Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 12
The Cabinet Elder Chen Tingjian called the male members of his family over and said that he wanted to open the east garden and the west garden.
He was the head of the family and no one objected.
After discussing the business, when Chen Tingshi was about to leave with his son, he found that his brother glanced at him again.
Chen Tingshi understood what his elder brother meant.
Back in the east house, Chen Tingshi took his son to the main room in their couple’s house and said with a stern face: “Kneel down!”
Chen Jizong was stunned.
If it was Qi shi who ordered, Chen Jizong might have knelt down, but his father had always been cowardly and had no temper, so Chen Jizong had never taken his own father too seriously.
“Okay, why do you want me to kneel down?” Chen Jizong touched his nose and asked.
When Qi shi heard the commotion, she walked out from inside and looked at the father and son suspiciously: “What’s going on?”
Chen Jizong walked to her side and raised his chin towards his father: “I didn’t do anything, but he suddenly asked me to kneel down.”
Qi shi glared at her husband.
Chen Tingshi became even angrier when he saw how protective she was, and said in a low and angry voice: “You have seen it this morning, right? How noble the Princess is, and she’s still his cousin-in-law, he actually dares to stare at her like that. Losing face in front of the nobleman, shouldn’t I teach him a lesson?”
At the mention of Hua Yang, Chen Jizong lowered his head, but there was only covetousness in his eyes, there was no repentance.
Princess or not, she had married into the Chen family, so she was just his cousin-in-law. Since they were relatives, why couldn’t he look at her more?
Qi shi said lightly: “It’s a bit losing face, but who made her look beautiful? We are all ignorant country people. Anyway, the Old Four also kicked him, so the princess should be able to understand.”
Chen Tingshi: “Being understanding or not is the princess’s matter. He must kneel down to me today, otherwiseand still dare to offend the princess next time!”
Qi shi: “Oh, you called your son a dog, then what are you? What are your Chen family’s men?”
She made it clear that she didn’t want to punish her son.
Chen Jizong took the opportunity to find an excuse to escape. Chen Tingshi wanted to catch his son, but Qi shi stopped him at the door of the room and looked at him coldly.
Chen Tingshi had no choice but to stop.
He looked at Qi shi who was two steps away.
More than twenty years had passed, and Qi shi seemed as beautiful as when they were young, but why the temper became like this?
Chen Tingshi still remembered the first time he met Qi shi, a fifteen or sixteen-year-old girl with skin as white as snow and a pretty face. She was always shy and timid when looking at him and spoke softly.
Qi shi’s family circumstance was not good, at least not as good as the families usually introduced to him by the matchmakers, but Chen Tingshi liked Qi shi and begged his mother to agree to the marriage.
Chen Tingshi still remembered their newlyweds. When he woke up from a dream and saw the beauty by his side, he felt that his life was good…
So was his mother’s reminder back then correct? Qi shi didn’t like him as a person, but as a younger brother of an official in the capital?
“Why are you still standing there? Isn’t brother going to farm? Why don’t you go prepare farm tools for him?”
Under Qi shi‘s disgusted and cold eyes, Chen Tingshi left with slumped shoulders and lowered head.
Chen Jingzong’s strong physique was obviously the most suitable among the men in the Chen family to do strenuous work in the fields.
It was a pity that he didn’t show a good face for anyone, and he could argue people to death. Chen Tingjian didn’t want to work with this son, so he sent him to the west garden to help the womenfolk opened a garden.
It was said to be a garden, but it was actually only a little bigger than Siyi Hall. Chen Jingzong could complete it by himself. After all, it was to pass the time, it impossible for the Chen family to hire craftsmen to carefully build a beautiful garden during the mourning period.
The weather was hot. Luo Yuyan was heavily pregnant, so she had to take care of her pregnancy while taking care of Erlang and Sanlang. She had already busy every day and didn’t want to go to the garden to smell the rustic air, so she only went to see the excitement on the first day after the groundbreaking, then stayed comfortably in Fucui Hall.
