Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 155

Chapter 155


The snow kept falling down.

The dense plum branches and the blooming petals on them blocked most of the snowflakes. Only a few scattered ones would fall through the gaps. It either fell into the mist-shrouded spring, or fell on the grand princess’s blushing cheeks and white jade shoulders.

Hua Yang couldn’t feel the cold.

The pool held hidden wonders. For example, there was a stone slab as flat as a couch hidden on one side of the shore, slightly tilted into the water.

Hua Yang was lying on the stone couch at this time, her body enveloped by the warm spring water. Even her shoulders and neck were repeatedly covered and uncovered by the flowing water.

She could only stay on her back to avoid accidentally drinking the spring water.

If she opened her eyes, she could see the snowy scene and plum blossoms overhead, unable to distinguish the time. The snow light reflected the lamp light, soft and hazy, creating a dreamlike and surreal atmosphere.

Hua Yang loved this snow scene. If Chen Jingzong was not here, she would definitely enjoy it quietly, comfortably and without distractions for a long time.

But Chen Jingzong was here, and he made it impossible for her to see any plum blossom on the branch. When he suddenly came to kiss her, the water droplets rolling down his face would wet her eyelashes.

Hua Yang simply stopped looking and let him do whatever he wanted.

“I thought about this since we were in the mountains behind Hongfu Temple.”

Chen Jingzong never ran out of things to say. The more aloof and disdainful the grand princess was about discussing such topics, the more Chen Jingzong insisted on talking to her about them.

Chen Jingzong couldn’t see any white snow or red plums. His eyes only have the grand princess, only have this fairy ancestor he married.

He enjoyed watching her gaze at him, sometimes cold and sometimes angry, but soon her clear eyes reflecting other emotions because of him.   Just like an untouchable fairy set up high in the moon palace, who, by some twist of fate, married him and could only follow him to become an ordinary, yet blissfully happy, human couple.

Chen Jingzong didn’t believe that even male gods in heaven or true gentlemen on earth could remain refined and elegant about such matters.

Impossible, impossible!


On the thirteenth of First Month, when they left the villa early in the morning, Hua Yang had only one thought in her mind.

In this life, she will never go to the hot springs with Chen Jingzong again!

It was also nightfall when they returned to the capital. Early the next morning, Hua Yang entered the palace to pay respects to her mother empress.

Empress Dowager Qi looked at her daughter’s increasingly beautiful face and said with a bit of teasing: “The effect of this hot spring is really good. Does your leg still hurt?”

Hua Yang gritted her teeth and said, “Thanks to you, it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

As soon as Emperor Yuanyou came, mother and daughter stopped making fun of each other.

Emperor Yuanyou, who had just turned fifteen, was still innocent after all. Seeing his sister in such good spirits, he attributed it to the nourishing effects of the hot spring water. He took the opportunity to show some concern for his mother: “This year the court will conduct the land survey, so Mother Empress probably won’t have time to stay in Temporary Palace. Once things are quieter on the Twelfth Month, Mother Empress should also stay at Temporary Palace for a while.”

Empress Dowager Qi smiled and nodded.

Hua Yang secretly suppressed a laugh.

After having lunch in the palace, Hua Yang took her leave and came to the Chen Mansion to sit for a while.

Sun shi also praised the good complexion her daughter-in-law princess. When talking about the recuperative effects of the hot springs, Sun shi also reminisced: “There are also hot springs in Lingzhou. Back then, the old lady was afraid of the cold and the old man was an official in the capital. In the winter, he would send a part of his salary home every winter just for the old lady to use in the hot springs.”

Hua Yang:……

“Is there a hot spring over there in Lingzhou?”

“Yeah, it’s only half a day’s drive away.”

Hua Yang smiled and praised her mother-in-law and father-in-law for their filial piety towards the old lady.

When she got on the carriage back home, Hua Yang almost twisted her silk handkerchief to pieces!

Since the old lady of the Chen family liked to bathe in hot springs, Chen Jingzong must have accompanied the old lady there countless times from the age of ten to eighteen before he came to the capital, but he still pretended to have never seen the world in front of her! He looked forward to going to her aunt’s villa, because he looked forward to trying new tricks on her!

