understand the situation should believe it. However, unexpectedly, Tang Shishi still stared at Zhao Zixun with a vigilant gaze, the sword in her hand refused to loosen, “Who knows what exactly you are doing?”
Zhao Zixun was surprised and said unexpectedly, “I doubt myself? I am Shizi, how could I harm my father?”
Tang Shishi was in the rain all night, and her mind became slower and slower, unknowingly revealing her true attitude towards Zhao Zixun. Now that she heard Zhao Zixun’s words, Tang Shishi was sober.
Yeah, what was she doing? This was Zhao Zixun, the current son of the Jing Wang mansion and the future Emperor.
This was the male lead.
Tang Shishi was stunned, and the eyes of the people around her became strange. In their opinion, Jing Wang adopted Zhao Zixun, provided him with rich clothing, and jade food, and taught him the six arts of civil and martial arts. Zhao Zixun did not have enough time to be grateful to Jing Wang and how could he take advantage of Jing Wang? Tang Shishi suspected that others could barely interpret it that way. However, when she saw Zhao Zixun, she unconsciously stopped him.
The unconscious mind would not deceive people. There was only one possibility, that was, she was a spy and wanted to prevent them from saving Jing Wang.
Tang Shishi in the eyes of the crowd was getting worse and worse. This was very simple logic. Zhao Zixun was the adopted son of Jing Wang. Jing Wang was very kind to him, and Zhao Zixun was usually very filial to him. However, Tang Shishi was a woman sent by Empress Dowager Yao. At first sight, she was a disaster.
There was no need to choose who the officers of the Jing Wang mansion would believe. After all, anyone could betray, but his own blood would not.
If Tang Shishi did not know the back end of the plot, she would think so too. However, as early as the beginning of the story, Zhao Chengjun’s end was already written.
Empress Dowager Yao was in great turmoil and formed a clique for personal gain. Zhao Chengjun attacked the capital in the name of serving the Emperor and then attempted to usurp the throne and become Emperor himself. Those who conspire against the Imperial Court would be punished. Soldiers were raised from everywhere and Zhao Chengjun led the people to fight the rebellion. At the end of a battle, he died after being attacked by a hidden arrow.
Although Zhao Chengjun died, the insurgency in various places has basically subsided. Zhao Zixun ascended the throne as the crown prince, took over the good situation, and flexed his fist. After a few years, Zhao Zixun secured the throne and made his biological father Xu Jing as prince and his mother, Xu as the nation’s mother. Although Xu was the nation’s mother, she was admitted to the Imperial Court and enjoyed the honor of Empress Dowager. Later, Zhao Zixun did not even bother about the façade, so he directly made Xu Jing, the Emperor, and Xu, the Empress Dowager.
Since then, the ruling family had changed from the Zhao family to the Xu family.
Zhao Chengjun devoted all his life fighting all over the world. In the end, he was not the one who was remembered by the world. Only a vague sentence in the history books was left, “to encounter a flying arrow, clearly an end.”
There was no merit, no record, and not even an incense in the ancestral temple.
When Tang Shishi first read the perspective of the male lead from the beginning, she thought that he would win the throne without fighting, sat on top of the world, had three thousand beauty, and not only that, he made his father and grandfather the Emperors. Thereon, Zhao Zixun was indeed the son chosen by Heaven. She only sighed when she turned the page and found out that Zhao Chengjun adopted someone else’s son and worked hard to cultivate him for many years. In the end, the adopted son recognized his birth father and mother and abandon Zhao Chengjun. What was Zhao Chengjun’s vision when he was busy fighting for the world?
At that time, she felt that it was a background story, a steppingstone of the male lead’s journey to ascend to the throne to be an Emperor. When he died, he died. What did it have to do with Tang Shishi? Now, however, Tang Shishi wavered.
She could not help thinking about whether Zhao Chengjun really died in an accident. Was it really a coincidence that he did not die sooner or later, but after he had solved the rebellion in various places, and was shot to death by a swift arrow when he returned in triumph to the Imperial Court?
