It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 93 Keep the Son
Lu Yufei woke up from the noise late at night. She put on a dress casually and Zhang Momo has already opened the door outside. After a while, Zhang Momo came back and said to Lu Yufei with a solemn face, “Shizifei, Wangfei is going to give birth.”
“I know.” Lu Yufei quickly straightened her hair and said, “I heard it just now. Momo, help me change my clothes and I will go to the front to keep watch.”
Zhang Momo answered, quickly lit up the lights, and called everyone up to help dress Lu Yufei. Lu Yufei has just put on her overcoat here, and there was someone who came to the gate.
Zhang Momo went out to answer the call. Zhang Momo came back soon after the meeting, but her expression was not very good, “Shizifei, the old woman who came to report just now said that Wangye has ordered no one is allowed to go out. If anyone is found walking around the mansion without permission, they will be punished as rebellion.”
All the maids in the room gasped with shock. The rebellion was not something to say casually especially here was an imperial family. If they were killed, they had to worry about whether they would implicate their relatives. Jing Wang imposed such a severe ban of beating to death so that no one was allowed to go out and no one was allowed to pass on the news.
Lu Yufei’s clothes were half changed. When she heard this, she took off the pearl hairpin from her head and threw it on the dressing box, “That’s enough, no need to change. Work for nothing.”
Zhang Momo had never experienced anything like this before, her fingers trembled with fear, and her whole body was anxious and frightened. It was nothing more than just giving birth, and it was not that she had not seen a woman give birth. Why did Wangye engage in such a big battle?
Those who did not know would think that there was a change in the mansion.
Lu Yufei took a deep breath, fell on the stool, and did not have any strength to move for a long time. After a while of silence, Lu Yufei felt that the room was stuffy, and said, “Open the windows for ventilation. The charcoal is about to burn out. Remove it and change the basin to a new one.”
“Yes.” The maid took the order, carried the charcoal basin to pick up charcoal from outside. Taking advantage of fewer people in the room, Lu Yufei approached Zhang Momo and said in a low voice, “Momo, Wangye did not allow us to go out. You should guard at the corner gate and pay attention to the movement outside. As soon as you have any news, come to tell me without delay.”
Zhang Momo answered and said continuously, “I understand.” After that, Zhang Momo hesitated and asked quietly in an angry voice, “Shizifei, do you think the baby is a son or a daughter?”
Lu Yufei pursed her mouth, her face became gloomy, and could not see her expression. Son or daughter? Lu Yufei certainly hoped this baby was a daughter.
Hopefully, Heaven showed mercy. It was not a good thing for her to give birth to a son at this critical moment.
After Zhang Momo went out, Lu Yufei was alone in the bedroom, walking around while fidgeting. In the end, Lu Yufei was really panicked. She quickly went to look for a string of Buddhist beads, sat on the side of the couch, and prayed in her heart while holding the beads, “It’s a daughter, it must be a daughter.”
Lu Yufei waited anxiously for a long time. When the rooster was about to crow, Zhang Momo came back with a dejected look. Seeing Zhang Momo’s face, Lu Yufei’s heart sank deeper.
“Shizifei, Wangfei gave birth. It’s a boy.”
At the same time, in many courtyards of the prince’s mansion, people were running back quietly from the corner gate and passed the news to their masters in the room, “Wangfei has given birth to a boy.”
In Yan’an courtyard, a midwife held a newborn in swaddling clothes and showed the child’s face to Zhao Chengjun with a gentle smile, “Congratulations, Wangye. You see, he is a big fat boy, weighing eight catties.”
The child’s skin was all red and his face was wrinkled with puffiness. At the moment, his eyes were still closed, not knowing what kind of world he came into. This was the first time Zhao Chengjun saw a newborn. He felt the amazement and miraculousness.
Was a child like this when he was born? In Zhao Chengjun’s impression, the child were all wrapped in red swaddling clothes, clean and decent, white and fat. Zhao Chengjun always thought that a child was born in vain.
It turned out that when they first came to the world, they were so small and fragile. Seeing that Zhao Chengjun was watching the child attentively, the midwife bravely asked Zhao Chengjun to stretch out his hand and she put the newborn on Zhao Chengjun’s hand. Zhao Chengjun’s whole body became stiff. He was a little perplexed while looking at the little child in the palm of his hand and thought to himself that this was his son.
He and Tang Shishi’s son.
Was he like this when he was born in those days?
Zhao Chengjun did not dare to move his arms at all. When Liu Ji saw Zhao Chengjun’s stiff posture, he skillfully stepped forward to take over the newborn, “Wangye is a father for the first time and hasn’t learned how to hold the child yet. When Wangye holds a few more times in the future, you will be able to.”