Chen Jingzong had a banquet at a colleague’s house today. It was already late when he returned home. Because his whole body was smelling like alcohol, he honestly slept in Liuyun Hall for an hour. After taking a bath, he then came to Qifeng Hall.

Hua Yang was sitting on the couch in the side room. When she saw him, she pointed to the inner room: “Go in and have a look.”

Chen Jingzong noticed that she looked like she was about to lose her temper. He went inside for a look and found that a floor mat had been laid next to the grand princess’s large bed.

Chen Jingzong came out and asked, somewhat unseriously, “Everything was fine before. You went to the palace and then visited my family, and now you’re upset. Could it be that my mother acted like a mean mother-in-law and gave you a hard time?”

Hua Yang sneered: “Mother is very good. The only person in the entire Chen family who dares to offend me is you.”

Chen Jingzong: “I haven’t offended you recently.”

Hua Yang: “You are trying to fool me with your lies.”

Chen Jingzong:……

The grand princess must have obtained some proof, and Chen Jingzong immediately apologized: “I was wrong. As long as Grand Princess is willing to calm down, you can punish me in any way you want.”

Hua Yang knew that he was only pretending to be obedient; he was probably feeling quite smug inside. She said calmly, “Your punishment is to either stay in Liuyun Hall for half a month or sleep on the floor for half a month. You choose.”

Chen Jingzong: “Sleep on the floor, I can’t bear to be so far away from you.”

Hua Yang continued reading and ignored him.

The two of them didn’t speak at the dinner table. At night, Hua Yang lay comfortably on the bed. Chen Jingzong took off his clothes, walked around the bed, and then silently got into the bedding on the floor.

As soon as he lay down, he sneezed.

After sneezing, he started coughing.

He was just pretending, and Hua Yang knew it was fake. She felt irritated, but said nothing.

Chen Jingzong knew her very well. She was just annoyed at him and needed to vent a little. But it wasn’t anything serious. If she were truly angry, she wouldn’t let him stay in her sight.

Therefore, after lying down for a while, Chen Jingzong jumped up, quickly got into the bed, and then held the grand princess’s soft body into his arms.

Hua Yang didn’t chase him away or say anything.

Chen Jingzong kissed her ear: “I have never lied to you about anything serious.”

Hua Yang: “Even things that are not serious are not allowed.”

Chen Jingzong: “Okay, next time I want to do this or that with you in the pool, I’ll tell you directly.”

Hua Yang:……


On the 16th of First Month in the second year of Yuanyou, at the first court meeting of the new year, the Chief Minister Chen Tingjian presented a memorial asking to measure the land across the country, which aroused a heated debate among the ministers.

However, a consensus had been reached within the cabinet, and Empress Dowager Qi and Emperor Yuanyou both supported this new policy. Therefore, early the next morning, relevant documents and uniformly prepared measuring instruments were sent to all parts of the country at an accelerated speed of 600 miles. Jinyiwei also dispatched more than half their troops to travelled day and night to various places to supervise the affairs of Land Measurement.

However, even if Emperor Yuanyou and Empress Dowager Qi supported the Land Measurement, and even if Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian had formulated a very complete “Land Measurement Regulations”, it was not that easy to implement the new policy.

There were letters of opposition from officials, gentry and clan members from all over the country. They did not dare to blame Emperor Yuanyou, so they made various accusations against Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian. Chen Tingjian, in particular, was scolded the most and almost became a sinner for the ages.

Emperor Yuanyou looked at these documents at first, but later he stopped even reading them and handed them over to the cabinet for disposal.

In mid-Third Month, a secret report was quietly delivered to the capital by the Jinyiwei stationed in Jin Province. It listed nine major crimes against Prince Jin of Taiyuan. Emperor Yuanyou sent two imperial envoys to investigate and found that all nine crimes were true. Prince Jin was immediately stripped off his title, and the clan members of Prince Jin’s branch were also punished accordingly.

Now, the deposed Prince Jin no longer had to worry about the court discovering the land he had underreported. With his title revoked and all his family property and land confiscated, he was sent to the frontier as a laborer, completely penniless and without any further concerns!

