IBTBTED Chapter 126
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 126 Conferred as Empress
Ren Yujun kept guarding the room. Hearing the maid’s return, she quickly stood up and asked, “How’s it going?”
The maid’s complexion was also very panicked. She leaned to Ren Yujun’s ear and said in a strenuous voice, “The gonggong who reports the death is here, and he is very kind to Wangfei. The gonggong also said that he would take Wangfei to enter the palace tomorrow.”
Ren Yujun covered her heart and fell onto her seat. After a long time, her heart was still pounding.
Jing Wang turned out to be really… She thought that her life had come to an end, but she never expected that there would be a day when the mountains and rivers would reappear which gave her a glimmer of hope.
If Jing Wang became the emperor, then Shizi…… Was not he became the Taizi?
In another courtyard not far away, the lights stayed on all night. Zhou Shunhua was stunned for a long time when she heard the message sent back by Zhao Zixun.
The maid thought Zhou Shunhua was frightened. She stirred the medicated porridge, put it on Zhou Shunhua’s hand, and said, “Cefei, don’t be too scared. It’s forbidden to say anything about the affairs of the imperial family. You haven’t slept all night and your body can’t hold it up. Drink the medicated porridge first.”
A wry smile appeared across Zhou Shunhua’s lips. She was not scared at all, she was just too happy… and too unreconciled.
Obviously, she could almost give birth to a child. The mother would be dignified by the dignity of the son. She had a child, but Lu Yufei did not, and coupled with the support of the Duke Cai mansion, she should have been conferred as Taizifei*.
(Taizifei* – the formal title of the crown prince’s wife)
Unfortunately, there was nothing left now.
After getting the hint from the palace, Tang Shishi could finally put down her worried heart, and only then did she feel sleepy. Tang Shishi knew that Zhao Chengjun was proclaimed as the emperor in the plot but seeing it in writing was not as good as experiencing it personally. On top of that, the time, place, and reason were all wrong. Tang Shishi really did not dare to hold too much confidence.
Now, she felt like she was back on the ground again. Tang Shishi went back to her room and drank a calming tea. After placing Zhao Zigao beside her, she fell fast asleep.
Seeing that Tang Shishi was asleep, the maids did not dare to disturb her. They removed all the lights in the room and even blocked the light outside the room with curtains for fear of disturbing Wangfei’s sleep. The main courtyard of the prince’s mansion was quiet all morning. Tang Shishi was immersed in her sleep, completely unaware of the ups and downs of the outside world.
Early in the morning, Tang Mingzhe felt his eyelids jump right from the time he woke up. Suddenly there was a death knell in the middle of the night, and he was awakened by the sound outside. Obviously, he was reluctant to get up, but he still had to change lanterns and paper windows, and remove all taboos things. Tang Mingzhe liked to be stylish. The Tang family was beautiful and magnificent decorated, so it was conceivable that many places did not conform to the national mourning.
Tang Mingzhe was tossed all night and did not sleep until dawn. However, he did not sleep long, and it was already time to get up. Tang Mingzhe was going to talk about business today, so he could not be late. He cursed and changed his clothes while being served by concubine Su.
Tang Mingzhe had just gotten up and his mind was still not working well. Seeing the clothes in concubine Su’s hand, he said disgustedly, “Why did you find such plain clothes? Get my golden brocade robe.”
Concubine Su reminded him gently, “Master, you have forgotten that the late Emperor died last night and the whole country will be in mourning for a hundred days. You can’t wear gold.”
Only then did Tang Mingzhe remember, yes ah, the Emperor was dead. Hearing the dead person early in the morning was truly unlucky. Tang Mingzhe frowned at the clothes in front of him and said disgustedly, “Forget about it. Just this one then.”
After Tang Mingzhe changed his clothes, he still mumbled, “No weddings, no funerals, no meat, no restaurants for hundred days. Tsk…”
He did not say anything afterward, but concubine Su and the maids knew that Tang Mingzhe disliked troublesome. This kind of power change had nothing to do with them. Ordinary commoners had not even seen the palace gate, let alone had any empathy for the dead Emperor.
The suffering was also the suffering of not being able to eat meat for more than three months.
Tang Mingzhe did not think about his own family’s direction at all. In his eyes, the Emperor was the Emperor, and Jing Wang was the prince. They were basically two identities. How could there be any intersection?
He went to the dining hall for the morning meal and because he got up late, he was already a little late. He often looked at the time and impatiently urged his servants to hurry up. For one moment, he scolded the young manservant for being sneaky and slippery, and in another moment, he scolded concubine Su for being incompetent. Concubine Su lowered her head, even if it was clearly Tang Mingzhe’s fault, she did not retort back but responded one by one.