“Maybe the Buddha sees the Buddha and the evil sees the evil”. Tang Shishi has always thought that Zhao Zixun was not innocent. After all, Zhao Zixun was the biggest and only beneficiary of Zhao Chengjun’s death.
After a long standoff, Zhao Zixun’s face gradually cooled down. He glanced at the sword in Tang Shishi’s hand and asked, “Tang Shishi, what do you mean? You don’t even trust me?”
Tang Shishi moved her lips twice and finally did not say anything. She put down the sword and allowed them to get to Zhao Chengjun who was behind her, “Naturally not. This little girl was too nervous and admitted the wrong person. Please forgive me.”
Zhao Zixun was still a Shizi. He had neither real power nor status. He would never harm Zhao Chengjun at this time. Tang Shishi had just brought into the perspective of later generations, thus unconsciously guarded against Zhao Zixun.
After Tang Shishi stepped aside, Zhao Zixun and other officials rushed forward and immediately surround Zhao Chengjun securely. Before she knew it, Tang Shishi was pushed to the outermost. She had been exposed to the rain all night, and now she was as cold as ice. After she was pushed out suddenly, she could hardly stand firmly.
Her body was shaking, and she stabilized herself by holding on to the tree beside her. Tang Shishi stretched out her hand to press her forehead, and the coolness of her fingers spread to the center of her eyebrows. Tang Shishi’s mind was awakened for a moment.
Tang Shishi secretly warned herself not to make the same mistake as tonight again. Her goal was Zhao Zixun, and all her actions must be based on the interests of Zhao Zixun.
Next time, she must not stand on the opposite side of Zhao Zixun.
Zhao Chengjun slept a long-lost peaceful sleep. In the dream, the darkness rose and fell, and his consciousness sometimes sunk into darkness, and sometimes returned to the memory of his early youth.
He had not thought of life in the Imperial Palace for a long time.
In the dream, his concubine mother was still there, and Rouyi Hall was warm as spring. His third brother took him to play outside the palace every day, and sometimes he was caught by his second brother. The second brother said that he wanted to tell his Taifu and Emperor Father, but each time, he helped to conceal it for them.
Since the death of Imperial Concubine Gonglie, Zhao Chengjun seldom dreamed. He could not even fall asleep peacefully. He usually laid down for a long time before he could even feel his sleepiness, even then, that sleepiness was very shallow, a little wind and grass movement would have woken him up. Oftentimes, he would awaken by himself even when there was no sound.
As soon as he closed his eyes, he saw his concubine mother’s body hanging in the Rouyi Hall, swaying like a white flag. Sometimes, he would dream that his third brother was seriously ill and the eunuch of Empress Dowager Yao was choking his throat, “Now the whole palace is busy with the affairs of the late Emperor’s funeral, and the imperial hospital could not spare any people. Come to think about it, since Teng Wang is a lucky person and with Heaven and Imperial Consort Gonglie’s blessing, you will surely recover by yourself.”
But this time, Zhao Chengjun met his elder brother, who was still young, and his mood was calm. He awoke peacefully from his dream with a touch of sadness in his heart.
He knew that they were gone, and he knew that dreams were just dreams. But such a dream was more like remembering one’s family than a nightmare.
Zhao Chengjun moved his body and sat up from his bed with the support of his arms. He made a sound inside, and the people outside heard it. They quickly lifted the curtain and came in. When they saw Zhao Chengjun wake up, they were pleasantly surprised, “Wangye, you are awake!”
Zhao Chengjun had not spoken for too long, so his voice was a little strained. His voice was hoarse, and he asked, “When time is it?”
“Wangye, the time is youshi (5 – 7 pm) now.”
“Twelfth of the ninth month.”
Twelfth of the ninth month... Zhao Chengjun secretly thought to himself that the day of the attack was on the tenth night of September, which meant, he had been sleeping for two days and one night. Zhao Chengjun asked again, “What about her?”
