It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 120 Thrilling
After Tang Shishi entered the banquet, she was very careful all the way because she was afraid of being calculated by others. She ate very little food, only touching those in front of her and also the ones that were tried by others before she carefully lowered her chopsticks.
The banquet was always calm, and the people around were talking and laughing. From time to time, someone would stand up to offer a toast to Old Madam Wang. No matter how people looked at it, this was just an ordinary birthday banquet.
Tang Shishi’s heart slowly relaxed. Her heart was probably panicked and treated everyone as an enemy. Tang Shishi was half full and almost ready to put down her chopsticks. Just as she was thinking about it, a maid walked in hurriedly from outside and looked at Tang Shishi anxiously.
Tang Shishi has an impression of this face. She seemed to be a maid from the mansion, but she only took Dujuan and Xique with her today. Why did this maid appear here? Tang Shishi secretly became vigilant, let the other people know, walked to a quiet place, and asked, “Why are you here?”
The maid watched Tang Shishi come out and followed her step by step. When she reached a place where there was no one, she showed eagerness, lowered her voice, and said to Tang Shishi, “Wangfei, something bad has happened. Cefei Zhou has a miscarriage!”
Tang Shishi’s eyes suddenly widened, and looked at the maid with a calm face, “What?”
“This is absolutely true.” The maid was anxious like an ant on the fire, and said to Tang Shishi, “Cefei was fine today, but after Wangfei and Wangye went out, Cefei did not know what was wrong as her stomach hurts suddenly. The maid who served her originally wanted to invite an imperial physician, but Cefei said that Wangfei and Wangye were not in the mansion, and it was too troublesome to invite the imperial physician, so she had better endure with it for a while. Unexpectedly after a while, Cefei bled. The maids in the mansion were panicked and didn’t know who to look for to make a decision. I courageously ran out to inform Wangfei.”
Tang Shishi’s face was already as cold as ice. Today was Wang Taifu’s birthday and Zhao Chengjun attached great importance to it. In addition to her and Zhao Chengjun, Zhao Zixun also went out. There were only Zhou Shunhua and Ren Yujun left in the mansion. Initially, Tang Shishi left Zhou Shunhua in the mansion for fear of her making trouble. Unexpectedly, even so, Zhou Shunhua refused to stop.
Tang Shishi had long suspected that Zhou Shunhua was not pregnant, but she did not expect that she would pick this point of time for her “miscarriage”. Tang Shishi thought about it the other way around. Zhou Shunhua has been pregnant for nearly six months. She might not look pregnant in four months, but the belly bulged up rapidly starting from six months, how could she still not look pregnant?
If she did not find a chance to abort herself, she would have no way to end it.
Tang Shishi asked, “Did you call the imperial physician?”
“When I left the mansion, Cefei Zhou’s place was in a mess. I don’t know if they had called the imperial physician.”
“Forget about the imperial physician. I’ll go back to see it myself.” Tang Shishi initially wanted to explain to the maid, but on second thought, she was most relieved to see this kind of thing by herself and it was not appropriate for others to arrange it. Tang Shishi made up her mind and said, “Go ahead and tell Wangye that I’m going back to the mansion and let him arrange a carriage. I’ll go to ask Old Madam Wang to be excused.”
The maid answered, “Yes.”
Tang Shishi took a deep breath at the doorway. After controlling the expression on her face, she calmly walked into the reception hall. She walked quietly to behind Old Madam Wang and said, “Old Madam, I should have accompanied you today to enjoy the celebration, but something urgent happened in the mansion and I have to go back first.”
When Old Madam Wang heard it, she naturally said unreservedly, “It doesn’t matter here. Since Wangfei has something to do, go back quickly.”
Tang Shishi thanked her, “Thank you, Old Madam. I will bring Zhao Zigao to wish you Happy New Year in the coming days.”
Old Madam Wang responded at once. She had planned to arrange for her daughter-in-law to send Tang Shishi out. When Tang Shishi saw that several of the Wang family members with the same family name were busy entertaining guests and were too busy at the banquet. Who could send her out? Tang Shishi refused it tactfully and said, “Wangye will send someone to pick me up, so just let the madams be by your side to do their filial piety. Old Madam, please take care. I’m going first.”
As soon as Old Madam Wang heard that Jing Wang had made an arrangement, she stopped persuading her. Tang Shishi took Dujuan and Xique out. As soon as she walked out of the reception hall, she met the maid just now. The maid looked out of breath, and said, “Wangfei, I have notified Wangye and Wangye asked Wangfei to go this way.”
