IBTBTED Chapter 112
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 112 Pretending
When Tang Shishi and Lin Wanxi were talking, suddenly there was a voice of greetings coming from outside. Tang Shishi stood up and said, “Wangye is back.”
Lin Wanxi stood up quickly. After Zhao Chengjun entered the door, he saw Lin Wanxi was there and immediately stopped Tang Shishi and Lin Wanxi to salute, “Mother-in-law must not, please get up.”
Although she had met Zhao Chengjun before, Lin Wanxi was still trembling with fear. Tang Shishi was not as nervous as Lin Wanxi. She sat comfortably on the arhat couch, picked up Zhao Zigao, and asked, “Why did Wangye come back so early?”
Zhao Chengjun took over the restless Zhao Zigao from Tang Shishi, and said, “Yesterday you said you wanted to bring mother-in-law over, so I specially came back to have a look.”
Tang Shishi understood clearly when she heard it, “Are you going to go out later?”
“En.” When Zhao Chengjun was carrying Zhao Zigao and he saw that Lin Wanxi was still standing, he glanced at the maid, “Why is mother-in-law still standing? Please sit down quickly.”
The maids shuddered and helped Lin Wanxi to sit down without delay. Lin Wanxi sat on the other side of the arhat couch watching the husband and wife who were sitting opposite her talking freely and Zhao Chengjun was also very familiar with the actions of holding Zhao Zigao. She felt calm in her heart.
Whether the husband’s status was high or not, and whether the family had money or not was all secondary, the most important thing was being good to Tang Shishi. One tiny clue could reveal what was coming. From the only two meetings, it could be seen that Jing Wang was very tolerant of Tang Shishi.
Zhao Chengjun had a mysterious persistence with Zhao Zigao. As soon as he returned, he trained Zhao Zigao to walk. When Tang Shishi saw Zhao Chengjun only come back for a short time and still did not let his son go, she patted Zhao Chengjun’s arm angrily, “Are you addicted to military training? This is your son, not your soldier.”
Lin Wanxi slowly widened her eyes when she saw Tang Shishi hit Jing Wang with her hand. However, Zhao Chengjun did not seem to feel it, and said, “He is a boy who is always held by others. He should learn to stand by himself.”
Lin Wanxi silently comforted her frightened heart. She saw that Zhao Zigao walked crookedly with the support of Zhao Chengjun, but at least he could turn over. Lin Wanxi asked, “Gao’er can stand already. How old is he?”
Tang Shishi replied, “Ten months.”
“It’s very early to learn to walk in ten months,” said Lin Wanxi who suddenly felt that something was wrong. When Tang Shishi returned to Tang’s family a few days ago, she already felt strange. Today, Tang Shishi said that Zhao Zigao was ten months old, and Lin Wanxi finally thought of what was strange.
Lin Wanxi asked, “You were only married in the ninth month last year, and now it’s the twelfth month. How come Gao’er is ten months old?”
Tang Shishi and Zhao Chengjun were silent together. After a while, Tang Shishi pinched Zhao Chengjun’s arm hard. Zhao Chengjun knew that he was wrong. He restrained Tang Shishi’s hand and said, “Ninth month was the time of the imperial court’s conferment. The distance between Xiping and Jinling is far apart, and the return trip has been delayed a lot of time. Therefore, the actual marriage was earlier.”
Lin Wanxi said “Oh” that she did not understand these imperial rules. Since Jing Wang said so, Lin Wanxi believed it without reservation. Tang Shishi turned her head and stared at Zhao Chengjun hard. This rogue had done something bad and dared to deceive her mother in front of her! Zhao Chengjun smiled and gently wrapped Tang Shishi’s hand.
No wonder Tang Shishi was so easy to cheat. It turned out that she was completely like Lin Wanxi.
The more Tang Shishi thought about it, the angrier she got until it was time to eat. Knowing that Zhao Chengjun had to go out after eating, Lin Wanxi took the initiative to say, “Shishi, you can go eat with Wangye and I’ll take care of the child for you.”
“No need, how dare to bother mother-in-law for such a trivial matter.” Zhao Chengjun refused. He put Zhao Zigao on the couch without needing to command, a maid came forward promptly to look after him. Zhao Chengjun turned around to help Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi gave him a fierce look, avoided his hand, and left by herself.
Lin Wanxi felt choked again when she saw this scene. There was nothing strange on Zhao Chengjun’s face, and he said calmly to Lin Wanxi, “The dining place to eat is this side. Mother-in-law, come with me.”
