IBTBTED Chapter 135
It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 135 Finale
At the end of the eighth month, news came from the military front that the imperial military had won a complete victory in the conquest of Zhou Wang and Qi Wang. However, His Majesty was shot by a hidden arrow when they were on their way back from the expedition and fell ill.
His Majesty was injured, and the military naturally could not move forward. Now one hundred thousand troops were stationed in the midway, waiting in fear for the military doctor to heal His Majesty.
After the scouts passed the news to Jinling, there was an uproar in the court immediately. When Tang Shishi heard the news, her heart became cold.
Was not Zhao Chengjun on guard? Why did he still get hit by the arrow? Was there really no way to change the written ending?
Tang Shishi sat for a long time and could not believe the news. He promised to be ordered around by her all his life. How long had it been for him to break his promise?
Seeing that Tang Shishi’s complexion was not right, Dujuan was frightened and said hurriedly, “Niangniang, His Majesty has always been strong. Besides, there are imperial physicians in the army, His Majesty will certainly return safely. His Majesty is a blessed person. Niangniang, don’t worry too much. You still have a child in your belly. You have to take care of your health!”
Under normal circumstances, Tang Shishi also felt that Zhao Chengjun was in such good health and would definitely survive a small injury. However, this time was different.
This was a dead-end specially tailored for Zhao Chengjun. It was Heaven who wanted to kill him and made way for Zhao Zixun. Tang Shishi suddenly got excited, stood up, and asked, “Where is Shizi? Where is Zhao Zixun?”
Tang Shishi regretted that she should not have let Zhao Chengjun leave, let alone let Zhao Zixun live. Zhao Chengjun said that he could not punish the present people with things that had not yet happened. Tang Shishi believed it, but now, Zhao Chengjun was still shot by a hidden arrow!
It must be Zhao Zixun. He must be playing tricks! Seeing that Tang Shishi was in a bad mood, the palace maids hurriedly stopped Tang Shishi, “Niangniang, what’s wrong with you? You have to calm down!”
Tang Shishi struggled like crazy, “Let go of me. I want to kill him!”
Dujuan was so scared that her heart trembled when she heard this. She promptly motioned for someone to close the door, hugged Tang Shishi firmly, and said, “Niangniang, His Majesty is only injured, and there is no bad news. You still have a child in your belly. Even if you don’t think about yourself, you should think for your two children ah!”
After all, Tang Shishi was a pregnant woman who was eight months long. She could not match the strength of four or five maids and soon exhausted herself. She lost her strength and fell on the couch with tears streaming down her eyes.
Dujuan also felt sad looking at her. She knelt on her feet, held Tang Shishi’s hand firmly, and kept reminding her, “Niangniang, it’s just the news of injury. His Majesty is resourceful and meticulous. He will definitely be fine.”
Tang Shishi cried so much that she could not utter a word. She could only hope now that all this was Zhao Chengjun’s scheme. He was not hurt, or he was hurt but very lightly. Perhaps before long, there would be good news from the military front.
However, Tang Shishi’s fantasy fell through. In the next few days, there was no news from the outside court. Five days later, the messenger came back and said, “The hidden arrow was poisonous. His Majesty is poisoned and has been in a coma these days.”
When Tang Shishi heard the news, she fainted directly.
Tang Shishi did not know how long she had fainted. When she woke up, the maids who had been brought into the palace from the prince’s mansion were all crying in front of her bed. The wet nurse stood not far away with Zhao Zigao in her arms and could not help sighing.
Tang Shishi had an ominous feeling. She struggled to support herself. When the palace maids saw her, they quickly helped her to sit down. After sitting down, Tang Shishi immediately asked, “What’s the matter?”
Dujuan’s mouth opened and closed several times, but she could not speak. In the end, it was Xique who said, “Niangniang, Empress Dowager Yao is out.”
What? Tang Shishi raised her eyebrows. Xique lowered her eyes, dared not look at Tang Shishi, and said in a low voice, “After Niangniang fainted, Shizi said that Niangniang is pregnant and anxious, and unsuitable to continue to preside over the harem. However, the palace cannot be without a person in charge. Therefore, Shizi asked Empress Dowager of the West to come forward and preside over the overall situation.”