Seeing that the time was running out, Tang Mingzhe took a few bites in a hurry. Regardless of the scalding hot water, he picked up the tea and drank a few sips. He was originally unstable holding the teacup, but at this time, there was a sudden outburst of “Master” from outside. Tang Mingzhe was startled, his hands trembled, and the corners of his mouth were scalded badly.
Tang Mingzhe stood up and scolded angrily, “Which turtle grandson is rushing to the funeral?”
Concubine Su was anxious, surrounded him, and asked eagerly, “Master, did you burn yourself badly? I’ll ask someone to take the ointment.”
The young manservant was leading a man inside. That person saw Tang Mingzhe eating and said, “Oh, I came at the wrong timing and interrupted Master Tang having his meal.”
When Tang Mingzhe saw that it was the business partner he was going to meet today, he immediately changed to his smiling face, without any violent expression just now, “It turned out to be Shopkeeper Lu. Excuse me for not going out to meet you. Please sit down.”
Shopkeeper Lu saw that the corner of Tang Mingzhe’s mouth was red, and asked, “What’s wrong with Master’s mouth?”
Tang Mingzhe said, “The servant is stupid. I was scalded after being served hot tea. But it doesn’t matter. Brother Lu, didn’t we make an appointment to meet at Changxiang Pavilion today? Why did Brother Lu come here by himself?”
Shopkeeper Lu smiled and said, “Master, you’ve forgotten that the restaurant is not open today.”
Tang Mingzhe also thought that during the national mourning, any singing, dancing, and enjoyment were prohibited. However, if the Changxiang Pavilion was not open, it should be Tang Mingzhe that needed to find another place to treat him. So, why did Shopkeeper Lu come to the Tang family in person?
Tang Mingzhe thought in his heart. As soon as he looked back, he saw that concubine Su was still snooping in front of him and stared at her unhappily, “What are you doing here? Don’t you see I’m busy with business? Get out of here quickly!”
Concubine Su wanted to please but was chided until no face. She was quite ashamed and left with her face covered in dejection. Tang Mingzhe turned around and smiled at Shopkeeper Lu, “Brother Lu, sit down quickly. My concubine has no rules which make you laugh.”
“What are you talking about, Master Tang? Your wife is virtuous in housekeeping which is a sign of prosperity.” Without knowing what happened, Shopkeeper Lu, who used to ignore Tang Mingzhe, was very cordial today. After he sat down and said a few words, he turned to Tang Mingzhe, “Master Tang, congratulations. I’ve always regarded you as a brother and didn’t expect that Master to have such a good thing but didn’t tell your little brother.”
Tang Mingzhe was a little confused after hearing what he said. He was a merchant, and he knew best that there were no free meals in the world. He was in an unfamiliar place without friends or family in Jinling. He originally wanted to solicit the Lu family. So, why was the family named Lu being so courteous to him now?
Tang Mingzhe laughed out loud, and asked, “I’m stupid. I don’t understand the meaning of Brother Lu. What is Brother Lu trying to say?”
Shopkeeper Lu looked at his pretentious expression toward him even at this moment, cast a glance at him, and said, “What else can it be? Naturally, it’s a happy event for Master. I heard that Jing Wang is the Emperor now. If it weren’t for my daughter’s connection in the Marquis Mansion, I won’t even know about this matter. Congratulations, Brother Tang gave birth to a good daughter. It’s so noble without words ah!”
Tang Mingzhe was completely stunned while holding a cup of tea in his hand. The Emperor was Jing Wang? Was not Jing Wang the title of Tang Shishi’s husband?
His eldest son-in-law became the Emperor?
When Shopkeeper Lu saw Tang Mingzhe did not answer, he thought he wanted to continue to put on airs. Shopkeeper Lu understood clearly, and said, “Brother Tang is really a nobleman without showing true colors. You have such a son-in-law, why do you still look for me to pull connections? You are deliberately teasing me. Brother Tang doesn’t worry, the land at Wuding Bridge will be given to Brother Tang as a meeting gift from me. I’m not taking any money and giving it away.”
Tang Mingzhe finally recovered. He slammed the teacup onto the table with a bang without the mind to care about the land at Wuding bridge. In a panic, he said, “Someone, prepare the carriage to go to the Jing Wang mansion. No, go invite Madam over quickly!”
A young manservant did not understand, and asked, “Master, is it Eldest Madam or Second Madam?”
Tang Mingzhe was so angry that he slapped the other person’s head and beat him all around, “Bastard, what’s Eldest Madam or Second Madam? There is only one madam in the Tang family!”
Tang Shishi woke up naturally and leisurely. When the maid heard the movements, she lifted up the curtain and said with a smile, “Wangfei, you finally woke up. Sister Dujuan is afraid that little Junwang will disturb you, so she has already taken little Junwang to the side hall.”
Tang Shishi nodded and slowly got up. The maid hurriedly put soft pillows behind for Tang Shishi to lean on. After Tang Shishi sat properly, she asked, “What time is it?”
