IBTBTED Chapter 32
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 32 Recuperating
Tang Shishi did not sleep well. After she followed the rescuers back to the camp, she began to have a fever that night. She used up her last willpower to hide the book from her sleeve in the corner and then fell on the sleeping couch, completely losing all her consciousness.
There was a fire in her dream and her whole body was roasted on a rack. Tang Shishi was unable to breathe smoothly. She vaguely felt that her present state was very dangerous, and she had to wake up quickly, but she has been struggling for a long time and could not break free from her dream.
She slept like this for a long time. Later, it seems that someone was sitting beside her, reaching out to touch her forehead, and pulling the quilt for her. Later, there were more footsteps in the background. People were coming and going in her ears, someone gave her medicine, and someone moistened her lips with cotton. Tang Shishi felt better and fell into a deep slumber.
She did not know how long she had slept. When she woke up, all the windows on all sides were hanging down, and could hear the sound of pitter-pattering from outside. It was raining again.
Tang Shishi opened her eyes for a long time before she could remember where she was. She wanted to sit up, but she did not know if she could move. Only when she was able to move a little bit, did she realize that her body was sore and weak.
She felt like she was doing her best, but in fact, she was only able to move her fingers slightly. Fortunately, her voice alarmed the people outside, and soon someone walked around the screen and came in to check on her. When the other party saw Tang Shishi awake, she was taken aback for a while, and immediately put on a smile, “You are awake.”
Tang Shishi looked at the visitor, her eyebrows raised up, “Zhou Shunhua, why is it you?”
“I am here to take care of you by Wangye’s order.” Zhou Shunhua said, and then shouted to the soldiers outside the tent, “Miss Tang is awake, go and invite Wangye here.”
Tang Shishi slowed down for a while. After accumulating her strength, she sat up and supported herself. Seeing this, Zhou Shunhua came forward to help Tang Shishi to sit down and bring her a cup of tea.
Tang Shishi’s voice was hoarse, almost unable to speak. She finally felt her throat was better after drinking a full cup of tea. Tang Shishi looked around, “Are we still in the paddock?”
“Where is Shizi?”
Zhao Chengjun had just entered the door when he heard this sentence. Zhao Chengjun paused for a short while and continued to walk into the tent steadily. Across the screen, the situation inside was blurred, and only vaguely saw a woman with long hair in white clothes, weakly leaning on the bed, such a small figure.
She could not even say words properly and yet the first thing she woke up was to ask about Zhao Zixun. Zhao Chengjun did not know what to say about Tang Shishi. Looking at a person who could handle it well, she was desperate for love in the end.
Zhao Chengjun walked fast, and it was only after he came in that the guard remembered to notify the people inside. When Tang Shishi and Zhou Shunhua heard Zhao Chengjun was coming, they stopped talking in an instant. Zhou Shunhua stood up and saluted Zhao Chengjun, Tang Shishi also remembered but was stopped by Zhao Chengjun, “Don’t move, take care of yourself.”
Tang Shishi thanked him and slowly leaned back on the couch. Since Zhao Chengjun was here, Zhou Shunhua naturally did not dare to continue sitting on the couch. She stood on the side of the screen with her hands folded together and left some room for them.
Zhao Chengjun did not mean to sit down. He waved his hand, and the imperial physician behind him immediately came forward with a box and gave Tang Shishi a pulse. After checking for a while, the doctor stood up and bowed, “Wangye, Miss Tang’s fever has subsided. If she drinks some more medicine to strengthen her body, she will be cured.”
Zhao Chengjun nodded, “You can go to dispense the medicine.”
After the imperial physician left, Zhao Chengjun walked to the edge of the couch and stretched out two fingers. His gesture was like a gesture of flicking the forehead, Tang Shishi unconsciously hid backward to avoid it, Zhao Chengjun’s fingers fell in the air, and cast his eyes down at her, “What are you trying to avoid?”
