IBTBTED Chapter 82
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 82 Stir Up Trouble
Tang Shishi lowered her head and smiled, “Shizifei’s words are too far-fetched. I pity the parents of the world. Everything in this world has always been paid for by the previous generation to the next generation. Have you ever seen the younger generation compensate the elders in turn? Shizifei let others hurt my little fox before and asked the mother and sister of the former Wangfei to come to the mansion to give some pointers, although in the end there were no fatal injuries, I naturally will not fuss with Shizifei. I, Wangfei, has a shallow foundation and am inferior to other noble wealthy family daughter. I don’t expect too much. I will be content as long as Shizifei and Shizi are in harmony, Wangye is in good health, and the mansion is harmonious and prosperous.”
Tang Shishi said she would not fuss, but her words were full of fuss. Lu Yufei was sweating cold sweat and hurriedly said, “Wangfei, calm down. I don’t dare to neglect Wangfei. Everything before was a misunderstanding. They accidentally hurt the fox because it clawed Second Miss Xi’s hand and I can’t avoid giving an explanation to the Xi family. Later, I invited them to come over as a guest was simply too hard to refuse their generous intentions.”
Tang Shishi laughed and said, “Oh! In this way, everything Shizifei did was because of no other choice, and everything was forced by the Xi family?”
Lu Yufei lowered her head. She knew that shirking responsibility was very despicable, but Zhao Chengjun was sitting next to her. How could Lu Yufei dare to answer? Anyway, Jing Wang hated the Xi family and would not allow the Xi family to enter the mansion again. In the future, Xi Yunchu might find it difficult to see Jing Wang. In this case, it was not too much for Xi Yunchu to bear some crimes appropriately.
Moreover, those things were originally provoked by Xi Yunchu which should be counted back to Xi Yunchu.
Zhao Chengjun sat motionlessly, but his eyes narrowed slightly. Lu Yufei asked someone to hurt Tang Shishi’s fox, when did this happen?
Zhao Zixun was very embarrassed when he heard Lu Yufei’s words. He noticed that Zhao Chengjun’s face changed slightly. Zhao Zixun knew that it was not good, and straightway said, “It’s all because of me who did not manage the family strictly which caused Shizifei to be egged by others and did the wrong things. It is my fault that she did the wrong things, so I ask Wangfei to punish me.”
Zhao Zixun knew well the way to survive in the rear courtyard. Instead of waiting for Zhao Chengjun to open his mouth for punishment, he might as well take the initiative to plead guilty. As expected, Tang Shishi did not want to offend the male lead on her first-day accession as Wangfei, so she stepped back after Zhao Zixun pleaded guilty and said, “Shizi is kind-hearted. It’s inconvenient for me to intervene in your husband and wife’s affairs, so I’ll let Shizi deal with in this matter. Shizi studies etiquette and is able to distinguish right from wrong. I assume that you will deal with it impartially and will never wrong Shizifei. Shizifei, so you should feel relieved?”
Tang Shishi completely roasted Lu Yufei on the fire. Since she said it like this, Zhao Zixun had to deal with her even if he did not want to. The most embarrassing thing was that Tang Shishi still asked in the end, “so you should feel relieved”.
This was indeed taking advantage but pretending at loss. Did not Tang Shishi’s words imply that Lu Yufei was dissatisfied with Tang Shishi? Lu Yufei simply had no choice but to suffer in silence, and quickly said, “Wangfei has great insight. I have never been disrespectful to you. Wangfei is fair, and I admire you so much. How can I not feel relieved?”
“Really?” Tang Shishi was all smiles and fanned the fan, “I thought Shizifei prefers to listen to Shizi than me.”
Tang Shishi was really an eccentric expert. In one sentence, Zhao Zixun and Lu Yufei both had connotations. But Tang Shishi did not say it clearly, so people could not refute it.
There was a moment of awkwardness in the atmosphere. Tang Shishi knew when to stop and it was time to stop showing her power. She was about to open her mouth to smooth things over but did not expect Zhao Chengjun to interrupt and say indifferently, “It’s a virtue to obey your husband after married but unfilial to parents-in-law is part of seven out*. You are Wangfei and at the same time the mother of the two of them. No matter what they do wrong, they should be disciplined by you. How can Zhao Zixun get in front of you?”
