IBTBTED Chapter 122
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 122 Retribution
Zhou Shunhua and Zhao Zixun both looked up in shock. Zhao Zixun blurted out, “Father, cannot!”
Zhao Chengjun’s patience had reached its limit, and he looked at them coldly, “Why not?”
Zhao Zixun clenched his teeth, and said truthfully while risking everything, “Father, Shunhua indeed report false pregnancy before, but on the journey to the capital, she was really pregnant with a child. It has been two months now. I knew that Shunhua had done a lot of wrong things, which was unforgivable, but she was pregnant after all. I hope father will give more time for the sake of her baby. At least wait until she gives birth to the child before doing the flogging punishment.”
Zhao Zixun did not dare to ask for an exemption from the punishment, so he could only do his best to postpone the punishment. She could not be beaten during pregnancy, and even more so could not be beaten during confinement. After the confinement, she had to take care of the child and also could not be beaten. After dragging on and on like this, this board could only end up with nothing definite.
Zhao Chengjun was furious. Zhao Zixun did not dare to plead forcibly, so he could only find an indirect way to save people. However, Zhao Chengjun did not believe it at all. He looked at Zhao Zixun, who was pleading with all sincerity and seriousness, and found it ridiculous, “When things have reached this point, both of you still want to deceive people, full of lies and no truth. This is Shizi and Shizi’s Cefei of the prince’s mansion. I have given you a chance and this time, I won’t make the same mistake again.”
After saying that, Zhao Chengjun’s face sunk, and said with a stern voice, “Drag her out.”
Liu Ji did not delay any longer and immediately brought people forward and dragged Zhou Shunhua’s arm. Zhou Shunhua was frightened and struggled frantically, “Jing Wang, I didn’t lie. I’m really pregnant! If you don’t believe it, you can find an imperial physician to check it!”
This trick was used last time. Zhao Chengjun knew that Zhou Shunhua had warm fragrant pills. Even if the imperial physician came, he could not find anything. Zhao Chengjun had already lost his patience and ignored it. He just frowned impatiently.
Liu Ji saw that Zhao Chengjun dislike the racket and gagged Zhou Shunhua’s mouth skillfully. Zhou Shunhua was the same as crazy, sobbing while struggling. Zhao Zixun’s face also changed and said anxiously, “Father, this time she is really pregnant! I can vouch with my life that there is absolutely no lie.”
Zhao Chengjun remained unmoved. Zhao Zixun became more anxious. Seeing Zhou Shunhua being dragged away, Zhao Zixun could not bear it and directly reached out to stop Liu Ji’s action. Zhao Chengjun raised his eyebrows while sitting on the seat of honor and motioned the surrounding guards with his eyes to take down Zhao Zixun.
The guards of the Jing Wang mansion were all Zhao Chengjun’s trusted aides. Zhao Chengjun instructed them to detain Zhao Zixun without saying a word. How could Zhao Zixun, a young man rival the elites from the military? He was held back firmly without much struggling.
Zhao Chengjun was angry at the same time found it laughable, and said unhurriedly, “Great, this is really great. I give you face many times just because there were outsiders around. As a result, you not only lie and cheat but also dare to attack my people?”
Zhao Zixun also knew that he had committed a big taboo, but he was a man. How could he watch his woman and child be dragged out to be beaten? Zhao Zixun was firmly controlled by others and a little movement of his arm caused unbearable pain. But now Zhao Zixun had no time to pay attention to the pain. He exhausted all his strength to raise his head to say to Zhao Chengjun, “Father, you are also a man with a wife and son. How can you bear to use such a ruthless method to treat a pregnant woman? Shunhua is pregnant and can’t stand the board at all!”
Up to now, they were still reluctant to admit their mistake. Zhao Chengjun sneered and said indifferently, “Even if she is really pregnant, she knows that she loves her child. Did she never think that Tang Shishi might be pregnant when she calculated others at that time? Dragged her out and executed immediately.”
Liu Ji knew that when he heard this, there was no room for maneuver in this matter. Liu Ji saluted Zhao Chengjun and quickly dragged Zhou Shunhua away.
Zhao Zixun’s eyes widen and almost burst out bleeding, “No, all of you stop!”
Obviously, the young Shizi had no right to speak in the mansion. No matter how he roared, the sound of the board came from outside the courtyard. Thump, thump, thump. After the third board, the sound outside stopped for a moment.