Tang Shishi’s heart sank slowly. This was great, Zhao Zixun did not hesitate to let the tiger out of the mountain and destroy the Great Wall in order to win. How many years did it take Zhao Chengjun to put Empress Dowager Yao in the cold palace? Zhao Zixun with one word had destroyed the prospect that Zhao Chengjun had worked so hard to win.
He actually was so unscrupulous. Why did he feel that he could ask a tiger for its skin without being eaten by the tiger?
At this time, Tang Shishi became calm instead. She asked, “What else?”
Xique’s mouth opened and closed, but was stopped by Dujuan, “Enough. Empress Niangniang just woke up and needs to rest.”
Tang Shishi stared at them calmly, and her red lips moved slightly, “Say.”
Tang Shishi coldly swept across the palace maids, and raised her eyebrows, “You don’t even listen to me now?”
Dujuan lowered her head. Xique sighed and said, “Empress Dowager of the West is lacking in energy. So, Shizi asks Cefei Zhou to assist in the six palaces. Moreover, Shizi also said that Niangniang is having a hard time being pregnant and let you recuperate in the Kunning Palace these few days.”
Tang Shishi looked out of the window and laughed lightly, “I’m being confined? They really make a good move. What about the cabinet and Liu Ji?”
“Liu Gonggong was sent by Shizi to take care of His Majesty. Shizi said that Liu Gonggong has been taking care of His Majesty for many years. With him around His Majesty, His Majesty will surely recover soon. The cabinet elders are still not aware of this, and the imperial guards also have no movement.”
Zhao Zixun’s move was indeed high. Liu Ji was the most trusted eunuch around Zhao Chengjun and could not be moved easily, but if Liu Ji was asked to take care of Zhao Chengjun, no one could stop him. As soon as Liu Ji leave the palace, he could only be slaughtered.
Tang Shishi closed her eyes. After Liu Ji was gone, she would be the next one.
The Tang family was wealthy but had no influence in the imperial court. Although the Wang family has the name of the study companion, the seventh master of Wang had not entered the palace, so there was no need for the Wang family to fight for her whole family life. At the same time, the cabinet and imperial guards did nothing and watched from the sidelines.
Maybe they wanted to support Zhao Zigao, but let Tang Shishi and Zhao Zixun fight with each other first. The death of Tang Shishi was more advantageous for them. After all, if Tang Shishi were to support Zhao Zigao, Tang Shishi would be Empress Dowager. The influence of the Empress Dowager on the Emperor was obviously greater than that of the officials.
What was more advantageous than supporting a young Emperor? It was to support a child Emperor who was young and without a mother.
Tang Shishi was calm when she thought of it. She leaned against the pillow slowly and said, “I suddenly want to eat something with a heavy taste.”
The palace maids were all startled, and could not keep up with Tang Shishi’s thinking, “Niangniang, what are you talking about?”
“I said I’m hungry. Go prepare some salty and spicy dishes.” Tang Shishi caressed her belly and sighed, “No matter how big things are, I can’t lose him. Go and prepare the meal.”
The palace maids were shocked. At a time like this, how could the Empress still have the mood to eat? However, Dujuan quickly reacted. She got up first and said, “Niangniang, wait a minute. I’ll go tell them now.”
“En.” After Tang Shishi finished speaking, she did not forget to remind her, “Don’t put green onion and ginger, but put more garlic.”
Dujuan ran out to get busy. The palace maids realized later, and they also prepared food for Tang Shishi one after another. Yes ah, no matter what happened, life would always go on.
It was better to have a meal first.
Tang Shishi was still fond of eating and drinking, but the atmosphere of the court was getting tense day by day, and gradually there was a sense of fear. One day in the early ninth month, Tang Shishi was eating fresh shrimp porridge. The sound of walking outside suddenly became closer. Tang Shishi’s countenance did not move and continued to eat porridge. The palace maids rushed in and said, “Empress, Kunning Palace is surrounded by people.”
Tang Shishi calmly swallowed the shrimp and said, “I know. Who is it?”
“Shizi, Cefei Zhou… and Empress Dowager Yao.”
