It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 140 Extra: Previous Life 3
Tang Shishi shut up and refused to say her name. Zhao Chengjun soon lost interest in her after seeing that she was not willing to say her name and went back to reading.
Tang Shishi sat quietly in the corner. She could not help but peek at Zhao Chengjun one after another.
In Tang Shishi’s memory, Jing Wang had always been cold, solemn, tall, and powerful. Wherever he stood, he could completely tower Tang Shishi. In Jing Wang’s mansion, every time he appeared, the womenfolk were too frightened to speak. Tang Shishi had seen Zhao Chengjun execute the beauty who climbed the bed with her own eyes. For this reason, she became more afraid of him. She bowed her head deeply every time they met for fear of attracting Jing Wang’s attention.
The impression he left on her in later life was too deep, and now Tang Shishi could still remember the feeling of fear at that time. However, he was only thirteen years old at the moment, a tall and slender figure with a beautiful appearance. No matter which angle, he was a handsome and harmless young man. Tang Shishi’s three views* were severely impacted, and it was awkward to look at him.
(three views* – One of basic teaching in Buddhism)
Zhao Chengjun knew she was secretly looking at him, but fortunately, she was still quiet, so Zhao Chengjun let her go. Tang Shishi watched him for a while, and gradually felt sleepy. Only then did Tang Shishi know that ghosts would also be tired.
She was unhappy when she was a human, so she could no longer be harsh on herself when she became a ghost. Tang found a comfortable place, laid down quietly, and went to sleep with her eyes close.
Zhao Chengjun flipped through a few more pages of the book and did not realize when his ears gradually became quiet. Zhao Chengjun turned his head and saw a woman lying on the couch, curled up into a ball, and fell asleep. Her sleeping posture was not good, leaned to one side habitually with her hair loose on the bed, and a few strands of her hair fell to the ground. Her face was pressed on her hair, which was not as big as his palm. She appeared even more fragile and beautiful that could break with a touch.
Zhao Chengjun could not hear the sound of breathing. She was indeed dead. Zhao Chengjun only believed in Tang Shishi’s words to some degree, but now looking at her pure and innocent sleeping face, the balance in Zhao Chengjun’s heart tilted a little more.
Perhaps she was really a concubine who had an unfortunate fate from later life. She looked like she was only in her early twenties. She died when she was at her best time and appearance.
What a pity.
Looking at her face, Zhao Chengjun believed that she would be very favored, and also believed that she would be killed very early.
Zhao Chengjun only glanced at her twice, then withdrew his gaze. What if was, what if was not, what did it have to with him?
Tang Shishi slept soundly this time. Since she entered the palace, she was extremely cautious and rarely slept peacefully. After entering the Jing Wang mansion and then later Eastern Palace, her mind became heavier, and Tang Shishi’s sleepiness became lighter.
She obviously slept very well when she was young. Lin Wanxi often said that Tang Shishi was heartless. She would go to sleep after eating when she was hungry. Even if firecrackers were set off outside, she could not be awakened. Not sure whether Lin Wanxi knew that Tang Shishi could be easily awakened now.
Tang Shishi did not know whether she was dreaming or dying flash. She actually saw her childhood when she was only six years old, wearing a double bun and pestering her mother for a shiny headpiece. Tang Yanyan always has the most fashionable jewelry, but when it was Tang Shishi’s turn, it just happened to be gone.
She was crying, and so was her mother. Tang Shishi thought about what she was crying for. A woman’s tears were only useful toward a man who loved her. For a man who has changed of heart, crying would only make him more bored. Tang Shishi was thinking that at that time and suddenly there was a huge firecrackers sound coming from the outside. Tang Shishi suddenly woke up, got up in a daze, and looked at the burst of the red and green sky outside the window. She could not recover for a long time.
New Year arrived. It was a pity that she did not wait until the spring of the second year of Tianshou. It was now the thirteenth year of Jiankang.
Tang Shishi was startled. She looked back and saw Zhao Chengjun still sitting in his original position with a book in front of him that has been read. Tang Shishi was surprised and blurted out, “Why are you still here?”
Zhao Chengjun raised his eyebrows, “This is my palace.”
Tang Shishi said, “But… but today is New Year’s Eve. So, are you also not favored?”
Tang Shishi immediately felt sympathy for the person in front of her. She always felt that Jing Wang was untouchable and unattainable. Now, she finally had a sense of reality. It turned out that when he was a young man, the majestic Jing Wang was also not favored. On New Year’s Eve, he stayed alone in the room. As a person who did not belong to any group in the Tang family, Tang Shishi would still show her face at the banquet during the New Year.