“It’s the end of sishi (9 am – 11 am). Wangfei, you slept soundly this time. Many people are waiting outside to greet you.”
Tang Shishi just woke up and her brain was not up to speed yet. She asked casually, “Who are they?”
“Tang family, Qi family, some descendent of the nobles and princesses who live nearby.” The maid said with a smile, “In addition, the eunuch of Superintendent of Ceremony from the palace.”
“Superintendent of Ceremony?” Tang Shishi was stunned for a while and said in surprise, “Aren’t they the ones that drape a band of red silk over Emperor’s shoulder and ghostwriting? Why are they in our mansion?”
“His Majesty ordered them to take Wangfei into the palace.”
Tang Shishi gasped and asked cautiously, “His Majesty is…”
“It’s Wangye.” The maid laughed, “The enthronement ceremony is still in preparation, but the court has already announced it to the officials and the whole world during the morning court session. Now, it’s just waiting to be enthroned. The first thing His Majesty did in the court was to send someone to pick up Wangfei and little Junwang to enter the palace. Congratulations Wangfei. Congratulate Wangfei on such a happy occasion.”
Tang Shishi was stunned for a long time and could not believe it, “I’ve been sleeping for so long, and they’ve been waiting outside all this time?”
Tang Shishi’s eyes darkened, “Why don’t you wake me up!”
The maid was embarrassed, “His Majesty said not to wake Wangfei up. The gongongs of the Superintendent of Ceremony also said to let Wangfei have a good sleep. It doesn’t matter for them to wait for a while.”
Tang Shishi got up quickly to change her clothes. She found that Zhao Zigao had already dressed. There were so many people inside and out, all waiting for her. Tang Shishi did not dare to imagine the outside scene, so she quickly arranged her appearance and followed the eunuch to enter the palace.
The eunuch of the Superintendent of Ceremony was beaming with smiles when he saw her and did not see the impatience of waiting for a long time. Tang Shishi had entered the palace several times before and even lived in the palace for three years, but none of them was as grandeur and spectacular as now.
After entering the palace, the attitudes of the palace people were also entirely different, completely without the previous frivolous treatment towards her. A female official of the Imperial Palace Bureau respectfully welcomed Tang Shishi to the palace, and said prudently, “Niangniang, normally you should live in Kunning Palace, but Empress Wuzong has a lot of things and hasn’t completely moved out today, so can only wrong you to make do with here for some time.”
Last night, the posthumous title of the late Emperor had not been determined, and everyone temporarily called Emperor Dahang. Today, the central government discussed the posthumous title and funeral ceremony of the late Emperor, and the palace people were all changed to Wuzong.
Taking “Wu” as the posthumous title was not a good word.
Tang Shishi looked around the palace. She saw overhanging eaves and bucket arches, richly ornamented buildings. They were wide and bright, making them comfortable to look at. Tang Shishi came from a small family and had no attachment to the palace. She said, “It’s quite good here. Thank you for your trouble, female official.”
“It’s my honor to serve Niangniang. I dare not call it trouble.” The female official was very respectful and full of flattery to Tang Shishi. In this morning’s court session, the central government proposed that the country should not be without a monarch for a day. According to ancestral etiquette, when the father died, the son succeeded, and when the elder brother died, the younger brother succeeded. However, both Wuzong and Xiaozong had no children, so Jing Wang should inherit the throne. The following political and military officials had no objection. After Zhao Chengjun deliberately declined three times, this matter was finalized without any suspense.
The enthronement ceremony was scheduled after fourteen days, but now Zhao Chengjun was already the actual Emperor, and no one was stupid enough to embarrass him. After Zhao Chengjun became the Emperor, he did three things. The first was to give Emperor Dahang a posthumous name and hold a funeral. The second was to appoint his birth mother, the Imperial Consort Guo Gonglie, as the Empress Dowager of Rongde, bestowed a title to Yao Peier, the Empress of Wuzong, as the Empress Dowager and lived in the East Palace of Cining Palace, and then bestowed a title to Grandma Empress Yao who had supported Xiaozong and Wuzong with meritorious service as Empress Dowager together, and lived in the West Palace of Cining Palace. Because the two living Empress Dowagers were both from the same family named Yao, they were also called the Empress Dowager of the East Palace and the Empress Dowager of the West Palace.
The womenfolk of the harem had always only been promoted, and rarely relegated. This time was contrary to the expectation. Empress Dowager Yao had been relegated from the Grandma Empress to Empress Dowager. This was truly an unprecedented spectacle.
It was as strange as the burial of the Imperial Consort at that time.
The third one was the conferment of Tang Shishi as the Empress. However, the ceremony could not be held now, which should be held together with Zhao Chengjun’s enthronement ceremony.
Tang Shishi suddenly realized her lifelong dream. To be honest, she was a little dizzy.