Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 1
The sky in early autumn was deep blue, and the breeze was blowing the white tulle hanging in the waterside pavilion.
Inside the tulle, two beauties in brocade clothes sat lazily behind a long table with fruits and tea, surrounded by maids, serving them attentively.
Outside of the tulle, two strong guards fighting each other with their chests exposed.
Sweat beads rolled down their handsome and upright faces, dripping on their muscular bodies.
During the stalemate, one person broke free and grabbed the opponent’s narrow waist.
The waist and abdomen were contracted, as vulnerable as blades of grass.
The eyes were on fire, sending out a beast-like panting.
The surrounding air seemed to be getting hotter and hotter.
Hua Yang gently shook her round fan, the shadow of the fan covered her eyes that seemed to have little interest but were actually obsessively admiring.
In fact, she used to hate fighting, and men’s stinky sweat would only make her disgusted and sick.
But at this moment, she actually felt that the scene in front of her was so full of vitality that her mind pictured galloping horses, fighting tigers and leopards… and her late husband Chen Jingzong.
Chen Jingzong was tall and strong. It was said that he had been practicing martial arts since he was six or seven years old.
His father was a master of politics and was ain two dynasties. His brothers also and respectively, but Chen Jingzong resolutely entered the martial arts path.
He had a cool and handsome face, and it was because of this face that Hua Yang agreed to the marriage confer by her father emperor and mother empress.
Who would have thought that to really get along day and night and become a husband and wife, just a face was not enough. Chen Jingzong’s words and actions were almost always challenging her bottom line of patience.
He liked to drink at the dinner table and his mouth needed to be rinsed repeatedly before the smell was gone. However, Chen Jingzong was a rough man and didn’t care much, so when the couple share the bed, she could always smell the alcohol from Chen Jingzong’s side.
Chen Jingzong was proud of his martial arts skills. He had developed a muscular body that was stronger than any sweaty horse she had ever seen. No matter who saw him for the first time, they would always praise him as “heroic”.
But military attachés love to sweat, and every time Chen Jingzong came back from duty, he would bring back the smell of sweat.
If he was a fastidious person and the smell didn’t reach Hua Yang it would be fine, but Chen Jingzong was not fastidious. He either forgot to wash his hair or simply didn’t even take a bath, and just casually lay down on her fragrant bed, which made Hua Yang feel disgust that his rough skin and thick meat ruined her bed of fine silk.
Father-in-law and brothers calmly reasoned with him, but he spoke coldly, making the atmosphere in the whole family stiff, and she was also embarrassed.
Because of these trivial things that happened every day, Hua Yang became more and more displeased with Chen Jingzong.
Chen Jingzong also knew it in his heart, and he had his own pride, so the number of times he came to spend the night with her became less and less.
That was exactly what Hua Yang wanted. In addition to being disgusted with his lack of refinement, she also couldn’t stand Chen Jingzong’s brute strength. Every time he came to spend the night, Hua Yang would scream at the top of her lungs.
They were married for four years, and she disliked him for four years.
Until Chen Jingzong died on the battlefield.
Until the burly man who always came home covered in sweat went into his eternal sleep and never appeared in front of her again.
People always remember the deceased fondly. After Chen Jingzong died, Hua Yang no longer care about his bad things, and gradually only his good things remained in her mind.
For example, the figure of him walking steadily in the rainstorm while carrying her on his back.
For example, his chest that was as hot as fire on a cold winter day.
“Why, Pan Pan was stunned?”
Hearing the teasing and smiling voice, Hua Yang came back from her memories and realized that the two guards had finished the competition and were kneeling outside waiting for the reward.
Hua Yang was not willing to let her unorthodox aunt laugh at her. She pouted slightly and dissatisfiedly said, “I just thought their skills were mediocre and not worth mentioning, so I thought of something else.”
Eldest Princess Anle winked at the maids.
A maid went to reward the two guards and told them to retreat.
