IBTBTED Chapter 65
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 65 Heavy Rain
Tang Shishi spoke in a low feeble voice and Zhao Chengjun could not hear her clearly. He frowned and asked, “Who is it? What did they put?”
However, Tang Shishi was already unable to answer. She closed her eyes and passed out. Zhao Chengjun saw that her condition was not right, so he picked her up, and quickly put her on the bed in the side room.
Zhao Chengjun carefully leaned her neck against the pillow and lifted her sleeves to check her pulse. Zhao Chengjun almost died of illness when he first came to the border, and it took a year to recuperate himself. Since then, Zhao Chengjun had learned some basic pharmacology.
Zhao Chengjun listened attentively, but Tang Shishi was restless. Her clothes were still wet, and she was uncomfortable lying on the bed. She moved from side to side, trying to break free from Zhao Chengjun’s restraint.
Zhao Chengjun could not concentrate because he was disturbed by her. He had to hold her arms, and said lightly, “Don’t make trouble.”
However, nowhere could Tang Shishi listen now. She could not help but pull her clothes and murmur, “It’s wet, so uncomfortable.”
Zhao Chengjun was afraid that she would get cold after wearing wet clothes for a long time, so he had to hold her two wrists and said, “Don’t move around, I’ll do it.”
Tang Shishi wore a jade-colored four-sided Moiré long dress today with buttons coiled all the way to her neck. Zhao Chengjun reached for the top button and paused slightly when he came across the lapel.
If it was a man, it would not be a problem for others to help change clothes or bandages after being unconscious. However,… Tang Shishi was a woman.
It was against etiquette for men and women to touch each other.
But he looked at the condition of Tang Shishi and sighed helplessly. Since Tang Shishi had become like this, how could there be time to care about etiquette? It was more important to save people first.
Zhao Chengjun went to loosen the buttons on Tang Shishi’s neckline. Tang Shishi loved beauty and even the buttons were made flashy. This was not a method that Zhao Chengjun used to do. He tried for a long time, but he could not undo it. At the same time, Tang Shishi was still making trouble. Zhao Chengjun could only hold her shoulders and leaned closer to carefully look at the design of the collar buttons.
At this time, Tang Shishi murmured a few words very subtly, even her lips hardly moved. Her voice quickly faded away, as quickly as an illusion.
Nevertheless, Zhao Chengjun was close enough to hear it by chance. Zhao Chengjun’s pupil widened slightly and swiftly looked down at Tang Shishi.
Tang Shishi was still unconscious with flushed cheeks and slightly knitted eyebrows. Her whole person looked very abnormal. Zhao Chengjun finally knew what drug it was. He just thought along the course of poison and did not even see such an obvious thing. This was obviously the disgusting aphrodisiac from a wealthy family’s courtyard.
She should have been drugged in Wangjiang Pavilion judging from her appearance.
Zhao Chengjun was in a complicated mood for a while, frightened, angered, afraid, and extremely grateful. This kind of drug was overbearing and unpreventable. If she continued to stay in Wangjiang Pavilion, the consequences would be unimaginable. Even though she did not know, she rushed back to the mansion, even braving the rain to find him.
In a sense, her decision saved her life.
Zhao Chengjun could not help but caress her slender fair chin and asked softly, “You went through so much trouble to run back regardless of everything just to say this?”
What Tang Shishi vaguely said just now was exactly, “Don’t go, be careful of ambush.”
Zhao Chengjun knew that there were spies planted in the mansion, and also knew that the planted spy was contacting her quietly. In fact, Zhao Chengjun basically had a clear idea of who these planted spies should be, and the reason why they were still there was just to confuse Empress Dowager Yao who was thousands of miles away.
He needed to go to Suzhou this time. Zhao Chengjun had checked the secret letter in private. He was able to find out that there was something strange in Heishui City, and naturally, he was able to find out that the secret letter had been tampered with by people. He had someone in the imperial guards, and these internal methods could not deceive Zhao Chengjun.
However, Zhao Chengjun never expected that Tang Shishi would risk her life dangerously just to remind him. On the flipped side, it helped her escape the real danger inadvertently. This was probably because it was already destined to happen.
Tang Shishi could not hear his voice. Zhao Chengjun gazed at Tang Shishi for a long time and whispered to himself, not knowing who he was asking, “Why?”
Obviously, she did not know she was being drugged. She ran back in the rain completely unintentionally. If it was not for fame or profit, then what was she doing this for?
Why did she run back? Why did she want to remind him? How could she not know how dangerous it would be to save him with such a utilitarian personality? How was she going to explain this action in the future?
