IBTBTED Chapter 90
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 90 Busy
When Tang Shishi heard this, she could not help but roll her eyes. Because there were so many maids around, she just held back and nodded, “Yes, he moved.”
Zhao Chengjun was really gratified. He wanted to feel it with his own hands, but unlike in private, there were still many maids in the room now. Zhao Chengjun suppressed the impulse to touch and said, “That’s good. Sure enough, my forecast is accurate.”
Tang Shishi did not look at Zhao Chengjun’s eyes, and said superficially, “Yes, yes, yes. Wangye has incredible foresight and can even master this kind of thing.”
Seeing that Tang Shishi kept staring down, Zhao Chengjun asked quietly, “What are you looking at?”
Tang Shishi raised the booklet and showed Zhao Chengjun the picture inside, “Design booklet. The embroiderer wants to take a break to celebrate New Year, so she takes advantage now to cut out the clothes for early spring next year.”
It turned out to be a design for making clothes. Zhao Chengjun had never cared about this. His world only had border military affairs, legal changes, and deep-rooted blood feuds. How could he know what kind of flowers were embroidered on clothes and how to cut clothes? Zhao Chengjun’s interest aroused and asked Tang Shishi, “Which one is your dress?”
“I’m picking it out.” Tang Shishi loved beauty since young, but now she was pregnant and could not wear many clothes like before. This stumped Tang Shishi. She refused to wear a large and simple dress, but clothes with too many details would make her tired after wearing them for some time. Tang Shishi tried to find a balance between comfort and beauty. Seeing her picking and choosing in an undecided manner, Zhao Chengjun stretched out his finger and said, “I think this is good.”
“It’s too fat.”
“Do you still want to wear tight clothing now?”
Tang Shishi closed the booklet with a bang and glared at Zhao Chengjun angrily, “Are you saying I’m fat?”
Zhao Chengjun was speechless and could not understand why Tang Shishi could jump back to this point from any topic. Zhao Chengjun tried to comfort her, “You are pregnant now. It’s only healthy to be rounded. You were too thin some time ago.”
Tang Shishi blinked her eyes and aggrieved immediately, “You don’t deny it. You really think I’m fat.”
Zhao Chengjun gave up, and he should not answer any topics related to “fat”. Seeing a person standing outside the partition, he decided promptly, “Who is outside? What’s the matter?”
The maid walked in small steps and lowered her head, “Wangye, Wangfei, the people from the cloth workshop are here and want to greet Wangfei.”
“It’s them.” Tang Shishi remembered and instructed, “They’re here to deliver fabrics. Let them wait at the gatehouse. I’ll come in a while.”
After Zhao Chengjun heard it, he said, “Since you want to make clothes so much, why need to wait? Just let them come in.”
Tang Shishi hesitated, “But Wangye, you still have things to do outside. I’m afraid I’ll waste Wangye’s time if I call them to come in now.”
“It’s already the end of the year. What else can happen.” Zhao Chengjun did not even blink his eyes, as if he was thrown out of the study room, and his subordinates who were still waiting impatiently for him to go back to discuss official matters that did not exist at all, “So happen that I have nothing to do today. I can accompany you to see the clothes. Let them in.”
Of course, Tang Shishi was incredibly happy that Zhao Chengjun could accompany her. Her eyes suddenly lit up and smiled, “It’s rare that Wangye has time. Please hurry up.”
The people in the cloth workshop received the message and came in with a lot of samples. After the shopkeeper’s wife came in, she was shocked to find that Jing Wang was also there.
Tang Shishi was immersed in the joy of choosing clothes and did not even notice the reactions of the people around her. She ran her fingers across the fabrics, and finally took a fancy to one of them, pulled it over her body, then turned around to ask Zhao Chengjun, “What do you think of this?”
Zhao Chengjun nodded, “En, it looks good.”
“Really?” Tang Shishi frowned, “But the color is too light and it’s easy to look dull.”
Zhao Chengjun did not expect Tang Shishi to be dissatisfied. According to her words, he pointed to a red fabric, “This one is bright and will not look dull.”
“But it’s too stunning.” Tang Shishi still frowned, “I can’t wear too much jewelry next year. Wearing this dress, is it to look at the person or the clothes?”
