IBTBTED Chapter 46
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 46 Drugged
Tang Shishi put her hand on the door, unable to decide what to do next for a long time.
According to the principle, there was no need to hesitate when encountering such a situation. Shizi’s situation was suspicious, and she was the only witness on the scene. What was she waiting for at this time? However, Tang Shishi had stepped on too many pits before, which made her unable to believe her own judgment at all.
Tang Shishi withdrew her hand, put it on her heart, and asked herself honestly, “According to my heart, excluding all considerations, what do I want to do?”
Tang Shishi quickly came up with the answer, and of course, she should have gone in according to her way of thinking. Then this difficult problem would have been solved. In the past, she followed her own heart and made many mistakes, for instance, the assassin in the relay post station and the bathing in the lake. Every time, she chose the wrong one accurately. According to this pattern, she should choose the opposite one than her inner thoughts this time, so that she would be right.
She originally wanted to go in, but after reexamining her options, she should not go in.
Tang Shishi praised herself silently, she was so smart! Tang Shishi immediately ran out while carrying her skirt in her hand. In the middle of her escape, she felt that something was wrong. If something happened tonight, how could she prove that she had never been there?
Tang Shishi groaned. Suddenly, she was struck by an aha moment and came up with a brilliant idea.
Just in case, should she find a witness for herself? Zhou Shunhua was ruled out by Tang Shishi in an instant. Even if she had to throw the script to the ground and grind it into powder causing the plot to collapse in the middle of the story and no one could become Empress Dowager, she would never give Zhou Shunhua any benefit!
As for Lu Yufei, Tang Shishi dared to guarantee that if she brought Lu Yufei over, no matter what happened, the black pot would have gone to Tang Shishi’s, and the credit would have gone to Lu Yufei’s. Others also had their own shortcomings. Ji Xinxian was too brainless, Feng Xi was too insidious, and Dujuan was her own maid who could not testify for her. Tang Shishi counted back and forth and found that there was no such person that she could trust in such a big mansion.
Tang Shishi was shocked. How could she be such a failure? However, there was no time to be sad now. Tang Shishi looked at the pitch-black door, gritted her teeth, and decided.
She would look for Zhao Chengjun.
With Zhao Chengjun, no matter the outcomes were good or bad, Tang Shishi could prove her innocence and get away with it.
Once Tang Shishi decided, she would never be muddled. She immediately changed direction and ran towards the study room quickly. Tang Shishi was very familiar with the direction to the study room, she was sure that Zhao Chengjun must be in the study now.
The study room was brightly lit and quiet, only the sound of crackling of a lamp could be heard. Zhao Chengjun turned a page of the book, his eyebrow moved, and slowly raised his eyes.
Along with his movements, a sound of running came from outside the room. Tang Shishi ran all the way panting and opened the door. Her hair was loose, her clothes were messy, and her mouth was still panting intensely.
Tang Shishi did not care about her current image, she hurried entered the inner room, and said with difficulty, “Wangye…”
Zhao Chengjun put down his book and walked out from the partition-off area slowly. He glanced at Tang Shishi and finally got to have some fun during his boring holiday.
Zhao Chengjun sat down on the chair calmly, poured himself a cup of tea, and asked, “What are you doing here?”
Tang Shishi breathed deeply which made it easier to breathe. She walked to Zhao Chengjun in a hurry, and said nonstop, “Wangye, something big happened. I drank too much at the banquet and came out to sober up. So happened to see a dark figure stumbled by. From the back, it seemed to be Shizi.”
While Zhao Chengjun holding a teacup in his hand, he suddenly asked, “You came out to sober up?”
With Tang Shishi’s drinking capacity, it was not a problem for her to drink all the womenfolk’s wine by herself. Would she need to come out to sober up?
Tang Shishi choked and said vaguely, “En… I came out to get some fresh air. Aiya, that’s not the point. The point is that I saw Shizi.”
“En.” Zhao Chengjun sipped his tea and asked indifferently, “What’s wrong?”
“Shizi walked wobbly, and there were no servants around him. When he entered a courtyard, he never came out again. Wangye, I suspected that Shizi is hurt.”
