It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 67 Pregnancy
Dujuan had been in the palace for eight years. Although she was only a little maid, she had some ways. At noon on the fifth day of the seventh month, the sun was shining brightly on the ground and made the ground reflect brightly. The maids and old women all hid in the shade to enjoy the coolness while Dujuan led a young manservant with ice walked quickly into the Jianjia courtyard.
As soon as the door was closed, Dujuan immediately took the ice basin in the hands of the young manservant, and apologized repeatedly, “Doctor, please forgive me. Our master can’t help it at the very moment and caused you to feel wronged.”
The man dressed as a young manservant was the doctor. He straightened the unfitting hat on his head and said, “There’s no harm. Doctors treat patients like their parents. Let’s go see the patient first.”
This doctor was found from outside. He was willing to enter the mansion with so much trouble to see a patient because, on one hand, it was due to the doctor’s compassion, and on the other, more importantly, Tang Shishi had given enough money for consultation.
Tang Shishi has no other advantages, except that she was not short of money. Even if she could not bring too many banknotes into the Imperial Palace, she did not lack money.
At this moment, the bead curtain in the room was hanging low and Tang Shishi slowly stretched out her wrist through the hazy smoke curtain. The doctor also understood the taboos of these rich families. He avoided her eyes, did not look at the blurry shadows behind the curtain, and concentrated on checking the pulse.
The doctor checked it for a while, hesitated a little, and asked, “Madam, can change to the other hand?”
When Tang Shishi heard what he called her, her heart was half cold. She silently changed to her other hand without saying a word. The doctor only responded after a little while, then he stood up as he cupped both his hands, “Congratulations, Madam. It’s a happy pulse.”
Normally, this was a happy event. No matter which family, there was no unhappiness in diagnosing a happy pulse. The doctor was ready to hear the excitement, but unexpectedly, the room was as quiet as ever, even a little tense.
The doctor was surprised. He could not help but raise his eyes secretly to look behind the hazy smoke curtain. The silhouette quietly leaned on the pillow, as if she had not heard the result. The maid who brought him in stared at the person behind the bed curtain, almost crying nervously.
The doctor became ever more puzzled and did not understand what was going on. After a while, a jade-like female voice sounded, “Are you sure?”
The doctor was stunned when he was asked this. The diagnosis of the happy pulse was a great blessing. Ordinary people would be very happy and people in the prince’s mansion should regard children as even more important. Why according to this madam’s tone if she was expecting him to give a negative answer?
The doctor did not dare to get involved with the affairs of their mansion. He hung his head lower and fixed his eyes on the ground, “It may not be accurate in the first two months. My medical skills are low, and there may be some mistakes in the diagnosis. Madam, it’s better to ask an expert again next month. You will know at that time whether it’s true or not.”
“I understand.” Tang Shishi leaned behind the curtain and looked forward with a despondent expression, “Today’s weather is extremely hot and the doctor had a hard time entering the mansion. Dujuan, you go prepare the red packet for the doctor to buy some tea to relieve the summer heat.”
Dujuan was stunned. She looked at the doctor and then at Tang Shishi, she vaguely felt that Tang Shishi wanted to send her away. Dujuan wanted to say something but she stopped. In the end, she felt that she should trust Tang Shishi, so she went out.
When the doctor heard the sentence just now, he began to stand restlessly. He realized that he was in big trouble today.
The doctor spoke with intention, “Madam, I’m just a commoner with no reputation and no family name, and with mediocre medical skills. I am afraid that I can’t see a patient for the nobility. Madam, please find someone more qualified than me.”
“This matter does not require profound medical skills. The doctor only needs to give me the simplest prescription.” After a long pause, Tang Shishi said with difficulty, “I want an abortion prescription.”
The doctor suddenly widened his eyes, “What? No, terminating people’s children is harmful to nature and injustice. I must not do such things…”
“I know that you have noble medical ethics and noble conduct. When I say this, I never meant to belittle you.” Tang Shishi said slowly, “If you’re unwilling to give it, then I can only find the folk prescriptions myself. If it’s not done properly, it will cause a big disturbance, and it will inevitably bring disaster to you. You might as well think again.”
The doctor held back for a long time and sighed deeply. He regretted it in his heart. He should not be greedy for money and take on this troublesome appointment. Now, he could not get out even if he wanted to.
But now it was too late to say anything. How could an ordinary doctor fight against a woman from the Jing Wang mansion? The doctor could only reluctantly take the writing brush and said, “This is the only prescription handed down by our school. It’s usually not given to outsiders. I see that madam is still young and it’s a pity that you have lost your youth, so I made an exception. This prescription will not hurt the foundation and will not affect the later offspring. However, medicine is medicine after all, which can’t compare with the original. Madam, all the children are the fate of Heaven. You have to think properly about it.”