Zhao Chengjun had to accompany her to try another color. As a result, Tang Shishi said white was too light, red was too strong, blue was too cold, and green was too unlucky. Zhao Chengjun had a headache when he heard it and finally waved his hand, “That’s it, no need to pick. Since you can’t make up your mind, just keep everything.”
If could not make a decision, then did not have to make a decision and have it all. Tang Shishi had nothing to say in an instant, and she struggled a little, “But will this be too extravagant…”
“Will not.” Zhao Chengjun said, “No matter how expensive things are, they always have a price, but your happiness is priceless.”
Tang Shishi was coaxed into a puffy smile, her eyes were sparkling. The people from the cloth workshop were astonished. This world was indeed terrible. It was rumored that Jing Wang, who was ruthless and strict, could coax a woman like this in private?
The people from the cloth workshop were full of excitement just thinking about it.
There was a burst of laughter outside the room, mixed with the voices of women greeting each other. The maid ran in to salute, and said, “Wangfei, Shizifei is here with the three beauties.”
Today, the people from the cloth workshop came in to deliver the fabrics. Tang Shishi casually informed Lu Yufei and told them to come to choose the cloth together. Lu Yufei and the rest came according to the time without knowing that Zhao Chengjun would come back.
There was a difference between inside and outside. There was no harm to Zhao Chengjun to accompany Tang Shishi, but it was inconvenient for him to stay any longer when other female family members were there. When Zhao Chengjun heard the maid’s report, he told Tang Shishi, “Take your time, I’ll go out first. Don’t be impatient, don’t move too much, and don’t be petty.”
“I know.” Tang Shishi helplessly pushed Zhao Chengjun’s arm, “I remember everything. You go do your things quickly.”
The people from the cloth workshop were dumbstruck to watch Wangfei push Jing Wang away. Before Jing Wang left, he was still worried and deliberately stopped to say, “Behave and be careful of your health. If you feel uncomfortable, send someone to find me immediately.”
“Fine.” Tang Shishi nodded, again and again, wishing Zhao Chengjun would leave quickly. People who did not know thought that Zhao Chengjun was going on a long journey. He was just going to the study room in the front courtyard to sit for a while and then coming back in the evening. Was there a need to be so grand?
Lu Yufei and the others were waiting at the pavilion. Not long after taking off their cloaks, they happened to run into Zhao Chengjun who was leaving. Lu Yufei and the others hurriedly saluted Zhao Chengjun and respectfully sent him away.
After Zhao Chengjun left, Lu Yufei asked while walking into the room, “Is Wangfei uncomfortable today?”
The maid who led the way felt very strange, “No, Wangfei is in good mood today.”
“Then…” Lu Yufei was puzzled, “Then why did Wangye come back?”
While talking, Lu Yufei and the others had already reached the outside of the partition. Tang Shishi was sitting on the arhat couch and just heard Lu Yufei’s words, “What are you talking about? Why did you mention Wangye?”
The maid greeted and lowered her head, “Wangfei, Shizifei was just asking why Wangye came back.”
Lu Yufei smiled and took over, “That’s right. I heard that there were many people gathered in the study room today. Shizi went out early in the morning and didn’t come back for the midday meal. When I saw Wangye suddenly come back to the inner courtyard, I thought something has happened.”
Tang Shishi raised her eyebrows and asked, “Are they busy these days?”
“Of course.” Lu Yufei said, “It’s going to be the end of the year soon. The official office will have a holiday in a few days and take advantage of these few days to settle the old cases. Furthermore, the deployment, duty, and patrolling of Xiping city must be arranged in advance. Shizi is already so busy just arranging Xiping City. Wangye not only has to manage Xiping City, but also consider other places. I thought Wangye will be even busier.”
“Really?” Tang Shishi’s expression became more and more confused. Based on logic, Zhao Chengjun and Zhao Zixun should be managing the same things. Why was the feedback from Lu Yufei completely different from what Tang Shishi perceived?
Was Zhao Chengjun really busy? Why could not she tell at all?
Lu Yufei originally thought that Zhao Chengjun was called back by Tang Shishi, but now looking at Tang Shishi’s expression, it seemed not. Lu Yufei was also bewildered and asked, “Since it’s not Wangfei who is unwell, then what did Wangye do when he comes back?”
“I don’t know.” Tang Shishi snorted softly and said casually, “Maybe he’s too free.”