After punishing Prince Jin, Emperor Yuanyou wrote separate letters to the other vassal princes. In the letters, he first listed the crimes of Prince Jin, then lamented, saying that their ancestor, the Founding Emperor, had conferred titles on the vassal princes to support the emperor in the capital, defend the borders, and care for the local people. He emphasized that the Founding Emperor despised corrupt officials and that one of the vassal princes’ duties was to intimidate local officials into being honest and loving the people. Instead, Prince Jin had exploited the people himself, causing great suffering for the locals and betraying the court and the trust and expectations of their ancestor. Emperor Yuanyou felt particularly aggrieved and hoped that the other vassal princes—his grandfathers, uncles, and brothers—would not follow in the footsteps of the deposed Princes of Xiang, Yu, and Jin, and would not break his heart again!

The vassal princes: …

The little emperor cried so touchingly, but he was actually killing the chicken to scare the monkey!

If the vassal princess had soldiers in their hands, they might really rebel. But they didn’t have soldiers, and they didn’t have the courage of the depose Prince Yu. Giving up some land? They could endure that!

In this way, the imperial clan members of the vassal princes became honest, and under the supervision of the Jinyiwei and the common people, they honestly handed over all the fields that had been concealed or underreported.

Although there were many officials and gentry, their opinions were far inferior to those of the vassal princes and imperial clansmen. Even when the imperial clansmen brought up the ancestral instructions of the Founding Emperor, Emperor Yuanyou countered them effectively. The officials and gentry, who had previously been vocally opposing the land measurement, writing so many petitions that their brushes were practically worn out, now all lowered their heads and cooperated one by one.

The land in various places were surveyed, and then land registration book were made and delivered to the capital one after another.

Hua Yang remembered that in her previous life, it took until the end of the year to complete the work, and in some remote places it was even delayed until the middle of the following year.

This time it might be that the supervision had been strengthened, the Jinyiwei and the people had been mobilized, coupled with the improvement of regulations, so the local officials have little room for cheating and trickery. They could only fully implement the regulations, and by the beginning of Eight Month, ten provinces had already submitted the land registration book.

The cabinet was full of joy, and those officials in the capital who opposed the land measurement had to force smile on their faces.

In this joyful atmosphere, Jizhou suddenly sent a message with 800 miles urgency, saying that Dong Hu, the leader of the Duoyan tribe in the grassland, led tens of thousands of cavalries to attack the border pass.

Jizhou was too close to the capital, only two to three hundred miles away. Whenever there was a war there, the officials and people in the capital would be worried.

Even though Chen Tingjian made timely deployment of troops, Emperor Yuanyou still didn’t sleep well that night and tossed and turned almost all night.

One day later, good news came from Jizhou, saying that General Qin had defeated Duoyan and captured one of Dong Hu’s sons alive. At this moment, Dong Hu was begging for peace under the Great Wall.

Emperor Yuanyou and a group of the capital officials: ….

The battle in Jizhou was over before the reinforcements from the imperial court arrive?

Chen Tingjian smiled and said: “Your Majesty, previously Qin Yuantang specifically trained the Chariot Battalion to counter the cavalry from the grasslands. The so-called Chariot Battalion consists of four men operating a war chariot, which is equipped with firearms and Horse Repeller. Once battle begins, the Chariot Battalion forms the front line, first using firearms for long-range attacks, then employing the Horse Repeller to deal with enemy warhorses at close range. The swift victory in this battle must be attributed to the effectiveness of the Chariot Battalion’s formation.”

Emperor Yuanyou knew about this. Previously Qin Yuantang handed over a memorial to introduce the formation. What surprised him was that the Chariot Battalion Formation was so effective in actual combat!

Emperor Yuanyou, a hot-blooded young man, wishes he could go to Jizhou in person and see the power of this formation with his own eyes!

Chen Tingjian also hoped that Emperor Yuanyou would visit Jizhou. Only when the emperor saw the bravery of the Jizhou army with his own eyes would he truly understand the significance of strengthening armaments.

Therefore, he petitioned Emperor Yuanyou to go to Jizhou to personally accept Duoyan’s surrender in order to boost the monarch’s prestige.

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