IBTBTED Chapter 84
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 84 Jealousy
Tang Shishi had not thought about it just now and laughed unconsciously. When her brain returned later, Tang Shishi slowly realized something was wrong.
Ordinary women were most afraid of their husbands suspecting infidelity. Tang Shishi was pregnant before marriage, which was inherently dangerous. How could she still say such things herself now?
Was she out of her mind?
Tang Shishi secretly glanced at Zhao Chengjun from the corner of her eyes, only to see Zhao Chengjun’s blank face showing his bad mood everywhere. Tang Shishi knew that she was wrong, she gently pulled her hair out of Zhao Chengjun’s hand, and thanked him cleverly, “It should be almost done. Thank you, Wangye.”
Zhao Chengjun let it go, letting her pull her hair away, but still did not say anything. Tang Shishi knew that Zhao Chengjun was angry and with practice made perfect, she immediately admitted her mistakes skillfully, “Wangye, I was wrong, I didn’t mean that. Who made your words sound so strangely? I didn’t think much…”
Tang Shishi was a person who would actively admit her mistakes but no matter what she would never change. It was impossible to expect her to turn over a new leaf. Even if she admitted her mistake, she would also say that it had nothing to do with her and it was Zhao Chengjun who misled her.
However, this time she really poked his most sensitive sore spot. Usually, Zhao Chengjun would not mind how mischievous she was, but she could not say a word about the second marriage.
Zhao Chengjun stood up silently and went outside to put the scissors away. Tang Shishi looked at Zhao Chengjun impatiently, but in the end, Zhao Chengjun did not give her a single look. Tang Shishi realized that Zhao Chengjun was really angry this time. Tang Shishi felt puzzled. She just mentioned that she did not really want to remarry. What was Zhao Chengjun angry about?
Zhao Chengjun came back from the outside and still did not talk to Tang Shishi. Sitting in front of the dressing table, Tang Shishi held the table all of a sudden and frowned painfully.
Zhao Chengjun thought this was too inferior. Would he fall twice for the same trap? Zhao Chengjun ignored her, but after a while, there was still no movement from Tang Shishi. Zhao Chengjun’s unyielding determination gradually crumbled. He could not help wondering whether Tang Shishi was so delicate due to the baby. Was she really uncomfortable?
Zhao Chengjun rationally thought this was a hoax, but emotionally he was always afraid of what might happen. In the end, rationally was still defeated by worries. Zhao Chengjun asked coldly, “What’s the matter with you?”
Tang Shishi did not answer and just leaned over softly on the dressing table. Zhao Chengjun was distressed and strode to Tang Shishi, “What’s the matter? Someone, call the imperial physician.”
Tang Shishi weakly tugged at Zhao Chengjun’s sleeves, and said softly, “No need. I’ll just go to bed to rest for a while.”
Zhao Chengjun stared at Tang Shishi’s face carefully. Frankly, he thought she was pretending, but there was always a voice in his heart that kept reminding him of what if. In the end, Zhao Chengjun did not dare to gamble, and carefully picked up Tang Shishi and put her on the bed.
Zhao Chengjun took a soft pillow and placed it on Tang Shishi’s lower back. Tang Shishi took the opportunity to lean on Zhao Chengjun’s shoulder. When Zhao Chengjun felt her movements, he paused for a while and asked, “How is it?”
“I’m a little dizzy.” Tang Shishi closed her eyes and said weakly, “If Wangye finds it annoying, go and rest first. I will take it easy for a while.”
Splendidly, Zhao Chengjun was certain that she was really pretending. Zhao Chengjun hated others’ betrayal and secondly, hated others’ deceiving. Since Tang Shishi repeatedly lied to him, Zhao Chengjun should have been angry, but in truth, he found that he had no volatility in emotions at all.
It probably happened too many times that however too excessive things might be still acceptable. Zhao Chengjun let Tang Shishi lean against him for a while and asked, “What about now? Is your head still dizzy?”
