IBTBTED Chapter 97
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 97 Relied on Being Favored
A child changed from day to day, and in the blink of an eye, Zhao Zigao had reached hundred days old.
Neither Tang Shishi nor Zhao Chengjun wanted to make a big deal out of the hundred-day banquet. In the end, they came to an agreement to have a meal in their own home.
The maids set the table outside. Zhao Zigao was placed on the couch, and the couch was full of people. Everyone said together, “Try harder, work harder. Oh, he turned over!”
The room suddenly burst into laughter which was very lively. Tang Shishi picked up Zhao Zigao with a smile and said, “So awesome, you can turn over by yourself.”
Liu Ji said as a joke next to her, “As the saying goes, 3 months to turn over, 6 months to sit, and 8 months to crawl. Normally, it takes four or five months for the children of ordinary people to turn over, and the little Junwang only takes three months. It shows that he is well raised.”
The maids all responded in agreement, “That’s right. Wangfei usually pays more attention to little Junwang and does everything by herself. Isn’t it good for little Junwang to have a father like Wangye and have Wangfei take loving care of him?”
Tang Shishi smiled and glanced at the maids, “You’re just flattering me. I don’t usually see you talk so much.”
“Where’s the flattery?” cried Dujuan. “I’m clearly telling the truth. Little Junwang resembles Wangye. He is a natural talent and has very strong hands and feet. The last time he grabbed my hair, I couldn’t pull it out no matter what and almost pulled out my hair until I was bald.”
After Dujuan said that, she pushed aside her hair for everyone, “Look, Wangfei. It’s here. Isn’t here missing a spot?”
Tang Shishi raised her eyebrows as she was not buying it, “Oh, are you asking for hair from me?”
“How dare I?” said Dujuan with a smile, “Your hair is dark and dense, and I have been admiring it for a long time. Wangfei, if you really felt distressed for your maid, why don’t you teach me a thing or two about hair formulas, and I will be perfectly satisfied.”
The maids laughed together and stretched out their hands to pinch Dujuan one after another. Dujuan was begging for mercy while laughing together with the maids. Zhao Zigao did not know why the maids laughed. He only knew that these sisters were very happy. He also squinted his eyes happily and giggled with laughter.
Tang Shishi smiled while teasing Zhao Zigao’s chin, “What are you laughing at? Others are complaining about you, and you are still laughing?”
There was another burst of laughter around. Zhao Chengjun smiled with gentle and tolerant eyes while looking at Tang Shishi and the maids bantering each other. It was strange to say that Zhao Chengjun used to be the most annoyed with noises, but now the maids’ laughter was so loud that Zhao Chengjun did not feel annoyed at all. It might be because his wife and son were among them.
As long as he looked at them, he felt extremely satisfied. Where could he feel noisy?
Because it was a family dinner, Zhao Zixun and his wife and concubines were also present. Zhao Zixun’s concubine team had expanded again. Of the seven women, each of them was attractive in their own way and each with their own merits. It was a spectacular sight when they were standing together.
Regardless of whether they were a wife or a concubine, whether they were favored or unfavored, they all looked at the child in Tang Shishi’s arm with envy at this moment. The three-month-old child was just in time to attract people’s love. No matter how unfeeling a person was, their hearts would melt by just looking at him, not to mention that they were a group of boudoir women who naturally yearn for children. Lu Yufei was lonely, Ji Xinxian was jealous, Ren Yujun was bitter, and even Zhou Shunhua showed her expecting eyes.
Zhou Shunhua hated Tang Shishi, but she could not hate her child. Who would not like a white and chubby boy where arms and legs were like lotus roots and cute little fingers? Zhou Shunhua especially wanted to hold him for a while, but she knew her identity as Shizi’s concubine. What qualifications did she have to hold Wangfei’s son? Zhou Shunhua knew that it was impossible, so she did not want to humiliate herself at all.
Zhou Shunhua could not help but look at her lower abdomen. She was a little older than Tang Shishi, and Tang Shishi had already given birth to a child, but she had yet to have any news. Zhou Shunhua also wanted to be a mother, but she fell into the water and was injured before and then was thrown into the mountain villa for half a year. Zhou Shunhua was afraid that her body would be damaged and she could not conceive a child again.
If this was the case… Zhou Shunhua stopped quickly, not daring to think about it anymore. If this was the case, even if she killed Lu Yufei and crushed her bones into ashes, what was the use?