Zhao Chengjun’s eyes moved lightly, “Also?”
Tang Shishi thought she had a glimpse of the unknown secret of Jing Wang. She was very considerate and said, “I know Wangye is unwilling to admit it. Don’t worry. It’s not a shame not to be favored. I won’t tell others.”
Zhao Chengjun smiled and did not answer. He thought she grew up spoiled by her parents, but he did not expect that she was not favored. As for Tang Shishi’s worry that Zhao Chengjun was not favored… This was not necessary. On the contrary, Zhao Chengjun’s birth mother was Guifei and with two elder brothers above him. He sailed with the wind since birth, especially favored by Emperor. He was alone on New Year’s Eve, not because he was not favored, but too favored.
To the point that no one dared to say anything of him even if he blatantly refused to attend the palace banquet.
Tang Shishi knew nothing about it. She felt that she had found something in common with Jing Wang and was deeply moved. Tang Shishi leaned closer and said, “Wangye, don’t be sad. Although you have no one to care about you now, you will be very powerful in the future. Many people are afraid of you, just…”
Tang Shishi suddenly fell silent. Zhao Chengjun saw her expression and asked, “What is it?”
Just died too early. Tang Shishi naturally did not dare to say. She changed her way of speaking and said, “It’s just that you’ve been reluctant to get married!”
Zhao Chengjun inadvertently raised his eyebrow and finally look at Tang Shishi seriously. He always felt that Tang Shishi was making things up. Now, he gradually believed it a little.
Zhao Chengjun would not believe it if she said that he was successful and famous, but she said that he did not get married at all later in life.
Normal people would not make up this kind of lie. Zhao Chengjun felt inexplicable that this was what he would do.
Could it be that what she said is true? She died because of him and floated to the Chonghua Palace after her death. She turned around for some reason and met people more than ten years ago.
Tang Shishi did not know the skill of small talk. Zhao Chengjun has already picked up half of her past. She was immersed wholeheartedly in the ache of the “those who have the same misfortune sympathize with each other” and tried to comfort Jing Wang with great effort, “Wangye, in fact, it’s good to be quiet. I spent the New Year in the palace before. I couldn’t eat well, sleep well, and still had to salute all the time. How can I sit comfortably in my room? Besides, even if there’s no one else, there is still me to accompany you.”
Zhao Chengjun just smiled when he heard this, “Thanks a lot.”
Seeing that he smiled, Tang Shishi immediately said with great exaggeration, “Wangye, you smiled. It’s a good sign for the first day of the New Year. Wangye is smiling now, which means that you will laugh all year round.”
Zhao Chengjun thought this was funny and asked, “Where did you learn this?”
“Everyone said so.” Tang Shishi said earnestly, “It’s indeed true. I wish Wangye every year there is today and there is today every year.”
Zhao Chengjun nodded slightly, but in fact, he did not take it seriously, “I’ll borrow your auspicious words.”
Tang Shishi stared at him expectantly with big eyes. Seeing that he did not mean to act, he said unhappily, “Wangye, I congratulated you. How come you don’t say anything?”
Zhao Chengjun was surprised that as the most favored prince of the harem, he had never experienced any requests from others. Zhao Chengjun was surprised and asked, “Are you complaining about me?”
“Don’t dare.” Tang Shishi said. She blinked and smiled, “Wangye, you are powerful and rich all over the world. You certainly don’t care about a little reward. I also won’t ask too much, just accompany me to watch the fireworks.”
“No.” Zhao Chengjun did not care about the rare great beauty in front of him and refused without thinking about it. “It’s too noisy. I won’t go.”
Tang Shishi was immediately unhappy, “I comforted you for so long. Why can’t you accompany me to watch the fireworks?”
“But you owe me a lot. You should pay me back!”
Zhao Chengjun remained unmoved as before, “Then you should go find the person who killed you. What does it have to do with me?”
“You…” Tang Shishi was furious. She glared at Zhao Chengjun angrily. When she left, she was still angry and deliberately knocked down his brush holder.
Zhao Chengjun’s eyebrows jumped and held back his emotions. He did not want to haggle with the dead. There was something wrong with her brain, just endured it.
Tang Shishi floated to the window, looked at the fireworks one after another through the window paper, and said softly, “I’ve been holding on for so long, just want to see the fireworks in the second year of Tianshou. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it after all.”
Zhao Chengjun had taken out a book to read, but when he heard her words, his fingers were stunned. He raised his head to look at the erratic, beautiful, and exceptionally young lady under the light, finally put down his book, and said coldly, “You can’t be angry on the first day of the New Year.”