Yu Xiu had fewer things to do, and she wanted to accompany her mother-in-law, but Chen Jingzong was walking around in the garden, and it was inappropriate for her, this sister-in-law, to watch for too long.
Sun shi also noticed that several times the Old Four wanted to roll up his sleeves while working, but he held back because of his sister-in-law.
Sun shi asked Yu Xiu to concentrate on taking care of Guanhe Hall and not worry about the garden.
And when Hua Yang came, Sun shi would wisely evade and give the young couple a chance to be alone.
Hua Yang sat on the chair left by her mother-in-law, and Chao Yun stood next to her holding an umbrella.
In fact, it was still morning, and it was not the hottest time yet, but the summer sun was too dazzling, and Hua Yang couldn’t stand even a little bit of it.
“You go first.”
While Chen Jingzong plowed the mud, he ordered Chao Yun without raising his head.
Chao Yun looked at the princess.
Hua Yang nodded, took the green paper umbrella with the rain scene in Jiangnan and held it herself.
As soon as the maid left, Chen Jingzong immediately took off his shirt and threw it into Hua Yang’s arms.
Although he had just getting started, he was doing strenuous work, and his shirt was already stained with sweat. Before the shirt fall on her, Hua Yang quickly stretch out her hand and swept the shirt to the ground with disgust.
After knocking off his shirt, Hua Yang lowered her umbrella, blocking Chen Jingzong’s upper body and only looking at his trouser legs.
Chen Jingzong looked at her little white hands holding the umbrella, continued working, and said, “I’ve hugged you before, why don’t you dare to look?”
Hua Yang: “If you don’t shut your mouth, I’ll leave.”
As expected, Chen Jingzong kept his mouth shut. He was still doing work, but of course it was more fun with a beautiful woman by his side.
Hua Yang’s attention fell on his poor job.
Father-in-law and mother-in-law completely handed over this small garden to Chen Jingzong. Chen Jingzong only worked and had no idea or interest in how to arrange the flowers and plants. Hua Yang was idle anyway and drew a picture for him.
According to the current conditions of the Chen family, Hua Yang’s plan was very simple. Covered most of the ground in the west garden with pebbles, leaving a few bluestone paths. The remaining ground was left for transplanting two maple trees, plant peonies, plant a row of bamboos along the wall, or arranged a set of stone tables and benches to ensure that the garden was small but well-equipped. Since couldn’t dig and build water features, then at least set up a larger water tank and plant the bowl lotus.
What Chen Jingzong currently doing was mix the mud, put the mud on the ground and spread it out, and then press the pebbles in one by one.
The pebbles were in different colors, it could also be placed into various auspicious patterns, such as “Five Bats Holding Longevity”, “Lotus Year with Fish” and so on.
When Chen Jingzong saw the drawings, he frowned and said, “You are torturing me on purpose.”
Hua Yang: “I will come to this garden often from now on. Of course it must be made more exquisite.”
Chen Jingzong imagined her strolling leisurely in the small garden he had built, walked on the roads he had laid, and saw the flowers and plants he had planted. He endured them silently.
When she was in a good mood, he would have more opportunities. Now he worked hard, then he would be the one who reap the reward in the end.
When Chen Jingzong squatted down and began to press the pebbles, Hua Yang’s umbrella could not hang lower, and the man’s broad back appeared in her eyes.
He had strong shoulders and long arms, he also had a handsome face, with long eyebrows and slender eyes.
A large bead of sweat rolled down from his shoulder, moving down the smooth texture and turning a corner at his waist.
Before Hua Yang could continue to pursue the bead of sweat, Chen Jingzong suddenly looked over.
Hua Yang immediately shook her fan and looked into the distance.
Chen Jingzong threw the pebbles in his hand and asked her, “Would you like to try it?”
Hua Yang said in disgust: “It’s too dirty.”
Chen Jingzong: “I’ll hold it, you just press the pebbles in. I guarantee you won’t get any mud.”
Someone might come over at any time in the garden. How could Hua Yang accompany him to fool around?