After the men left, Princess Anle teased Hua Yang and said, “They are one of the best guards in my mansion, and they only get an average rating from you. However, Pan Pan once had such a brave and capable Prince Consort. It’s normal to have high vision.”
Hua Yang still looked laid back and lazy, as if she no longer cared about outsiders mentioning her late husband.
Princess Anle clicked her tongue: “Oh my, have our Pan Pan really become so indifferent?”
Hua Yang: “He’s been dead for three years, what’s the point of remembering him.”
Princess Anle: “When a man’s wife dies, some men marry new ones within three months. You are the elder sister of the current Holy Emperor. Since you have no affection for Chen Jingzong, do you still want to imitate that chaste and martyr woman and win a memorial arch for yourself?”
Hua Yang: “I don’t need a memorial arch, but why do I have to find another Prince Consort? If the new Prince Consort is also a sweaty and careless man, wouldn’t I be causing trouble for myself?”
Princess Anle said with a smile: “I agree with this. Auntie just can’t stand you sleeping alone every night for all these years. Why don’t you learn from Auntie and raise some handsome companion in the house, either as jade gentlemen or as heroic warriors. Invite them before going to bed and send them away after you wake up, how happy it would be.”
She knew that her aunt, an unorthodox person, was going around and around trying to lure her into that unorthodox path.
Hua Yang cared about her face, she didn’t want the reputation as a profligate person that raise handsome companion to spread.
If she had this hobby, that’s fine. The majestic princess could do whatever she like, regardless of what others think. The problem was, Hua Yang had no interest in raising a handsome companion.
Just because she had already met three types of the most outstanding men in the world.
One type was a general like Chen Jingzong, whose martial arts skills were unparalleled in the world, but the unparalleled heroes in the story books were nothing more than that.
A peerless hero also has to eat and live a life, and a peerless hero also has things that make people dislike them.
The other type was the literati like father-in-law and brother-in-law, who were gentle and elegant.
But they were not as perfect as they seemed. She had seen her father-in-law hide behind her mother-in-law after being frightened by a snake, and she had seen her husband’s brothers fall down in embarrassment in the wind and rain.
The last type was the emperor like her father, the most noble person in the world.
But so what if you are noble? Her virtuous and benevolent father seemed to be a wise monarch, but in fact he was a lustful person and ended up dying on a woman’s body.
The highest thing that men in the world want was to ascend the throne and become an emperor, or become a prime minister and become aristocrats. Some people just dream about it, while some people work hard for it throughout their lives.
But Hua Yang had seen all three types of the best men. Sometimes she admired them, and sometimes she felt that they were nothing more than that.
Therefore, what other men could enter her eyes and make her willing to sleep with them?
Her aunt was not particular and only wanted to have fun in bed.
Hua Yang was very particular, and the men who couldn’t even enter her eyes had no right to get close to her body or get into her bed.
The aunt and niece were still joking about the “handsome companion”, when the steward from the front of the mansion hurried over, looked at Hua Yang worriedly, lowered his head and reported: “Eldest Princess, Grand Princess, the Chen Mansion just sent someone to say, say Lord Chief Minister… has died of illness.”
With a “dang” sound, the fan in Hua Yang’s hand fell to the ground, and the jade pendant hanging on the umbrella handle broke into two halves.
Chief Minister Chen, Chen Jingzong’s father, was also her father-in-law.
If Hua Yang admired anyone most in her life, that person must be her father-in-law, Chen Tingjian.
Her father-in-law was extremely talented. He passed the provincial imperial examination at the age of sixteen, became the Zhuangyuan at the age of nineteen, and became a Cabinet Elder at the age of forty.
When Hua Yang married into the Chen family, the previous Chief Minister was old and sick, and everyone thought that her father-in-law was going to take over the cabinet.
At this critical juncture, the father-in-law’s old mother passed away. According to the regulations, father-in-law should stay home and mourn for three years.
