It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 70 Crisis
The needle dropped in the courtyard was audible, and everyone was shocked.
Tang Shishi was surprised that the imperial physician said forty days, how could it be forty days? She was clearly two and a half months pregnant. Lu Yufei was surprised that Tang Shishi was indeed pregnant but still did not know where the wild species from.
Zhao Chengjun has been away from home for more than two months, and Zhao Zixun’s whereabouts were also unknown recently. That was to say, the child in Tang Shishi’s belly was not from the Zhao family’s father and son, but a certain wild man. Lu Yufei was really contemptuous and secretly happy when she thought of this.
Liu Ji was also surprised that Tang Shishi was actually pregnant? He immediately thought about how long the Dragon Boat Festival was from today. The duration was not close, but the month might have been too short that the imperial physician’s diagnosis was wrong. He did not think that Tang Shishi have the guts to have an affair. Liu Ji could not help but wonder whether this was Wangye’s heir?
Several people had their own way of thinking, and no one spoke for a moment. Zhao Zixun was stunned for a while and when he reacted, he was furious.
As expected, Tang Shishi had an affair with another man and was pregnant. At first, Zhao Zixun was worried that the man was his father, but now, the imperial physician’s words proved that he was not at all.
Zhao Zixun was extremely angry. If it was not his father, then who was it? Zhao Zixun’s eyes were burned brightly with anger, and said harshly, “You have done such an immoral thing. Say, who is it, and when did it happen?”
Tang Shishi startled in a daze, unconsciously placed her palm on her lower abdomen. She was pretty sure that the child was two and a half months old, not only from the traveling doctor’s diagnosis but also her daily life could confirm this.
Why did the imperial physician say forty days? This period was really strange. If someone were diagnosed with pregnancy but were not sure about the month, he could be said that it was a happy pulse and wait for the good news. Why did he need to add the forty days? Where did the forty days come from?
Tang Shishi reacted aggressively. If the period was too short, it was impossible to determine she was pregnant. If the period was too long, it would run into Zhao Chengjun. Forty days were just right. On this date, Zhao Chengjun was no longer in the mansion, and she was able to diagnose with a happy pulse.
It turned out that they wanted to mislead her child.
Tang Shishi suddenly looked at the crowd. Feng Qian’s figure loomed behind the shadows of people. Feng Qian, like a dormant poisonous snake, hiding in the dark, hissing and spraying the venom, and was ready to pounce and rip away a piece of meat at any time.
Tang Shishi also immediately realized that she had not made a mistake by herself but had been reported. Obviously, the informer was Feng Qian. Moreover, Feng Qian bribed the imperial physician to deliberately lie about Tang Shishi’s month, hoping to put Tang Shishi to death.
Feng Qian actually hated her to this extent. After entering the mansion, Feng Qian spent more than a year getting close to Tang Shishi, constantly exposing her weakness and incompetence in front of Tang Shishi, just to lower Tang Shishi’s vigilance, and then give her a fatal blow. Feng Qian prepared the drug and let a man rob Tang Shishi’s innocence during the Dragon Boat Festival. However, Tang Shishi escaped by mistake. Feng Qian refused to give up after a single blow failed. She actually bribed an imperial physician to slander Tang Shishi for having an affair with others.
This woman was really a poisonous snake.
Zhao Zixun did not see Tang Shishi’s response after questioning for a long time. He became even angrier. Suddenly, he raised his voice and said coldly, “Still don’t want to say quickly. Who is he?”
The womenfolk were all taken aback by Zhao Zixun’s voice and Tang Shishi’s body swayed. Dujuan did not care about committing crimes, she quickly got up from the ground and supported Tang Shishi, “Miss, are you alright?”
The blood on Tang Shishi’s face faded and her lips became pale. She bit her lip, and lowered her head, “I don’t know.”
Zhao Zixun was shocked and angry when he heard the answer. His eyes were dark. He looked at Tang Shishi coldly and asked, “I’ll ask you for the last time. Who is he?”
Tang Shishi closed her eyes forcefully, and still said, “I don’t know.”
