It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 98 Playmate
In the evening after the banquet, Zhao Zigao had already fallen asleep a long time ago. Tang Shishi asked the wet nurse to take the child away and went back to the room to remove her makeup by herself.
Today was Zhao Zigao’s full hundred days old. Tang Shishi put on a full set of makeup. After not adorning herself for a long time and suddenly putting on a full set of headpieces, Tang Shishi was a little unaccustomed to the weight on her head.
After standing with so many headpieces all day long, Tang Shishi has long been tired. She was sitting in front of the bronze mirror with flower petals at the edge, unloading the headpieces with jingling sounds. She carefully unhitched the red ruby on the hair bun, then pulled off the dangling golden beads on both sides and untied the flower beads behind her head. Finally, Tang Shishi drew out the white jade-dotted green hairpin, and her fine black hair suddenly fell down like a waterfall.
Tang Shishi did not pay attention to the hair behind her but reached out to massage her scalp. Today, her hair was combed to a high bun, her scalp was tight for a day, and it hurts a bit. In the mirror, a crimson figure gradually approached. Zhao Chengjun stopped behind Tang Shishi, put his hands on the side of Tang Shishi’s hair, and gently massaged, “Do you have a headache?”
“It’s not a headache but a pain caused by the headpieces.” Tang Shishi complained, “These things are too heavy. They don’t look eye-catching, but I didn’t expect the longer I wear them on my head, the heavier it became.”
Were not these heavy since they were all solid gold, and the ornaments were embedded with genuine gems? Zhao Chengjun’s strength was neither light nor heavy, and said softly, “If you are too tired, you don’t need to wear so many headpieces the next time. You are the most honored in Xiping. Who else would dare to say anything about you?”
“That won’t work.” Tang Shishi took the rhino horn comb from the dressing box and combed her hair slowly. “As a Wangfei, I’m already young, and if my clothes and jewelry can’t suppress the scene, who will believe me?”
Zhao Chengjun did not express his opinion. He looked down at Tang Shishi’s long black hair and asked without warning, “Why do you think of urging Zhao Zixun to have a baby?”
Tang Shishi’s hand paused for a moment, and then she continued to comb her hair, and said, “It’s not me urging them, but others urging me. I’m a young adoptive mother who came in from behind. It is very difficult. If I care too much, others will say that I can’t tolerate the eldest son and if I don’t care about anything, others will say that I’m complacent. Seeing that the eldest son will be twenty soon and there are no children under his knees, outsiders have long blamed me that I am narrow-minded and jealous and don’t want to let the elder son inherit the family inheritance, so I deliberately treated Shizifei harshly and don’t let Shizi have heirs. This really wronged me. I can only keep being good to them, dare not say or dare not scold them. I still have to find ways to help Shizifei to open branches and spread leaves. Even if Shizifei can’t give birth, one of the concubines in the back can give birth is fine too.”
Tang Shishi said while quietly observing Zhao Chengjun from the mirror. This was the first time she spoke ill of Zhao Zixun. She was still not very proficient and wonder if Zhao Chengjun would believe her?
Zhao Chengjun did not say anything, he lowered his eyes and kept his hands on Tang Shishi’s hair. From Tang Shishi’s point of view, she really could not tell what he was thinking. Tang Shishi made persistent efforts and continued, “Today, when I mentioned lifting Cefei, I actually wanted to lift Zhou Shunhua. I know that Shizi likes her the most and it will be a smooth ride to promote her as Cefei. But I came to the mansion in the same group as Zhou Shunhua, Ren Yujun, and Ji Xinxian. If I only lift Zhou Shunhua, but I didn’t grant Ren Yujun and Ji Xinxian, I’m afraid they will blame me for injustice and Shizifei will also blame me for being nosy. I simply don’t say anything and let them get promoted based on their abilities. Whoever gets pregnant first will grant Cefei, so there is nothing to complain about.”
Zhao Chengjun smiled softly and asked, “Why?”
“This is rather complicated.” Tang Shishi put down the comb and reached with her hand to check the hair behind her, “Shizi often goes to Zhou Shunhua’s room. It’s only a matter of time before she becomes pregnant. When the time comes, Zhou Shunhua will be granted as the Cefei, and no one else can say anything. In this way, I also can be considered as doing a favor to Shizi.”
Zhao Chengjun smiled, picked up a strand of her hair, and slowly played with it in the palm of his hand, “Do you even care about this kind of thing?”
