IBTBTED Chapter 91
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 91 Usher out the Old
Tang Shishi was speechless for a while when she heard Zhao Chengjun mention Imperial Concubine Guo Gonglie and Emperor Shizong. As early as when she first came to Jing Wang’s mansion, Feng Momo implicitly mentioned before that it was taboo in Jing Wang’s mansion to mention Imperial Concubine Guo Gonglie buried with Emperor Shizong.
It was simply unthinkable and unprecedented that a high-ranking imperial concubine who gave birth to three princes to be buried along with the dead. Later, Tang Shishi heard that Zhao Chengjun’s two brothers from the same mother died one after another in the early years of Yongxi.
When Xiaozong succeeded the throne at the beginning of Yongxi, Empress Dowager Yao just turned over to be in charge. Tang Shishi did not dare to think about the causal relationship but by looking at the strange manner between Feng Momo and Zhao Chengjun when they first met at the relay post station, perhaps the other two princes might not have died naturally.
Even after rethinking again, it might not be accidental that Zhao Chengjun’s betrothed had accidents one after another. Therefore, there was a saying spreading outside that Zhao Chengjun’s fate was hard, his murderous intent was too heavy, and would kill everyone around him. His parents, his brothers, his betrothed… all could not avoid it.
This saying fooled many people. The saying that Zhao Chengjun jinxed his wife had been circulated in the capital up to now. However, on the other hand, it was not that Zhao Chengjun jinxed the people around him, but he was the only one who survived out of all his family and friends.
Tang Shishi secretly thought that this person should be Empress Dowager Yao. The following things were also logical. Tang Shishi was the person of Empress Dowager Yao. Empress dowager Yao intentionally showed her benevolence, so Zhao Chengjun’s wedding was finally held successfully. Tang Shishi was often in a cold sweat whenever she thought of this and was glad that she had escaped this calamity. Zhao Chengjun was extremely nervous during this period which could also be explained.
Tang Shishi did not answer the topic of Imperial Concubine Guo Gonglie. She could not understand what it felt like to watch her biological mother forced to be buried. If she rashly comforted Zhao Chengjun, she would only appear to be pretentious. Moreover, this topic was sensitive after all. If she could not say it well, she would be ignorant on the inside and outside and it would be over if it reached Empress Dowager Yao’s ear.
Therefore, Tang Shishi held Zhao Chengjun’s hand and placed it on her stomach, “Wangye, the past is over, and those are not your fault. As long as you have the heart, it is never too late to understand. If you have any regrets, wouldn’t it be right to teach your child well in the future so that he can have all your thoughts?”
Zhao Chengjun felt the blood flowing under his palm as if he heard another fragile life’s heartbeat through her abdomen. This was his child, a little life bearing his blood, and had the origin of the Guo family blood and the shadow of his brothers’ countenances.
Zhao Chengjun never thought that Zhao Chengting was his brother, and now the little emperor on the dragon throne, even more, had nothing to do with him. The second and third elder brothers all left early and did not leave any offspring before their death. He was delayed by military matters for many years and finally had his own child this year. This child turned out to be the only descendant of their family.
Zhao Chengjun cherished him more and more. Before the child was born, he had already made arrangements for the future, even the school books for the child’s initiation. Zhao Chengjun told Tang Shishi, “Do you think it’s better for him to learn to write first or learn martial arts first? My maternal grandfather has a good memory. I heard that he could recite dictionaries from childhood so as not to waste his childhood potential. When he grows up, he will have a high retentive memory. By the way, my second brother is especially good at calligraphy and painting. Maybe he has the talent in the drawing…”
Tang Shishi was not happy and interrupted Zhao Chengjun, “Wangye, he hasn’t been born yet and you arrange a series of rules for him. What if he is born just like an ordinary person? Besides, why can’t he be like me? It’s not that I’m boasting myself. Since my maternal grandfather, our family has been good at drinking and quick arithmetic, and never need an abacus to settle accounts.”
Zhao Chengjun nodded, “It’s good also to be like you. Especially daughter, she must inherit your drinking capacity, so don’t have to worry about her being taken advantage of in the future.”
The more he said, the more outrageous she became. Tang Shishi’s eyebrows were raised and angrily pinched Zhao Chengjun’s hand, “What are you talking about? How can you curse your own daughter like this? Pooh! You can’t say unlucky words in the New Year. Take it back quickly.”
“Fine, all right. I’ll take it back.” Zhao Chengjun supported her helplessly, “You don’t be anxious, speak slowly.”
When Zhao Chengjun was coaxing Tang Shishi, Liu Ji stopped outside the door and greeted, “Wangye, Shizi and Shizifei are here.”
Zhao Chengjun and Tang Shishi stopped their actions. Tang Shishi withdrew her hands but had not worked off her anger yet and came back to pinch him again. Zhao Chengjun endured silently and sat properly, “Summon them.”
Zhao Zixun and Lu Yufei entered the door and greeted them in turn, “Pay respect to father and Wangfei. Wish father and Wangfei in good health this New Year.”
Lu Yufei followed to salute, “Happy New Year to Wangye and Wangfei.”
Tang Shishi responded casually without paying attention, but Zhao Chengjun suddenly noticed a problem.
Zhao Zixun called him father but addressed Tang Shishi as Wangfei. Zhao Chengjun had not noticed before. Today, he realized that it was wrong when the two names were placed together side by side.
Zhao Chengjun recalled at this time and found that Zhao Zixun did not call Tang Shishi a mother on any public occasion. What did this mean? He did not want to recognize Tang Shishi’s status, or simply did not want to call her that.