Tang Shishi did not think much about it and let the maid lead the way. Tang Shishi followed the maid to avoid the crowd, passed through corridors, and walked into a small garden.
Tang Shishi’s frowned slowly. She could understand if she wanted to bypass the guests in the front, but why would Zhao Chengjun pick her up in the garden? Tang Shishi stopped slowly. The maid walked away from the path and did not hear Tang Shishi following her. She turned around in puzzled, “Wangfei, aren’t you coming?”
Tang Shishi stopped where she was and looked at her coldly, “If we are heading out, there should be more and more people. Why did you lead me into a garden?”
The maid said with a smile, “This is what Wangye instructed. There is a shortcut from the garden that will lead to the second gate right away.”
Tang Shishi did not know how the Wang mansion was arranged, but according to her understanding of Zhao Chengjun, he would never let her take a shortcut from a secluded garden. Without saying anything, Tang Shishi turned around and walked back to where she came from. Seeing that the plot had been exposed, the maid’s complexion suddenly changed and rushed toward Tang Shishi.
Dujuan and Xique were shocked and immediately stood beside Tang Shishi. Several people jumped out from nowhere and these women dressed up as the Wang family’s maid, but their eyes were bright and from a skilled family at a glance. Tang Shishi was startled and hurriedly backed away. At this time, Dujuan and Xique were caught by four maids and subdued with just a few moves. Dujuan panicked and hurriedly shouted to Tang Shishi, “Wangfei, danger. Run quickly!”
Before Dujuan could finish speaking, her mouth was covered by someone. Dujuan struggled hard and kept making loud humming sounds in her mouth. But after a while, her struggling strength weakened, and she was knocked out by the drug on the handkerchief.
Tang Shishi knew that she was in big trouble this time. These people came prepared and still knew kung fu. They were most likely Empress Dowager Yao’s people. Tang Shishi did not expect that there were spies in the mansion. If she did not see the familiar face, she would never follow her out.
Since Zhao Chengjun’s words were false, then Zhou Shunhua’s miscarriage was probably also false too.
Dujuan and Xique were captured. Although Tang Shishi was worried, she did not delay and immediately ran back. She knew that Empress Dowager Yao’s goal was her. Only when she managed to escape that she could save Dujuan and Xique. If she stayed behind to save people, all three of them, master and maids would be captured together.
Those four maids have kung fu, but it would still take them some time to get Dujuan and Xique fully knocked out. Tang Shishi seized the opportunity and ran out with all her might. The leader of the maids frowned and chased after her. She looked at Tang Shishi and said to the rest, “You deal with these two maids and I’ll go after her.”
At first, Zhao Chengjun was talking to Taifu, but he did not expect that halfway through the meal, the guard of the mansion came over and whispered in Zhao Chengjun’s ear, “Wangye, Cefei Zhou talked to a maid secretly today. After that, the maid left the mansion.”
Zhao Chengjun frowned slowly and felt intuitively wrong. Wang Zhengtang found that Zhao Chengjun’s complexion was not good and asked, “Jing Wang, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing.” Zhao Chengjun put down his chopsticks, got up, and said to Wang Zhengtang calmly, “Taifu, please continue. I have some private affairs and need to go out first.”
After leaving the banquet hall, Zhao Chengjun instantly turned cold and asked, “Where did she go after she left the mansion?”
“I’m incompetent and lost her. That maid seems to have some training. She is skilled in getting rid of her pursuit.”
She was a skilled person, then must be a person from the court spy agency. Zhao Chengjun asked, “Where’s Wangfei?”
“Should be at the banquet in the rear courtyard.”
Zhao Chengjun said nothing and strode toward the rear courtyard.
Old Madam Wang was talking with her granddaughters and daughters-in-law and suddenly saw a maid rushed in panicked, “Old Madam, Jing Wang is here.”
What? Old Madam Wang’s spirit was shaken. The other female guests stopped talking and stood up one after another. The young ladies of the Wang family who have not yet married avoided it without delay. They hid behind their mother and saw a man wearing red coiled dragon clothing strode towards the reception hall.
Along with Zhao Chengjun’s footsteps, the hall became quiet, and everyone looked at him fearfully and nervously. Zhao Chengjun stopped in front of Old Madam Wang, cupped his hands in salute, and said, “I’m rude for disturbing Old Madam hosting the banquet. However, does Old Madam knows where Wangfei has gone to?”