“It’s much better.” Tang Shishi looked weak, but her mouth did not lag behind at all. “Thank you, Wangye. Wangye is so gentle and patient. It’s a blessing for any woman to marry a husband like you.”
This was very superficial flattery, and yet Zhao Chengjun still could not help but laugh, “Only you can talk like this. Alright, sit properly if you have made enough trouble.”
Tang Shishi knew that she had passed the test again, her dizziness became lighter promptly, and she sat down obediently. Zhao Chengjun picked a strand of her hair and played with it in the palm of his hand. To her surprise, he asked, “What did Feng Momo say to you in the daytime that can make your mood change so much?”
Tang Shishi was startled and instinctively looked at Zhao Chengjun. Zhao Chengjun was always so astonished and unpredictable. One second ago, she thought she had conquered this man. The next second, she was scared into a cold sweat by his indifferent probing.
Zhao Chengjun did not want to scare her as Tang Shishi was different from the people outside and there was no need to use the combination of kindness and force on her. Zhao Chengjun straightened her hair and said quietly, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to talk about it. I’m just afraid that you have something buildup in your heart. It’s bad for your health after a long time.”
Zhao Chengjun did not need to ask Tang Shishi what Feng Momo said as he could almost guess it. In truth, he was still worried about Tang Shishi. He always felt that Feng Momo had told Tang Shishi something beyond Zhao Chengjun’s control.
Zhao Chengjun hated this feeling of losing control.
Tang Shishi was still desperately searching for excuses, but later she thought about what secret she still had in front of Zhao Chengjun. Zhao Chengjun knew all her thoughts and ambitions.
Tang Shishi was immediately relieved. Unlike when she faced Zhao Zixun, she was never afraid to show her ambition and despicableness, vulgarity, and unbearableness in front of Zhao Chengjun. It was also true that she dared not say some things to others, but she had no scruples toward Zhao Chengjun, who had the highest status and was the most powerful.
Tang Shishi sighed softly and said, “Feng Momo talked about the Tang family. She said that in the four years since I entered the Imperial Palace, Tang Mingzhe’s business has expanded. There are Tang family branches along the canal, and even in the capital.”
Zhao Chengjun’s countenance did not move and said lightly, “What else?”
Based on Zhao Chengjun’s understanding of Tang Shishi, if it was only her father’s expansion of business, she would be hard to calm down, but she would never brood until now. Sure enough, Tang Shishi continued to speak again with a bit of anger in her voice, “Feng Momo also said that Qi Jingsheng successfully became Juren, and Tang Yanyan really became Juren’s wife.”
Zhao Chengjun raised his eyebrows and his eyes changed instantly. He thought it might be something to do with the Tang family, but he did not expect that it had something to do with Qi Jingsheng.
Of course, Zhao Chengjun remembered this name, Qi Jingsheng. He was Tang Shishi’s husband-to-be who had been betrothed to her for five years. If it were not for the accident, she would definitely marry him as her husband.
Zhao Chengjun remained calm and collected, and asked, “Do you care about this matter?”
“Of course, I care!” Tang Shishi was still itched with anger at the thought of it until now. Her focus was on the second half of the sentence, but Zhao Chengjun could not pay attention to the rest only after listening to the front part.
Zhao Chengjun fell into silent. After a while, he said very unintentionally, “You can’t keep the things of yesterday. Let the past affairs stay in the past. Don’t be too persistent.”
Tang Shishi snorted softly, obviously without any intention to comply. How could Tang Shishi possibly let this matter go? It did not matter if Qi Jingsheng married a wife, but he of all people married Tang Yanyan and leaped across the dragon gate to glory in one go which brought nobility to Tang Yanyan. It would be strange if Tang Shishi could swallow this breath.
Tang Shishi’s eyes were bright with excitement, it was obvious that she cared about it very much. Looking at her expression, Zhao Chengjun could not say what it was like in his heart.
