IBTBTED Chapter 52
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 52 Blizzard
At night, Dujuan came to deliver tea. She saw Tang Shishi was still holding a book, sitting under the light and writing.
Dujuan put down the tea, picked up a match, went to the table, and lit the wick. Then she joked, “Miss usually complains that you are tired of copying books and doesn’t want to read a word when you come back. Why did you change your temperament today and still read so late?”
Tang Shishi turned a page and glanced at Dujuan, “Go do your thing, don’t poke here.”
Dujuan smiled, “I see, now is different from the past. Miss, in the past, you thought the room was boring and kept me for fun. Now there is Wangye’s book, and I have naturally become an eyesore. I am guilty and will go out immediately.”
“Talk less.” Tang Shishi rolled up the book, pretending to hit Dujuan. Dujuan put down the lampshade and smile while escaping in a hurry. There was a burst of laughter from the maids outside. Tang Shishi was too lazy to care about them. She put the book away properly and shouted, “Close the outside windows properly. I don’t know which one is not closed tightly. It squeaks and squeaks, which upsets me.”
The maids hurried to check the windows. Tang Shishi took a piece of fruit and put it in her mouth, and said casually, “Why there is such a strong wind today?”
The maids secured the window. Hearing what Tang Shishi said, the maid said, “Maybe it’s going to snow.”
Tang Shishi nodded unconsciously with fruit in her mouth. In fact, she did not take it seriously. She lived in the mansion. She did not need to go out or go on a journey. Whether it snowed or not, it had little impact on her. Tang Shishi just thought in her heart that it would be hard to walk when it snows. Tomorrow, she must ask the maid to prepare her deerskin thick-soled boots.
Tang Shishi had also studied the Four Books before, but that kind of learning was more like swallowing and memorizing by rote. This was the first time someone had annotated and explained it to her. Tang Shishi unknowingly read it with a little fascination. Because of this, it was rare for her not to check the plot before going to bed.
The next day, Tang Shishi went to copy the book as usual. The weather was gloomy, the clouds were very low, and the wind was fierce and strong. Tang Shishi was sitting in a warm study room with a heater at her feet with tea and fruit not far away as if the wind outside had nothing to do with her. Tang Shishi was reading a book while eating the peeled nuts. Whenever she did not understand, she would draw it, and then she would ask Zhao Chengjun after a while.
This was what he said himself, certainly, it was not a request from Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi thought it was unnecessary. Anyway, she had to pass the time, she might as well drag a person to accompany her.
In the afternoon, Tang Shishi saw that there were few people left, so she took the book to find Zhao Chengjun. After reading her newly copied literary works, Zhao Chengjun said, “It’s much better than yesterday. At least there are no wrong words. Do you not understand today’s content?”
Tang Shishi nodded honestly, “Yes.”
Zhao Chengjun was helpless and said, “You are really honest. What do you not understand?”
Tang Shishi pointed out several notes in proper order. Zhao Chengjun wrote an explanation next to her handwriting and said, “This sentence is their nonsense. You don’t have to read them, just remember the original sentence of the Four Books. The allusions of predecessors used here are…”
Zhao Chengjun explained sentence by sentence. Tang Shishi did not fully understand some of it and had a hard time listening. Seeing her slow reaction, Zhao Chengjun knocked on her forehead, “I just said it yesterday, but you forget today. What are you thinking about every day? Why doesn’t studying get into your head?”
Tang Shishi held her forehead aggrievedly and said, “You can’t get fat with only one bite. How can I remember every sentence after you have said so much? I’ve been listening for a long time, and I’m tired. Let’s take a break.”
Zhao Chengjun glanced at the stick incense and said in a cold voice, “It’s not even half an hour. Sit down and finish this chapter properly.”
Tang Shishi ignored Zhao Chengjun’s words. She stood up and walked freely around the room, “It’s bad for your waist to sit too long. Hey, it’s snowing outside.”
Tang Shishi opened the window, the outside world had become silvery-white when she did not pay attention for a moment. Tang Shishi reached out her hand to catch snowflakes in the wind while exclaiming, “It’s snowing so heavy. It’s already the second month and still snowing so heavy.”
Only a few people in the world dared to ignore Zhao Chengjun’s words. Unfortunately, Tang Shishi was one of them. He had said not to move, but in the end, Tang Shishi did not hear it at all and even decided on her own to open the window to see the snow. Zhao Chengjun was helpless. Since Tang Shishi was not a subordinate of his officials. He could not beat or scold him, so he could only go with her.
Tang Shishi stood in front of the window watching the snow. Today, she was wearing a long white dress with the hem pressed down to her knees, and a light blue horse face with golden gilt at the bottom. She stood in the room with her light dress shining dazzlingly. She along with the window and snow scenery was like a carefully matched meticulous painting.
Zhao Chengjun watched for a moment and walked slowly to the window. Zhao Chengjun looked at the goose feather-like surging and relenting snow outside. He suddenly remembered one thing, “How long has it been snowing like this?”
Tang Shishi was playing with snowflakes. Hearing this, she looked back at Zhao Chengjun strangely, “It shouldn’t have been long. What’s the matter?”
