Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 146

Chapter 146

 

Sleeping under the same quilt, when Chen Jingzong was about to get up in the morning, Hua Yang still woke up despite him being careful enough.

She subconsciously hugged his waist and pressed closer to him.

Chen Jingzong’s body stiffened.

He always got up early, and he might disturb her every once in a while. She would never stick to him in the summer, but in the winter, she couldn’t bear to part with him, this breathing “hand-warming stove”.

Chen Jingzong turned around, hugged her into his arms, brushed away the messy hair from her ears, and kissed the side of her neck.

Hua Yang slowly wake up from sleepiness, and heard a faint sound of wind outside the window. She touched his shoulder, tilted her head and said, “I will make you another cloak this year.”

The last one she sent had been used for two years, and in Hua Yang’s opinion, it was already old.

Chen Jingzong: “No, the old man’s cloak had been used for over than ten years. I just wear it on the road in the morning and evening. It’s dark and no one can see it. As long as it can block the wind, it doesn’t matter whether it’s new or old. It doesn’t need to be change for a lifetime.”

What he wanted to show off was her favor for him, not the splendor of the cloak.

Hua Yang: “Last night you despise it when I don’t feel sorry for you. Now I want to be nice to you, but you’re pushing it back.”

Chen Jingzong: “You have been good enough to me. You gave me a divine horse, which saved me half an hour on the way back and forth.”

He used to wake up at the beginning of maoshi (5-7 am), but now he could sleep an extra half an hour.

Hua Yang wanted to say something else, but it was time for Chen Jingzong to leave. He wrapped her tightly with the quilt and kissed her hard on the forehead before getting out of bed.

After his figure disappeared, Hua Yang couldn’t sleep any longer. She lay alone on the bed with his body temperature still remaining, thinking about the conversation she had with her father-in-law last night.

With her father-in-law’s attitude, he shouldn’t recommend Zhang Pan to the cabinet this time, right?

.

In mid-Tenth Month, Chen Tingjian recommended three cabinet ministers to Emperor Yuanyou and Empress Dowager Qi in one go, namely Shen Shi, the current left vice-minister of the Ministry of Personnel, Liu Ziqian, the current minister of the Ministry of Rites, and He Qingxian, the current censor of Nanjing.

The first two were officials in the capital. Empress Dowager Qi and Emperor Yuanyou were very familiar with them and had given many commendations. However, although He Qingxian was famous, he only served as an official in the capital for a short time before basically sent to other places.

Emperor Yuanyou had admired He Qingxian’s name for a long time, and he also liked this upright and good official praised by the people. However, when some ministers recommend He Qingxian to the capital before, Chen Tingjian and the others would always rejected it. Even Empress Dowager Qi also agreed to let He Qingxian stay outside, so Emperor Yuanyou said nothing.

This time Chen Tingjian actually directly recommended He Qingxian to join the cabinet. Emperor Yuanyou was very surprised and asked: “Sir said before that He Qingxian was too upright and unyielding, which caused many officials to resign wherever he went. Promoting He Qingxian might hinder the implementation of reforms. Why do you want to use him now?”

Empress Dowager Qi also looked at Chen Tingjian.

Chen Tingjian looked at the mother and son one after another. With a hint of shame on his slightly pale and elegant face, and a very sincere look in his eyes, he explained: “This minister didn’t use He Qingxian before, because this minister was afraid that local officials would be afraid of his uprightness and suspected that the new policies is aim to completely remove all officials with questionable conduct, causing them to worry about their future and lose interest in their duties. Now that the Examination Law has begun to bear fruit, there are still some officials who protect the local gentry and bully the common people. The people mistakenly believe that the new policy is a new way for the court to exploit them, leading to widespread grievances. By promoting He Qingxian, this minister wants to deter this kind of obstinate corrupt officials, and at the same time instil confidence in the people that the new policies are beneficial to the country and the common people. This also can make people feel at ease and avoid more misunderstandings when the court conduct land reforms next year. ”

Empress Dowager Qi nodded approvingly: “Cabinet Elder has thought thoroughly.”

Emperor Yuanyou continued to ask: “But Zhen heard that He Qingxian has always been at odds with Sir. Aren’t you afraid that after he comes to the capital, he will always confront you and cause chaos to the implementation of the new policy?”