Zhao Chengjun almost choked the water out. He left the banquet late at night, without attendants around him, and entered a courtyard alone.
Tang Shishi actually thought that he was injured… Zhao Chengjun did not know what to say about her.
Zhao Chengjun put down the teacup and asked curiously, “According to what you have just said, what do you want to do?”
“Hmmm…” Tang Shishi hesitated for a moment and said quietly, “Wangye, there may be something else in this matter. You should go see it yourself.”
Zhao Chengjun did not even want to think about it. He got up and said, “I’m not interested.”
Tang Shishi was anxious and instinctively grabbed Zhao Chengjun’s arm. Zhao Chengjun did not expect that someone would dare to grab him, so he stopped, lowered his head, and calmly looked at Tang Shishi.
Tang Shishi’s fingers felt as if they were suddenly burned. She was not sure whether to loosen her fingers or not. At last, she said heartlessly, “Wangye, there’s really something serious with Shizi. You’ll know if you just follow me to have a look.”
Zhao Chengjun looked at her for a long time and nodded lightly, “Okay. I hate others for wasting my time. You’d better pray that Zhao Zixun really has something big there.”
Tang Shishi blinked and began to feel guilty. Then she thought optimistically that everything would turn out for the best. She could deceive Jing Wang first, even if there was nothing wrong in the end, Zhao Chengjun would not kill her.
Zhao Chengjun put on his cloak and went out. Tang Shishi was anxious and ran in small steps to lead Zhao Chengjun there.
“Wangye, hurry up. Shizi is ahead…”
Zhao Chengjun was not in a hurry and walked at the back. Tang Shishi thought he was walking slowly. She turned around from the corridor and dragged Zhao Chengjun’s hand forward. Zhao Chengjun lowered his head and glanced at his hand, then looked at Tang Shishi, and finally did not speak.
On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, the wind was quite cold in the middle of the night. Tang Shishi’s fingers were sticking out of her cloak, and it quickly became red from cold. From time to time, Tang Shishi raised her finger to her mouth to exhale some warm breath to keep her fingers warm. Zhao Chengjun looked at Tang Shishi’s action and suddenly asked, “Where’s your handwarmer?”
“You asked about Shizi? Shizi is not far away, and we’ll be there soon… ” Tang Shishi thought that Zhao Chengjun was worried about Zhao Zixun. After she finished, she felt something was wrong. “Wait. Wangye, what did you ask?”
Zhao Chengjun never said anything a second time. Since she did not remember anything, Zhao Chengjun could only endure his own temper and said again, “Where’s your handwarmer?”
“Handwarmer?” Tang Shishi foolishly stretched out her two hands to see, and she was stunned for a while before she realized, “Yes ah. Where’s my handwarmer?”
Zhao Chengjun took a deep breath and gave up all expectations of Tang Shishi. Zhao Chengjun slowly recalled that when she entered the study room, she was still holding something in her hand. It may be left behind in the study room.
And Tang Shishi was still flipping her cloak around, “My handwarmer, I remember it was still…”
“Don’t look for it.” Zhao Chengjun said in a cold voice, “Most probably in the study room. You can look for it when you copy the books tomorrow.”
After hearing that, Tang Shishi stopped bizarrely for a moment, and asked tactfully, “Tomorrow?”
“Since you came out to sober up late at night, looks like your days are very boring. In that case, just come back early to copy the books.”
Tang Shishi opened her mouth several times to tell Zhao Chengjun that she was not bored at all. But Tang Shishi did not dare to say that. In the end, she could only reply softly, “Yes, I obey.”
When Shishi Tang thought that she would have to go to work again early in the morning tomorrow, she suddenly felt sad and did not even want to say anything. The two were quiet all the way. When Zhao Chengjun saw her breathing warm air into her hands again and again, finally he could not bear it, “Put your hand out.”
Tang Shishi was slow to react, “What?”
Zhao Chengjun directly grabbed her two hands and held them in his palms. Tang Shishi was startled and instinctively wanted to withdraw her hands, “Wangye…”
“Don’t move.” Zhao Chengjun said without any emotion in his voice, “If your hands are frozen, how will you copy the books tomorrow? This mansion does not support idlers, and don’t delay official duties.”