What should Tang Shishi say? Could she say it was probably Zhao Chengjun’s, but he did not want to recognize it from the start? Before Zhao Chengjun left, he deliberately concealed the traces, and he also gave child avoidance soup, which showed that Zhao Chengjun did not want people to know. Tang Shishi’s pregnancy was originally an accident. What would Zhao Chengjun think of her if she revealed it to everyone?
She was indeed unscrupulous and loved vanity, but she was not spineless. She would rather bear infamy than belittle herself.
Even if Tang Shishi was bitten to death, she still refused to say. Zhao Zixun was enraged by her attitude and became increasingly angrier. Zhao Zixun sneered and said, “When things have reached this stage, you still want to hide for the other party. Great, I will fulfill this pair of miserable mandarin ducks. Someone comes, get rid of the evil seed in her belly. Our mansion cannot tolerate such indecent and filthy things.”
“No!” Dujuan wailed abruptly and stood in front of Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi’s complexion was deathly pale and on the verge of collapsing. Dujuan protected Tang Shishi and said, “Shizi, please be kind. Miss, she has difficulties.”
Lu Yufei was listening to the scene of farce. She looked at Tang Shishi who has become thin and pale, and she felt a sense of sweet revenge in her heart. Therefore, what was the use of looking good, and what was the use of first-rate beauty? She would have to bear the spits and curses from everyone now that she was pregnant with an unknown wild species.
Lu Yufei was holding her handkerchief and said calmly, “If you have any difficulties, why don’t you say it? Miss Tang, I used to like your beauty, tolerated you everywhere, and even pave the way for you. I didn’t expect you to do such shameless things. You are not the only one in the rear court of the mansion, there are also many other innocent and well-mannered women who can’t let you drag down their reputation for nothing. If you are willing to name that man, then we will treat it as our own family affairs and finish within the family. After the child is aborted, it will be covered up with a quilt, and your conduct and deeds will not be spread outside. If you refuse to cooperate, then you can’t blame us for being ruthless.”
Tang Shishi’s lips were pale and almost colorless, “There are no difficulties. Whether Shizi and Shizifei want to beat or kill, it’s a punishment no matter what.”
Lu Yufei did not expect that Tang Shishi to be so tough. How could she pretend to have unflinching righteousness when she did such a disgraceful thing? Lu Yufei sneered in her heart and said, “Miss Tang is very loyal to this man. However, Wangye can’t tolerate any sand in his eyes. If you tell us now, there is still room for intercession. If you run into Wangye later, I’m afraid that even the Gods of Heaven can’t save you.”
Tang Shishi’s eyes remained unmoved, and the whole person was as indifferent as a block of ice. Zhao Zixun was completely disappointed with her and said, “You are so disappointing. Someone, take the abortion medicine here. When the evil seed in her abdomen is resolved, then interrogate her adulterers one by one.”
Zhao Zixun brought all his own people. Hearing Zhao Zixun’s words, the old woman turned around to prepare the medicine immediately. Liu Ji was shocked for a long time. At this moment, he finally came back to his senses. He hurriedly stopped the people and said to Zhao Zixun, “Shizi, women have thin-skinned. It’s normal for Miss Tang to be unable to respond for a while. This matter is too hasty, and it’s easy to get into trouble in a hurry. It’s better to wait for a while and investigate what’s going on before dealing with it.”
Liu Ji’s words carry a lot of weight, and Zhao Zixun was unwilling to do things too absolute. Tang Shishi was now thinner than when she was not pregnant, and her mental condition did not look very good. If she was forced to abort the baby, it was estimated that the adult would not survive too. Zhao Zixun could not bear it in the end, so he took a step back and said, “For the sake of Liu Gonggong’s pleading for you, I’ll give you another chance. I’ll give you ten days to think about who that man is. If you refuse to say it after ten days, you can’t blame me for being merciless.”
After Zhao Zixun finished speaking, he glanced at Tang Shishi coldly and said, “Let’s go.”
The subordinates from the outer courtyard left with Zhao Zixun. Lu Yufei was two steps behind, looking at Tang Shishi, and sighed, “Miss Tang, you are a smart person, don’t do stupid things. You can think about it carefully these few days.”
After Lu Yufei finished speaking, she glanced at her with a compassionate look and left while holding her hands. In the blink of an eye, the courtyard was empty. However, there were the sounds of guards walking outside, and several gates of the Jianjia courtyard were guarded.