Lin Wanxi hurriedly smiled and thanked Zhao Chengjun. There was simply no need for Zhao Chengjun to lead the way. A clever and bright maid came forward and said with a warm smile, “Old Madam, please come this way.”
Lin Wanxi walked to the reception hall. Before sitting down, she saw Zhao Chengjun walk next to Tang Shishi, coaxing Tang Shishi to sit down in a kindly manner. Lin Wanxi was panic-stricken during the entire meal. During the meal, Zhao Chengjun poured water and picked vegetables for Tang Shishi and took care of everything for her, but Tang Shishi was indifferent. It was not until she was almost finished eating that she finally had some smiles.
Lin Wanxi finished drinking the second cup of tea in silence to help herself get over the shock.
After the meal, Zhao Chengjun went out after a few polite sentences with Lin Wanxi. After Zhao Chengjun left, Lin Wanxi could not help it anymore, and asked Tang Shishi quietly, “Shishi, are you always like this?”
Tang Shishi was stunned by this. She thought for a moment and did not think she had done anything excessively. Tang Shishi nodded and looked back at Lin Wanxi calmly and innocently, “Yes, otherwise?”
Her tone was too righteous, and Lin Wanxi was speechless for a moment. In the early years, Lin Wanxi saw that Tang Shishi always bossing Qi Jingsheng around, but she completely ignored it and still worried that Tang Shishi would be pretentious after getting married by bullying her husband. Now it seemed that she underestimated Tang Shishi too much.
As a mother, Lin Wanxi felt that her daughter was too pretentious. Thanked Jing Wang’s good temperament as he was willing to tolerate her, spoiled her, and obeyed her.
Lin Wanxi sighed. She should have dissuaded her daughter to restrain herself a little, but when she was about to say something to her, she turned into a helpless sigh, “You, ah!”
A pair of husband and wife would have their way of getting along with each other. Perhaps it was because of Tang Shishi’s method that could subdue Jing Wang. Lin Wanxi was docile and gentle. She did not fight or grab no matter what she came across. As a result, no one in her husband’s family took her seriously.
Her daughter had a better fate than her and would be held in the palm of other people’s hands all her life. Although Tang Shishi was coquettish before she married, she would never show her temper in front of others. If she said she was unhappy, then she meant she was unhappy. If she said she was losing her temper, then she was losing her temper. The young ladies were all pampered before marriage and they had to curb their tempers after marriage. However, Tang Shishi was even better as she was completely reversed. She could become more and more arrogant and indulgent after getting married. Presumably, she must have never been rejected, so she had nothing to fear.
Lin Wanxi sighed deeply in her heart. When Tang Yanyan said that Tang Shishi married an old widower as a second wife, Lin Wanxi cried all night. When the misunderstanding was finally solved, Lin Wanxi became even more worried. If it was an ordinary family, the Tang family could still support their daughter with the wealth and influence of the family. However, if married into the imperial family, the natal family would not be able to help at all.
Lin Wanxi was frightened for several days. Every day she dreamed about whether would Tang Shishi be bullied in the prince’s mansion or not. Whether Jing Wang would neglect Tang Shishi or not? Whether Jing Wang had any favored concubine or not? It was not until today after she entered the mansion that Lin Wanxi finally felt relieved.
Tang Shishi was living an incredibly good life, far better than she had imagined.
Lin Wanxi sat down with Tang Shishi for a while and heard a maid pass a message, “Wangfei, Cefei, and beauty Ren are here to greet you.”
Today, Lin Wanxi was in the mansion. Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun, as the younger generations, must come to greet Lin Wanxi. Tang Shishi answered indifferently and said, “Let them in.”
Lin Wanxi’s face was slightly solemn when she heard the word “Cefei”. She looked up and saw two graceful beauties entering the room with beautiful appearances who did not look like concubines but more like… unmarried young ladies from wealthy families.
Then the two young ladies from wealthy families lowered their heads to salute Tang Shishi, “I pay respects to Wangfei and Madam Lin.”
Tang Shishi nodded and said, “Both of you have the intention. Get up now. Cefei Zhou is pregnant, please give her a seat quickly.”
Lin Wanxi looked from head to toe. The more she looked, the more frightened she became. These two women were talented, beautiful, and well-behaved. They were more than enough to be the legitimate madam of a wealthy family. They were only concubines in the prince’s mansion? Lin Wanxi’s heart which had been calmed down earlier sank in an instant. With such two young and beautiful concubines, how could Tang Shishi’s life be easier?