Tang Shishi was stunned for a long time before she let out a muffled sound “Oh”.
Zhao Chengjun’s palms were exceptionally warm and dry, and there were some calluses on his fingertips, giving out a very powerful feeling. Tang Shishi’s fingers were cold like ice. At this moment, Zhao Chengjun held her hands in his palms, and the warmth continued from the palms of his hand to Tang Shishi’s fingertips as if her body was warming up.
In the second half of the way, Tang Shishi could not concentrate at all. She did not dare to move her fingers for fear of touching Zhao Chengjun’s skin. Zhao Chengjun did not hold her fingers tightly, just held them together. However, when both of them were walking, the road was inevitably uneven and causing Tang Shishi’s fingers kept rubbing on Zhao Chengjun’s palms.
If it were not for the fact that Tang Shishi tripped herself several times while walking quickly, Zhao Chengjun would have doubted that she had done it deliberately.
They seemed to have walked a long time in the second half of the way, and then arrived in the blink of an eye. After seeing the familiar courtyard gate, Tang Shishi sighed in relief, drew out her hand to guide the way, and ran to the front quickly, “Wangye, right here.”
Tang Shishi stopped in front of the door, unconsciously about to push the door, but was suddenly stopped by Zhao Chengjun, “Don’t move.”
Tang Shishi’s arm was frozen. Zhao Chengjun walked up to Tang Shishi and motioned her to stand aside. He reached out his hand to push open the door by himself.
After the door opened, a warm fragrance rushed out. Tang Shishi stepped forward curiously, wanting to see how Zhao Zixun was doing, but when she had just taken two steps, she saw Zhao Chengjun turning around with a calm face and immediately covering her eyes.
“…” Tang Shishi was baffled, and reached out her hand to pull Zhao Chengjun’s arm, “Wangye, what’s wrong? Why are you covering my eyes?”
“What a good thing you did.” Zhao Chengjun’s voice rang in her ears, his voice was low with a hint of anger, “Come out and I’ll settle accounts with you.”
Tang Shishi did not even know what happened and suddenly someone pushed her forward. She stumbled since her eyes were covered by Zhao Chengjun’s hand and Zhao Chengjun’s body was behind her. Tang Shishi had no choice but to follow Zhao Chengjun’s direction and stumbled forward.
Tang Shishi did not know that there was a flight of steps in front of the corridor. She stepped on the empty space, and her whole body fell forward. Zhao Chengjun left hand was still covering her eyes, upon seeing this, he could only use the other hand to wrap around her waist to stabilize her.
“Wangye, Shizi…” Liu Ji ran over in a hurry. As soon as he walked in, he saw the scene in front of him, and he was so shocked that he almost slipped.
The accident happened in a split second. At this time, Tang Shishi had already stood firmly. Zhao Chengjun put her on the steps, released her immediately, and took a step back calmly.
However, what should be seen had already been seen. Liu Ji and the servants behind him were all too shocked to close their mouths. Zhao Chengjun felt that the scene just now was easy to misunderstand. He deliberately took advantage of the opportunity to speak to Tang Shishi to clarify to everyone, “Watch your steps when you walk and don’t get distracted.”
“I’m not distracted.” Tang Shishi was very aggrieved and said, “You were covering my eyes. I can’t see the steps.”
The expressions of Liu Ji and others were even more strange. Zhao Chengjun was also a little embarrassed. However, in front of so many people, an explanation would only make things worse. Zhao Chengjun ignored the matter and said, “Don’t take this as an example next time. Zhao Zixun is inside. You seal off this courtyard and don’t allow anyone to come near.”
The last sentence was addressed to Liu Ji. Liu Ji recovered his senses and bowed in response, “Yes.”
Liu Ji did not dare to look anymore and walked away quickly with his head down. The others also dispersed swiftly. The people who cleared the area cleared the area. The people who swept the road swept the road. The people who served others served others without delay. Tang Shishi looked at the young manservants carrying water and clothes in and out, including women’s clothes. Then suddenly she reacted.
Could it be… could it be that… that kind of thing?