Tang Shishi smiled with embarrassment and said tactfully, “Didn’t the imperial physician say everything is fine now?”
Why did he still want to hit her?
Zhao Chengjun did not understand her logic, but he still continued to move forward. Seeing that Tang Shishi was about to avoid again, Zhao Chengjun glanced at her lightly, and Tang Shishi held back stiffly. Zhao Chengjun put his finger on Tang Shishi’s forehead and felt for a while, “It’s much better. You sweat a lot these days. So, don’t expose yourself to the wind. Don’t let her go out these days.”
These latter words were addressed to Zhou Shunhua, and there was a teacup on the table which was the one that Tang Shishi had just used. Zhao Chengjun saw it and glanced at it, “Remove the tea. From now on, only use boiled water and add some coarse salt to it. Then, serve it to her daily.”
Zhou Shunhua took notes one by one, bent her knees, and replied, “Yes.”
Tang Shishi was shocked. She thought Zhao Chengjun had come to settle accounts with her but did not expect him to just come to ask about her condition. She looked at Zhao Chengjun, then turned to look at Zhou Shunhua, and found something wrong.
Tang Shishi tentatively asked, “Wangye, Sister Zhou is here…”
Zhou Shunhua took the initiative to step forward and replied, “There are only two women in the camp. Miss Tang is sick, and it’s not convenient for a man to get close. Therefore, I have been taking care of Miss Tang during this time.”
Tang Shishi guessed it was due to practicality. She instinctively wanted to laugh. She tilted her lips for a moment, then quickly held back and said hypocritically, “How interesting this is…”
Tang Shishi was resting on the couch, while both Zhao Chengjun and Zhou Shunhua were both standings which made them much taller than Tang Shishi. Zhao Chengjun occupied a higher degree of advantage due to his height. As long as he bowed his head, he could capture all of Tang Shishi’s tiny expressions.
Zhao Chengjun saw through Tang Shishi’s careful thoughts at a glance. Although he still had a solemn expression, the corners of his mouth lifted slightly. The little fox surrounded Zhao Chengjun’s feet, biting Zhao Chengjun’s hem with boldness. The people around him were so scared that they did not dare to breathe, but Zhao Chengjun was in a good mood. It was rare that it did not bother him. He just kicked the little fox gently and said, “Just focus on recuperating. Don’t have any other idea that you shouldn’t have.”
The last sentence was vaguely a warning, but Tang Shishi did not even think about it. She said cleverly, “Yes.”
No matter what the people from above said, just agreed to it now. Anyway, she would not listen. As soon as Zhao Chengjun saw Tang Shishi’s expression, he knew that she did not care at all and would not repent.
Zhao Chengjun held back because she was a patient, “It’s better to be so.”
With that, Zhao Chengjun turned around and walked out. When he got to the door, Tang Shishi suddenly thought of something and quickly asked, “Wangye, what’s about your injuries?”
Zhao Chengjun’s footsteps paused slightly. He was really surprised. He did not turn around, and said indifferently, “No problem. You don’t have to worry about it and recuperate with peace of mind.”
After Zhao Chengjun’s figure disappeared completely, the air in the tent seemed to flow again. Zhou Shunhua walked slowly towards Tang Shishi, “Wangye is very kind to you.”
Tang Shishi rolled her eyes secretly. On the surface, she still said to Zhou Shunhua affectionately, “Wangye is kind-hearted. He can’t bear to let me die from an illness. Shizi really cares about Sister Zhou too.”
Zhou Shunhua smiled and refused to comment. Zhou Shunhua moved a round stool and sat on the edge of Tang Shishi’s couch, pretending to peel fruit for her. When Tang Shishi saw it, she quickly declined, “Sister Zhou, you and I are in the same position as sisters. Also, your family background is still higher. How can you do the job of serving others?”
Tang Shishi blurted out, but her body did not move, allowing Zhou Shunhua to peel the fruits. Zhou Shunhua said, “No worries, Wangye asked me to take care of you. I should do these things of serving tea and delivering water.”