She stood up holding an umbrella, and the brocaded snow-white skirt rippled like water as she walked, gradually moving away.
Chen Jingzong tilted his head until the slender and graceful figure completely disappeared, then he smiled and lowered his head to press the stone.
As the weather got hotter and hotter, Hua Yang no longer wanted to go to the garden to watch Chen Jingzong do his work.
Unknowingly it was already the end of Fifth month. Chen Jingzong came back sweating profusely at dusk. At that time, Hua Yang was sitting leisurely under the shade of tree. There was a plate of orange loquats and purple-red mulberries on the table next to her.
“You’re living a happy life.”
Chen Jingzong was thirsty, so he squeezed to the edge of Hua Yang’s lounge chair, grabbed the only tea cup on the table, and drank from it.
In the kitchen, Chao Yue was about to come out, but immediately stepped back when she saw this scene.
Chao Yun, who had been serving by the princess’s side, hurried to the water room, and in a blink of an eye, only the couple was left in the yard.
Hua Yang couldn’t stop Chen Jingzong from using her tea cup, so she could only cover her mouth and nose with a fan, urging him: “You are smelly and sweaty, go take a shower first!”
Chen Jingzong placed the plate of mulberries on his knees and tilted his head while stuffing the fruit into his mouth.
Although he was busy building the garden, he would still sneak into the mountain every now and then, and every time he would bring back some game, one portion for Third Sister-in-law in the front yard to nourish her fetus, and the other portion for the couple to cheat on some nourishment.
Chen Jingzong did not change much, but Hua Yang, who had lost weight due to traveling, had returned to her old look. Her snow-white cheeks were rounded again, just like the peony at its most beautiful. If she were standing, she would still have the dignity of a princess that could not be blasphemed, but she was just lying here lazily, inviting people to pick her.
“It’s a busy day, my arms are so sore and I can’t lift them. You help me wipe them.”
Chen Jingzong said plainly.
Hua Yang sneered: “Keep dreaming. If you can’t lift it, let Zhen’er or Zhu’er serve you.”
The maids around Hua Yang were also had different level of familiarity. Chao Yun and Chao Yue had grown up with her, and she couldn’t bear to ask them to rub Chen Jingzong’s rough skin and thick flesh.
Chen Jingzong bent his exposed forearms, looked at her and said, “I know you dislike me, but my body is not something that just any woman can see or touch.”
Hua Yang inexplicably thought of the two guards in her aunt’s house.
It was true that both she and her aunt admired the physique of those guards, but if it were Chen Jingzong, he would disdain showing off his body to please others.
“Then wash it yourself.”
In short, Hua Yang would not do such a thing. She had never even washed a thin silk handkerchief by herself, so how could she serve Chen Jingzong.
Chen Jingzong glanced at her, smiled, then walked away with the fruit plate.
Hua Yang saw a hint of provocation.
Sure enough, at dinner, Chen Jingzong was still wearing the same clothes full of sweat.
After dinner, he turned around and walked inside. Hua Yang followed him anxiously, and saw that Chen Jingzong had not taken off his clothes and was about to get into bed.
The mattress on the bed were all Shu brocade that Hua Yang brought from the capital. One piece of silk was more expensive than Chen Jingzong’s whole clothes!
While scolding, Hua Yang ran over quickly and stretched out her hands to block the bed, preventing Chen Jingzong from entering.
“You promised me you would take a shower before coming in!”
Hua Yang glared at him.
Chen Jingzong: “There are always special circumstances. I have been doing strenuous work for a month. Now I’m sore everywhere. I just want to lie down and sleep.”
Hua Yang understood his hard work and compromised: “Since you really don’t want to move, you can sleep in the side room tonight.”
The smell of sweat on his body was so strong that even Hua Yang would find it smelly even if he slept on the bed floor.
Chen Jingzong: “Fine. But there are more crawlers in summer hot flashes. If there are centipedes, scorpions, cockroach crawling over, please bear with it and stop screaming on top of your lungs to let others misunderstand that I did something to you.”