Zhao Zixun was determined to put Tang Shishi under house arrest. Liu Ji deliberately stayed to the end. He also heard the movement at the gates, but Liu Ji did not take it seriously. Taking advantage of no one in the courtyard, Liu Ji walked quickly to Tang Shishi’s side and lowered his voice to ask, “Miss Tang, is this child…”
Liu Ji did not finish speaking, but both of them knew what it meant. Tang Shishi was expressionless while staring straight ahead, and said coldly, “No.”
Dujuan was startled, and her eyes widened suddenly. Liu Ji’s head was hurt by the endless accidents this night. He rubbed his eyebrows vigorously and asked, “Miss, this matter is about your life and death. You can’t joke and tease me like this.”
“Really not.” Tang Shishi smiled lightly. Although she was smiling, it was full of frost. “Wangye has to attend many other important matters every day and has great ambitions. Wangye should continue to worry about his nation’s affairs. It’s not worthy to trouble Wangye with my trivial matter.”
After Tang Shishi finished speaking, without waiting for Liu Ji to reply, she turned around and closed the door in front of Liu Ji. Liu Ji got even more headaches. He originally thought it was, but the imperial physician’s diagnosis was not right and even Tang Shishi herself said no. Liu Ji had no idea. He knocked on the back of his head and decided to solve the problem from the starting point.
He wrote a letter to Wangye without delay and left it to Wangye to decide whether it was right or wrong.
At present, the Jianjia courtyard could only get in and not out, and it was surrounded like an iron bucket.
Zhao Zixun was really angry that night. When he calmed down and thought about it, Zhao Zixun did not understand why he was so angry. Tang Shishi was neither a family member of the mansion nor a concubine with status. If she did not abide by the women’s morality, then she should be executed directly. Why bother talking with her? It just so happened that he could take this opportunity to clean up a batch of spies, Tang Shishi as well as the beauties sent by the Empress Dowager, and could take this opportunity to kill all of them.
However, Zhao Zixun insisted on asking for the father of the child and also wanted Tang Shishi to have an abortion. Why abortion? The action of abortion itself implied removing the child and leaving the adult behind.
Zhao Zixun could not understand it, or he refused to think deeper. Anyway, the words had already been spoken. Zhao Zixun put aside the doubts comfortably and waited for the results in ten days.
On the ninth day, a message came from the servants who guarded the Jianjia courtyard said that Tang Shishi still stayed behind closed doors, and there was no sign of softening. Zhao Zixun could not sit still anymore. Tang Shishi was such a superficial and vanity type of person. He had never seen her with integrity before. This time, she would not hold on to the end, right?
Because of this incident, Zhao Zixun was restless all day long. By the time it was evening, Zhao Zixun became even more irritable and could hardly even read the book. However, he was so agitated that some people still refused to let him be at peace. After dinner, Lu Yu carrying a food box knocked on the door of the study room.
Lu Yufei politely put the heat-relieving soup on Zhao Zixun’s hand and said, “Shizi, it’s already so late, and you’re still reading? Shizi is so hardworking that I’m really ashamed.”
Zhao Zixun did not want to talk to Lu Yufei at all and did not want to touch that heat-relieving soup even more. Zhao Zixun asked, “What are you doing here?”
Lu Yufei’s smile lightly stiffened slightly. She listened to the dowry maid’s advice. She deliberately humble herself to please and took the initiative to deliver Zhao Zixun some soup and water tonight. As a result, Zhao Zixun refused to say even a sentence.
Lu Yufei felt wronged and embarrassed. She did not know whether to put the remaining pastries in her hand. She stood in a stalemate for a while and put down the tray in embarrassment, “Shizi is dedicated to learning, and I shouldn’t be here to disturb. I’ll retire now. By the way, I have one more thing to tell Shizi in advance.”
Zhao Zixun endured his impatience and asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Tomorrow is the day for the trial of Tang Shishi. Since father is not in the mansion, and there are no other elders in the mansion, it might not be convenient to deal with this kind of thing. Therefore, I invited Madam Xi to come.”
Zhao Zixun was stunned for a moment, and was so furious, “You even notified the Xi family? Who allowed you to make your own decision?”