“Oh, they are here already.” Tang Shishi looked at the porridge in her hand, rather regretful, “It’s so annoying to interrupt other’s eating.”
Tang Shishi was forced to put down the fresh shrimp porridge. At this time, people outside had already come in. Zhou Shunhua came in and saw that Tang Shishi was still in the mood to eat. She had to say that she was surprised for a moment.
She still has the mood to eat… really careless. However, Tang Shishi’s good luck ended here.
Tang Shishi also saw Zhou Shunhua. She glanced across the people below lightly and said, “Shizi, Cefei Zhou, why don’t you greet me when you see me?”
Zhou Shunhua choked. Did Tang Shishi know what they were doing here? Tang Shishi still had the mood to talk about greetings at this time?
With compassion, Zhou Shunhua gave Tang Shishi her last greeting etiquette, “Pay respects to Empress.”
Tang Shishi nodded and responded. She looked at Empress Dowager Yao and smiled faintly, “It turns out to be Empress Dowager Yao. I haven’t seen you for a long time. I’m physically inconvenient, so I won’t greet Empress Dowager.”
Empress Dowager Yao had aged a lot and could no longer see the strong person who once dominated the world. Empress Dowager Yao pulled off the corners of her mouth with a fake smile and said, “It doesn’t matter. Anyway, Empress and I are not much different in a while.”
Tang Shishi smiled lightly. She leaned back, put her arm on the pillow, and said, “Just say it. What’s the matter with all of you coming today?”
Zhou Shunhua showed a worried look and took the lead in speaking, “Empress Niangniang, today an old servant from Xiping came to report that a foreign spy was found in the prince’s mansion. Do you know who the spy is?”
In fact, Tang Shishi could guess who was it in the end, but she said casually, “How can I know about the spying matter?”
Zhou Shunhua looked at Tang Shishi with a hesitant expression, and said, “It’s Granny Wu who trims flowers and plants in the garden. Empress, I remember that when you were in the prince’s mansion, you often met with Granny Wu. The old servant also said that he had witnessed the private meeting between Empress and Granny Wu with his own eyes and Granny Wu also personally gave Empress a bag of things. Empress, dare to ask what is that bag of things?”
Tang Shishi thought it should not be. Why Zhao Chengjun did not dispose of Granny Wu? When they left the prince’s mansion, they left all the people with unclear backgrounds for the reason of traveling. Tang Shishi thought that Zhao Chengjun would quietly deal with Granny Wu and the rest of the people.
Unexpectedly, he did not.
Tang Shishi remained calm and said, “I don’t know who Granny Wu is and even more so the nonsense of meeting in private. Cefei Zhou’s description is so detailed that it seems that you know even better what the bag of things is about.”
Zhou Shunhua refused to fall into the trap set by Tang Shishi and still attacked at her own pace, “I knew that Empress wouldn’t admit it. Fortunately, the loyal servant brought Granny Wu.”
After saying that, Zhou Shunhua clapped her hands, and two burly women came in with a person from outside. Tang Shishi fixed her eyes to see that it was Granny Wu.
Granny Wu was forced to kneel at the feet of Empress Dowager Yao. Tang Shishi looked at the calm Empress Dowager Yao, who was like an old monk, and thought that this was a capable loyal servant. Granny Wu was clearly Empress Dowager Yao’s person, but now she had been made into a foreign spy which was a capital crime. She did not know what Empress Dowager Yao had promised Granny Wu to make such sacrifices.
After kneeling on the ground as if she did not know Empress Dowager Yao, Granny Wu bowed her head and said, “I was possessed after listening to the Tatars’ words and stealing information for them. I know I am guilty and ask Shizi to punish me.”
Zhou Shunhua frowned and said, “It can’t be. You’re just a humble flower-cutting woman. How can you get access to the secrets of the prince’s mansion? Say, do you have an insider?”
Tang Shishi looked at the scene with a smile and saw with her own eyes that Granny Wu showed the expression of entanglement, scared, embarrassment, and so on. In the end, she seemed to have finally made up her mind and pointed to Tang Shishi, “Shizi, I was able to steal information only by the cooperation of Wangfei. At that time, Wangfei was still the maid in Wangye’s study. It was easy to access the letters. I knew that the crime of collaborating with the enemy and betraying the country was unforgivable. Shizi, please punish my crime!”