Stepped back ten thousand steps and thought. If Zhao Chengjun died, Zhao Zixun could inherit the throne. Thus, no one would hinder Zhao Zixun. This was obviously a good thing for Tang Shishi. Why should she go so far as to rescue Zhao Chengjun?
What on earth did she regard him as?
Zhao Chengjun sighed heavily and said, “Never mind, let you go first and then I’ll dispute with you when I come back. For today’s scheme, it’s better to detoxify first.”
After examining for a long time, Zhao Chengjun finally undid Tang Shishi’s collar button. Zhao Chengjun held the writing brush and led the military, but never once brought him such a strong sense of relief. He breathed a long sigh of relief and was very helpless, “One button is already so troublesome, you can really make trouble.”
The two people were very close because of this action. Tang Shishi seemed to be in the dual world of ice and fire, her body was cold and hot simultaneously. In the middle of her confusion, she vaguely felt a heat source in front of her. Tang Shishi instinctively hugged it tightly, no matter what it was.
Zhao Chengjun was untying the third button and was suddenly embraced by her. Zhao Chengjun was instinctively stiff. He was about to move, but his neck was circled by Tang Shishi. Her cheeks naturally rested on Zhao Chengjun’s shoulders, “Mother, it’s so cold.”
Zhao Chengjun was both angry and funny. He finally pulled her up helplessly and said, “I am not your mother, don’t mess around, let go…”
Tang Shishi’s body was so soft. Her waist was like a catkin willow, as soft as boneless. Zhao Chengjun gathered her up in his arms, unbuttoned her clothes with one hand, and took the opportunity to take off her outer dress. After he took off her outer dress with great difficulty, Zhao Chengjun was already exhausted and sweating all over.
Zhao Chengjun threw her clothes on the shelf with one hand and thought with great helplessness that this was much more tiring than leading the military to practice martial arts.
After removing her outer clothing, the inner clothes were tightly attached to Tang Shishi, and a large part of Tang Shishi’s neck and arms were exposed. Tang Shishi shrank due to the cold air in the room and hugged Zhao Chengjun more tightly. Zhao Chengjun had been enduring harassment from her since entering the room. Now that her jade arms were on Zhao Chengjun’s waist, Zhao Chengjun had to use all his self-control to ensure that he sat.
Instead of tearing up her thin, completely fragile layer of clothes.
Zhao Chengjun clenched his hand into a fist, and his knuckles tightened and tightened again. Finally, he was able to restrain himself to hold her shoulder and pull her away, “I forgive you for being delirious and won’t squabble with you. You lie down obediently, and I’ll send someone in to check your pulse.”
Zhao Chengjun put Tang Shishi back on the bed and quickly got up. He overestimated himself too much, and something would happen if he stayed any longer. Zhao Chengjun did not even take two steps yet and Tang Shishi who was half-awake on the bed saw Zhao Chengjun was about to leave, instinctively got up and hugged him tightly from behind, “Don’t go, I’m afraid.”
Tang Shishi’s arm wrapped around Zhao Chengjun’s waist and clung to him tightly. Zhao Chengjun stopped tensely in place. From this position, he could clearly feel that there were two extremely soft buns on his back. No man could resist this kind of temptation. Zhao Chengjun held her wrist, turned around, and stared at her firmly, “Who am I?”
Tang Shishi opened her eyes innocently, it was foggy inside. She was drenched in the rain all the way here which had caused the drug attributes to be suppressed and allowed her to walk to the study room safely. However, at the same time, the rebound of the drug attributes that were suppressed was much more lethal than the first time.
Tang Shishi could not distinguish where she was and what she was doing now. All she knew was that she knew this person in front of her and this person was very reliable.
Tang Shishi wanted to move her arms, but her wrists were clutched firmly. He exerted so much force that she was in pain with the slightest movement. Tang Shishi burst into tears with aggrievance, and said, “You hurt me.”
Zhao Chengjun saw her hand when he looked down and let go stiffly. Tang Shishi regained her freedom, and embraced his shoulders happily, “I know you. Your name is Jing Wang.”
“Say my name.”
Tang Shishi blinked and thought for a long time before she asked hesitantly, “Zhao Chengjun?”
Zhao Chengjun’s heart finally landed. He thought to himself that Tang Shishi took the initiative to deliver herself to him. He also gave her a chance, but she was not sure.
She could not blame him.
“Be good, lie down. Take off the hairpin from your head.”
Tang Shishi still looked at him blankly, “Why?”
Zhao Chengjun could not help smiling, “You’ll know soon.”