Zhao Chengjun asked “her”, but the guard did not recognize a man or a woman and thought he was referring to Shizi. The bodyguard clasped his fist, “Wangye, Shizi has just left. Shizi has been by Wangye’s side for the past two days. He stayed up all night last night and refuse to leave no matter how others persuaded him. Today, the imperial physician said that your condition has stabilized. Since Shizi still has injuries on his body and should not be overworked, Shizi was advised to go back to rest. Shizi has just left. He will be very happy to know that you are awake. I’m going to call Shizi here!”
Zhao Chengjun tapped his fingers on the edge of the bed, which was a sign of his impatience. He held back his mood swings and still said calmly, “No need. Where is Tang Shishi?”
The guard was shocked. The first thing when Wangye woke up was not to ask about the assassin, or to be concerned about his son’s injury, but to ask a woman? The guard looked up in astonishment. Zhao Chengjun glanced at him faintly. The guard immediately retracted his gaze and said respectfully, “Wangye, Miss Tang has returned to camp. She is…”
When the guard said this, he was stunned suddenly, and he all of the sudden realized that he did not know about Tang Shishi’s whereabouts.
Wangye was injured and unconscious. Everyone in the camp was tumultuous like the sky was going to fall and were too occupied attending Jing Wang. Who cared about a little beauty? If Jing Wang had not asked, the guards would not have remembered this person.
The guard hesitated and said uncertainly, “She is probably in her tent…”
Zhao Chengjun’s expression became colder and colder when he saw the guard’s attitude. Without saying anything, he got up from the bed, drape over a piece of clothing, and walked out.
The guard was shocked and hurried to catch up, “Wangye, you are not healed yet. Please don’t simply move.”
After the guard spoke, the curtain of the main tent was lifted by another wave of people. After the news of Zhao Chengjun’s awake spread out, all tents were alarmed. Everyone rushed over with the imperial physician, and even Zhao Zixun rushed to the tent.
As soon as they entered the tent, they ran into Zhao Chengjun. They were shocked to see Zhao Chengjun was about to go out. The imperial physician nagged, “Wangye, I haven’t checked your pulse yet. How can you get out of bed by yourself…”
Zhao Chengjun’s face was cold, and he just glanced at the group of people lightly, “Get out of the way.”
Everyone was silent, no one dared to say one more word, and they all gave way to Zhao Chengjun. After Zhao Chengjun left the tent, he walked straight to Tang Shishi’s tent without stopping.
Tang Shishi’s tent was very close to the main tent, but the treatment was very different. Zhao Chengjun’s tent was guarded the whole day the day before, and the shortage of water and charcoal was immediately made up. However, Tang Shishi’s tent was deserted as no one cared.
Tang Shishi was lying face-in only half covered by the quilt with her hair scattered all over the sleeping couch. The little fox was licking Tang Shishi’s fingers, and when it heard the sound of footsteps, it squealed and cried to Zhao Chengjun in surprise.
Zhao Chengjun did not care about the fox. He was thinking that it was improper for man and woman to touch each other, so he stood closer to her and called in a low voice, “Tang Shishi?”
Tang Shishi did not move for a long time. The fox was turning around the couch. Its cry was rapid, and its claws made thin white marks on the edge of the couch, which obviously showed that it was worried. Zhao Chengjun was no longer evasive. He sat down on the edge of the couch and reached for Tang Shishi’s forehead.
As soon as he touched it, his fingers flinched unexpectedly. Zhao Chengjun without delay lay Tang Shishi with her face up. As expected, Tang Shishi’s forehead was hot, her cheeks were flushed, and her lips were abnormally dry and chapped.
She has a fever.
Zhao Chengjun looked back at the teacup on the table and was immediately furious. He stood up, his voice furious, and deliberately suppressed his voice, “She has high fever for two days. During this period, you didn’t even pay attention to her. Even no one sends water to her?”
A group of guards stood at the door submissively and did not dare to raise their heads. Zhao Chengjun suppressed his anger and said coldly, “Call the imperial physician.”