The majestic Princess Hua Yang had to follow her husband’s family to live a poor life in their hometown thousands of miles away. She was almost suffocated to death. But her father-in-law left the capital in an indifferent and calm manner, seemingly had no regrets being about to reach the top but had no choice but to give up.
After the mourning finished, her father-in-law returned to the capital with the whole family.
This time, he was promoted to the position of Chief Minister without any suspense, and he devoted his whole life to the imperial court from then on.
When her father emperor died and the Prince Yu rebelled, it was her father-in-law who planned the strategy to stabilize the court internally and suppress the rebellion outside.
Because of this respect, even if Chen Jingzong died, even if she moved back to her princess mansion, Hua Yang would still retain her identity as the daughter-in-law of Chen family, and she would still call “father” respectfully when she saw the chief minister.
Her father-in-law was the pillar of the country, and he should leave his name in history!
Therefore, Hua Yang never thought that after his father-in-law’s death, a wave of courtiers would come forward to list his crimes.
She never expected that her younger brother, who always respected her father-in-law, would actually order to raid the Chen family.
The eldest brother Chen Bozong was wrongly imprisoned and tortured to death.
Her mother-in-law could not bear the heavy blow and passed away.
The rest of the Chen family were all punished and sent to the frontier.
In the twelfth lunar month of winter, heavy snow fell.
Hua Yang still couldn’t hold it back, she left the capital with a small escort and stopped on the path that everyone in the Chen family must pass through.
She stood on the roadside. The maid was afraid that she would be cold, so she put a thick fox fur cloak on her and stuffed a warm small copper stove into her hands.
Soon Hua Yang saw those relatives who had sat in the same room with her, chatting and laughing, were walking towards her in thin white prison uniforms, with their hands and feet shackled.
The eldest brother, the Zhuangyuan, was no longer there. The third brother, the Tanhua, who was once full of smiles and charms, now looked haggard and lifeless. When he saw her, he didn’t seem to see her.
The sisters-in-laws burst into tears, not for themselves, but only asking her to intercede on behalf of the children.
Hua Yang and Chen Jingzong were married for four years, and spent more than half of it in mourning at the old house. After that, they have no children due to less meetings and more separations.
But she had three nephews and two nieces in the Chen family.
Now they walked past her with numb expressions or with tears streaming down their faces.
Hua Yang just stood in the wind and snow, watching the familiar brother and sisters-in-laws, innocent nephews and nieces walk further and further away until they disappeared.
“The snow is too heavy, we should go back.”
The maid’s eyes were red as she helped her towards the carriage.
Hua Yang looked towards the middle of the official road.
The white snow and messy footprints were probably the last traces of the Chen family left in the capital.
However, the footprints that stretched all the way were quickly covered by falling snowflakes.
But she still saw those familiar faces.
“You take care of yourself. I’m leaving.”
It was the day Chen Jingzong left for the expedition. The dawn was dim, he stood at the bedside and said goodbye to her.
“The Old Four is a rough guy. If he wronged Princess in any way, this minister will definitely punish him.”
It was her father-in-law’s resolute voice on the day she served tea after marriage.
“This courtyard is newly expanded, and the tables, chairs, beds and cabinets are also new. If Princess is not satisfied with anything, I will ask someone to replace it.”
She had just moved into the old house, and her mother-in-law accompanied her to see the courtyard first, lest she wouldn’t get used to it.
“If what I said is unpleasant to hear, Princess please don’t get angry at the fourth brother.”
“Princess, be careful, this goose can bite!”
“This is newly picked peach blossom. Does Fourth Aunt like it?”
Hua Yang closed her eyes.
It shouldn’t be like this.
The ending of the Chen family shouldn’t be like this!
TN: I finally picked a new project translation. The most interesting thing about this novel is that the heroine is truly in a higher position, she’s a princess while the ML is just… well her husband. It’s like the story of a prince and his wife/concubine, but reversed. The story itself is more laidback, sometimes exciting sometimes a bit mundane. Hope you all enjoy it.