There were heavy rain and thunder outside the window. The sky and the earth were connected by rain into a vast white fog. Liu Ji kept guarding outside, lowered his head, and stayed still, very calm.
As time passed slowly, the rain gradually got lighter, and the sound of water dripping under the eaves finally stopped. Zhao Chengjun put on his inner clothes and sighed helplessly when he saw the blood mark on his arms.
Next time, he had to cut Tang Shishi’s nails. As well as to change her squeamish character.
Zhao Chengjun turned around and saw that she was sleeping peacefully behind the curtain and looked very well-behaved. Zhao Chengjun sighed secretly that it would be good if she was so well-behaved all the time.
Liu Ji had been waiting outside the door. When Liu Ji saw Zhao Chengjun coming out, he did not ask anything but respectfully asked for instructions, “Wangye, the rain has stopped, and the troops are ready. Do you want to leave now?”
Zhao Chengjun looked at the weather. Although he was unwilling, he still said, “It’s better to be early than late. Pass the order that I’ll lead the troops to set out now. You send a maid in to change her clothes and call an imperial physician to check her pulse later.”
Liu Ji responded. He was a little hesitant to ask if he should prepare a child-avoiding soup. However, he thought that Wangye had no children so far, so he took the initiative to hide it on his own.
Anyway, Wangye did not tell him which meant she did not have to drink it.
Zhao Chengjun did not notice Liu Ji’s subtle pause. He put on a scarlet cloak as he walked, and explained, “Take good care of her. Don’t disclose anything and wait for me to come back to arrange everything.”
Tang Shishi was very restless in her sleep. She seemed to have a long dream, in which there was fire and rain, she fought with cold occasionally and melted from heating occasionally. Later, it became pure pain.
The pain was so intense that Tang Shishi tried to break away several times, but there was nowhere to hide. After that, the pain subsided and turned into a trembling numbness, which was embarrassing and extremely annoying. Tang Shishi was tortured until she cried. In her dream, she seemed to be begging for mercy from someone. That person comforted her and promised her but just did not stop.
Tang Shishi was so angry in her dream. She felt someone approaching in the ups and downs of her consciousness. She suddenly opened her eyes. The maid who was right in the middle of pulling the bed curtain was frightened and squatted down to salute Tang Shishi, “Miss Tang, you’re awake.”
Tang Shishi slowly support herself up and looked at the familiar and yet unfamiliar furnishings in front of her, but she could not react for a long time. Was not she dismissed by Zhao Chengjun? Why did she appear in the study room?
Not right, today was the Dragon Boat Festival. She should be in Wangjiang Pavilion! At this time, Tang Shishi found that her clothes had changed. She was shocked and instinctively covered her collar.
The maid saw her action and said softly, “Miss, you didn’t wake up just now. So, I cleaned your body and changed into your new inner clothes. Miss, do you think the clothes didn’t fit well?”
Tang Shishi was completely stunned, her apricot eyes were very big. Her eyes’ radiance was flickering, as she sensed the situation was changing rapidly.
Tang Shishi’s arm was weak that she almost fell down on the bed. The maid was startled and quickly stepped forward to support her. Tang Shishi’s face was pale as she could not believe what she had done.
She and Jing Wang? This, how was this possible?
Tang Shishi’s lips trembled slightly and asked, “Where’s Wangye?”
“Wangye led the troops left half an hour ago.”
As expected, it was like this. With the last fluke, Tang Shishi asked, “Then, did he leave any words behind?”
The maid thought for a while and shook her head gently. Tang Shishi seemed to be splashed with cold water on her face, even her lips turned white. She lowered her head and smiled self-deprecatingly.
What did she think Zhao Chengjun would leave behind? She slowly recalled what happened before. She was calculated by Feng Qian and return to the mansion by dumb luck instead of being taken advantage of by someone outside. She took the initiative to approach him, and naturally, no man would refuse it.
Zhao Chengjun probably looked down on such behavior. Maybe, he thought she was intentional.
Tang Shishi immediately lost all her strength and leaned back on the pillow with disappointment. After the strong breath dissipated, she found that her whole body was hurting, especially that place, as if it was torn. Tang Shishi closed her eyes in despair, thinking that she had even ruined her way to be a female official. As a maid, climbing the master’s bed had always been taboo.
Also, Zhao Chengjun was a person who was so sick of being calculated by women. How would he deal with her when he came back?
Tang Shishi did not dare to think about it. The maid called Tang Shishi several times, but Tang Shishi did not respond. Outside the door, Liu Ji heard the movement, knocked on the door to go in, and saluted through the screen, “Miss Tang, you’re awake?”