“Otherwise?” Tang Shishi was twisting her hair but was disturbed by Zhao Chengjun and unable to tie them several times. Tang Shishi could not stand it anymore. She took her hair from Zhao Chengjun’s hand and glared at him, “Don’t make trouble. I’m going to take a bath after tying my hair up. The relationship between Shizi and Shizifei is the same as the enemy. If I don’t care about this kind of thing, who else can take care of it? Zhao Zigao can’t go on the ground now, and by next year, he should run all over the place. He is too lonely as the only child in the mansion, so I also want to have Shizi to give birth soon to be his playmate.”
Zhao Chengjun raised his eyebrows, let go of his hands, and let Tang Shishi pull her hair away and tie them into a loose bun. After arranging her hair, Tang Shishi planned to go to take a bath in the cleanroom. Unexpectedly, Zhao Chengjun did not step aside. He caressed Tang Shishi’s neck with his left hand and gently massaged her neck.
Tang Shishi’s hair was all tied up, and her slender neck and smooth shoulder lines were undoubtedly exposed. Tang Shishi was tickled by his massage, and grabbed Zhao Chengjun’s hand while smiling, “Get out of the way quickly. I’m going to take a bath.”
Zhao Chengjun smiled lightly, slowly leaned over, stared at Tang Shishi from the mirror, and said slowly, “It’s better to ask for yourself. Doesn’t madam understand this truth?”
Zhao Chengjun’s eyes were dark and seemed to have a sense of meaning. Tang Shishi was so flustered by his eyes that she could not help sitting straight and asked, “What do you mean?”
Zhao Chengjun smiled, put his hand around Tang Shishi’s waist, and picked her up her from the dressing table. Tang Shishi was startled, subconsciously shouted, and quickly covered her mouth. It was getting dark now. If the maids saw this scene, what would it be?
Tang Shishi lowered her voice and reprimanded softly, “Let me down. The maid is outside. What are you doing?”
Zhao Chengjun’s arms were like an iron wall without any intention to loosen at all. Zhao Chengjun’s voice unknowingly became hoarse and said, “If you’re really worried about Zhao Zigao’s loneliness, you might as well give birth to one yourself and be his playmate instead of caring about others.”
Tang Shishi knew what Zhao Chengjun wanted to do. She blushed all the way to her neck, shy and angry, and beat Zhao Chengjun’s chest angrily, “Rogue, lecher. You’ve been thinking about this all night. Put me down and I have to take a bath.”
What was the difficulty? Zhao Chengjun changed his direction as if following good advice readily and carried Tang Shishi to the cleanroom, “I’ll accompany you. Aren’t you tired today? Just right, I’ll help you.”
When Tang Shishi woke up the next day, the bed curtains were closed on all four sides, and the light was dim. She could not tell what time it was. The quilt next to her has cooled down, and Zhao Chengjun has been gone for a long time judging from the temperature.
Very good, Tang Shishi knew it was not early now and estimated that all the maids and old women in the whole mansion knew that she got up late today. Anyway, she already lost her face, she might as well go back to lay on the bed again.
She looked at her body with purple and blue bruises, fell on the pillow, and did not want to move at all.
She was sure again that she really had an unpleasant feeling over such things. There was the drug the last time and Tang Shishi was delirious, so her feelings were not so deep. However, she was completely awake last night and was forced to toss around in the middle of the night which she could remember profoundly.
Although they have given birth to a child, this was actually the second time for Tang Shishi. It could be seen that Zhao Chengjun had also endured it for a long time and when he got there, he was simply wild. He whispered in her ear, “Sorry, you have to bear with it for the time being.” Nevertheless, there was no tenderness in his movements at all.
Tang Shishi blushed as soon as she thought of those scenes. She quickly covered her face and patted it lightly, hoping to make the temperature on her face drop quickly. When the outside heard sounds coming from the inside, the maid knocked on the door and asked softly, “Wangfei, are you awake?”
Tang Shishi has no choice but to pretend to have just woken up and ask the maid to come in to serve her.
Before going to bed yesterday, Tang Shishi changed into her inner clothing. Before getting out of bed, she deliberately raised the collar to cover the traces under the clothes. Tang Shishi thought she was calm and plain enough, dignified and solemn, but she did not expect that when the maids saw her, they blushed and quietly lowered their heads.
Tang Shishi also blushed. Tang Shishi did not know that although she covered the traces, her face was like a peach blossom, her eyebrows were full of spring, and her eyes were moist and sparkling. By just looking at her, would make people lost in wild and fanciful thoughts. What was the difference between being able or not being able to see the traces?
The maids lowered her head, not daring to look at Tang Shishi. They brought the clothes and asked, “Wangfei, which one do you want to wear today?”
Tang Shishi managed with significant effort to calm herself down, took a quick look, and said, “The blue one.”