Chen Tingjian smiled and touched his long beard: “He and this minister both ranked as the top scholars in the same imperial examination. We are both determined to serve the country, but we have different temperaments. Especially when we were young, this minister didn’t like his aggressiveness and fault-finding nature, while he didn’t like this minister’s cautious and diplomatic nature. Now that both of us are over fifty, implementing the new policy to enrich the country and strengthen the military is top priority. This minister believe that he will not act recklessly. On the contrary, with his arrival, he may be able to make up for this minister’s oversights.”

Emperor Yuanyou looked at the calm and gentle Cabinet Elder Chen opposite him, and felt a little strange for a moment.

In his memory, Cabinet Elder Chen had always uncompromising and stern. In recent years, he had become less strict. However, when it came to reforms, he was always domineering and dictatorial, not allowing any ministers to oppose him.

Today, in order to improve the reforms, in order to deter corrupt officials and appease the people, Chen Tingjian was willing to promote a sworn enemy who once criticized him for abusing his position for personal gain to the capital.

Chen Tingjian seemed unaware of the young emperor’s inquiry and said respectfully: “This minister wonder if Your Majesty and Niangniang approve of these three people joining the cabinet?”

Empress Dowager Qi looked at her son: “What does Your Majesty think?”

Emperor Yuanyou nodded: “Yes, Zhen believe in your vision.”

Chen Tingjian then withdrew.

After sending away the people around them, Empress Dowager Qi asked her son: “You seem to be surprised by the candidate recommended by Cabinet Elder.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “Those three are all useful, but I feel like Cabinet Elder has changed.”

Empress Dowager Qi sighed softly: “Yes, he would never use He Qingxian before. Maybe, as people get older, many of their ideas will change.”

Emperor Yuanyou coincidently thought of his father emperor.

His father also died in his early fifties. Chen Tingjian’s hair had turned a lot gray this year…

Emperor Yuanyou suddenly didn’t want to think about it anymore.

As soon as the red sun sets in the evening, darkness quickly envelopes the place.

Emperor Yuanyou quietly came to Wenyuan Pavilion with only Cao Li and two young eunuchs.

Except for He Qingxian who had not yet entered the capital, the newly promoted Cabinet Elder Shen and Cabinet Elder Liu have moved here to work with Chen Tingjian and Cabinet Elder Lu.

Emperor Yuanyou made a hole in the window paper and peeped inside.

Chen Tingjian was the chief minister. His table was placed in the middle, and then there were two tables on the left and right side. The three cabinet elders were seated on the three tables, while one was empty.

There was a high pile of memorials and documents on Chen Tingjian’s desk. He buried his head in them and occasionally asked some questions to the other three cabinet elders.

It could be seen that the three cabinet elders were in awe of him. Whenever Chen Tingjian made any move, the three cabinet elders would definitely look up.

It was well past the time to get off duty, but Chen Tingjian had no intention of leaving. Cabinet Elder Liu quietly winked at the senior Cabinet Elder Lu, and Cabinet Elder Lu quietly extended one finger.

Based on the time Chen Tingjian usually left the palace, Emperor Yuanyou guessed that Cabinet Elder Lu meant that Chen Tingjian would stay in the cabinet for at least an hour.

Cabinet Elder Liu slumped down on his chair in frustration.

Cabinet Elder Lu had long been used to it, and Cabinet Elder Shen, probably because he was young and not afraid of hardship, just smiled and continued to write.

There was also a library hall next to Wenyuan Pavilion. Emperor Yuanyou signaled the guards and eunuchs outside not to leak his whereabout, and took Cao Li and others to the library hall.

After watching for more than an hour, Cao Li came over and whispered: “Your Majesty, Cabinet Elder Shen has also left. At this time, only Cabinet Elder Chen is still there.”

Emperor Yuanyou touched his belly and asked, “Has he eaten anything?”

Cao Li shook his head.

Emperor Yuanyou frowned. This old man in his fifties. Even he couldn’t stand being hungry for so long, how could Chen Tingjian be so stubborn?

Emperor Yuanyou stood up.

Cao Li hurriedly took the cloak hanging on the hanger and tied it on him again.

This time Emperor Yuanyou did not look in through the window hole, but came directly to the door. While Cao Li opened the curtain, he lowered his head and stepped in, and then went to the warm pavilion to the west.

Chen Tingjian heard the footsteps. He raised his head and saw that the curtain in front of the warm pavilion was lifted up, revealing the increasingly tall figure of Emperor Yuanyou.