They still call her a young lady which showed that she would not have any status after all. Tang Shishi smiled bitterly, force herself to cheer up, and got down with the support of the bed to salute, “Liu Gonggong, please forgive me…”
Both Liu Ji and the maid were shocked. The maid quickly helped her up. Liu Ji also tried to apologize from behind the screen, “Miss, must not. Aren’t you overwhelming this old man? Miss, you got caught in the rain on the road. Before Wangye left, he specifically ordered me to give you the decoction of cold repelling. Miss should drink it while it’s hot.”
The maid walked outside and soon came in with a bowl of concoction. Tang Shishi looked at the bowl of black concoction with an enlightened heart.
This is a child-avoiding soup, right? Without saying anything, Tang Shishi took the medicine and poured it directly into her mouth. Liu Ji saw that she was in a hurry and was afraid of being misunderstood by Tang Shishi, he specially added, “Miss, don’t worry. This is a medicine for typhoid, and it will not harm your body.”
When Tang Shishi heard this, she was even more certain. This was indeed the child avoiding soup. Liu Ji was afraid that she would not drink it, and even specifically said this medicine was to treat an illness.
Funny. Was she that stupid?
Tang Shishi’s agility in drinking the medicine was beyond Liu Ji’s imagination. Liu Ji vaguely felt that Tang Shishi’s attitude was not right, but he could not think of any problems, so he could only leave it behind for a while, and said, “Miss, the outside minions have already been arranged. You don’t have to worry about being seen by anyone when you go back. Do you want to go back to the room now, or wait a while?”
Even the route had been arranged which showed how much Jing Wang did not want to see her and did not want people to know at all. The more Tang Shishi thought about it, the sadder she became. With his attitude like this, could Tang Shishi still stay with her shameless face? Tang Shishi was determined, and immediately got up, “I will go back now.”
Tang Shishi returned to Jianjia courtyard with a cloak wrapped around her. Dujuan was shocked when she saw that Tang Shishi’s hair was loose, and her clothes were changed too. But Tang Shishi refused to say anything, her face was pale, and looked extremely tired, “Prepare water, I want to take a bath.”
Everyone searched for a long time in the Wangjiang Pavilion but still could not find Tang Shishi. Lu Yufei calmly asked, “Have you checked all the corners? Still can’t find where she is?”
The maidservants shook their heads bitterly. Feng Qian stood on the side with a sad face, wiping her tears, and said, “It’s all my fault. If I have kept watching Sister Tang closely, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Lu Yufei’s complexion was very bad, no more in good mood like when she first came. This festival was really unlucky. It rained halfway through the dragon boat race. It was not easy to wait until the rain stopped, but Tang Shishi could not be seen.
When Lu Yufei heard the news, she felt a thump in her heart. Today, there were many influential officials in the Wangjiang Pavilion with a mix of good and bad people and many unknown outsider males around. This was not a good thing that she disappeared with Tang Shishi’s appearance.
The more Lu Yufei thought about it, the more irritable she became. If she were an ordinary maid, it would not matter much if she disappeared, at worst she was given as a favor for the receiving party. However, the problem was that Tang Shishi was Zhao Chengjun’s maid.
Tang Shishi was gone, how could Lu Yufei dare to shoulder this responsibility?
When Lu Yufei was in the middle of worrying, a young manservant came from outside to pass a letter and said, “Shizifei, Wangye went on an expedition today and Shizi took people back as soon as the rain stopped. Shizi sent me to pass a message so that Shizifei could go back to the mansion by herself. Don’t delay too late.”
Lu Yufei’s face suddenly became gloomy. She was afraid with many maids around and reluctantly endured it, “Yes, I know. Since Shizi has already left, we can’t delay anymore. Let’s go now.”
“Shizifei, then Miss Tang…”
“Handle the pressing matter first. Since she can’t be found in Wangjiang Pavilion, then go back to the city and look for her slowly.” Lu Yufei said, “We can’t delay sending Wangye off for her. Let’s go.”
All servants responded together. Feng Qian’s eyes were still wet as she followed the crowd in a sorrowful manner. Lu Yufei came out of the building with the arrogance of a Shizifei, thinking that they might not catch up with Jing Wang if they went back now. It would take at least a year and a half or more to march to war. When Jing Wang came back half a year later, how could he still remember Tang Shishi this person?
In this case, the loss of Tang Shishi was not counted as a major event. Lu Yufei let out a long sigh of relief. When she thought that the scourge would never appear again in the mansion, she was immediately in good mood, even being abandoned by Zhao Zixun was nothing.