Zhao Chengjun looked at Zhao Zixun quietly and said nothing. Today, not only Zhao Zixun and his wife were paying New Year’s greetings, but many officials outside the mansion would also come to visit. After a while, Liu Ji came to report, “Wangye, the Magistrate is here.”
The Magistrate of Xiping always wanted Zhao Chengjun to receive him in person. Zhao Chengjun got up and Zhao Zixun wanted to follow him when he saw this. Zhao Zixun raised his feet slightly and quickly walked outside the partition. Unexpectedly, Zhao Chengjun did not come out after a long time.
Zhao Zixun was surprised and returned to the inner room again. He found that Zhao Chengjun was still staying in the same place and said softly to Tang Shishi, “Be careful yourself. If you have anything to take, let the maid do it for you, and don’t do it yourself. No matter where you go, you must bring a maid with you.”
“I know.” Tang Shishi knew it so well that she could even recite it backward, “Don’t be impatient, don’t lift heavy objects, don’t get angry. I remember it all, you go quickly.”
Lu Yufei’s eyes widen in surprise at her words while she was serving on one side. Tang Shishi was so bold that she dared to talk to Jing Wang like this? She quietly looked over at Zhao Chengjun’s complexion. To her surprise, Zhao Chengjun was not annoyed. He still patiently talked to Tang Shishi, “It’s no harm to be more careful. You can let the maid talk with you first, and I’ll come back to accompany you after I send the Magistrate away.”
Tang Shishi nodded with “en, en” with an indifferent appearance and was a little impatient when looked carefully. Instead, it was Zhao Chengjun who walked slowly, exhorted left and right, and finally left the door with great difficulty.
In contrast, Tang Shishi was like that heartless scumbag.
After Zhao Chengjun walked out the door, he still did not forget to warn the maid at the doorway repeatedly. Lu Yufei watched this scene in amazement, and said softly, “Wangfei, Wangye is gone.”
Tang Shishi looked at her in surprise, “I know ah.”
Tang Shishi did not understand what Lu Yufei wanted to ask. Lu Yufei was also speechless for a moment and did not know how to say it. Lu Yufei could only meet Zhao Zixun today when they came to Yan’an courtyard for New Year’s greetings. Both of them were silent all the way here. It was only during the New Year’s greetings just now that Lu Yufei heard Zhao Zixun say the first sentence. The husband and wife were so unfamiliar that it became a luxurious hope for Lu Yufei to talk to her husband. As for Tang Shishi, Zhao Chengjun gave her advice repeatedly and stopped to talk to her several times before he went out, but Tang Shishi was being so impatient.
People were really incomparable. Tang Shishi wanted to get up and when the surrounding maids saw her action, they quickly surrounded her to help her. Tang Shishi held her waist, walked around with difficulty, and complained, “The big belly is too annoying that I can’t even see the way. I will never want to give birth again.”
The maids were shocked and hurriedly said, “Wangfei must not say such words. Pooh! Pooh! Pooh! Knock on the woods. The words you spoke just now are not counted.”
“Yes, Wangfei. Today is the New Year, so don’t say anything discouragingly. No matter how you bear with it a while more and then the little master will come out in two months.”
The maids surrounded Tang Shishi to talk, comforting and coaxing. Lu Yufei followed at the end, caressing her belly silently.
Lu Yufei could not understand the distress mentioned by Tang Shishi. She could not even ask for it, but some people cast it aside like an old shoe.
This world was so unfair.
New Year’s Eve was a reunion festival. Children and grandchildren all gather at the knees of the elders to celebrate the joyous occasion. Since there was no older imperial concubine in the mansion, Tang Shishi became the eldest in the family’s position. Today whole day, everyone gathered around Tang Shishi, guarding her with fear and racking their brains to make Tang Shishi happy.
When it was time for the reunion dinner in the evening, several concubines also came. Zhou Shunhua and others wore new clothes, exquisite and gorgeous coats with pearls and jade hairpin rings on their heads, and a handwarmer with exquisite workmanship, standing around the reception hall to talk.
There was no need for incense in the reception hall. The powder on the beauties was enough to make the hall fragrant. Tang Shishi looked at the hall full of pearls and jade in front of her, looked at herself again, and sighed gently.
Tang Shishi sighed and the reception hall became quiet immediately. After a while, Zhou Shunhua said with a smile, “Why does Wangfei sigh on a good day?”
“I envy all of you.” Tang Shishi said with a gloomy face, “I really envy all of you for being lightweight, able to wear complicated hair accessories, and also tight-fitting clothes. Unlike me, can only wear loose pregnancy clothes.”
Zhou Shunhua, Ren Yujun, and the rest were stunned. Zhou Shunhua looked at Tang Shishi’s expression carefully. She suspected that Tang Shishi was deliberately mocking her.
If one wanted to promote something, one should clearly belittle first and then praise the truth. One should tell the truth to show off in a complaining tone.
Was this called complaining? In front of several concubines who had not yet given birth and were still trying to compete for a favor, complained that she could not wear good-looking clothes because of pregnancy?
Ah, pooh! Shameless. They really underestimated Tang Shishi before. They did not expect Tang Shishi to be such a high-ranking and deep scheming woman that even showing off was so annoying.
Zhou Shunhua smiled reluctantly and said, “Wangfei’s pregnancy is a happy event. In another two months, you will be as beautiful as before.”
Tang Shishi looked at her arm and sighed, “I hope so. I haven’t been fat since I was a child. This is the first time I’ve grown so much meat.”
These women who were on a diet and dared not eat more at every meal were silent again. Zhou Shunhua paused for a long time and said, “Wangfei is naturally beautiful and naturally unusual.”
“What’s good about this?” Tang Shishi put down her handkerchief and said in distress, “Sometimes I envy all of you and can make bosom friends. Unlike me, everyone just looks at my face and says they like me.”