Zhao Chengjun never carried a child before, but Liu Ji was proficient. Liu Ji used the words “first time”, not sure whether it was intentional or unintentional, and seemed to completely forget the existence of his adopted son. Zhao Chengjun did not notice these details. After Liu Ji took over the child, he was really relieved and asked, “Where’s Wangfei?”
“Wangfei is asleep in the delivery room.”
Tang Shishi had a difficult pregnancy, but the birth was fairly smooth, and he was born without any difficulty. Zhao Chengjun looked at the delivery room with doors and windows closed tightly and said, “You take him away and let the wet nurse feed him. Liu Ji, go and watch attentively yourself.”
Liu Ji replied, “Yes, I obey.”
Liu Ji took care of Zhao Chengjun when he grew up and now, he could continue to take care of his little master, thus his face, without doubt, was glowing brightly. Liu Ji wholeheartedly devoted himself to the child. This was the heir that Wangye finally got after with great difficulty and would be the successor of Jing Wang’s mansion in the future. Xiang Wang, Teng Wang and Wangye have only this one son. In Liu Ji’s eyes, was not this the priceless treasure?
Liu Ji led the wet nurse away. He was an imperial palace eunuch and had served the emperor and imperial consort in the imperial palace. He was familiar with serving people. Therefore, Zhao Chengjun was relieved to hand over the child to Liu Ji.
After sending the child away, Zhao Chengjun finally felt relieved and strode towards the delivery room. The maids and old women who went in and out at the door were shocked as men were not allowed to enter the delivery room. There would be a bloody disaster, and even worse, it would hinder their official career! However, when they saw Zhao Chengjun’s face, no one dared to speak, and they stepped aside tacitly.
Zhao Chengjun did not take those ghost words to heart at all. Did a man not have any sense of whether he could succeed or advance in his official career? It was ridiculous to blame the woman’s delivery room. Inside was his wife, the mother of his child and he succeeded a great undertaking in protecting them. What could there be to avoid?
When he walked into the delivery room and smelled the blood inside, his heart palpitated.
She was so squeamish and afraid of pain that he has to coax her for a long time while tapping his fingers on the table, and now she bled so much blood. Dujuan came out with a basin of hot water. When she looked up and saw Zhao Chengjun, she almost knelt in fright, “Wangye?”
Zhao Chengjun immediately warned her with his eyes, “Be quiet.”
Dujuan knew that she had made a mistake, and quickly closed her mouth. Zhao Chengjun asked, “Is she in there?”
“Yes.” Dujuan replied in a faint voice, “Wangfei is so tired that she has fallen asleep.”
Zhao Chengjun waved his hand, “Just go.”
Dujuan complied. She wanted to say something at first but when she saw Zhao Chengjun walking gently towards the bed curtain, she felt that she did not have to say anything. She took the basin, closed the mosquito net quietly, and withdrew softly and quietly.
Zhao Chengjun opened the bed curtain. When he saw the person on the bed, even though he was mentally prepared, he still felt a lot of distress. The bedding on the bed had been changed, but the smell of blood was still there. Her hair was completely wet by sweat, her face was pale, her lips were bloodless, and she fell asleep weakly on the pillow.
Zhao Chengjun sat by the bedside and gently pulled her sweaty hair behind her ear. She loved beauty so much and yet she could fall asleep unconsciously which showed how much she has suffered.
Zhao Chengjun sat by the bedside and looked at her for a while, although Tang Shishi did not mean to wake up. When the maid saw this, she was afraid that Zhao Chengjun would blame them and said cautiously, “Wangye, Wangfei was too tired after giving birth to the little Junwang*. She’ll wake up in a moment.”
(Junwang* – a title granted to the prince’s son)
Zhao Chengjun was the highest-ranking Qinwang*. His daughter would be bestowed with the title Princess, his eldest son of legitimate wife would be bestowed the title Shizi and then later inherit the title Qinwang while all other sons would be bestowed the title Junwang. Tang Shishi gave birth to a son, and it was hard to say whether he was the eldest son or the second son, but it was not a problem to call him a little Junwang.
(Qinwang* – highest-ranking prince, second only to the emperor)
Zhao Chengjun stood up and said, “Let her continue to sleep. No one is allowed to wake her up. Wangfei’s recuperation is the biggest thing. If anyone dares to talk to her about outside matters or invite others to see her and I come to know about it, that person will be executed without mercy.”
The maid knelt down and bowed her head fearfully, “Yes.”