This originally was a very common saying that auspicious snow indicates a good year of a plentiful harvest. Was not it a good thing to have heavy snow? But Zhao Chengjun’s complexion suddenly changed. He silently looked at the heavy snow in front of him, suddenly turned around, and raised his voice, “Liu Ji.”
Liu Ji responded, and quickly showed up in the room, “I’m here. Wangye, what is your instruction?”
“Immediately send a letter to Nanshan village and ask them if Zhao Zixun has set out today and when.”
As soon as Liu Ji heard this, his expression became serious, and he said firmly, “Yes.”
After Liu Ji finished speaking, he went out on the double to make plans, and Tang Shishi slowly regained her senses. Yes ah, the auspicious snow indicated a good year for local farmers, and for those on the journey, encountering heavy snow was not a good thing.
In particular, the snow began to fall in mid-day, and Zhao Zixun was most likely already on the road and stranded in the middle of nowhere halfway through. It would be fortunate if the snow stopped soon. If the snow continued at this rate, Zhao Zixun could not move forward or retreat, and it would be troublesome to be trapped on the road.
The Jing Wang mansion had special birds to send messages. This time, to transmit the news as quickly as possible, Liu Ji released an eagle. The news came back when it was getting dark.
The people in the village said that Shizi left beauty Zhou in the village and set off with Shizifei early this morning.
Zhao Zixun accompanied Lu Yufei to Guangji Temple to worship the Buddha and conveniently sent Zhou Shunhua to the village to cultivate herself. Nanshan village was about half a day away from the Xiping province. Jing Wang mansion convoy and Xi family met at Xiping province. Then Zhao Zixun sent Zhou Shunhua to Nanshan first and arranged for everyone to recharge at the village for one night. The next day, Zhou Shunhua stayed behind, and Zhao Zixun and other womenfolk continue the journey.
No one would think that there would be a blizzard today. The snow began at noon, and it was snowing all afternoon without stopping, and the snow even became bigger and bigger. When the flying eagle which sent the letter came back, the snow in the Jing Wang mansion was already three inches thick.
This was still in the mansion. After all, there were pavilions and high walls in the city. Would not the blizzard be worse in the wilderness?
The atmosphere in the study was very heavy, and Tang Shishi returned to her room early. The maids held their hands to keep warm, and complained to Tang Shishi, “It was fine in the morning, why did it suddenly snow? It was windy and snowy outside, and it was dark everywhere. It was scary.”
Tang Shishi was sitting by the window, and stared blankly at the night outside, “The sky is already dark, and there is no way to hurry. Have they found a place to shelter?”
Not only Tang Shishi was worried, but others in Jing Wang’s mansion were also worried. In the case of a blizzard, it was almost taboo to stay in the wilderness on a snowy day. Not to mention jackals and wolves, people could freeze to death in the cold wind alone. To make matter worse, it was easy to get lost in the blizzard. If they could not find a place to stay in time, no matter how well-equipped the convoy would not be able to resist it at night.
Tang Shishi sighed. She forgot to read the plot yesterday. As a result, she so happened to miss today’s snow. If she had known there would be a blizzard, she could send a letter to the village early morning to keep Shizi from going out.
However, she did not see it. By the time she found out, the plot was irreparable.
The chapter about the blizzard in the book has not been updated yet, and it could be seen that the relevant plot has not been completed. Tang Shishi waited anxiously and finally dozed off guarding the book. Early the next morning, before dawn, Tang Shishi woke up startled.
She opened her eyes, the curtains were down everywhere, the hot water bottle at the foot of the bed was still warm, and everything was dizzy. It seemed that it was still very early, and the maids did not wake up yet. Tang Shishi quietly opened a small gap in the bed curtain and looked out the window.
Snow-white light was reflected on the window paper, the wind was quiet, and occasionally the birds chirping was heard from outside. Tang Shishi breathed a sigh of relief. The snow finally stopped.
Tang Shishi quickly opened the book. She was so sleepy last night that she fell asleep before the plot was updated. Now she did not know how far it had progressed.
When Tang Shishi turned to the latest page, the first thing that caught her eye was a line of words, “On a sunny day, a demoted person from the mountain villa saved people on a blizzard night and made meritorious service.”
Tang Shishi immediately gave birth to a bad premonition. After reading it, her inner feelings became more and more complicated.
The female lead’s halo was really something that could not be more real.
This chapter revealed two pieces of news. The good news was that Zhao Zixun was still alive, and the bad news was that this was again Zhou Shunhua’s contribution.
Zhou Shunhua was sent to the village. The next day, Lu Yufei proudly and hypocritically comforted Zhou Shunhua with a few words and continued on the journey with Madam Xi and Xi Yunchu. Proofed by facts that those who show off in front of the female lead would not come to a good end. Lu Yufei and her company encountered a blizzard on the way. Zhao Zixun intended to return to the mountain villa, but Lu Yufei was reluctant. If they went back now, would not it be another opportunity for Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua?
Of course, Lu Yufei refused. She suggested that since they had already gone halfway and might as well continue to move forward and find a shelter in front. As a result, the convoy walked in a blizzard for a long time, and it was too late to see the village relay post station. Zhao Zixun saw that the situation was wrong and ordered them to withdraw.
