Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 171

Chapter 171


Empress Dowager Qi lived in the rear hall of the Qianqing Palace.

At first she lived in the Cining Palace. Considering that the emperor was still young when he ascended the throne, the cabinet asked Empress Dowager Qi to move to the Qianqing Palace to take care of Emperor Yuanyou’s daily life.

The late emperor had only two sons, one of whom had already been enfeoffed as a vassal. There was only one young emperor in the palace, and he was extremely precious. Of course, the empress dowager had to personally take care of him to be at ease.

Empress Dowager Qi indeed took good care of her son. In the past few years, Emperor Yuanyou had barely caught a cold or a cough.

After leaving the imperial study, Emperor Yuanyou went directly to the back hall.

Empress Dowager Qi was reading Buddhist scriptures, with only two palace maids standing quietly on both sides. The room was quiet and peaceful.

“Son greets Mother Empress.” Emperor Yuanyou walked in and bowed with a smile.

Empress Dowager Qi had already put down the Buddhist scriptures and looked at her tall and handsome son. He had the same upright figure as the late emperor, and he also inherited the good looks of both her and the late emperor. He was truly a handsome young man, elegant and graceful.

“Sit down.”

Emperor Yuanyou sat beside Empress Dowager Qi. While the mother and son looked at each other, Emperor Yuanyou took the initiative to say, “Mother Empress, just now Zhen summoned Teacher and Cabinet Elder He to the Imperial Study.”

Empress Dowager Qi: “About tax reform?”

Emperor Yuanyou: “Yes, Zhen want to use Cabinet Elder He’s method, and Teacher has already agreed.”

He told his mother exactly what Chen Tingjian had said.

Empress Dowager Qi silently turned the sandalwood Buddhist beads on her wrist and looked at her young and high-spirited son. She said, “As Cabinet Elder Chen said, this road is extremely difficult. I’m very relieved that you are not afraid. But the risks involved, they still dare not explain too clearly. If there are revolts everywhere, if one of them becomes powerful and really threatens the court, if the imperial clansmen, officials, common people, and officials in the capital all scold you, will you be afraid and regret it?”

Emperor Yuanyou: “Afraid is probable. As for whether regret or not, it depends on whether they win or Zhen win in the end. If Zhen win, no matter how difficult it is in the beginning, Zhen will be happy in the end. If Zhen lose, the worst that can happen is that Zhen will give up the world. Anyway, if we don’t reform, and indulge relatives, officials and gentry to bully the people, the country of our ancestors will eventually become someone else’s. From ancient times to the present, dynasties have always changed like this.”

Empress Dowager Qi: “You make it sound so easy.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “Zhen understand Mother Empress’ concerns. Zhen also know that Zhen dares to be fearless because Zhen is young. But now that the throne has been passed down, Zhen is the only one who dares to give it a try. When Teacher and Cabinet Elder He are gone, who else can Zhen count on to advocate such a reform? Mother Empress, Zhen doesn’t want to be cursed by the people of the world like Imperial Grandfather, and Zhen doesn’t want to be addicted to the harem like Father Emperor. Even if Zhen lose in the end, future generations will only regret Zhen’s frivolity, and will not criticize Zhen for being wrong.”

Empress Dowager Qi: “The ancestors will scold you for losing your dynasty.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “The ancestors will not scold Zhen, but they will scold those greedy vassal princes and imperial relatives, and those corrupt officials and gentry who exploited the people.”

Empress Dowager Qi: …

There was no denial that the ancestors did have such a temper. Not only that, they would also scold those unfilial descendants who had ruined the ancestral foundation.

Empress Dowager Qi thought of Chen Tingjian again.

She didn’t know how long her son’s frivolous righteousness could last, but she believed that Chen Tingjian would not joke about state affairs. If Chen Tingjian agreed, he would definitely use iron-blooded tactics to stabilize the country for her son. The most difficult two years would be the two years before her son took power. Therefore at this time, the reform and the infamy would be borne by Chen Tingjian, this auxiliary head of government, for her son. Even if the reform failed in the future, her son could push the cabinet out and let those vassal princes and officials vent their anger at them. Her son only needed to change the cabinet, and he could continue to be a carefree emperor who was helpless against the vassal princes and officials, but lived a life of luxury.

Chen Tingjian would understand this truth even better than she does.

