Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 144

Chapter 144


“This minister think Zhang Pan can be used. What do you think, Grand Princess?”

Chen Tingjian slowly put down the black chess piece and raised his eyes to glance at his daughter-in-law.

Hua Yang met his gaze with an imposing expression: “Daughter-in-law thinks that Zhang Pan is too slick. Now that Father is being favored by my Mother Empress and Brother, he follows Father blindly. If in the future Father gets old or someone shakes the foundation of the reform, Zhang Pan who can abandon Chief Minister Gao and defected to you, will not hesitate to turn his back to you and your reform, and turn to cater to those ministers who oppose you, taking an easier path.”

Chen Tingjian took another black piece, held it between his thumb and index finger, and twisted it gently.

The reason his daughter-in-law gave was not very convincing to him.

First of all, Zhang Pan was only one year younger than him. When he was old, Zhang Pan would also be old, and Zhang Pan might not even outlive him.

Secondly, if anyone could shake his reforms and he couldn’t stand firmly on his feet, then no matter whom he promoted, those people would scatter like monkeys fleeing a fallen tree.

Rather than being constrained by possible hidden dangers in the future, it was better to first use some people who were willing to be used by him, and then slowly observe.

Chen Tingjian did not object to his daughter-in-law, but just played chess silently.

Although Sun shi and Chen Jingzong stood far away, they were in the same room, so no matter how far away they were, as long as they listened carefully, they could still hear their conversation.

When Chen Tingjian was silent, the eyes of mother and son met in mid-air.

Chen Jingzong wanted to look back to see if Hua Yang was angry with the old man, or if she felt wronged. However, as soon as he moved a little, Sun shi grabbed his arm and stopped him from interfering.

Hua Yang didn’t have excessive expectation that her father-in-law would immediately agree with whatever she said. She put down her white piece and said calmly: “Father, I have been with Prince Consort for a long time, and I also learned his straightforward way of speaking. If anything I say offends you, please forgive me.”

Chen Jingzong tilted his scissors and almost cut off a begonia bud.

Chen Tingjian smiled and said: “Grand Princess feel free to speak.”

Hua Yang: “Among the previous cabinet elders, you are the youngest. However, as long as people live, there will always be unforeseen accidents. Of course Daughter-in-law hopes that you can live a long life. But Daughter-in-law has to think about the possibility that if something happens to you one day, who among the civil and military officials in the court will inherit your mantle and continue to support and encourage my brother to implement your reforms.”

Chen Tingjian:……

If it were the eldest daughter-in-law or third daughter-in-law who cursed him like this, Chen Tingjian didn’t need to scold them, he could just make the two daughters-in-law cry just by pulling down his face. But the one sitting opposite was the grand princess.

Sun shi coughed and spoke to her son while facing the begonia flowers: “Hey, I suddenly remembered Imperial Doctor Li. I don’t know if he finished compiling his medical book.”

Chen Jingzong: “If he can immerse himself in compiling a book, he should be finished by now. But I’m afraid he will consult people every three days, especially those high officials and nobles. It takes half a month to treat the disease, and he will need to personally take care the patient for half a month to recuperate, which will delay compiling the book.”

Chen Tingjian:……

The most embarrassing moment for Cabinet Elder and Chief Minister Chen, who was a man of great talent and beauty when he was young, and dignified and sage-like when he was old, was when he was undergoing treatment in Lingzhou for a whole month.

Therefore, people must admit to their own’s advancing years. Although the grand princess’s words were a bit unpleasant, they were also true.

Chen Tingjian sighed and compromised: “If Zhang Pan can’t be used, who does Grand Princess think can do it?”

Hua Yang was well prepared and said, “The person Daughter-in-law wants to recommend is well-known to the people of the world, it’s none other than He Qingtian or Sir He Qingxian.”

Chen Tingjian:……

Several irrepressible laughs came from the window. Who else could it be if it wasn’t Sun shi?

Chen Tingjian could not express his dissatisfaction with the grand princess, so he could only pretend to be annoyed by his wife, and frown at his wife and son over there.

Hua Yang suppressed a smile.

Cabinet Elder Zeng and Zhang Pan were originally supported Chief Minister Gao, so they were at odds with her father-in-law.