Zhou Shunhua’s heart was sour and astringent as if she was crushed and soaked in sour water which was indescribably suffering. The fate of life was so unpredictable. Initially, Zhou Shunhua was confident in her family background, her talent, and also confident that she was loved by Zhao Zixun. She knew that she was different in Zhao Zixun’s heart. Even though Zhao Zixun would spend the night in other women’s rooms, she was the only one who could talk about history and political affairs with Zhao Zixun.
She was the only one who entered Zhao Zixun’s heart.
Because of this three reliance, Zhou Shunhua had never cared about Lu Yufei, Ren Yujun, and others. When she looked at these women, she would even feel pity for them. All they have was just their bodies.
However, when she met Tang Shishi, all Zhou Shunhua’s self-confidence was instantly shattered. Tang Shishi’s family background and talents were all inferior to her. Looking at Tang Shishi’s personality and brain, she did not look like a person who would be genuinely appreciated by men. However, Tang Shishi precisely got what Zhou Shunhua wanted the most.
What Zhou Shunhua care most about was not that Zhao Zixun had other women, nor that Zhao Zixun’s love for her was not deep enough, but the status. During the school phase, Zhao Zixun admired her so much that he did not hesitate to fight against his father for her, and yet she was never given the status of a legitimate wife. Zhou Shunhua could only be a concubine, accompanied by her beloved man.
However, Tang Shishi managed to do it. Although the target was not Zhao Zixun, she managed to deal with Jing Wang who was even more difficult to move, and solved everything directly from the source. It was not rare that Empress Dowager Yao consented but it was really rare that Jing Wang was willing to marry her and willing to receive her honorably in front of others, rather than encroaching on her beauty with power.
Zhou Shunhua had to accept this. Zhou Shunhua still could not understand how Tang Shishi did it as Jing Wang did not look like a passionate lover.
Zhou Shunhua sighed secretly that one should not judge a person by appearance. There was really no way to explain men’s affairs.
Zhao Zixun also watched this scene quietly. From his perspective, it was really embarrassing to call a toothless baby his younger brother. However, there was no denying that Zhao Zigao was indeed adorable.
Zhao Zixun watched Tang Shishi sitting in the middle of the crowd, and all the maids were talking around her. She might had raised her eyebrows or with an askance expression, her every act and every move was natural and charming. Like a delicate red rose, which was born belong to royalty, with wealth and honor.
She was the best decoration of power. Zhao Zixun felt a little unspeakable throbbing when he thought of this. He often felt that Tang Shishi was still better to be dead, but when he saw her, he could not help being attracted to her.
Without a doubt that Tang Shishi liked him at the beginning. She often ran after him and did everything she could to get his attention. However, her father took her by force. Later, she was pregnant with a child, then she could only stay with his father wholeheartedly and be Jing Wangfei obediently.
When a woman had a child, she was completely chained.
Tang Shishi did not forget her target while carrying Zhao Zigao. When she got free time, she told Lu Yufei, “Shizifei, don’t just look at the child laughing. If you really like them, give birth to one by yourself. Do you have any movement yet?”
The laughter in the room stopped suddenly. Lu Yufei’s expression was stunned, and the weight of the room seemed to be descending on her. Lu Yufei was embarrassed and shook her head weakly, “Not yet.”
Tang Shishi seemed to sigh regretfully, and then asked a series of women behind her, “What about all of you?”
The remaining few people bowed their heads and shook their hands, as everything was explained without words. Tang Shishi was finally able to teach others in a tone of hating the iron could not become steel, and said, “All of you should hurry up. Shizi is not young anymore. He should have had children under his knees long ago. It does not mean that you have to have a son. As long as is Shizi’s child, giving birth to a girl is also good.”
All the women promised one by one, not to mention how suffocating it was to have a young and beautiful mother-in-law. The most dreadful thing was that the mother-in-law was able to give birth.
Tang Shishi held Zhao Zigao in her arms and said in a clear voice, “I’m not putting pressure on you. Let nature takes its course on this matter. You don’t have to be too nervous about this. Let’s do it like this. Since Shizi’s Cefei* are still vacant which consists of two positions, whoever can conceive a child first will fill in the vacant position of Cefei. Shizi, Shizifei, what do you think?”
(Cefei* – side imperial concubines, higher ranking than regular concubines)
Of course, Lu Yufei did not dare to say no. Zhao Zixun thought about it and could not seem to find any reason to oppose it. After all, no matter from which point of view, Tang Shishi was doing it for his own good.