In the end, Zhao Chengjun sighed for a long time, pulled up the brocade quilt for Tang Shishi, and in low tones, “It’s late at night. Go to sleep.”
Tang Shishi had been tired for a day, and she was indeed exhausted. She slowly lay on the pillow, Zhao Chengjun tucked the quilt for her, and asked inadvertently, “What do you think of the Tang family?”
Tang Shishi humped coldly and said, “The only relationship between the Tang family and me is my mother. For what reason the others’ life or death got to do with me?”
Zhao Chengjun raised his eyebrows as every aspect of ethics entailed respecting the elders and loving the young, sacrificing oneself for others, and devoting one life to the family while Tang Shishi on the contrary said such words as soon as she opened her mouth, but this was really Tang Shishi. Zhao Chengjun nodded and asked, “Where about the others?”
“The others?” Tang Shishi thought for a moment and said, “Naturally, the less successful the others are, the better. Tang Mingzhe’s wealth was not left to me. On the contrary, the bigger his business was, the prouder concubine Su and Tang Yanyan will be, and my mother will have to endure much more oppression. I wish all these people have bad luck.”
This was something only Tang Shishi could do, she would rather lose than let her enemies live well. Zhao Chengjun sighed helplessly and suppressed the subtle disappointment in his heart.
In fact, what he wanted to ask was Qi Jingsheng. After all, Zhao Chengjun was a prince. If Tang Shishi avoided mentioning it, then Zhao Chengjun would not hold on to it. He covered Tang Shishi with the quilt, closed the bed curtain, and said, “Well, don’t think about it. Go to sleep.”
Tang Shishi looked at Zhao Chengjun in surprise, “Wangye, you…”
“I still have some official documents to approve outside. You go to bed first and I will be back later.”
Tang Shishi realized that she could be very pretentious during this period. Zhao Chengjun kept her company to eat and take a walk during the day, and his official duties would naturally pile up until nighttime. Tang Shishi knew that everything had a limitation. If someone interrupted her while she was busy dealing with official affairs, she would definitely want to choke the other person to death.
Tang Shishi did not say anything more. She said cleverly, “Wangye, go deal with official business. I’ll be fine alone.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Zhao Chengjun had already been delayed for so long that he did not care to wait a little bit more. “You can sleep with ease. I’ll stay here with you.”
He sounded that he would wait for Tang Shishi to fall asleep before leaving and Tang Shishi was quite pleased. She saw that Zhao Chengjun was sitting still and did not seem to be joking at all, so she could only close her eyes in awe.
After closing her eyes, her world fell into chaos. Tang Shishi knew that someone was guarding her not far away, and no matter how the windswept and battered by the rain or the landslides caused the ground to break open, nothing would hurt her. Tang Shishi was full of security and soon fell asleep.
After she fell asleep, Zhao Chengjun stared at her side face for a while, reached out to brush away the loose hair on the side of her face, and his fingers lingered gently on her face.
“Sleep well. There is me for everything.” Zhao Chengjun whispered, “You just have to be happy.”
Many people were surprised when the news spread that Tang Shishi and Zhao Chengjun were going to hold a wedding ceremony. Even more incredible was that the wedding date was set for the twenty-seven of the ninth month.
None of the madams and wives in Xiping had ever seen such a hasty wedding. Which family did not go through the six rites a year or two in advance before getting married? Even if they were really anxious, it would take three months at the earliest. Jing Wang was so fantastic that he would be getting married in seven days.
Indeed, there were pragmatic factors in this. Momo in the imperial palace was still waiting in the capital and could not let Momo wait too long, so the wedding must be fast-tracked. But seven days… was too sloppy.
No one dared to say anything on the surface, but in private, it gradually spread that Jing Wangfei was not valued by Wangye, and even the wedding was very perfunctory. On the twenty-seventh day, the Lu family came to the mansion to attend the wedding, and the eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family frowned repeatedly after seeing the wedding scene.
The eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family endured it until she came to Lu Yufei’s courtyard. When there was no outsider around, she immediately snapped and said disgustedly, “Shizifei, isn’t your Wangye being too rude? In any case, it’s a wedding and it’s so sloppy. The wedding is the most beautiful day for a woman. Wangye doesn’t want to give her face even on this day. How can she live in the future?”
Lu Yufei remained silent for a moment and said casually, “She is pregnant and has the support of the imperial palace. The most important thing is that she has the foundation, and it doesn’t matter how much face one has.”
The eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family murmured, “Yes, she is pregnant. She has maintained a very good figure after pregnancy. It’s been almost five months. I didn’t even notice it at all since she was wearing a loose wedding dress just now.”
Lu Yufei lowered her eyes, not wanting to talk about children. However, the eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family seemed to open the chatterbox, and talked non-stop, “Shizifei, you should also hurry up. That Wangfei looks good and is much younger than Jing Wang. An older husband and younger wife make her easy to be favored and she is still pregnant. After she gave birth to the child in the future and with a child to act as bondage, it’s impossible not to go to her place even if Jing Wang looked down on her. Men are like that. After seeing too many times, over some time, no matter how big a grudge is, it will also fade away.”
“There’s no need later.” Lu Yufei’s tone was neither cold nor indifferent, and she did not know who she was stabbing, “She has already moved to Yan’an courtyard and lives with Wangye every day. There’s no need later. In my opinion, Wangye is fascinated by her now.”
“Ah?” The eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family frowned. The prince’s mansion control was extremely strict, and the news could not be spread outside at all. When the eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family came to the mansion, only then did she know so many things had happened during this period.
The eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family was anxious as Lu Yufei was the only hope of their family. Several brothers and nephews of the Lu family all depended on Shizifei’s promotion. Concerning her family life, the eldest daughter-in-law immediately put aside her estrangement and sincerely gave Lu Yufei advice, “Shizifei, in this case, you have to hurry up. In case that person gives birth to a boy, then he will be Jing Wang’s own flesh and blood. You and Shizi’s position will be awkward. You have to quickly give birth to the eldest grandson and establish a position in Jing Wang’s eyes.”
Lu Yufei touched her lower abdomen with her palm and could not help smiling bitterly. She actually wanted to, but Zhao Zixun did not come to her room at all. What could she do?
The eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family was still persuading her incessantly. Lu Yufei was upset listening to her, and coldly interrupted the eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family, “Sister-in-law, you don’t say anymore. I know everything that I should know. However, what can I do about pregnancy? It’s considered quite good now. In the next few days, Zhou Shunhua will be coming back and I am afraid there will be no place for me at that time.”
“What?” The eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family was shocked again, “Isn’t she sent to the village? How can she come back?”
“Who else can it be?” Lu Yufei sneered coldly, “Isn’t that good mother-in-law of mine who especially takes her back? I use the excuse that the mansion was going to hold a wedding and was too busy. So, I can only delay for seven days. After today, I don’t have any more reason to stop Shizi from picking her.”
The eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family shut up. She looked at Lu Yufei and wanted to say something but hesitated. She never asked about her sister-in-law’s affairs, but she also heard a little about the beautiful confidant of Shizi. Before Lu Yufei was married, Shizi was entangled with that woman. The Lu family even had to compensate for the loss of a young lady born from a concubine. In the end, if Jing Wang had not come forward, probably Lu Yufei would not be able to get married into the mansion.
Later, she heard that the woman was sent away. For this reason, the eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family also admired her sister-in-law’s superb ability that she could handle such a difficult confidant. Who could have imagined that Lu Yufei tried her best to send her away, and the other person could pick her up without much effort?
Getting someone else to do the dirty work was an effortless victory. It seemed that the Wangfei today was the real expert.