But He Qingxian was not attached with any political party. He and her father-in-law were both Jinshi from the same imperial examination. That year when her father-in-law won the first prize, He Qingxian was ranked second.

The two were of the same age and had similar ambitions. They both took it as their mission to enrich the country and strengthen the military.

It was just that the temperaments of these Zhuangyuan and Bangyang were completely different.

Her father-in-law was more like a gentle and restrained jade. When necessary, he would keep a low profile, and he would be tactful and sophisticated. It was not until he was promoted to the chief minister of the cabinet that he finally showed his domineering side.

He Qingxian was like a sharp sword. He adhered to his own ethics. He loved the common people like a son and hated corrupt officials. He was so courageous that even Hua Yang’s imperial grandfather was scolded by He Qingxian for more than a dozen times.

As much as the common people praised He Qingxian, the officialdom ostracized him, because He Qingxian’s eyes could not tolerate the slightest flaws in any officials.

Hua Yang also knew that when Chen Bozong won his Zhuangyuan’s title, her father-in-law was secretly ridiculed by He Qingxian. When Chen Xiaozong was preparing to take the central examination, He Qingxian wrote a letter directly to the examiner at the time, who was the current Cabinet Elder Lu, asking him not to show favoritism. The implication was that he suspected that Chen Bozong and Chen Xiaozong both relied on their fathers to get to the top of the imperial examination.

The relationship between her father-in-law and He Qingxian was thus forged. Later, when He Qingxian was working under Chief Minister Gao, he was dismissed from office due to impeachment. After her father-in-law was promoted, he probably couldn’t stand He Qingxian’s temper, so he only allowed He Qingxian to serve in local offices.

He Qingxian held mixed views on several of her father-in-law’s reforms, supporting some while opposing others. He believed that her father-in-law’s reforms only scratched the surface and were not deep enough. All in all, he didn’t think highly of her father-in-law. However, when her father-in-law implemented the land reforms next year and introduced One Whip Law the year after that, He Qingxian continued to criticize her father-in-law for not going thorough enough while actively cooperating. The South Zhili area where he was located was also the place where the reforms were implemented most smoothly and successfully.

When the court settle the account with her father-in-law after his death, He Qingxian sent memorial to the capital almost every day, all speaking up for her father-in-law.

Unfortunately, he was a lone person and weak. Not only was he unable to help her father-in-law and the entire Chen family, he was also relegated to a remote place.

“Father, what do you think of Sir He?” Hua Yang asked with a smile.

Chen Tingjian stroked his beard twice and said helplessly: “He is the most upright and good official in the country. This minister can’t deny this. But if he is transferred to the capital and recommended to the cabinet, this minister afraid that everyone in the officialdom will be impeached by him, which is not conducive to the implementation of reforms.”

Reforms need to be implemented by local officials. He Qingxian disliked everyone and would only cause trouble for him.

Hua Yang: “You are the Chief Minister. In the final analysis, you and my brother have the final say on how to deal with the officials below. For He Qingxian, you only need to use the words “to benefit the country and the people”. He loves the people so much that he will definitely listen. It’s better than a person who stays away from the court and can only watch the people suffer without being able to do anything. Daughter-in-law doesn’t believe that he won’t understand this logic.”

Chen Tingjian: “But he does not agree with this minister’s reforms.”

Hua Yang: “Zhang Pan agrees with your reforms, and Cabinet Elder Lu also agrees, but they all just follow your arrangements. Father has to worry about all aspects of reforms by yourself, and it’s inevitable that there will be some place that unsatisfactory. Daughter-in-law knows that you put the emperor and the court first, but He Qingxian puts the people first. So, if He Qingxian assists you, it will be easier for you to find and fill that deficiency.

“Take Examination Law for example, the results are of course remarkable. However, Father set annual tax collection tasks for local officials. Those with integrity would supervise the local gentry to prevent them from underreporting or evading taxes. Corrupt officials usually accept gifts from the gentry, so they don’t target them. Instead, they force the common people to pay more taxes, forcing some to abandon their land and become destitute. Such corrupt officials need a minister like He Qingxian to deter them. With He Qingxian in the court, it would also instill more confidence in the people regarding your reforms.”

Chen Tingjian pursed his lips for the first time.

