IBTBTED Chapter 33
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 33 Plastic
Tongxiu carried her skirt and ran quickly along the corridor. Before she approached the gate, she stopped and took a deep breath, and when her breath calmed down, she hurried toward the gate.
At this time, Jing Wang’s carriages just stopped at the gate one after another, and the womenfolk’s carriage did not stop and drove directly to the second gate. While unloading things, Tongxiu asked the accompanying guard, “Why did Wangye only come back now? It was many days later than expected. Was there a delay on the road?”
“No.” The guard replied, “It’s Miss Tang who is ill. Wangye has been waiting for Miss Tang to get well before he set off the journey.”
Tongxiu seemed to hear something from the fantasy world, her eyes widened in disbelief, and she could not understand the guard’s words at all. Was not Jing Wang hate trouble the most, especially when he has to prolong the whole journey due to one person. One of the womenfolk fell ill and Jing Wang did not throw the person away, yet he was waiting at the relay post station for the woman to get better?
At this time, a little eunuch hurried over and called, “Tongxiu Gugu.”
Tongxiu answered quickly. The eunuch stopped panting, “Gugu, Steward Liu has something to say. He wanted you to call the mansion’s imperial physicians as soon as possible.”
“What?” Tongxiu was immediately nervous, “Is Wangye injured?”
“No, it’s for Miss Tang to check her pulse.”
Tang Shishi recovered from a serious illness, but her illness kept coming back and forth along the way. Jing Wang stopped at the relay post station for three days, but Tang Shishi wanted to return to the mansion urgently and reluctantly said that she was well at that time. As soon as she entered the second gate, she could not hold it anymore and quickly went back to her courtyard to rest.
In the Jianjia courtyard, the maids had been busy since they received the news that Jing Wang was on the way back. When they heard the news of the carriages entering the gate, Dujuan was surprised, “Why is it so fast?”
Just now a young manservant reported that there was still a stick of incense, but they came back in a blink of an eye. Dujuan hurriedly went outside to greet Tang Shishi. As soon as she went out, she saw Tang Shishi being escorted and walked back looking sickly.
Dujuan was very surprised when she saw Tang Shishi’s complexion. She helped Tang Shishi through the door, and the maid inside quickly served hot tea, put cushions, and some cakes for her. After everything was arranged, Dujuan poured a cup of tea for Tang Shishi, and carefully looked at Tang Shishi’s face, “Miss, what’s the matter with you?”
Tang Shishi supported her forehead and said weakly, “It rained in the paddock. I caught a cold and have not been well on the journey. It’s not a problem, I just need to sleep.”
After hearing this, Dujuan exclaimed, “You are actually infected with a cold. Miss, you go lie down first, and I’ll make ginger soup for you.”
Before Tang Shishi had time to stop her, Dujuan hurriedly ran outside the room. She had just left the doorway and met a group of people. What she wanted to say was stuck in her belly. Her tongue became numb, “Liu… Liu Gonggong? Gonggong is always busy, why are you here?”
Liu Ji said with a friendly smile, “Wangye has ordered to check on Miss Tang’s pulse. Is Miss Tang inside?”
Dujuan glanced inwardly, suddenly reacted, and hurriedly gave way to Liu Ji and a group of imperial physicians, “Miss is inside.”
Tang Shishi was holding her forehead and closing her eyes temporarily to calm her dizzy mind. She opened her eyes slightly when she heard the movement outside the door. When she saw Liu Ji, she was about to stand up, but Liu Ji quickly stopped her, “Miss, you shouldn’t. Your body is delicate, just rest.”
Liu Ji supported Tang Shishi, and Tang Shishi’s refusal failed, so she could only sit down. Liu Ji personally helped Tang Shishi to sit down and put a cushion behind her back. Then he said to the imperial physicians behind him, “Please check this young lady’s pulse. This is what Wangye personally ordered. You must do your best and never leave this young lady with a root cause.”