Zhao Zixun had been keeping his mouth shut since entering the door. When the person below was almost done talking, he stood up and said, “Presumptuous! Now Wangfei has become the Empress and she is still eight months with an imperial baby in her belly. You must not bite randomly. Are you serious about this?”
“I’m serious. If I said a false word, I will be struck by the lightning!” After saying that, Granny Wu raised her head to look at Tang Shishi earnestly, and said, “Wangfei, have you forgotten that you passed the secret letter to me at that time? You also ask me to wait for you in the garden every fifteenth at sangeng (11 pm – 1 am) every month. When the little Junwang was celebrating the full moon, you took the opportunity of planting flowers and plants to explain to me for a long time. Wangfei, have you forgotten all these things?”
Granny Wu had confessed the time and place. Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua thought about it and found it to be true. Zhao Zixun was shocked and angry. He could not believe it, “Empress, you really colluded with foreign enemies! My father is so obedient to you. What are you dissatisfied with and betrayed him like this?”
“I also want to know which bastard betrayed him.” Tang Shishi stared at Zhao Zixun’s eyes and said word for word, “Whoever betrays the others will be struck by lightning, die without descendants, and won’t have a good ending.”
Zhao Zixun was so frightened by that kind of look and did not dare to look directly at Tang Shishi. He avoided her sight and said, “Empress, the evidence is irrefutable. What else can you quibble about? Granny Wu, just tell the truth. What exactly is in the bag of medicine you gave to Empress?”
Granny Wu lowered her eyes and said, “It’s slow to take effect type of poison. This kind of medicine will be fine right after taking it, but after a long time, it will slow down people’s reactions and loss of concentration. Sometimes, they will not be able to sleep at night and will feel dizzy during the daytime.”
Zhao Zixun’s eyes widened, and pointed at Tang Shishi angrily, “It’s no wonder that my father always sleeps poorly at night. It turns out that it’s all your ghost!”
Zhou Shunhua frowned, gently pulled Zhao Zixun’s clothes, and said with a worried face, “Shizi, please calm down. I thought of another matter. His Majesty has been practicing martial arts for many years, and his reaction is very quick according to principle. Is it because of this poison that he was secretly attacked this time?”
Zhao Zixun was shocked and showed an expression of horror and disbelief. Tang Shishi slowly clapped her hands, and the crisp applause sounded unhurriedly in the main hall, “You two echo each other and worked closely together. It’s a pity not to perform in the opera with such good acting skills.”
Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua had discussed it a long time ago. No matter what Tang Shishi said today, they would ignore it, and they would never let Tang Shishi lead the rhythm. Zhao Zixun’s expression was indifferent, but he felt surprised in his heart. In his impression, Tang Shishi had always been a pretentious and squeamish character. Her heart was higher than the sky, but her courage was small. Today, she had been accused of collaborating with the enemy and treason. Why was she not afraid?
Zhao Zixun originally thought that Tang Shishi would cry uncontrollably. Obviously, when Zhao Chengjun was around, she even cried endlessly when her finger’s skin was pierced.
Zhao Zixun looked at Tang Shishi’s face. Even at this moment, he still felt pity. Unfortunately, she was such a beautiful woman.
Zhao Zixun knew that his feelings for Tang Shishi were abnormal. She was already his father’s wife and Zhao Zixun had such an idea toward Tang Shishi, which was really unfilial. However, some things were especially attractive because they could not get them and could not control them.
If Tang Shishi had really followed him at the beginning, Zhao Zixun might have found it refreshing for a while, and let it pass. However, he did not obtain her. From then on, he had been brooding about it and became increasingly unable to let go.
However, women could not be compared to the throne after all. What kind of woman he could not get with power? Zhao Zixun relented and said, “Empress conspired with Tartar by being a spy to pass on information to the foreigner and boldly dared to poison His Majesty which caused His Majesty to be tricked. My heart is very remorseful. However, for the sake of justice in the world, I have to enforce the law impartially and punish the Empress for the crime of murdering His Majesty and collaborating with the enemy in treason. Collaborating with the enemy to treason should be linked to the nine clans. Since the second brother is young, I will be extrajudicial merciful and leave Empress with an intact body. Empress, you can choose one of these two.”