Zhao Zixun closed his eyes in despair as he knew that his child was gone.
Zhao Chengjun’s eyebrows moved slightly, and his eyes showed surprise. Liu Ji quickly walked to Zhao Chengjun’s side and whispered in his ear, “Wangye, there’s blood. It seems she is really pregnant.”
After Zhao Chengjun left, Tang Shishi lay on the bed with peace of mind and stayed in bed to nurse the baby. After Zhao Zigao woke up, he babbled to find Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi could not go to the ground now, so she asked the wet nurse to carry Zhao Zigao over to the bed so that she could play with Zhao Zigao.
Zhao Zigao was able to walk a few steps now. As soon as he reached the bedside, he rushed toward Tang Shishi and acted coquettishly to make Tang Shishi carry him. The maids were startled, and carried Zhao Zigao quickly, “Little Junwang, cannot!”
Tang Shishi was also startled and subconsciously covered her lower abdomen. Fortunately, it was just a false alarm. Tang Shishi was relieved and said, “It’s all right. Let him down.”
Zhao Zigao was placed on the bed. He crawled very fast and very quickly crawled to Tang Shishi’s side and pulled Tang Shishi’s clothes to ask Tang Shishi to hold him. Tang Shishi also wanted to carry him, but she could not exert her lower abdomen now, so she really did not dare to carry him.
Tang Shishi sighed and said, “You are a little bit heavy and you’re older now. You have to learn to walk by yourself.”
Zhao Zigao seemed to understand, and the maids laughed, “Little Junwang, there is a baby in Wangfei’s belly. In a few months, you will have a younger brother or sister. Do you like it?”
Zhao Zigao did not know what a brother or sister was. When he saw the maids laughing, he laughed and clapped his hands. The maids roared with laughter and said happily, “Wangfei, you see, little Junwang likes it too.”
Tang Shishi was helpless and said with a smile, “What does he know? But don’t let it be a son this time. I can’t bear another Zhao Zigao.”
“With little Junwang as the elder brother, whether Wangfei gives birth to a junwang or princess, he will be well protected by the elder brother.” After the maid said that she went to tease Zhao Zigao, “Little Junwang, don’t you think so?”
Zhao Zigao grinned his big front teeth and babbled. The maids were amused and said, “Look, Wangfei, little Junwang also agreed. Little Junwang, you are the eldest brother. A promise must be kept. You are not allowed to bully your younger siblings in the future.”
The maid accidentally said the elder brother. She was startled and hurriedly looked up to see Tang Shishi. However, Tang Shishi lowered her head to tease Zhao Zigao, as if she had not heard it. The maid was relieved and got a cold sweat on her back.
How could Tang Shishi not hear it? She just did not want to feign. Tang Shishi used to say something hypocritical before, but now she did not even bother to say it.
What was the fastest way to make a scumbag change his mind? Of course, it was to break up his harem, cut off his luck, and give birth to a younger brother for him to snatch his throne away. In this way, he could only rely on Tang Shishi to live his life. Would not he soon change his mind?
Tang Shishi leaned against the bed recalling the plot in the book while playing with Zhao Zigao. A maid suddenly walked in from outside quickly while they were talking and stopped outside the screen, seemingly hesitant to speak.
Tang Shishi saw it and asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Wangfei, the imperial physician is here.”
“Huh?” Tang Shishi was puzzled, “The imperial physician just left. Why did he come back again?”
The maid walked past the screen and said in a low voice, “I heard that Cefei Zhou had a miscarriage. The imperial physician rushed back to save people.”
Tang Shishi slowly raised her eyebrows and could not find suitable words to describe her mood for a while. Did Zhou Shunhua really have a miscarriage? Could not be. When did Zhou Shunhua become pregnant?
Tang Shishi gave the maids a meaningful look quietly. The maids understood, picked up Zhao Zigao, and went out. After waiting for everyone to leave, Tang Shishi asked the maid who passed the news, “She was perfectly all right. Why did she have a miscarriage?”
The maid lowered her head when she heard this and said in a low voice, “Wangye found out that Cefei Zhou was in collusion with a spy and ordered Cefei Zhou to be punished with 30 boards. No one expect that Cefei Zhou was pregnant. After only three boards, she bled.”
When Tang Shishi heard this, she had nothing to say. She understood why the maid had a strange expression when she came in just now. It turned out that it was Zhao Chengjun who actually gave the order.