Tang Shishi was very comfortable, even her long illness was lightened. Tang Shishi was setting off firecrackers in her heart, but she still has to pretend to be polite, “I’m so sorry, Sister Zhou has been working hard these days.”
“It’s not hard at all.” Zhou Shunhua smiled, showing no resentment or unwillingness at all as if she should have been like this. “Princess Narentuoya and Zhongshun Wang came to visit Wangye in the camp two days ago. Princess specially detours to see you. At that time you were still feverish and unconscious. After waiting for a while, Princess left first.”
Tang Shishi replied with an “Um”. Since assassins appeared in the paddock, neither Zhao Chengjun nor Anji Timur could rest assured, so the hunting could only be stopped halfway. After all, Zhongshun Wang was a vassal of the Yan Dynasty, and Jing Wang was injured, whether it was due to sentiment or logic, Anji Timur had to come to visit as a mere formality. Unexpectedly, Narentuoya also specially came to visit Tang Shishi.
Tang Shishi asked, “Zhongshun Wang and Princess have left already?”
“Yes.” Zhou Shunhua said, “Zhongshun Wang set off after visiting Jing Wang. It has been four days now.”
Tang Shishi was speechless when she heard about the duration, “How long have I been unconscious?”
“Counting the first two days, a total of seven days.”
Tang Shishi murmured, “Unexpectedly so long.”
Zhou Shunhua did not speak, but she was thinking that life was really hard. Tang Shishi had a high fever for seven days. For the first two days, because Jing Wang was unconscious, no one paid any attention to Tang Shishi at all. Tang Shishi had a fever and fainted for two days before the food supplies entered the camp, but she was still able to survive. After Jing Wang woke up, he immediately mobilized the best resources and even transported medicine from thousands of miles away, which could be regarded as saving Tang Shishi’s life.
Tang Shishi did not know what happened during her unconscious period. She thought she just had a fever. Tang Shishi stroked her heart, “There will be a blessing after surviving a calamity. It shows that I will be blessed in the future.”
Zhou Shunhua smiled and nodded in response, “That’s right.”
Tang Shishi knew that she was fine, Jing Wang was fine, and Zhao Zixun was fine. After that, she immediately cheered up and ignited her boundless passion. This was a plot that was not in the original book. Tang Shishi could still survive, indicating that she was destined to be the Empress Dowager! Tang Shishi was full of confidence, and only then could she pay attention to other things. She asked, “Who was the assassins that day, and has it been caught?”
“Yes, it was the Tatars.” Zhou Shunhua said, “These people were interrogated by Wangye himself. I don’t know more about them.”
These were enough. Tang Shishi did not care about the smaller details. She only cared about her plot. Tang Shishi asked again, “Where was Shizi? On that day, Wangye thought that Shizi have fallen off the cliff. Wangye went to the bottom of the cliff to look for Shizi, but he was accidentally ambushed. Did Shizi fall off the cliff? How was he found?”
Zhou Shunhua had also experienced these things, and no one knew the details better than her. Zhou Shunhua lowered her eyes, “We were chased by assassins. Later, Shizi fought and broke through a blood path, and took me to hide in a crack of a tree to escape. We haven’t been to the cliff.”
Tang Shishi said “Oh” slowly. Sure enough, the traces on the edge of the cliff were forged. She thought, how could such a high cliff fall unscathed? Thinking of this, Tang Shishi finally remembered one thing, “I remember you blocked a sword for Shizi. Are you still injured?”
Zhou Shunhua stroked her shoulders, “I’m good. It’s just skin injuries, not serious.”
Tang Shishi was a little embarrassed. The female lead blocked the sword for Shizi and was injured. After returning to the camp, Zhou Shunhua was taken by Zhao Chengjun to take care of her without rest. It could be said that Zhao Chengjun really did not do personnel affairs.
A complete lack of tender heart for the fairer sex.