As Zhao Zixun spoke, two eunuchs walked in from behind him, one with a wine pot in his hand and the other with white silk. Zhao Zixun knew that Tang Shishi was already the Empress, and the usual charges would not do anything to her. Only the crime of collaborating with the enemy to treason could completely pull her off the sacred altar and get rid of the child in her abdomen.
After Tang Shishi died, Zhao Zigao who was only one year old was not a threat at all.
Tang Shishi looked at the poisonous wine and the white silk and simply ignored them. She said, “I’m the Empress. Even if I’m really guilty, Zhao Chengjun should come back to punish me. What do you regard yourself as? I won’t touch these two things. If I have the ability, then let Zhao Chengjun come to tell me in person.”
“Bold!” Zhao Zixun frowned. “You still dare to call His Majesty’s name after collaborating with the enemy and betraying the country!”
“Collaborating with which enemy, betraying which country?”
Everyone was shocked. They turned back in panic and found that the guards outside Kunning Palace had disappeared unknowingly. A shadow stood in the middle of the courtyard with his hands behind him, not knowing how long he had been listening.
Tang Shishi turned her head suddenly. Through the window, she saw the person who she thought about day and night but wished to beat up, standing outside. Tang Shishi’s eyes were sore and immediately wanted to run out. Zhao Chengjun was frightened and quickly instructed the palace maids, “Quickly stop Empress.”
After Tang Shishi’s palace maids reacted, they stepped forward without delay to support Tang Shishi. Zhao Chengjun strode through the crowd without looking at Zhao Zixun, Zhou Shunhua, and Empress Dowager Yao on both sides. He walked past them calmly just like that and went straight to Tang Shishi.
“How many times have I told you not to move and sit at ease? Does your stomach hurt?”
Tang Shishi shook her head with tears streaming down her face. Zhao Chengjun felt helpless looking at her, wiped her tears gently, and said, “I said before that I will be back soon.”
Zhao Chengjun only had Tang Shishi in his eyes, as if the remaining people did not exist at all. Zhao Zixun’s expression changed the moment he saw Zhao Chengjun. He knew that he had been completely defeated. He looked around and as expected the outside of Kunning Palace was full of strange faces, and even Liu Ji stood back at the cloister. Seeing Zhao Zixun’s gaze, he even smiled at Zhao Zixun kindly, “Shizi, haven’t seen you for a long time.”
As soon as Liu Ji left the palace, he was rescued by Zhao Chengjun’s people. After Liu Ji saw Zhao Chengjun, he sighed deeply. After all, how could he have no feelings after raising him for more than ten years? Who would have known that Zhao Chengjun could actually predict everything correctly?
Zhao Chengjun was being conspired secretly was true, but his injury was falsified. He pretended to be seriously injured and refused to be visited in the name of recuperating, and then quietly returned to the capital with his trusted aides.
Things in the capital were even more disappointing than his worst idea.
Zhao Zixun was able to do this step unexpectedly. Zhao Zixun refused to let go of Liu Ji, Zhao Zigao, Tang Shishi, and even her unborn child. Rationally, Zhao Chengjun knew that Zhao Zixun was right. If he wanted to stabilize the country, he had to cut the weeds and eliminate the roots, but emotionally, Zhao Chengjun could not accept it. This was the child he had raised for twelve years.
When Zhao Chengjun left the capital, he thought that if nothing happened this time and if Zhao Zixun was willing to protect Tang Shishi and her children, he would confer Zhao Zixun as Jing Wang when he returned. When he adopted Zhao Zixun, he was conferred as Shizi of Jing Wang, so as a matter of logic, Zhao Zixun should inherit the title of Jing Wang.
Zhao Chengjun could not surpass human nature and could not treat his own son and adopted son equally. However, he did not intend to treat Zhao Zixun unfairly.
In the end, Zhao Zixun treated Tang Shishi like this.