Free? The four women from Shizi’s courtyard were surprised. Zhao Zixun was too busy to see anyone during this time. He had not returned to the rear courtyard for a long time. Zhao Chengjun had more things to manage than Zhao Zixun and it was reasonable that he would only be busier. Tang Shishi even said that Jing Wang was free?
These women were looking at each other speechlessly, no one could understand each other.
Amid the noise, New Year’s Eve was coming soon. On the thirtieth day, there was the sound of firecrackers early in the morning. Everyone changed their new clothes and said auspicious words to each other happily, “Auspicious New Year, good fortune, and good health.”
In the Yan’an courtyard, the hallways and corridors were cleaned up and were brightly lit everywhere. In the main room, Tang Shishi had been pregnant for eight months with a very bulging stomach and Zhao Chengjun helped her to sit on the arhat couch carefully, “Ask the maid to do if you have anything, you should not move.”
Tang Shishi propped up her waist, her lower back was very sore. Seeing that her face did not look good, Zhao Chengjun asked, “Back pain?”
Tang Shishi nodded aggrievedly. She could no longer care whether her figure looks good or not. Now she often had backache at every turn, panting from exhaustion after a little movement, and even had difficulty turning over at night. Fortunately, Zhao Chengjun was with her. Sometimes Tang Shishi was awakened in the middle of the night because her calf cramped badly, yet she could not even sit up. Since Zhao Chengjun was a light sleeper, he woke up shortly and helped her massage her legs.
Last night, Tang Shishi was awakened several times. After she recovered, she continued to sleep, but it was hard for Zhao Chengjun to fall asleep again, and did not know whether he slept back later. Tang Shishi was a little guilty about this, but she did not want to ask Zhao Chengjun to go to sleep in another room.
She had to go through so much hardship during pregnancy. Why should she suffer alone while Zhao Chengjun could rest peacefully? The child was his. Was not it right for Zhao Chengjun to be tossed by his own child?
Tang Shishi adhered to the principle that if she could not live well, others could not too, and pretended not to know. No matter what, she would never ask Zhao Chengjun to stay outside. Fortunately, Zhao Chengjun never mentioned it and had been working hard with Tang Shishi.
Zhao Chengjun sighed softly when he heard Tang Shishi’s words and stretched out his hand to help massage her waist. This was the first time that Zhao Chengjun knew that a woman could be so tired when she was pregnant. If it were not for his own experience, he would never have imagined that a woman who seemed to be weak and feeble had to endure so much hardship. The pain they had to endure was no less than the soldiers who went to battle.
Not all men in the world would go into battle, but most women would have children. Zhao Chengjun sighed when he thought of this. Maybe he had seen a lot of things and some things had lost his sense of reverence because all women had to give birth to children, so childbirth seemed to have become not a big deal at all. After Zhao Chengjun personally accompanied Tang Shishi through the morning sickness, he realized how difficult it was for his imperial concubine mother to conceive him and his brothers. Unfortunately, when he was young at that time, he yearned for the outside world with all his heart. Even when he rarely accompanied his imperial concubine mother, he was talking about his emperor father to his imperial concubine mother.
He worshiped his father in his early youth, but he did not know that his emperor father only visited them occasionally. No matter how much his emperor father liked him, his emperor father would not delay the harem from giving birth to other princes and princesses. Only his imperial concubine mother was the one who genuinely love them without reservation.
Tang Shishi’s lower back pain was greatly relieved with moderate strength from Zhao Chengjun’s hands. When she saw Zhao Chengjun half lowering his eyes as if something were on his mind, she asked, “Wangye, what are you thinking about?”
“I was thinking how ignorant I was back then.” Zhao Chengjun’s voice was incredibly low, seeming to sigh with regret, “I didn’t even say a word of thanks to my imperial concubine mother.”
Tang Shishi was silent. Zhao Chengjun paused and then continued, “At that time, I only knew that I disliked my imperial concubine mother’s nagging and being impatient with her telling me to make progress in reading and interfere in my daily necessities. Unexpectedly, when I wanted to listen later, I didn’t have a chance anymore.”
Zhao Chengjun held Tang Shishi’s hand and said calmly, “I’m fine. I’m just expressing my feelings. Only when raising a child, can one know the kindness of the parents. I hate that I understand it too late.”