The oldest and most qualified imperial physician stepped forward, he placed a handkerchief over and gently feel Tang Shishi’s pulse. He pondered for a while, saluted, and stepped aside. Then another imperial physician stepped forward and diagnosed Tang Shishi’s pulse again.
After the two had finished checking her pulse, they discussed it in a low voice for a long time. When Liu Ji saw they were almost done discussing, “How is Miss Tang’s illness?”
The two imperial physicians reached a consensus, and the oldest of them stood up, “Liu Gonggong, Miss Tang was frightened, and fell ill due to the rain and internal heat. When she had a fever, she was not treated in time. Fortunately, there was no problem with the fever. Now the most dangerous time has passed. This young lady can get better by drinking some mild tonics and slowly warming her body up for a few months, and she will be better.”
The diagnosis result was no different from the imperial physician who had seen her before. Tang Shishi had no expression on her face, but Liu Ji was relieved, “That’s good. Go and write the prescription quickly. You only need to consider the effects of the medicines, and no need to worry about the price. No matter what you need, go directly to the warehouse to get it.”
With Liu Ji’s words, the few imperial physicians have a clear idea. They bowed and cupped their hands together and saluted, “Yes. We will leave now.”
After the imperial physicians left, Tang Shishi said, “Liu Gonggong took care of me so much. It’s just a minor illness. How can it be worth the effort?”
“Your recuperation was ordered by Wangye himself. Your affairs are also the affairs of the entire mansion.” Liu Ji calmly looked at Tang Shishi, and said with a smile, “You can rest with peace of mind. This little medicine money is nothing to Wangye. I heard that you have done a good job on this hunting trip. Congratulations to you. In the future, I hope you will help this old servant.”
“Gonggong, why did you say like that?” Tang Shishi said with a smile, “Thanks to the trust of Gonggong that led to what I am today. In the future, I still count on Gonggong to continue to take care of me.”
Liu Ji finally had a real smile and arched his hand, “Miss, Wangye has just returned and there are still many things to be arranged in the outer courtyard. I’ll leave for a while, but when I’m done, I’ll come to check on you again.”
Tang Shishi stood up, “This is natural. Gonggong is a busy person and I dare not delay your time. I will send Gonggong out.”
“No need”. Liu Ji stopped her, “Miss is still ill. You have not healed from illness yet and should not go outside to expose yourself to the wind. I’ll go by myself, and you stay.”
Tang Shishi still sent Liu Ji to the doorway. After Liu Ji’s repeated stoppage, she stopped and signaled Dujuan, “Dujuan, follow Gonggong and send him out for me.”
Dujuan complied and served Liu Gonggong by walking beside him leaving the courtyard in smaller steps. Tang Shishi stood by the door and watched Liu Ji’s figure leave the courtyard gate before slowly returning to the room.
The maid in the room stepped forward cautiously, “Miss, the imperial physicians’ prescriptions have been sent for decoction, and it will take a while to be done. Would you like to lie down for a while?”
Tang Shishi nodded, “Yes.”
Tang Shishi changed into comfortable home clothes, spread her hair, lay on the bed, and sighed. She had been on the bumpy road outside for a month, and she still has a fever when she got back. Tang Shishi’s bones were aching with pain. She leaned on the bedpost and asked the maid casually, “Did anything happen in the mansion during the time when I was gone?”
The servant girl thought about it, “It’s no big deal. Since Wangye and Shizi were not here, those in the Liuyun courtyard were rather calm. Recently, the affairs within the mansion have been very busy. I heard from the maid beside Tongxiu Gugu said that the mansion is going to marry a Shizifei soon.”
“Oh?” Tang Shishi raised her eyebrows in surprise, “So fast?”
“It’s a little fast, but the betrothal gift has been prepared long ago and just needs to follow the proprieties now. Tongxiu Gugu has been very busy recently until she has no time to rest. After this busy period ends and Shizifei entered the door, Tongxiu Gugu will be able to enjoy some time off.”