(seven out* – of seven kinds of conditions for divorcing a wife in ancient times)
Tang Shishi’s eyes rounded slightly and looked at Zhao Chengjun in surprise. According to tradition, the stepmother always remained at a respectful distance from the adult stepson to avoid suspicion. Zhao Zixun was also Shizi of Jing Wang’s mansion. As a newly conferred Wangfei, Tang Shishi was about the same age as Shizi. How could she be qualified to manage Shizi’s affairs?
Tang Shishi handed these things to Zhao Zixun, the first was to please Zhao Zixun, and the second was to follow the unwritten rules. The matter of Shizi and his wife should be resolved by themselves behind a closed door. Tang Shishi understood her position in the mansion very well, and she would not overestimate herself and challenged Zhao Zixun in return.
But who knew that Zhao Zixun acquiesced, and Zhao Chengjun actually retorted? When Zhao Chengjun said this, it was a declaration to everyone that the priority of Tang Shishi was higher than that of Zhao Zixun. Since Tang Shishi did not nod her head, there was no reason for Zhao Zixun to be in front of Tang Shishi.
Everyone was shocked together. When Zhao Zixun heard this, he said right away, “I’m the one that is frivolous with father’s teaching. Wangfei, please punish.”
Tang Shishi could not believe it. Zhao Chengjun looked at her hesitant appearance and said ordinarily, “Emotionally, you are their legitimate mother and are qualified to discipline your son and daughter-in-law. Logically, you are Wangfei, and it’s up to you to decide everything in the rear courtyard, regardless of size. I don’t know what Shizifei has done, but since you’re not happy, then just deal with it.”
Lu Yufei was so frightened that she could no longer stand when she heard this, and she knelt down while holding her skirt, “I’m young and don’t have experience. I don’t mean to offend Wangfei. Wangfei, please forgive me.”
Lu Yufei was really frightened because Zhao Chengjun actually just used “seven out”, unfilial to parents-in-law was such a severe accusation. Once she was deducted, then she would be divorced.
Jing Wang was actually going to divorce her just because Tang Shishi was unhappy?
Zhao Chengjun said with a blank face, “I just said that she will decide whatever happens in the inner courtyard and even I won’t interfere.”
Lu Yufei was even more desperate when she heard that. It was over. What kind of magic potion did Tang Shishi give Jing Wang to drink last night until Jing Wang gave her such a face? Lu Yufei knelt down on the ground in despair and felt that her life was over. If she was divorced, Lu Yufei had no face to return to her parent’s home, then she could only take white silk and commit suicide.
Tang Shishi was happy when she saw Lu Yufei’s pale and decadent face. Zhao Chengjun was Jing Wang who had no scruples, but Tang Shishi could not. Besides, Tang Shishi still had to keep Lu Yufei’s trump card to pin down Zhou Shunhua. If Lu Yufei was driven away early, would not she give Zhou Shunhua to climb faster?
This was absolutely out of question.
Although Tang Shishi had already withdrawn from the imperial palace fight, she still had to live in the harem. If Zhou Shunhua was allowed to sit on the position of empress early, then Zhou Shunhua and Madam Xu would join forces to push her aside in the future. Would Tang Shishi as Empress Dowager of the Eastern Palace still survive?
When training an eagle, one had to beat with a stick first before giving a sweet date, and the same was true for training people. Seeing that Lu Yufei was beaten in pain, Tang Shishi was happy and said with a smile, “A person is not a sage who can do no wrong. As long as you know the mistake and correct them, then it’s good enough. I am still pregnant with the child, so the previous things will be completely wiped out, and it’s also considered to accumulate virtue for the child. Shizifei should be more vigilant in the future and can no longer be so confused.”
Lu Yufei’s mood was suddenly tensed and then suddenly relaxed, she was stupefied. Tang Shishi fanned her fan with a smile, raised her eyebrows at the people around her, and said, “What are you doing in a daze? Why don’t you help Shizifei get up quickly?”
The maids woke up like a dream and quickly helped Lu Yufei get up. Lu Yufei was still muddle-headed when she stood up straight. What exactly did Tang Shishi want to do?
Of course, it was impossible for Tang Shishi to spare Lu Yufei easily. It was not just beating and scolding that was called punishment. There were too many ways to make womenfolk unhappy.
Tang Shishi held the fan and said slowly, “Family harmony is the basis for success in everything. Our imperial family members are still too sparse. It’s not a problem that Shizifei has not been pregnant for a long time. In my opinion, might as well add a few more people in the rear court to open branches and spread leaves for the imperial family.”