Tang Shishi said, “Sister Zhou has worked hard, I almost forgot that you still have injuries. It’s a pity that I was unconscious and didn’t know the outside situation. If I have known, I would not let this happen.”
In other words, this was an order from Zhao Chengjun, and if she hated it, then hate Zhao Chengjun. Anyway, it had nothing to do with her Tang Shishi.
Zhou Shunhua smiled, “What is Miss Tang saying? I have a rough appearance. How can I compare with Miss Tang? Don’t say that Miss Tang was seriously ill at that time. Even in normal times, I should take care of you.”
There seemed to be something wrong with Zhou Shunhua’s words. For a moment, Tang Shishi could not figure out what was wrong. She was silent for a while, and inadvertently provoked, “Sister Zhou is such a beautiful woman like a refined jade but have to take care of other’s injuries. I can’t bear to see it. If Shizi knew about this, how distressed he could be.”
Zhou Shunhua smiled slightly, and her eyes flashed a hint of loneliness. She lowered her head and quickly concealed her expression, “I don’t deserve it. Miss Tang is beautiful and valued by Wangye. I am just a maid. It’s a blessing for me to be able to take care of Miss Tang. How can I dare to climb up on Shizi?”
Tang Shishi finally understood what was wrong just now. Zhou Shunhua put her in the position of Wangye’s woman when she was talking around the circle earlier. Zhou Shunhua, as a maid of Shizi, must be obedient and tolerant. After Tang Shishi understood her meaning, her inner feelings were quite complicated.
Tang Shishi did not expect to be flattered by the female lead, not like a legitimate wife towards a concubine, or as an empress towards an imperial concubine, but rather as an elder. It would be a bit strange to correct her at this point. Tang Shishi wanted to explain that she had nothing to do with Jing Wang, but she did not want to prolong Zhou Shunhua’s prestige, and finally vaguely said, “It’s not as good as you said, nothing more than coincidence.”
Tang Shishi comfortably recuperated from her illness for several days, and when she woke up, she pretended to be forced to call Zhou Shunhua. Zhou Shunhua was worthy of the title Empress after fighting in the Imperial Palace for twenty years. Her patience was first-class. No matter how Tang Shishi acted like a demon, Zhou Shunhua was not angry. She just resigned herself to adversity and endured without protest, like a little daughter-in-law who was tortured by a wicked mother-in-law.
Tang Shishi was shocked by her realization till she has goosebumps. Then, she lay bored for several days and found that there was no indication of returning home. Finally, Tang Shishi could not help and for the first time, she quietly walked outside while others were not paying attention to her. She was not stopped by anyone on the way out, but as soon as she lifted the curtain, she was stopped by the guards outside, “Miss Tang, Wangye asked you to recuperate in the camp and not go out.”
Tang Shishi was discouraged, she knew that Jing Wang would not let her go easily. Tang Shishi asked, “I don’t want to go out, I just want to get some fresh air. By the way, since the paddock is not safe and Zhongshun Wang already left, why we haven’t set off yet? What is Wangye waiting for?”
The guard looked straight, “Waiting for Miss Tang to get well.”
Tang Shishi was surprised. She thought it was a joke, but the soldier looked serious with no signs of joking with her. While they were talking here, the main tent heard the movement outside, and the door of the main tent was lifted.
Zhao Chengjun walked out slowly, “What’s the matter?”
Tang Shishi had no choice but to repeat what she said just now, “Wangye, Zhongshun Wang has left. When are we leaving?”
Zhao Chengjun looked at Tang Shishi, suddenly stepped forward, and leaned towards her forehead. Tang Shishi tolerated his action and did not hide. When the soldiers on duty saw his action, they were surprised with eyes open wide silently.
Zhao Chengjun asked, “Are you better?”
Tang Shishi did not dare to move, and nodded stiffly, “I’m better.”
Zhao Chengjun retracted his hand and said casually, “Then let’s go. Pass the order that we are heading back to Xiping province.”