Tang Shishi just laughed at it, “Maybe.”
Tang Shishi wanted to have a few days of peace and quiet, but it did not work out. The next morning, her courtyard has been bustling with noises and excitement first thing in the morning.
Ji Xinxian, Feng Qian, and others came to visit the sick, and even the proud Ren Yujun also came. The eight women, each bringing their maid along, took a seat in the room and it was an exceptional spectacular sight.
Feng Qian sat next to Tang Shishi’s bed, holding Tang Shishi’s hand affectionally, “Sister Tang, you have only been out for a month, so why are you so thin? I can’t bear to see you like this. I hate that I can’t substitute with my body.”
Ji Xinxian and Tang Shishi were not so close, unlike Feng Qian sitting on the edge of the bed, she was sitting far away on the arhat bed. Hearing Feng Qian’s words, Ji Xinxian sneered, and said strangely, “Substitute her body? Miss Tang has made a great contribution. When she got sick this time, didn’t you see how nervous Wangye was? You wanted to replace Tang Shishi with your body, do you want to take the place of Tang Shishi to get sick, or do you want to take the place of other’s favor?”
Feng Qian was aggrieved and bit her lip, “Ji Xinxian, what are you talking about? You’re not ashamed of saying such things.”
Tang Shishi rolled her eyes in her heart. The people in this room were all plastic sisters. On the surface, they were sisters, but behind their backs, they were dripping with acid. They were all foxes for thousands of years. Why were they still pretending to be pure?
Tang Shishi smiled softly and coughed twice sickly when she turned her head. Then she could not help but say, “Don’t quarrel. I blamed my bad health. I was sick on the road and delayed the trip. Wangye was kind-hearted and couldn’t bear to see me die of illness. This is only one or two allowances I was given. Wangye is wise and powerful, benevolent and generous. No matter who is sick, he will not ignore it.”
Tang Shishi gave the halo to Jing Wang and up to Jing Wang to decide. In this way, he called the imperial physicians for Tang Shishi not to treat the sick, but rather to pity the sick. Sure enough, after Tang Shishi finished speaking, a room full of women either drank tea or caress their hair, and no more ranting.
Tang Shishi sighed relief. Afterward, using the traditional virtues of the court, she casually said, “Besides, how can I be regarded as meritorious? Wangye is the master of pen and sword with incredible foresight. I will only drag down Wangye. It’s Sister Zhou who has made great contributions.”
Ren Yujun had been hiding behind the crowd, hearing this, her eyes slowly enlarged, “What?”
Tang Shishi exaggeratedly covered her mouth, and held her throat, “Sister Ren doesn’t even know? Sister Zhou sacrificed her life to block a sword for Shizi. Shizi was very moved. Shizi has been taking care of Sister Zhou personally for the past few days, and the two of them were inseparable. Since Sister Zhou did not come today, I thought you knew that she was recuperating and didn’t call her on purpose. It turned out that Sister Zhou didn’t tell Sister Ren?”
Tang Shishi has never been defeated in this type of eccentric and instigated verbiage. Ren Yujun’s face turned pale, “I didn’t know. I went to see her yesterday and she didn’t tell me.”
Zhou Shunhua blocked a sword for Zhao Zixun, and her position in Zhao Zixun’s heart rose immediately. Zhou Shunhua did not move back to Liuyun courtyard this time but went to recuperate in Zhao Zixun’s courtyard.
In theory, was to recuperate, but it was self-evident what was going on behind the scenes.
Tang Shishi successfully provoked the female lead and her sisterhood bond and was satisfied. Because of what happened yesterday, Tang Shishi was regarded as a thorn in the eyes of all women. Now Tang Shishi threw out the promise of life and death between Zhou Shunhua and Shizi, and all the beauties’ attention was suddenly diverted.
After all, Shizi was the target of many people. Tang Shishi danced a happy dance. Now she was still in a boudoir, with no name, no share, no favor, no love, but Zhou Shunhua suddenly leaped.