Unfortunately, they could not see the direction in the blizzard, and they got lost.
On the other hand, after Zhou Shunhua was assigned to the mountain villa, she did not repent herself, but rather she actively familiarized herself with her new environment. After she had lunch, she saw that the sky was densely covered with heavy dark clouds as if it was going to snow. She did not know why she thought of Zhao Zixun. Zhou Shunhua asked people to go outside to check the road signs that led the way. As expected, there was a heavy snowfall afterward.
Zhou Shunhua did not see Zhao Zixun and others returning until the evening. Everyone in the village felt that Shizi had arrived at the next lodging station, but Zhou Shunhua’s intuition was wrong. Regardless of everyone’s obstruction, she wanted to go outside to find people, and also took an old servant who was most familiar with the road from the mountain villa. There were so many guard soldiers around Zhao Zixun, who could not find their way after searching back and forth for a long time. In the end, Zhou Shunhua randomly looked for them and happened to meet Zhao Zixun.
Probably this was the charm of the female lead’s halo. Tang Shishi could not help but think darkly. When Zhou Shunhua was looking for someone, there was only the old servant around her and there was a heavy snowfall everywhere, and could not see anything around them. If the old servant had a bad heart and secretly murdered Zhou Shunhua, would not it be no way to escape?
Perhaps this was the reason why Tang Shishi could not be a female lead. She had a dark side in her and liked to think of others who have the same dark side.
However, in the plot of the female lead, Zhou Shunhua did not encounter any danger. She took the old servant, appeared unexpectedly, and clear the way for the embarrassed people from the Jing Wang mansion. She and the old servant led the way, struggling till midnight, and finally bringing Zhao Zixun and his company back to the mountain villa in Nanshan.
At the end of the chapter, the embarrassment of Lu Yufei, Madam Xi, and others contrasted with Zhou Shunhua’s bravery and wit. From the mountain villa to the convoy, everyone praised Zhou Shunhua for her intelligence and courage.
Tang Shishi closed the book and once again had nothing to say.
She spent a lot of time reading, and the sound of people walking around outside the room could be heard. Tang Shishi hid the book, lifted the curtain, and got out of bed.
Dujuan and others heard that Tang Shishi woke up and hurried in to serve her. Dujuan served Tang Shishi to wash her face even though her hands were busy but her mouth refused to be idle, “Miss, the latest news is that Shizi and Shizifei have returned to the mountain villa in Nanshan.”
This was the message sent by the flying eagle in the middle of the night. After the door opened this morning, the news leaked from the outer courtyard to the inner courtyard. When Dujuan heard about the news, she quickly shared it with Tang Shishi. However, Tang Shishi heard it and just responded faintly.
Dujuan deliberately flaunted the great news and was waiting for Tang Shishi to be gobsmacked, but Tang Shishi’s reaction was very indifferent. Dujuan was surprised and asked, “Miss, don’t you wonder how Shizi and Shizifei came back?”
Obviously yesterday, Tang Shishi had been paying attention to the blizzard outside and could not even sleep well.
Tang Shishi asked casually, “How did they come back?
Dujuan added oil and vinegar to tell the story of Zhou Shunhua’s bravely rushing into the snow to Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi had no emotion when heard it. Although the details were somewhat different, the general plot was the same as in the book. It seemed that what the heavenly book described was pretty accurate.
Tang Shishi’s mood had become even heavier. Since the appearance of the heavenly book, Tang Shishi had worked hard and had never forgotten to reverse the plot and change her own destiny. However, the plot still followed the original path. The minor details may be different, but the general direction has never changed.
She wanted to steal Zhou Shunhua’s role and changed Zhao Zixun’s dislike of her. As a result, Zhou Shunhua still became Zhao Zixun’s maid and most favored concubine, and Zhao Zixun still treated Tang Shishi coldly.
All her efforts were in vain, and Zhao Zixun hated her even more because of her active involvement. Did this mean that no matter how hard Tang Shishi tried, she was not able to change her predestined death ending?
She could only be confined to the plot and wait for her death in vain.
Tang Shishi was gloomy and did not want to talk for a long time. Dujuan talked a lot and when she turned around, she saw Tang Shishi wiping her fingers in silence. Dujuan was aware that something was wrong. She did not dare to say anymore and silently shut her mouth.
After dressing up, Dujuan served Tang Shishi breakfast. A little eunuch walked quickly from the outside and saluted Tang Shishi, “Miss Tang, Wangye has ordered. You don’t have to go to the study room today.”
“Oh?” Tang Shishi put down the bowl and chopsticks and asked, “Why?”
“The road to Nanshan is blocked by snow. Wangye is going to clear the snow and pick up Shizi. He will not be in the mansion for these two days.”
Zhao Chengjun was going to Nanshan to rescue… Tang Shishi suddenly reacted and asked, “When will Wangye leave?”
Tang Shishi threw down her chopsticks and had no time to eat. She promptly said to the eunuch, “Go and report to Wangye that I’ll accompany him. Dujuan, quickly change my clothes.”