Tang Shishi’s brain was awake in an instant. Zhao Zixun was staggering when walking and went to a secluded area to rest by himself, probably either he was drunk, or he had been drugged. What would happen if a woman appeared at this time?
No wonder Zhao Chengjun turned around as soon as he entered the door.
Tang Shishi could not believe what she had done. The person she liked was delirious and alone in a dark room. Even a fool knew that one should take advantage of this kind of opportunity immediately. In the end, Tang Shishi did not seize the opportunity and even brought Jing Wang.
Tang Shishi lowered her head and knocked her head hard. Did she have water in her brain? Why did she choose the wrong one for such an obvious thing? Zhao Chengjun glanced down and chuckled, “Finally?”
“Wangye… I…” Tang Shishi was speechless and did not know how to explain this matter. “Wangye, listen to me, I didn’t mean that. I really thought Shizi was in danger before.”
Zhao Chengjun laughed, “You don’t need to explain to me. If you have this strength, you’d better think about how to clarify with Zhao Zixun.”
After Zhao Chengjun finished speaking, he strode away. Tang Shishi stood alone under the eaves. The night breeze howled, and the noise of the banquet came from afar. Tang Shishi looked at Zhao Chengjun’s back and then looked at the chaotic room behind, feeling extremely embarrassed.
If she explained to Zhao Zixun that all this was a misunderstanding, in fact, she did this for his own good, would Zhao Zixun believe her?
Tang Shishi covered her face and felt that she was simply a disaster.
A woman passed by Tang Shishi, her whole body was covered in a heavy fur cloak, her hair was loose, and only a pair of eyes were exposed. When the two brushed past, Tang Shishi turned around and just in time to look at each other’s eyes.
It was Zhou Shunhua.
Tang Shishi fixed her eyes on Zhou Shunhua. Zhou Shunhua was not ashamed at all and even smiled at Tang Shishi.
Tang Shishi asked in a low voice, “Why are you here?”
Zhou Shunhua also looked directly into Tang Shishi’s eyes, and asked, “What about you, why are you here?”
“I don’t know what Miss Tang is talking about.” Zhou Shunhua covered her face with a dispirited look, “Miss Tang, Shunhua is unwell and can’t speak with you anymore. Shunhua will retire first. Miss Tang, please forgive me.”
After Zhou Shunhua finished speaking, she walked away slowly without waiting for Tang Shishi to respond. Tang Shishi stood alone on the steps. The night wind swept across the fur on her cloak, making her face as fair as jade which was only the size of a palm.
Tang Shishi finally understood what Zhou Shunhua’s plan of returning to favor was about. She did not know how Zhou Shunhua added ingredients to Zhao Zixun’s wine and through this “accident”, Zhao Zixun became obsessed with her again. Then stepped on the other shareholders’ manners to move upward.
It turned out that Madam Xu’s purpose was like this.
Tang Shishi could guarantee that Lu Yufei did not inform Zhao Zixun about the Xu family’s affair. Perhaps she had forgotten about it or was troubled by a resolute person and did not find a chance. But no matter what, the fact was that Madam Xu had left a message, and Lu Yufei did not convey it. Zhou Shunhua took the advantage of the sexual intimacy period with Zhao Zixun to poke on Madam Xu’s affair. While the two of them were in deep affection, Zhou Shunhua fanned the flame about his birth mother’s affairs a little bit. This would definitely make Zhao Zixun extremely angry at Lu Yufei.
The awkward situation between Zhao Zixun and his birth mother was their own matter, but if Lu Yufei had dared to look down on Madam Xu, then Zhao Zixun could immediately put Lu Yufei into the cold palace. Zhou Shunhua’s move was really a clever move. She killed three birds with one stone, gave Chen Tai a favor, won over Zhao Zixun’s favor, and even ruthlessly planted Lu Yufei.
At this moment, possibly Lu Yufei was still happily preparing to watch the colored lanterns.
The plan was seamless. The only accident was that Tang Shishi appeared and brought along Jing Wang. It was a good thing that Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua’s old affection rekindled but were caught by Jing Wang red-handed. Now Tang Shishi could only pray that Zhao Zixun had a big heart and magnanimous and could forgive her for disturbing his bedroom affairs and reporting to his father.