He was not a saint and could not take care of everything. Sometimes in order to achieve the ultimate goal, he had to tolerate some flaws.

His decrees were for the people and the country, but there were so many local officials in the world, and not everyone strictly abide by the decrees. Some of them would cheat and bully the common people.

In the end, it was all his fault.

The old man was unhappy, so Hua Yang said in a soft voice: “Father, you put your heart and soul for the country and the people. Daughter-in-law’s respect and admiration for you may even surpass that of the late emperor. This is something that Prince Consort can attest to. However, not all officials in the world possess your level of selflessness and dedication. For the sake of the greater good, you may need to compromise at times. But Father is not alone. There still He Qingxian who can help you. Together, you two may be able to make this reform be implemented more thoroughly.”

Chen Tingjian still pursed his lips, lowered his eyes, and stopped playing chess.

The old man was not a child, who could be coaxed with a few words. Hua Yang thought for a while, then picked up all the white pieces on the chessboard and placed one down again, outside all the black ones: “If Father’s black stones represent the official of the entire court, do you know who this white piece of mine is?”

Chen Tingjian looked up.

The solitary white chess piece, facing the densely packed black chess pieces, still exudes arrogance, just like the arrogant eyebrows of the grand princess opposite, and just like Emperor Yuanyou in the palace.

Hua Yang whispered: “Actually, how long the reform can be implemented does not depend on you, Zhang Pan, He Qingxian or others, only here.”

She gently clasped the white chess piece.

All Chen Tingjian’s negative emotions dissipated, and he nodded with sincerity, truly surrendering to the grand princess’s sharp insights.

Hua Yang said: “You are his teacher, and so are the other ministers. He is still young. He will observe your words and emotions, and will be affected by your ambitions and political opinions until he mentally mature and no longer be easily influenced by anyone.”

Chen Tingjian looked solemn: “Yes.”

Hua Yang: “So, Father, do you hope that you’re the only one around him who dares to tell the truth, others will either sincerely support you and only repeat your words, or they may support you on the surface but instil their own strategies for governing the country in front of him? Or does Father prefer that he not only have a chief minister like you who takes the overall situation into consideration, but also a minister who loves the people and can always convey the sufferings of the people to him?”

Chen Tingjian suddenly left the table, lifted the hem of his clothes, and knelt down towards the grand princess opposite: “Grand Princess’ teaching today will be remembered by this minister.”

Hua Yang couldn’t bear the old man’s kneeling, so she stepped forward to help him up, and said with tears welling up in her eyelashes: “It’s Daughter-in-law who should thank you. You have worked hard day and night for the court, the people, and His Majesty. Without you, Daughter-in-law doesn’t know who to say these words to. Daughter-in-law recommends He Qingxian in hope that there will be someone who will sincerely help you share your worries. Even if it is just a few people to accompany you to bear the slander and hatred of those people, it’s better than you standing alone at the front. ”

Chen Tingjian’s eyes turned red at this last sentence.

Seeing that both of them were about to cry, Chen Jingzong’s sneer suddenly came from the window: “If Sir He knew that he only came to the capital to help others block the knife, I’m afraid he will pack up his baggage and run away overnight.”

Hua Yang:……

Chen Tingjian:……

Sun shi wiped her tears with one hand and hit her son hard on the butt with the other!

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3 thoughts on “Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 144

  1. He doesn’t even want them to share a heart-warming moment! I hope this He fella is truly as upright as Hua Yang remembers. Certain changes can affect outcomes even if she has lived through it before. He Qingxian was relegated to local officialdom so perhaps he had no choice but to behave – what will happen if he is now promoted to a cabinet elder?

    1. I think that it’s not that he doesn’t want them to share a moment (okay, maybe a little bit since he is miffed that he isn’t no. 1 in her heart lol) but more so that he doesn’t want to see them cry! He didn’t interrupt before and let them discuss and be emotional but he really can’t stand either of them crying, deep down he cares too much so he had no choice but to step in! But alas, he has that annoying mouth and that’s his preferred method in order to achieve the quickest results, look, no one cried in the end hahaha I really love this ML, he is so funny

  2. Thanks! Yasss finally He Qingxian! He is such a great character! Hahaha chen jingzong has always been jealous of his wife’s admiration for his father, LOL sun shi hitting him on the butt!

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