Tang Shishi blinked and did not react, “Huh?”
“You said it.” Zhao Chengjun stood up from behind the table with an indifferent complexion as before, “You can’t be angry on the first day of the New Year, or else you will suffer all year long. Let’s go.”
Tang Shishi was stunned for a while. Until the chilly wind with the smell of fire hit her face, she suddenly reacted, “Wait for me!”
Tang Shishi originally thought Zhao Chengjun was not favored. In addition, he was now a thin and slender young man. Tang Shishi pitied his fate and sympathized with him very much. However, when they went out, she found that… It did not seem to be the case at all.
No matter which palace maids and eunuchs saw him, they would move aside and then greet him. When Zhao Chengjun walked to Fengtian Palace Square, the imperial eunuch in red saw him and quickly went to inform His Majesty. Zhao Chengjun stretched out his hand to stop everyone’s movements and said, “No need. I just came out to get some air, and I’ll go back in a while.”
Tang Shishi was stupefied staring at the scene in front of him. What was more psychedelic was that the imperial eunuch responded and smiled respectfully at Zhao Chengjun, “Fourth Highness, I thought you won’t come out. His Majesty mentioned you several times at the banquet which is very regrettable.”
Zhao Chengjun nodded and said, “Tomorrow I will go pay respect to Emperor father.”
When the imperial eunuch heard it, he happily responded as if he had been rewarded. Tang Shishi’s expression gradually became stunned. Zhao Chengjun walked to a quiet place, and saw Tang Shishi with a dropping face when he turned around, and said strangely, “Didn’t you say you want to come out to see the fireworks? Why are you unhappy again?”
“You lied to me.” With a wooden face, Tang Shishi was quite wronged by betrayal, “Didn’t you say that you were not favored either?”
“I didn’t say it.” Zhao Chengjun tightened his cloak tightly, his cheeks were fair and handsome, and his furry fox collar surrounded his neck, like a winter plum in the snow, a lone pine on the mountain, cold and dusty, “I never said that I was not favored. You’re the one who wanted to get close to me.”
Tang Shishi was heartbroken. She thought she and Jing Wang were fellow sufferers that have mutual sympathy, but she did not expect that she was the only one who was really pitiful.
Tang Shishi was stabbed for a while and got over it soon. She was already dead, what did she still have to bother with honor and disgrace of the past life? Besides, she and Jing Wang have another bigger thing in common.
Her heart felt much better after thinking like this. Tang Shishi looked up for a while and could not help but cover her face with her hands, “Will the ashes that keep falling from the sky burn my face?”
Zhao Chengjun did not expect to hear such words. He was speechless for a long time and sighed, “Never mind. Since you already had your fill, then let’s return.”
After Zhao Chengjun said “return”, she was startled. However, Tang Shishi was ignorant and responded happily.
Zhao Chengjun looked at her innocent and happy face and finally swallowed everything without reminding her.
After the two returned to Chonghua Palace, they did their own thing, and live together in harmony. After a few days like this, Tang Shishi thought she had reached a tacit understanding with Zhao Chengjun, one person and one ghost lived together harmoniously in Chonghua Palace.
As they became more and more familiar with each other, Tang Shishi became more and more daring. In a blink of an eye, Lantern Festival was here. Tang Shishi felt itchy and wanted to go to the Lantern Festival in Jinling.
She entered the palace twice, lived in Jinling for several years, and had never seen the lanterns display and folk performances during the Lantern Festival in Jinling. In fact, Tang Shishi did not have to go, but there was always some regret when she thought about it.
Zhao Chengjun coldly exposed her fantasy, “Don’t think about it. There is a purple barrier in the Imperial Palace. Ghosts from outside can’t get in, and neither people nor ghosts from inside can get out.”
Tang Shishi was immediately discouraged. She laid on the table and threw hazelnuts to vent her anger. “I didn’t see it before when I was alive, and I can’t see it when I die. If I have the next life, I’ll marry an old man, and never marry someone surnamed Zhao!”
A hazelnut fell on Zhao Chengjun. Zhao Chengjun did not know how to get angry, and said with a calm face, “Don’t make trouble.”
Tang Shishi stopped resentfully. She dared not throw anything again, but she was still angry and shouted, “You owe me so much, but I only accidentally hit you. You’re still so fierce toward me.”
Zhao Chengjun pretended not to hear, not to mention whether he really owed her in her previous life. Even if he did, what did it have to do with Zhao Chengjun now?
For every grievance, there was someone responsible for it, and for every debt, there was someone who was a debtor. Whoever did it will have to be responsible. Anyway, Zhao Chengjun would not compensate her.