Lu Yufei held her breath and simply could not believe it. Why did Tang Shishi suddenly change her mind to become so virtuous, and take the initiative herself to accept a concubine? In the next second, she heard Tang Shishi say, “Zhou Shunhua is still in the mountain villa in Nanshan? It was not a big mistake to send her to the village at the beginning. Now that she has been reflecting on herself for so long, she also deserves to come back. Shizi, what do you think?”
Lu Yufei’s mood fell to the bottom in an instant. It turned out that Tang Shishi did not set an example to give Jing Wang a concubine, but rather acted virtuously for Lu Yufei.
The person to be picked up was still Zhou Shunhua. Lu Yufei was tens of thousands of times unwilling. She took so much effort to drive Zhou Shunhua away. If Zhou Shunhua returned to the mansion again, where would Lu Yufei’s face go?
Lu Yufei was so anxious that she wanted to object, but Tang Shishi did not ask her. Lu Yufei could not rush to speak in front of Zhao Zixun. So, Lu Yufei could only look at Zhao Zixun nervously. Tang Shishi did not rush and looked at Zhao Zixun in a calm and composed manner.
The legitimate wife would not fight with the concubine, and the legitimate wife’s daughter would not fight with the concubine’s daughter. Tang Shishi was her mother-in-law, why did she want to fight with Lu Yufei? Why did she want to involve herself, who was a judge, if she wanted to spice up the place? She might as well bring in a few more contestants and let them bite themselves.
Zhao Zixun was surprised and suddenly could not believe it. He quickly looked at Zhao Chengjun, but Zhao Chengjun’s face was indifferent, not happy but there was also no displeased.
Zhao Zixun was not sure about Zhao Chengjun’s attitude and did not dare to express his position for a while. Tang Shishi also discovered that. She covered half of her face with a round fan with her smiling eyes set on Zhao Chengjun, “Wangye, when marrying a wife should marry a virtuous person. Am I very magnanimous?”
It was indeed too magnanimous. He deliberately supported her, but she took it as a favor to someone else. Zhao Chengjun’s face was calm and forbearance. As a result, Tang Shishi took the initiative to make trouble. Zhao Chengjun glanced at her indifferently. When he came in contact with her wet and praiseful eyes, he could not help but laugh angrily.
The corners of Zhao Chengjun’s lips moved slightly, this was not much, but he still smiled. Tang Shishi immediately felt relieved. He smiled which showed that it was all right. Tang Shishi raised her chin and said softly, “Since everyone is fine with it, then this matter is settled. Shizi, Shizifei, do you have any objections?”
How could Zhao Zixun object? He promptly bowed with his hands cupped together and thanked her, “Thank you for Wangfei’s kindness. I am very grateful.”
Tang Shishi looked at Lu Yufei with a smile, her eyes were bright and sparkling, “Shizifei?”
Lu Yufei’s lips moved, but in the end, she could only lower her head and rigidly hooked up a smile, “I think this is extremely good. Thank you, mother.”
Although Lu Yufei smiled, her heart was bitter. Listening to Zhao Zixun’s impatient tone, he must have been looking forward to it for a long time. This woman, Tang Shishi was really scheming. Previously, Lu Yufei thought that these women were stupid and could not be the enemy. Now, it looked like Lu Yufei was the fool.
Tang Shishi was not stupid, she was clearly very smart. In this scene, Tang Shishi not only showed her kindness and magnanimity in front of Wangye, but she also gave Zhao Zixun a favor and dealt a severe blow to Lu Yufei. With just a few words, she could kill three birds with one arrow.
This person was so scheming by disguising herself as a pig to eat a tiger. The most terrible thing was that she pretended for so long that everyone thought she was stupid and brainless. This kind of woman was really terrifying!
Lu Yufei was shocked and frightened, and a layer of cold sweat broke out on her back in an instant. Tang Shishi was extremely refreshed after messing with other people’s family affairs. She wanted to be like this for a long time ago. Tang Shishi was the pettiest type of person. Whoever made her unhappy for a while, she could make the other person unhappy for a lifetime!
Did not Lu Yufei like Zhao Zixun and keep the legitimate wife’s dignity until she died? In that case, then she could tangle with three thousand beauties in the harem. Zhou Shunhua, Ren Yujun, Ji Xinxian, and there were plenty of them to fight together.
Zhao Chengjun tapped the armrest with his fingers lightly. Although he did not speak, his appearance did not look happy based on his expression. Zhao Zixun was afraid that he would change his opinion if he delayed and immediately said, “I have been taught and dare not delay Wangfei’s rest. I will retire now.”