On that day of the Lantern Festival, everything was fine when Tang Shishi went out, and Empress Dowager Yao suddenly turned hostile when she came back later. Empress Dowager Yao’s attitude had changed so fast that she could only be snitched by someone, and it was not difficult to guess who the snitcher was.
Combined with today’s events, Tang Shishi could easily determine that the snitcher was Zhou Shunhua. If she could guess it, even more so Zhao Chengjun could. She thought that Zhao Chengjun was going out to handle official matters, but she did not expect that he was going to deal with Zhou Shunhua.
Zhou Shunhua played tricks for half a year. Hence, when she was really pregnant, no one believed her. By mistake, the child she had finally hoped for was gone.
Tang Shishi sighed that this was Zhao Zixun’s second child that got miscarried. The child was still pregnant by his most beloved woman. Unfortunately, this child also died early. In this case alone, even a biological father and son would have a knot in the heart, let alone the adoptive relationship between Zhao Chengjun and Zhao Zixun. Tang Shishi was originally worried about how to separate them discreetly, but now it looked like there was no need for Tang Shishi to do anything.
It was only a matter of time before Zhao Chengjun and Zhao Zixun became estranged from each other.
Even if Zhao Chengjun called the imperial physician immediately, it was useless as Zhou Shunhua’s child could not be saved in time. Someone heard that Zhou Shunhua almost fainted from crying. She suffered three boards and also experienced a miscarriage. Her body received a big blow that she could not even get out of bed.
Tang Shishi deliberately stayed up late that night. After hearing that the door was opened, Tang Shishi woke up with a start and called, “Wangye?”
The footsteps outside stopped for a while, then Zhao Chengjun walked into the inner room and sighed lowly, “Why haven’t you slept yet?”
“Wangye didn’t come back yet, so I can’t sleep.” Tang Shishi said and looked at Zhao Chengjun inadvertently, “Wangye, Cefei Zhou side…”
“It’s already sorted out. The imperial physician has prescribed medicine for nursing her body. As for whether to drink it or not, it’s her affair.”
Tang Shishi gave a soft “Oh”. Seeing Zhao Chengjun’s plain face, she thought Zhao Chengjun was in a bad mood, so she deliberately held Zhao Chengjun’s hand and said, “Wangye, don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault on this matter. You didn’t know that she was pregnant. They lied for a long time and can’t blame others for not believing them.”
No one would believe the wolf story when it was told too many times, and the same for Zhou Shunhua too. Zhou Shunhua caused Lu Yufei to have a miscarriage and now, she had a miscarriage herself unexpectedly. Perhaps this was the cycle of cause and effect, retribution in return.
Zhao Chengjun sighed that the mistake had been made, and it was meaningless to investigate who was right and who was wrong. Zhao Chengjun pulled the quilt up and said to Tang Shishi, “I know that even if I don’t succeed, I won’t let you comfort me. You are also precarious yourself, so don’t have to care about others. You just have to nurse yourself properly.”
Seeing that Zhao Chengjun did not persevere, Tang Shishi relaxed and said with a smile, “Of course, I know. It’s inconvenient for me to visit Zhou Shunhua now, so I’ll send her some medicine to nourish her body. It also can be considered as the intention of this legitimate mother.”
Zhao Chengjun smiled while nodding and said, “Very good.” He knew in his heart that Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua would not touch the things they sent. Those precious supplements would be wasted after all.
When Zhao Chengjun thought of Zhao Zixun, he also found it very complicated. Looking at Zhao Zixun’s expression today, it was obvious that he was estranged from him. However, Zhao Chengjun could not care about Zhao Zixun now, so he could only wait until he finished handling the outside affairs and then resolved the knot with Zhao Zixun.
Zhao Chengjun knew very well that someone was responsible for every grievance and there was a debtor for every debt. Zhou Shunhua at most was just merely a knife and Empress Dowager Yao was the real culprit. The blood feud between his Imperial Concubine Mother and brothers had not been avenged yet and Empress dowager Yao actually extended her hand to Tang Shishi. Zhao Chengjun had endured for thirteen years and now it was his turn to fight back.
Empress Dowager Yao had been arrogant for too long. She had forgotten to be prepared for retribution for the time she had harmed others. It was impolite not to reciprocate. In that case, Zhao Chengjun would not be polite.