This was the banquet place for womenfolk, and it was indeed rude for outside men to break in, but who let the other person be Jing Wang? Old Madam Wang hurriedly said that it was all right. She was surprised when she heard what Zhao Chengjun said later, “Wangye doesn’t know?”
Zhao Chengjun’s eyebrows moved slightly and asked, “Know what?”
Old Madam Wang was also confused. She frowned and said in surprise, “Just now, Wangfei clearly told me that Wangye have sent someone to pick her up, so she left first.”
Zhao Chengjun’s mood sank even more. He did not send any message to Tang Shishi. Someone had pretended to be him and sent a fake message to Tang Shishi.
Without saying anything further, Zhao Chengjun asked the direction that Tang Shishi left and strode out. Zhao Chengjun came and left abruptly like a thunderbolt. The womenfolk in the reception hall looked at each other speechlessly. Finally, Eldest Madam asked Old Madam, “Mother, what does Jing Wang mean?”
Old Madam Wang was silent with a solemn face. After a while, she said, “Something may have happened. You should check the people in each room to see if anything is missing or lacking.”
Tang Shishi ran away with all her strength. She knew that Empress Dowager Yao still did not dare to do anything to her in broad daylight. As long as she ran to a crowded place, she would be saved. However, she did not know where the garden was and there was no one around. The more Tang Shishi ran, the more her abdomen hurt. She did not know what was going on with her lower abdomen as it hurts as she ran each step. Tang Shishi tried her best to endure it and stumbled to the doorway. Seeing that she was about to go out, someone pulled her from behind suddenly.
Tang Shishi saw two maids passing by on the outside. She opened her mouth wide and tried to call for help, but suddenly her mouth was covered by a handkerchief. There was a strange smell on the handkerchief, like some kind of medicine. Tang Shishi immediately realized that it was a knockout drug. She held her breath and struggled with all her strength.
She should not be knocked out with a drug by Empress Dowager Yao at this place.
However, the two maids outside were ignorant and walked away with their trays. Tang Shishi fell into despair. She already felt that the knockout drug was taking effect. She was sad, angry, and unwilling with tears streaming down her eyes.
She did not know what Empress Dowager Yao planned to do with her, but she had a hunch that when Tang Shishi woke up, everything she was used to and cherished would be completely destroyed. She finally felt that life was getting better and better. She has a husband and a son. It took her so much effort to get to this point. Why should others destroy it when they wanted to destroy it and take it away when they wanted to take it away?
Tang Shishi’s tearful eyes were blurred, and she could not even see the outside world clearly. In the middle of her struggle, she suddenly felt that the strength behind her was lessened, and the handkerchief that had been covering her mouth had softened. Fresh air poured in from between the gaps. Before Tang Shishi could take a breather, she felt a psychedelic rush into her mind. Her body softened and fell to the ground.
The knockout drug has begun to take effect, Tang Shishi wanted to protect her abdomen, but her movements became particularly slow. She thought to herself how painful it would be to fall to the ground after this. However, the expected pain did not come. When her body was fell down halfway, she was caught from behind.
The tears in Tang Shishi’s eyes had not dried yet and coupled with the knockout drug effect, her vision was fuzzy. She vaguely saw Zhao Chengjun, but she did not know whether it was real or an illusion. Tang Shishi’s voice was light as a feather and asked, “Wangye?”
“It’s me.” Zhao Chengjun carried Tang Shishi in his arms and walked out quickly, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here.”
Hearing a familiar voice, Tang Shishi burst into tears, grabbed Zhao Chengjun’s lapel, and cried in a mess, “I thought I was going to die just now.”
When Zhao Chengjun saw Tang Shishi crying like this, he was both distressed and despised. He has been pampering her as a baby for so long, afraid that she would be cold, afraid that she would be tired, and even reluctant to say any harsh word at normal times. Where did others have the courage to bully her? Zhao Chengjun’s face was tense and held Tang Shishi’s hand harder and harder, “Will not. With me here, I will never let anyone hurt you.”
Obviously, Tang Shishi was scared to death just now, but now seeing Zhao Chengjun, she was suddenly not afraid. As the drug took effect, her mind gradually blurred. Before she lost consciousness, she grabbed Zhao Chengjun’s clothes and said in an almost inaudible voice, “My abdomen hurts, quickly call the imperial physician.”