Chen Tingjian quickly left the table, walked around the table, and bowed.

Emperor Yuanyou: “Sir, dispense the courtesy. It’s already this hour. Why haven’t you returned home yet?”

Chen Tingjian laughed and said: “This minister is about to leave.”

How could Emperor Yuanyou believe it. He walked to the desk and picked up the memorial that Chen Tingjian had just read. It was a memorial written by a local official in Shandong to apologize because the tax collection task there had not been completed this year. According to the Examination Law, it was useless for this person to plead guilty. He would either be demoted or dismissed from office. Chen Tingjian indeed had no intention of being lenient, but Chen Tingjian wrote a separate reply to this person, stating in the letter that he had to strictly implement the punishment, after all officials all over the world were watching. No matter what reasons the Shandong official has, Chen Tingjian could not set this precedent.

After Emperor Yuanyou read it, he said to Chen Tingjian: “He made a mistake first, so he will be punished. Why do you, Sir, still waste so much words with him?”

Chen Tingjian: “Just hoping that after reading the letter, he can dispel some of his grievances. This minister doesn’t know what his family situation is like, whether he has mother and young children to support. If he does something stupid in a moment of anger, how will the whole family live. This minister came up from a poor family step by step, and knew that it is not easy to be an official. However, the New Policy cannot be delayed. This minister can only use those officials who can meet the requirements of the court and keep up with the pace of the New Policy, and have no energy to re-examine others. ”

Emperor Yuanyou thought of the endless memorials to impeach Chen Tingjian.

Sometimes he would also wonder whether Chen Tingjian was too harsh, but when he saw that Chen Tingjian even wrote a letter to comfort a small local official who was about to be demoted, Emperor Yuanyou finally understood that it was not Chen Tingjian was cold-blooded and deliberately harsh, but the situation forced him to be so.

“There are only two sentences left in this letter. Zhen will finish it for you.”

Emperor Yuanyou sat on Chen Tingjian’s chair, picked up the brush that was still a little warm, dipped it in ink, and after Chen Tingjian’s solemn handwriting, he wrote down his elegant handwriting.

When signing, Emperor Yuanyou wrote the names of the teacher and the student.

“Sir has worked hard for Zhen and the court. If there any resentment towards you, Zhen will share it with you.”

Putting down the brush, Emperor Yuanyou smiled at Chen Tingjian.

Chen Tingjian lowered his head deeply, and two tears fell silently.

When Cao Li saw it, he jokingly said, “Does Cabinet Elder feel moved? You know, His Majesty has been here since long ago, and has not had dinner in order to wait for you to get off duty?”

Chen Tingjian quickly wiped his eyes with his sleeves and scolded himself: “This minister will leave now. Your Majesty, please go back to have your dinner.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “Zhen is not hungry yet. It’s windy outside. Zhen will send you out of the palace.”

Chen Tingjian repeatedly refused, so Emperor Yuanyou just took the lead and walked out towards the palace gate.

Chen Tingjian had no choice but to follow quickly.

He was two steps behind. Emperor Yuanyou turned his head and noticed that Chen Tingjian’s long beard was blown back by the cold wind and stuck tightly to his chest.

Emperor Yuanyou suddenly remembered that when he was three or four years old, when he dared to be naughty, he once pulled this long beard that was praised by the courtiers.

At that time, Chen Tingjian was also gentler. He just smiled and said lightly, “Your Highness, you can’t do this.”

In a blink of an eye, he had grown taller than the old man’s beard.

“This minister’s carriage is outside. Your Majesty, please go back quickly.”

Seeing that the palace gate was in front of him, Chen Tingjian quickly stopped in front of Emperor Yuanyou and implored him again.

Emperor Yuanyou nodded, but suddenly untied the strap of the cloak under his neck, and then draped the fox fur cloak behind Chen Tingjian.

Chen Tingjian hurriedly said: “This minister has one. Your Majesty rewarded it to this minister last year. Just now came out too hastily and forgot it in the cabinet.”

Emperor Yuanyou said: “Then Zhen will lend it to you for now and you can return it after entering the palace tomorrow morning.”

Chen Tingjian wanted to say more, but Emperor Yuanyou waved his hand, turned around and ran towards the palace.

The cold wind howled from the north and shuttled through the long palace road. The young emperor ran against the wind, but ran very happily.

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