In this group of beauties, they could accept that they were not favored, but they absolutely could not accept that others were more favored than themselves. Especially when that person was her sister.
There was a moment of silence in the room, and all the beauties sat on their seats, either looking down silently, or lowered their heads to drink tea, or quietly looking at their friends. Anyway, none of them was idle. After the success of Tang Shishi’s provocation, she began to cough happily, implying that they could roll.
The news of Zhou Shunhua being accepted by Shizi immediately spread all over the rear courtyard. In the meanwhile, Tang Shishi leaned on the beauty couch to bask in the sun, and the whole person was lazy.
Dujuan was massaging Tang Shishi’s legs, “Miss, are you anxious?”
“What am I anxious for?”
Dujuan stopped talking, and at last, she could only make it clearer, “Beauty Zhou has been accepted by Shizi. I heard that she has been quite favored recently. Shizi stayed with her for consecutive five days. Miss has been recuperating in the room and didn’t even leave the door all day. Plus, Wangye’s errands also stopped. Miss, you can’t relax like this.”
Tang Shishi did not raise her eyelids, and said nonchalantly, “It’s rare for Wangye to exempt me from the study room. I’m so happy about it. Why should I go look for trouble myself? Anyway, it’s what he said, let me recuperate peacefully and not have to worry about anything before I get well. I’m ordered to recover from illness, why not?”
Dujuan had no choice but to break the jar and clarify it thoroughly, “But Miss, Shizifei will enter the mansion at the end of the year, at the very most no more than a month from now. You have been valued by Wangye. You should take advantage of this time to gather up people and establish your position. If you wait for Shizifei to enter the mansion, Shizifei will be in charge of the entire mansion, and it won’t be easy for you to meddle in later.”
Tang Shishi opened her eyes, “What, Lu Yufei will enter the mansion at the end of the year?”
“Yes.” Dujuan looks at Tang Shishi strangely, “It has been spread throughout the mansion that Shizi and Miss Lu will be getting married in the twelfth month. I thought you knew about it.”
“I don’t know.” Tang Shishi suddenly sat up solemnly, “Isn’t it the third month next year?”
“Originally it was scheduled for the third month next year, but I don’t know what’s going on. Wangye decided to move forward the wedding date.”
Tang Shishi frowned, “It’s only been two months from sending betrothal gifts to getting married. It’s too fast. Why?”
Dujuan shook her head, “I don’t know.”
For some reason, Tang Shishi suddenly remembered the rainy night of the attack. She told Zhao Chengjun that Zhao Zixun did not like Shizifei. In the future, he might spoil his concubine and abandon his wife and elevate his concubine as his legitimate wife.
Sure enough, Zhao Chengjun was really taboo against such things. As soon as he came back, unknowingly, he immediately speeded up the wedding day, and almost carried Lu Yufei back to the mansion.
Could it be that he also heard other things she said? No, no, that was not the point. Tang Shishi hurriedly drove out the messy thoughts in her mind. She had a headache thinking about it. After the legitimate wife entered the mansion, would not it be much more difficult for her to conquer Zhao Zixun?
Tang Shishi originally thought that there was still time for everything. When the freshness of Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua was over, and Zhou Shunhua would be overwhelmed by the fact that everyone regarded her as a thorn in the eye. When she fought for Zhao Zixun again, she would get twice the result with half the effort. But now, Tang Shishi had not even started her performance yet, and Shizifei was about to appear.
Tang Shishi thought that although Lu Yufei was not favored in the plot, she had been in the position of legitimate wife for many years. She was the Shizifei when she was in the Jing Wang mansion, the crown princess when she was in Eastern Palace, and the Empress when she was in the Imperial Palace until she died of illness. Then only Zhou Shunhua picked up after her. Now, looked like this long life-long battle was about to start ahead of schedule?
Tang Shishi could not help but sigh.