Tang Shishi dared to believe that Zhao Chengjun was really fine when she saw him. She cried out all her worries, fears, nervousness, and difficulties during these days. The more Tang Shishi cried, the angrier she became. Without looking at what was at hand, she directly picked it up and threw it at Zhao Chengjun.
“You have no conscience. Can’t you just send me a message? Do you know how worried I am?”
Zhao Chengjun saw her movements and quickly grabbed the bowl from her hand, “Be careful of scraping your hand. Did you hurt your fingers?”
Tang Shishi smashed him with something. Zhao Chengjun was not busy dodging, but he was concerned about whether Tang Shishi had hurt her hand. Zhao Chengjun was actually very helpless. Of course, he sent a message, and several groups of people spoke back and forth in Tang Shishi’s ear several times. Who knew that she was not able to discern it and felt that the other party was comforting her?
However, Tang Shishi could not listen to these words. Zhao Chengjun could only admit his mistake, wiping her tears while saying, “Yes, it’s all my fault. Don’t cry, it’s not good for the child.”
Tang Shishi managed to stop her tears with great difficulty. After Zhao Chengjun coaxed his big beloved, only then did he look at those few people below.
Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua had been under control, and Empress Dowager Yao had also been bound. Zhao Chengjun sighed and asked Zhao Zixun, “Why?”
Zhao Zixun had a knife pointed at his neck and could not make a single movement. He found it extremely ridiculous when he heard these words.
After things had reached this stage, Zhao Chengjun actually asked him why?
Ridiculous, pathetic, and sad.
Zhao Zixun closed his eyes, completely disdained to explain, “Success is the emperor, failure is the villain. In the end, it’s my poor chess game. I am not as ruthless as you. If you want to kill or lacerate, by all means. Why pretend to be hypocritical.”
Zhao Chengjun’s people were so angry that they burst into blue veins when they heard this. Zhao Chengjun looked at Zhao Zixun condescendingly from a distance. At this moment, he seemed to see the thin, smart, and vigilant eight-year-old through time.
At that time, Zhao Chengjun was only fifteen and it was at the impact time when his life fell from the cloud to the trough. His father died, his mother died, and his brothers and brothers in arms all died. And he was alone in the strange and desolate Northwest, anything might happen at any time, and did not know whether he would survive the next day.
Xu Jing died for saving him. Zhao Chengjun owed him his life and raised his son for Xu Jing. When Zhao Chengjun saw the child’s eyes, he felt that the child looked like him a lot.
Smart, but also dangerous.
However, Zhao Chengjun eventually adopted him and cultivated him as Shizi for many years. No matter in material or educational, he had never treated him badly. He thought that this child would grow up to his ideal look, but he did not, instead, he gradually drifted away.
The accumulation of contradictions and differences over time had eroded the relationship between him and Zhao Zixun. The arrival of Tang Shishi was only the last catalyst.
The ambition was expanding step by step. No one had done anything wrong, but in the end, they still came to this step.
Zhao Chengjun closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, he had recovered his calmness and clarity. Zhao Chengjun said, “Shizi, Zhao Zixun, intends to rebel, collude with the rebellious party, pass on falsified imperial edict and conspire to murder the Empress. He will immediately deprive the identity of Shizi and will be given poisonous wine.”
Zhao Zixun did not move his eyes once and never looked in the direction of Zhao Chengjun from beginning to end. He probably really felt that Zhao Chengjun went back on his word and took full advantage of him. Zhao Chengjun had also no intention of defending himself and continued to give the order, “Cefei Zhou of Shizi added fuel to the flames and concubine Ren knew but did not report. Zhou Shunhua will be buried alive with the dead, and Ren Yujun will guard the mausoleum. The Zhou family of Duke Cai and the Ren family of Marquis of Anning indulged their daughters in evil deeds and helped the tyrant. Their possessions will be confiscated and their nobility will be seized and was not allowed to enter the officialdom for three generations. Shizifei, Lu Yufei has poor management and is fragile in health. Those who didn’t know will not be guilty. She is ordered to divorce Shizi and return to her natal family to recuperate with her betrothal gift and dowry, and then she was free to marry. The imperial family will not interfere.”