Zhao Chengjun’s eyes moved slightly, and he quietly looked at Tang Shishi without saying anything. Tang Shishi did not pay attention to Zhao Chengjun. She was immersed in the joy of not meeting any resistance in the palace fighting plan, and decided, “That’s great, then this matter is set. I’m waiting for your good news.”
Tang Shishi was quite proud of herself after she finished speaking. Two peaches kill three scholars*. Zhao Zixun used this move to deal with her at that time. Now, she also used the same trick to divide Zhao Zixun’s rear courtyard.
(Two peaches kill three scholars* – tactics in murdering people)
Since Tang Shishi got rid of the habitual thinking of pleasing the male lead, her mentality had changed, and her methods of treating Lu Yufei and others had also changed. In the past, she always wanted to stay on the sidelines, so that she could meet each other on good terms in the future. After all, it was Lu Yufei and Zhou Shunhua who have the final say in the deep imperial palace in the future. Even if Tang Shishi’s target was the empress dowager, there was no need to offend the two empresses.
Therefore, she did not dare to offend Zhao Zixun, nor did she want to offend Lu Yufei and Zhou Shunhua. Even though Lu Yufei offended her repeatedly, Tang Shishi could still bear with her. However, since Tang Shishi had already figured it out, then why should she swallow her anger under the roof of others and why could not she be the only master of the harem?
She decided to support her son as the emperor. In this way, there would be no empress or two empress dowagers. Tang Shishi would be the only woman standing at the top of the food chain.
Her dream was very full of enthusiasm, but the road had to be taken step by step. Tang Shishi’s great ambition was roughly divided into two aspects. First, to incite disharmony between Zhao Zixun and his wife’s relationship, and resolutely not let him give birth to a son. Second, to instigate the relationship between Jing Wang and Zhao Zixun, try to persuade Jing Wang as much as possible to change her son to be the Taizi*.
(Taizi* – Crown prince)
This was really hard.
After Tang Shishi finished speaking, she was planning to complement something to show her kindness as a mother-in-law. Suddenly there was a pain next to her ear, and a strand of hair was caught by Zhao Zigao.
This little boy was quite powerful without anyone saying anything. Tang Shishi believed that Dujuan has a bald spot on her scalp.
Zhao Chengjun’s face blackened immediately, stepped forward to hold Zhao Zigao’s hand, and scolded him slightly, “Let go.”
After that, when everyone reacted, they hurriedly gathered around, “Wangfei, how are you? Little Junwang, let go quickly.”
Everyone came forward together, but they did not dare to move Tang Shishi, let alone Zhao Zigao. So, they could only stand in anxiety. In the end, it was Zhao Chengjun who pried open Zhao Zigao’s fingers and rescued Tang Shishi’s hair.
Tang Shishi was relieved and massaged the pain area where had been pulled, unable to utter a single word. The maids gathered around Tang Shishi, helping her to massage her scalp and tidy up her hair, “Wangfei, does it hurt badly? Someone, quickly get the ice.”
Zhao Chengjun took over Zhao Zigao. Seeing the long black hair in Zhao Zigao’s hand, he was so angry, “Bad, your mother takes good care of you every day. You bully her like this?”
Tang Shishi’s pain had not eased yet and heard Zhao Chengjun scold the child. She scolded Zhao Chengjun back right away, “He is still young. What are you scolding him for?”
Zhao Chengjun raised his eyebrows and was able to respond for a while, “It has become my fault?”
“How old is he? How can he understand what can or cannot? He was only playing with me.” When Tang Shishi saw Zhao Chengjun holding the child angry, she reached out to grab the child, “You’re only three months old and he dares to be fierce at you. Let’s go and ignore him.”
Tang Shishi went out with the child in her arms. The maids looked at Zhao Chengjun in surprise, then looked at Tang Shishi’s back. They chased after Tang Shishi quickly.
The maids knew very well that Wangfei’s fierceness towards Wangye would be fine, but if Wangfei went out alone and knocked a little or bumped a little, then it would be over for them.
After the maids left, several people in the room looked at each other in dismay and could not believe that Tang Shishi was so bold and dared to embarrass Jing Wang in front of everyone. Liu Ji looked around and said, “Wangye, little Junwang has grown fast recently and Wangfei is holding little Junwang alone. I’m afraid she is not strong enough. I’ll go and have a look?”
At a time like this, how could he rely on the people from the imperial palace? Zhao Chengjun went down the steps and said, “Your legs and feet are not good. I’d better go.”