Children were the fate of heaven… Tang Shishi was slightly stunned. She had just learned of his arrival and wanted to personally send him away. She did not even know whether it was a boy or a girl.
If it was a daughter, would she look a lot like her? Tang Shishi closed her eyes forcefully and did not give herself a chance to hesitate, “I understand what I’m doing. Thank you, doctor. You can rest assured that I will bear the consequences with all my might regardless of the ending of today’s affair. I will never implicate you.”
Seeing that he could not persuade her, the doctor lowered his eyes and stopped talking. He folded the prescription into a note and handed it over to Tang Shishi’s hand. As soon as he let go, Dujuan came in.
Dujuan vaguely saw what the doctor had given Tang Shishi something. She quickly blinked, but she saw the doctor standing at a distance, and Tang Shishi’s bed curtain was still quietly hanging down as if the scene just now was just Dujuan’s illusion.
Was she having blurry vision? Dujuan felt something was wrong inexplicably.
Tang Shishi hid the note in her sleeve and said, “The doctor has worked hard. Dujuan, send the doctor out.”
Dujuan was confused and could not figure it out, so she could only follow Tang Shishi’s instructions dully, “Yes.”
Dujuan sent the doctor out the same way. Fortunately, there was no one around in the middle of the day. The doctor was sent out safely without any surprises or dangers all the way. Dujuan breathed a sigh of relief and quickly ran back to Jianjia courtyard.
Somehow unknowingly, Dujuan felt extremely flustered, as if she did not watch Tang Shishi closely, something out of control would happen. When Dujuan returned to the courtyard, she found that Tang Shishi had already come out. She seldom sat on her desk and seemed to be writing something.
Dujuan secretly breathed a sigh of relief, pretending to relax, and said, “Miss, you today… you are in such a good mood today that you even started to write.”
In fact, Dujuan originally wanted to ask what plans Tang Shishi had for the future with the diagnosed today. However, when the words were about to be spoken, they were swallowed back by Dujuan.
“Yes, I have neglected for so long and haven’t written for a long time.” Tang Shishi wrote down a line of words, and handed it to Dujuan, “You quietly go out the mansion to buy back these medicinal ingredients. Don’t alarm others.”
Dujuan took the note and asked in confusion, “Miss, what medicine is this? Why do you want to buy medicine?”
Tang Shishi said indifferently, “I was nearly killed before. So how can I not learn my lesson and not prepare some medicine by my side? I have my own decision on this matter. You just buy the medicines.”
Dujuan could not recognize words but Dujuan felt strange when Tang Shishi said like that. In the end, she could only do accordingly. Tang Shishi sighed softly when she saw Dujuan retreat obediently.
It was unknown whether it was a blessing or a curse to have such a foolish and naïve maid. Fortunately, however, Dujuan was easy to fool. Tang Shishi would never dare to play such a trick if she was replaced with Liu Ji, Tongxiu, or any of the servants of the mansion.
It was an accident that she was calculated by others, and it was also an accident to run into Zhao Chengjun. It was, even more, an accident in the accident that she conceived a child. Zhao Chengjun said before that he had no intention to get married and also did not like children. If Tang Shishi was alone, Zhao Chengjun might forget her after a while. But if the children were involved, then it would be even more dangerous.
Instead of letting him suffer from birth, it was better to let him live in the future. Besides, Tang Shishi was currently walking on a tightrope on a cliff. She could not even protect herself, how could she be qualified to expect anything else? Once the news of the pregnancy was known by Empress Dowager Yao, what would Empress Dowager Yao do, and what would happen to Tang Shishi?
She did not dare to think about it.
Tang Shishi divided the doctor’s prescription into several quantities. She asked Dujuan to buy back all the medicinal ingredients one after another. Dujuan was dim-witted without an inkling. On the twelfth day, Tang Shishi sat under the window and copied books for a long time. This was the longest thing she has done since she entered the mansion. She has always hated boredom but, she did not expect that this has become a source of her meditation and refreshment.
After copying a volume of books, Tang Shishi felt that she should act decisively otherwise there would be endless troubles, it was better to be happy and get it over with. Tang Shishi pressed the book that belonged to Zhao Chengjun firmly on the bookshelf and said to Dujuan, “Dujuan, send out the people in the small kitchen. I want to decoct medicine.”