Zhao Chengjun asked the maid to take good care of Tang Shishi and strode out by himself. Outside the Yan’an courtyard, there was already a circle of guards standing close together at this moment. Zhao Chengjun went out and said to the guard leader, “Keep an eye on the gate. No one is allowed to enter without my permission.”
Zhao Chengjun left the courtyard. At this moment, the first ray of light in the morning barely could be seen, the cool breeze was blowing, and the sunrise from the east was about to rise. Zhao Chengjun did not sleep all night, but he did not feel sleepy at all. Instead, he was full of energy.
He knew that what was waiting for him outside was a bigger storm.
One night was enough to spread the news. Zhao Chengjun went to the study room, spread the paper calmly, and wrote a memorial to the court. The new addition to the fiefdom who was also the son of the legitimate wife must be reported to the imperial clan mansion and recorded in the Zhao genealogy.
At the same time could choose the child’s name.
Zhao Chengjun thought that the next generation clan son’s characters could be named easily. However, when it was his own child’s turn, he found that it was not at all. Zhao Chengjun for a while felt the character was too light, for a while he disliked that the character was not dignified enough, and for a while, he disliked that it was too old-fashioned. He has been picking and choosing for a long time which caused the time to write the memorial far beyond his expectation. When someone came to pay respects to him, he had not finished writing yet.
Zhao Zixun stood at the doorway and greeted, “Father.”
Zhao Chengjun put down his writing brush, dried the ink on the paper, and slowly put it away on the bookshelf. Zhao Chengjun’s voice was calm and indifferent as usual, “Come in.”
Zhao Zixun entered the door and was followed by several people behind him. They were all close officials around Zhao Chengjun and sent their regards to Zhao Chengjun. Usually, these primary officials talked about everything without holding back but now these people were silent after saluting.
After a while, Zhao Zixun took the lead in breaking the silence and put both his palms together to pay respect, “Father, congratulations. I’m happy for you to have a son.”
Zhao Chengjun just gave a faint “En”. Ma Er could not hold it any longer and he asked in a deep gruff voice, “Wangye, what do you plan in doing next?”
“Act according to duties, garrison the frontier, and serve the country.” Zhao Chengjun took it easy and replied, “Otherwise, what plan should I have?”
Ma Er choked, even his face flushed with red, “Wangye, you know that this is not what I meant.”
Ma Er was a rough person and unable to get things done. The advisor took over and said politely and respectfully, “Congratulates Wangye in adding another son. Shizi is dashing, smart, and studious. The little gongzi* is cute, lively, and healthy. It’s the blessing of Jing fiefdom.”
(gongzi* – son of nobility)
Zhao Chengjun nodded and said, “Thank you Mister Lu for your praise. Please attend the child’s full moon banquet and pick up some good words for my son.”
“Thank you, Wangye. I’m greatly honored with profound respect.” Advisor Lu politely spoke to Zhao Chengjun. Suddenly, his voice changed and mentioned about the other person, “It is a great thing for Wangye to be happy to have a son, and the little gongzi is Jing fiefdom’s hope. We will swear our allegiance to the little gongzi. However, we don’t know what Wangye intends to do with the little gongzi’s mother?”
Finally, it came. Zhao Chengjun knew that this day would come sooner or later from the time he knew Tang Shishi was pregnant. Tang Shishi just gave birth last night and they blocked Zhao Chengjun’s study room this morning.
Zhao Chengjun sat upright behind the writing desk with a faint expression and said with his usual calm tone when he gave orders, powerful and confident, “She is my Wangfei, and she gave birth to a son last night. Naturally, she should be honored in the mansion for her meritorious merits.”
Ma Er could not stand any longer. Advisor Lu gave him a stare to give him a hint not to act rashly, then he turned around and said to Zhao Chengjun with a sense of propriety, “It’s natural a meritorious deed that Wangfei gave birth to a little gongzi, but this woman was sent by the imperial court. She has a close relationship with Empress Dowager Yao. Some time ago, Empress Dowager Yao sent her capable Momo to reward her. Wangye, I know you love your son very much, but there are so many virtuous and good women in the world. You can find a young lady from a noble family to take care of the little gongzi. While the little gongzi is still young and don’t remember anything, you can quickly change the little gongzi to be raised by another woman, so that you don’t have to worry about the gongzi being misguided, and you don’t have to worry about the disharmony of the mansion and the gap between the mother and the child.”
Zhao Chengjun did not say anything. Advisor Lu bent over and deeply saluted, “Wangye, please give the order to keep the son and dispose the mother and order the little gongzi’s biological mother to death.”