The guard said yes and dragged Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua out to execute. Liu Ji could not bear it, so he followed them outside and personally sent Zhao Zixun one last time. The little eunuch poured poisoned wine up ahead. Liu Ji walked slowly and took out a bright yellow edict. Then he placed it in front of Zhao Zixun and left without saying anything.
Inside, it was Zhao Zixun’s imperial decree. Zhao Chengjun had already stamped his seal before he went on the expedition. During Zhao Zixun’s supervision of the country duration, as long as he had Zhao Chengjun in his heart, he could find out.
Unfortunately, he did not.
After Zhao Zixun and Zhou Shunhua were dragged out, Zhao Chengjun looked at Empress Dowager Yao, and Empress Dowager Yao also looked back at Zhao Chengjun without fear. Empress Dowager Yao indeed cooperated with Zhao Zixun, but so what? She was the Empress Dowager, and Zhao Chengjun could not kill her.
Zhao Chengjun understood what Empress Dowager Yao meant by looking at her. He laughed and slowly stepped down from the high platform, “I really can’t kill Empress Dowager, can’t give Empress Dowager poisonous wine, or let Empress Dowager be buried alive with the dead too. However, Nanyang and Yao family can.”
Empress Dowager Yao’s face changed. Zhao Chengjun stopped three steps before Empress Dowager Yao and looked at her with a smile, “Empress Dowager, if I were you, I would choose to end myself now. If you die, Nanyang, Yao family, and Yao Pei’er will be able to live on. If you don’t die, they can only suffer for you.”
With that, Zhao Chengjun played with the white silk on the eunuch’s tray. This was what Empress Dowager Yao and Zhao Zixun brought up not long ago when they threatened Tang Shishi. The quality seemed pretty good.
Zhao Chengjun did not say anything in the end, leaving a plate of messy white silk, and said, “Send Empress Dowager back to Cining Palace. This time, don’t let people run out.”
As if Empress Dowager Yao had lost her vitality, her skin collapsed in an instant and was “sent” back to Cining Palace half supported and half dragged by the eunuchs. Zhao Chengjun then issued several decrees to deal with those officials who had added fuel to the chaos and intended to take advantage of the crisis for personal gains. Taking this opportunity, he took the chance to straighten up the court resolutely and cleaned up the officials who were raised by Empress Dowager Yao.
After cleaning up everyone, Zhao Chengjun signaled the eunuchs to go outside to deal with the aftermath. He went into the inner palace hall to accompany Tang Shishi and asked, “Are you still hungry?”
With that said, Tang Shishi felt her stomach with her hand and said, “Hungry.”
“It’s good that you know you’re hungry.” Zhao Chengjun said softly, “I’ll ask the Imperial Food Supervisor to make you fresh shrimp porridge. Eat a bowl later?”
“I don’t want to eat shrimp anymore.” Only after a while did Tang Shishi’s taste change, and say, “I want to eat fish soup.”
“Fine.” Zhao Chengjun responded, he tapped Tang Shishi’s forehead, and said, “You’re so coward towards others but so fierce towards me. Why didn’t I see you being fierce to them just now?”
“I can’t afford to be fierce.” Tang Shishi grumbled confidently, “Besides, who told you not to tell me? I thought something happen to you.”
Zhao Chengjun looked at her, really helpless and distressed. He sighed, and said, “Never mind. I probably owed you in my previous life, and I must be tormented by you in this life. Don’t worry, I said that I will spoil you for the rest of my life, let you live in my mansion, and squander my money, boss me around, show off your power, and vent your anger when you’re upset. With such a long time left in my life, how can I slip my tongue?”
Tang Shishi snorted and asked unhappily, “Why do you say you’re spoiling me in this life? How about the next life?”
Zhao Chengjun laughed, caressed her hair, and hugged her deeply, “The next life will be too. As long as you’re willing to marry me, I will love you forever.”
“You think I don’t know, you’re doing it for the child!”
Zhao Chengjun sighed deeply, and said helplessly, “You only know how to be fierce towards me.”
But what could he do? This was a beauty trap tailored for him. Even if he knew from the beginning that there was a trap ahead, he was willing to fall into it.
The so-called beauty trap was merely a bait for those who wish.
——”It’s better to be the Empress Dowager”, the end of the text.