The maids responded and changed clothes for Tang Shishi in order. Tang Shishi wore a bright blue hanging skirt with decorative silver thread embroidered on the skirt which sparkled when she moved around. After taking care of the skirt, the two maids came forward with the jade white blouse. Tang Shishi turned around, put her hands through her sleeves, and reached out to fasten the buttons.
The maids knelt down to arrange the corners of the skirt for Tang Shishi, put on the jade pendants to hold down the skirt firmly. Tang Shishi did not have to see guests today, so she did not need to dress up. She casually tied a slanted bun, inserted a blue jade tassel, and picked a pair of translucent light blue earrings from the dressing box. Now, she could be considered done.
The weather was getting hot every day, and Tang Shishi still has to coax her child all day long, which was really not suitable for combing too complicated buns. She dressed up quite simple, but since Tang Shishi was good-looking, plus every piece of jewelry was worth a thousand dollars, she wore them as a finishing touch to her, like breeze passing the mountains or a bright moon on the mountains. She looked fresh and elegant and brightened up the whole room.
The maids praised sincerely, “Wangfei, you are so beautiful.”
Tang Shishi had listened to these kinds of words too many times that she did not bother to explore the truth and falsehoods in them, and asked, “Where is Zhao Zigao? Has he been breastfed?”
“Just fed. Little Junwang has been clamoring for you, but you were sleeping before. Wangye did not let anyone disturb you, so we let the wet nurse carry him to play somewhere else.”
Tang Shishi felt distressed when she heard it, and quickly said, “Quickly bring him to me. No matter what I’m doing in the future, inform me as soon as he cries.”
“But Wangye said…”
“No matter what he says.” Tang Shishi did not even think about it, and shunned, “Listen to me and ignore him.”
The maids looked at each other in dismay and bowed their heads in salute, “Yes.”
The wet nurse quickly brought Zhao Zigao over. Tang Shishi put the child on the couch, holding a rattle drum in her hand and making plopping sounds to play with Zhao Zigao, “Gao’er, mother is here. Come over quickly.”
Zhao Zigao was immediately attracted by the rattle drum. He saw Tang Shishi not far away, constantly pedaling his hands and feet and wanting Tang Shi to hold him. However, his mother refused to come over no matter what. So, Zhao Zigao was anxious, kicked harder, and turned over on top of the couch, changed from lying on the back to lying face down.
The maids cheered for a while, “Junwang turned over by himself.”
After turning over, Zhao Zigao could not crawl anymore. He reached out his hand in the direction of Tang Shishi, then his mouth quivered and burst into tears all of a sudden. Tang Shishi quickly put down the rattle drum and picked up Zhao Zigao, “Don’t cry, mother is here.”
Tang Shishi slowly patted him on the back. Zhao Zigao leaned on Tang Shishi’s shoulder, sobbed a few times, and stopped crying at once. He changed very quickly from crying to stopping. Before the tears on his face were wiped away, he turned tears into laughter again. Tang Shishi wiped his face with a handkerchief and gently flicked his forehead, “You, as a man, why do you love to be pampered so much?”
Dujuan got closer to Tang Shishi and scoffed, “Wangfei, little Junwang is like you in this way.”
Tang Shishi was about to beat her, but Dujuan ran away instantly. Since Tang Shishi was carrying Zhao Zigao in her hand, it was inconvenient for her to move around. So, she ordered the maids on both sides and said, “Hep me to catch her and then beat her hard.”
The maids dashed forward. It was hard for Dujuan to beat four hands, and soon she begged for mercy by calling them “good sister”. One of the maids smiled and said, “Wangfei has ordered. Don’t call me a good sister. It’s useless to even call me great aunt.”
The little maids laughed heartily. Zhao Zigao chuckled at the same time clapping his hands when he saw everyone was chasing each other.
When Zhao Zixun passed by Yan’an courtyard and heard the laughter inside, he could not help but stop and look at the magnificent building from a distance. The accompanying person also heard it and said with envy, “I don’t know what Wangfei is playing with little Junwang. Yan’an courtyard laughs happily every day. It’s a good job to serve Wangfei recently, not only it’s not busy and easy, but it also has rewards at every turn. Wangye is very generous, as long as Wangfei is served well, the silver money is like running water, and the number can’t be counted.”
Zhao Zixun took a few more glances, then withdrew his gaze, and said indifferently, “Let’s go.”
“Hey!” the attendant did not keep up yet. Zhao Zixun was just watching nicely. Why did he turn hostile suddenly? The attendant did not dare to delay and promptly caught up with him, “Yes.”