After saying that, Chen Jingzong turned around and left.
She looked at the bed behind her, and she felt like something was moving under the exquisite Shu brocade mattress.
Chen Jingzong did it on purpose, but she really couldn’t stand the bugs here! Even if four maids were called to the bedside to sleep with her, how could four equally weak women be as reassuring as Chen Jingzong?
As soon as she spoke, Chen Jingzong stopped when he reached the door, making no secret of his threat, waiting for her to make a choice.
Hua Yang gritted her teeth, but her face turned red, and demanded: “Since you can’t lift your arms, I’ll just rub your shoulders and back for you. You can do the rest yourself, and you must wear pants when I’m there.”
Chen Jingzong smiled and pointed to his head: “You also have to wash my hair.”
Hua Yang became more and more disgusted.
Chen Jingzong went out first and asked the maids to carry water to the bathroom, filled the bathtub for Hua Yang, and then brought him two more buckets of water.
Chao Yun and Zhu’er went in and out several times, and finally they were done.
Chen Jingzong kicked everyone out, closed the door of the main room, called Hua Yang, and then went to the bathroom first.
Hua Yang had already agreed. Also, there was nothing to be embarrassed about, so she followed him with a sullen face. When she entered the room, she saw that Chen Jingzong had taken off his outer coat and boldly sat on a stool with a bucket of water next to him.
Facing his fiery gaze, Hua Yang walked expressionlessly around his back.
In fact, Chen Jingzong’s skin color was originally quite fair, but after being exposed to the sun for so long, his neck, face, and even chest and back were tanned to a uniform light wheat color, making him look even more heroic and powerful.
It was beautiful to look at, and even made people’s hearts beat faster and their mouths dry up. However, the thought that she might rub a small ball of mud on Chen Jingzong’s shoulders later made Hua Yang feel sick.
She was so disgusted that her face turned pale just thinking about it, and she covered her chest and walked to the side.
Chen Jingzong frowned when he saw it: “So unwilling?”
Hua Yang kept silent behind his back. He was probably the first person in the world who dared to ask the princess to do such a thing.
Chen Jingzong paused, then suddenly stood up, quickly put on his outer coat, put a towel on his shoulders, and left with two buckets of water, his face gloomy.
Hua Yang didn’t stop him.
There were some things she just couldn’t do.
But her mood also became depressed, and all kinds of ugly and terrifying reptile shadows crawled into her mind. She was so afraid that she would look into the bucket several times before taking a bath.
Chao Yun served her took a bath.
Hua Yang looked at her own shoulder. She loved to be clean. She didn’t do much work and didn’t sweat much. The water looked clean after every bath.
Chao Yun, just like her master, was admiring Hua Yang, and praised softly: “The saying skin like condense fat must be talking about the Princess. I have never seen anyone fairer than the Princess.”
It was said that white skin covers all ugliness. The princess was already beautiful, on top of that her whole body was snowy-white…
It was a pity that she met a rough man like prince consort, who didn’t know how to.
Hua Yang was absent-minded.
After washing, she walked to the inner room with some resistance. After she entered, she was about to arrange for Chao Yun to accompany her tonight, but when she looked up, she saw a slender, familiar figure lying on the Babu bed.
It was Chen Jingzong, with his back to her, motionless, and she could tell that he was a little angry.
Hua Yang smiled.
Chao Yun complied and thoughtfully closed the door from the outside when she went out.
Hua Yang turned off all the lights and climbed from the foot of the bed to the bed.
Chen Jingzong lay in another direction, quite indifferent in the darkness.
Hua Yang pressed against him softly. Feeling his suddenly tense muscles, Hua Yang bit his shoulder: “You are not allowed to order me around in the future, and you are not allowed to scare me again.”
Chen Jingzong remained stiff.
Hua Yang touched his wrist and ordered: “Turn around and hug me.”
She wanted the tightest kind of hug, so tight that even if a bug really crawled up, it would touch Chen Jingzong first and then be slapped to death by him.