Lin Wanxi’s fingers went cold. When she heard Tang Shishi ask the educated appearance woman about her diet, Lin Wanxi only then knew that she had been pregnant for four months.
When Lin Wanxi thought of Zhao Zigao who was only ten months old, her heart began to thump again.
Tang Shishi “cared” for Zhou Shunhua’s belly according to the process, and finally concluded, “The mansion has been vacant for many years, and some places are inevitably unsatisfactory. If you are uncomfortable or not used to it during this time, tell me quickly. Both of you are Shizi’s favored concubine and shoulder the important task of opening branches and spreading the leaves for the imperial family. You should take good care of your body and have children for Shizi as soon as possible. That’s the most important thing, understand?”
Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun answered softly. Lin Wanxi was stunned for a while before she said in surprise, “Shizi?”
“Yes.” When Tang Shishi saw Lin Wanxi, she recalled and quickly introduced them, “Look at my memory, I almost forgot to introduce them. Mother, these two are Shizi’s favored concubines. This is Cefei Zhou, and this is beauty Ren.”
Lin Wanxi choked as if she had eaten something and the expression on her face became more and more strange. Tang Shishi played the role of today’s good mother-in-law and sent them away, “That’s all, I have nothing to do here. Go back and have a rest.”
“Yes, Thank you Wangfei.”
Lin Wanxi held back for a long time. After Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun went out, she could not help asking, “Those turned out to be Shizi’s concubine? Also, your daughter-in-law?”
“That’s right.” Tang Shishi did not understand why her mother found it strange and said, “They are not my daughter-in-law. Shizi has another legitimate wife, but Shizifei accidentally had a miscarriage before departure, which is inconvenient to travel. Wangye let Shizifei stay in Xiping to recuperate.”
Lin Wanxi was shocked by this answer. After digesting it for a while, she asked, “What about Wangye’s concubine?”
Tang Shishi chuckled lightly, leaned on the handrail, and slowly adjusted her sleeves, “He doesn’t dare to take a concubine. I sent away all the beauties in the mansion except those given to Shizi.”
Lin Wanxi was stumped for words for a moment and was completely convinced. Her daughter… as expected was capable of doing big things.
Tang Shishi saw that her mother’s expression was wrong and asked, “Mother, what do you want to say?”
Lin Wanxi shook her head, “You handled everything very well, I have nothing to say. However, Shizifei had a miscarriage, and yet Cefei is pregnant. Why are the children in your mansion so close?”
Tang Shishi raised her eyebrows and smiled ambiguously, “Who knows. Mother, Cefei Zhou has been pregnant for four months. Can you tell?”
Lin Wanxi thought for a while and shook her head. Tang Shishi smiled and said, “Don’t underestimate those two people. Although they are concubines, one is the legitimate daughter of Duke’s mansion, and the other is the legitimate daughter of Marquis Anning’s mansion, both of them have high backgrounds. If Wangye didn’t like them and forced Shizi to marry the daughter of the Lu family, I’m afraid the position of Shizifei would fall on them.”
Lin Wanxi was shocked when she heard this. Before meeting Tang Shishi, the fifth-grade officials were all wealthy families that the Tang family looked up to. However now, the daughters of the Duke and Marquis families were all serving as daughters-in-law under Tang Shishi. Seeing how respectful the two of them were to Tang Shishi just now, perhaps Tang Shishi was usually very domineering.
Lin Wanxi slowly realized that although her daughter was born from her body, she had now embarked on a completely different path from her. Neither she nor the Tang family was left behind by Tang Shi, it was just that they could no longer keep up with Tang Shishi.
While Lin Wanxi was pleased, she also felt sad. It was not that the prince’s mansion did not pay attention to her nor did Jing Wang indulge in Tang Shishi without bottom line, but those knives that killed people without spilling blood, and schemed and plotted that had never stopped.
However, Tang Shishi managed to break through.
Lin Wanxi wiped her tears from the corners of her eyes, took Tang Shishi’s hand, and said, “Mother can’t help you now and also can’t give you any advice, but Shizifei in your mansion has just had a miscarriage. You should also be careful.”
“I know.” Tang Shishi gave Lin Wanxi a brilliant smile, “Mother, just rest assured. I’m well aware of the situation.”