After Zhao Zixun said that Lu Yufei could only leave with him. After the others dispersed, Zhao Chengjun could not hold it anymore and flicked his fingers on Tang Shishi’s forehead.
His action was not light. Tang Shishi was hurt by the flick, covered her forehead aggrievedly, and asked pitifully, “Why are you hitting me?”
“You’re really full of future prospects.” Zhao Chengjun squeezed the tip of Tang Shishi’s nose hard and raised his eyebrows. “I let others send Zhou Shunhua to Nanshan. You didn’t discuss it with me and dare to refute my order in front of everyone?”
Tang Shishi’s nose could not breathe, and her cheeks slowly swelled up. She blinked and looked at him innocently.
Yes oh, Tang Shishi only remembered this matter after Zhao Chengjun said that.
When Zhao Chengjun looked at her like this, he clearly wanted to give her a good scolding. In the end, he squeezed out a smile. Tang Shishi was not afraid when she saw him smiling. She avoided Zhao Chengjun’s hand, moved around Zhao Chengjun, and skillfully leaned her cheek on Zhao Chengjun’s shoulder, “It’s my fault that I forgot this. Who told you to leave me in the cold before and do things without me? I naturally can’t remember.”
Unexpectedly, it turned out to be his fault. Zhao Chengjun was about to say it again but suddenly stopped when he heard the sound outside.
Tang Shishi noticed something was wrong and raised her head to look outside. At this time, Liu Ji reported at the doorway, “Wangye, Wangfei, Feng Momo is here.”
It turned out to be Feng Momo. Tang Shishi also sat up straight, hurriedly straightened her clothes, and sat back in her original position.
When Feng Momo entered the door, she so happened to see Tang Shishi’s movements. She smiled as soon as she saw it, “Oh! It seems that I came here at the wrong time and disturbed Wangye and Wangfei.”
Tang Shish was embarrassed and stood up, “Momo, what are you talking about? Wangye and I were just talking. Momo, please sit down.”
The maid put a soft cushion on the lower seat. Feng Momo sat down while holding on to her sleeves and smiled, “What did Wangye and Wangfei talk about that could make the hairpin on the hair crooked?”
Tang Shish was surprised and hurriedly touched the hairpin behind her head which was indeed crooked. Tang Shishi’s face turned red at once. At this time, Zhao Chengjun spoke indifferently to change the topic, “I don’t know that Feng Momo has arrived, and excuse me for not going out to meet you. What brought Feng Momo here today?”
Feng Momo understood propriety the best. She stopped making fun and took the opportunity to take over the conversation, “I came here today to discuss the wedding with Wangye and Wangfei. Although the edict was delivered, Wangye and Wangfei have not held the wedding yet which was not a problem after all.”
“It’s natural.” Zhao Chengjun replied, “The wedding is just a ceremony. She has been recognized by Empress Dowager and the imperial court. Now her body is still inconvenient, so there’s no need to toss about a superficial ceremony. Keep everything simple for the big wedding. The ceremony should be saved unless it’s necessary.”
Feng Momo also agreed with this idea and nodded, “Empress Dowager also thought the same as what Wangye has just said. I came to Jing Wang’s fiefdom this time to send the edict of conferment for Wangfei, and the second is to attend His Highness’s wedding on behalf of Empress Dowager. After seeing His Highness getting married with my own eyes, then I can go back to the imperial palace with ease to report on this matter.”
Feng Momo and Zhao Chengjun clicked together easily. They talked about cutting back on etiquette. Tang Shishi was not familiar with the imperial wedding and could not speak on these matters. She did not want to take care of the wedding either, but she actually cared about something else.
Tang Shishi hesitated for a long time. She had been wanting to ask about the Tang family several times but whenever she opened her mouth to ask the question and was about to say something, she still let it pass. Empress Dowager Yao held the news channel, and she would definitely not let Tang Shishi and the Tang family resume contact.
If they did not know her whereabouts, they would not be implicated in the imperial feud. It was better this way. They could be the richest people in Linqing with ease without worrying about eating and drinking or listening to political affairs. Was not this better than following her in fear?
Tang Shishi just wanted to know whether her mother’s health had improved over these years. With Lin Wanxi’s sentimental temperament, Tang Shishi did not expect her to fight the concubines all by herself. As long as she did not get bullied by others and lasted for a few more years, she could wait for Tang Shishi to stand up for her.
While Zhao Chengjun and Feng Momo were still discussing the wedding, Tang Shishi lowered her eyes and sighed softly.