Tang Shishi had a small kitchen in her own courtyard, but it was of no greater use than boiling water and warming up dishes. However, this was enough. Tang Shishi was dedicated to fanning the fire. When Dujuan saw her, she grabbed the fan and said, “Miss, how can you do this kind of rough work now? It’s such a hot day, you go inside the room to have a rest. I’ll help you to look after the medicine.”
The fan in Tang Shishi’s hand was snatched away when she was in a trance. Her fingers trembled as if trying to stop it, and finally forced herself to turn around, “Good. You carefully looked at the medicine stove and don’t use anyone else. Once it’s ready, bring it to me immediately.”
“Miss, don’t worry. I remember everything.”
Tang Shishi took two steps and turned around. She saw Dujuan holding a palm-leaf fan and carefully looking at the decoction fire. Tang Shishi stood in place, staring blankly at Dujuan’s movements. When Dujuan noticed someone behind her, she asked in surprise, “Miss, what’s the matter?”
Tang Shishi returned to her senses and immediately lowered her gaze, “It’s nothing. I’ll be waiting for you inside.”
Although Tang Shishi was sitting in the room with ice in all four corners, she was still irritable, as if she had done nothing right. Tang Shishi was feeling very confused while pacing around the room.
If her mother knew what she did, her mother would be very sad, right? Lin Wanxi had only one child. Before Tang Shishi entered the palace, Tang Shishi had seen Lin Wanxi secretly making children’s clothes.
Tang Shishi stood on the ground in a daze, and a sudden voice came from behind, “Miss, why are you standing here?”
Tang Shishi was taken aback. She turned her head and saw Dujuan come in with a bowl of decoction. The bowl of decoction was dark and thick, and it was still steaming hot.
Tang Shishi’s heart sank fiercely. For the first time, she realized that time passed so fast.
Dujuan put the decoction on the table, sniffed hard, and said, “This medicine smells really strong. Miss, what kind of medicine is this?”
After Dujuan finished speaking for a long time, she still did not hear Tang Shishi’s answer. Tang Shishi’s distraction was too serious today. Dujuan could not help but ask, “Miss, what’s the matter with you? Today you are always out of your mind as if you have something on your mind.”
“I didn’t.” Tang Shishi said it urgently and quickly as if to confirm something. She stared at the white steam on the medicine bowl, and said to Dujuan, “I want to be alone. You can go out. There will be nothing serious for a while. Don’t come in to disturb me.”
“Oh.” Dujuan agreed. Although she thought that Tang Shishi was very strange today, but what accident could happen within the courtyard? Dujuan did not think much about it. She picked up the tray and withdrew quickly.
When the door gradually closed, the light was also shut out. Tang Shishi sat at the table, her eyes fell on the bowl of decoction, and looked at it for a long time.
She knew that as long as she drank this bowl of decoction, the problem that had troubled her for a long time would be solved. This incident would disappear quietly, no one knew that she was pregnant, and no one knew of that accident. She was still the arrogant, and domineering great beauty Tang, and continued to be the number one important person in the outer study room.
Empress Dowager Yao would not know, and Zhao Chengjun… would not know too. What happened that day was just a mistake, and everything would be corrected when he came back.
Tang Shishi reached out her hand and slowly touched the medicine bowl. The exterior of the bowl was hot and burnt Tang Shishi’s fingertips until it quivered. She brought her fingers closer to her mouth slowly and blew air on it. At this moment, the door was suddenly pushed open.
The room suddenly became bright. Tang Shishi was startled and instinctively covered the medicine bowl with her sleeve. She suddenly raised her head with bright and sharp eyes. When she saw that the person at the door was Dujuan, Tang Shishi was astounded for a moment and suddenly stopped being annoyed, “Didn’t I say that you shouldn’t disturb me if there’s nothing important.”
“Miss, this is a big deal.” Dujuan panted and said, “Today, Shizifei invited Second Miss Xi to view the garden. The little fox ran outside and ran into the Second Miss Xi. Now Shizifei is very angry and said she wanted to kill the little fox.”
“What?” Tang Shishi suddenly stood up, ignoring the medicine, and said, “Where’s the little fox? Take me there quickly!”
At this moment, the garden was full of people. The person in charge was leading a group of young manservants with sticks, animal nets, and iron clips in their hands. In the garden, they were making noises trying to drive the little fox out. In the pavilion where Xi Yunchu and Lu Yufei stood aside, Lu Yufei carefully looked at the scratches on Xi Yunchu’s hand, frowned, and scolded, “This evil animal dares to hurt people. Catch it quickly, beat it to death, and throw it out.”
As soon as Tang Shishi arrived, she heard Lu Yufei had someone beat the little fox to death. She felt cold and blurted out, “Stop!”