But Chen Tingjian still agreed to his son’s request.

Empress Dowager Qi raised her head slightly, and after a while she told her son this, every word weighing heavily: “If you really take this step, you actually still have a way out, but Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian are like arrows that have been shot and cannot be retrieved. Once you retreat, they must die.”

Emperor Yuanyou thought of Chen Tingjian, the old man who was like a teacher and a father to him. He would discipline him strictly but also took great pains to pave the way for him.

He also thought of He Qingxian, who was loyal to the emperor and loved the people with an iron will, but was imprisoned by his imperial grandfather and despised by his father emperor. It was not until his reign that he finally had the opportunity to display his ambitions.

The two old men could disregard themselves for the sake of the court and the people, so he would stand firmly behind them.

Zhen will not retreat. Zhen would rather be a broken jade than a complete tile.”

Empress Dowager Qi smiled and said, “Then do it boldly. Regardless of the merits and demerits, we mother and son will bear the responsibility together.”


After the Little New Year, officials had another holiday.

Hua Yang took Chen Jingzong back to the Chen Mansion.

Chen Tingjian was not there.

Sun shi: “I don’t know what he’s busy with. He goes to the palace before dawn every day and comes back after dark. I think he doesn’t even care about the New Year.”

How could Hua Yang believe that her father-in-law hadn’t told her mother-in-law anything? The implementation of the new policy next year would be thousand times more difficult than the Examination Law and the national Land Measurement. Not to mention the cabinet, officials from the six ministries have also been working hard to revise the new regulation. Including her brother. When Hua Yang entered the palace in the morning, she only saw her mother. She heard that her brother was also in the cabinet and had to eat three meals a day with them.

Hua Yang noticed that Luo Yuyan was in a low mood.

The sun was shining brightly today. When the three sisters-in-law went to stroll in the garden, Luo Yuyan finally had the opportunity to tell the grand princess her worries: “Third Master said that he will be sent to Songjiang Prefecture in Southern Zhili next year.”

The court wanted to implement new policies, and the local government might not have received the news yet, but there were already some rumors in the official circles in the capital. So even though Chen Xiaozong was vague about the details, Luo Yuyan had also guessed that it was too difficult to implement the new policies and some officials did not dare to do it. So her father-in-law would let his sons go, and he went to the wealthy Jiangnan area where the gentry were deeply rooted.

When corrupt officials arrive in the south of the Yangtze River, they would naturally be treated with respect and pampered by the officials and gentry under them, and they would be well-fed and well-fed.

Chen Xiaozong wanted to confront these local tyrants, but the risks involved were…

Luo Yuyan was about to cry.

She wanted to go with Chen Xiaozong, but Chen Xiaozong kept saying something unserious and promised that he would never have affairs with other women outside. In short, he just refused to agree.

Yu Xiu took out a handkerchief and half-hugged Luo Yuyan’s shoulders, but her own tears were also flowed down.

Hua Yang remembered that in her previous life, both Chen Bozong and Chen Xiaozong were sent out to remote areas. Chen Xiaozong was the magistrate of Huating County in Songjiang Prefecture, and Chen Bozong was the prefect of Guangdong.

She had no idea how many risks the two brothers encountered outside. She only knew that the “One Whip Law” was implemented quite thoroughly in those two places at that time, until the death of her father-in-law in Eight Month, and the two brothers had to put down their jobs and return to the capital to mourn.

Her father-in-law was buried in Eight Month. In Tenth Month, Chief Minister Zhang Pan led the court officials to impeach her father-in-law. In Eleventh Month, Chen Bozong died in prison. In Twelfth Month, the entire Chen family was exiled.

She couldn’t think about it at all, let alone look at the two weak sisters-in-law beside her.

Hua Yang walked away.

Luo Yuyan sniffed twice and asked Yu Xiu worriedly, “Is Grand Princess angry? Is she upset that we’ve ruined the mood?”

Yu Xiu: “Grand Princess is not that kind of person. But let’s not be like this. The court is in need of people right now, so we should be more considerate.”

Hua Yang didn’t let Chao Yun and Chao Yue follow her, and came to the lotus pond in Chen’s garden by herself.

She sat on a stone on one side of the arch bridge, looking at the ice surface reflecting the sunlight to calm herself.

After a while, a small rock suddenly flew by and slid a long way along the ice.

Hua Yang stared blankly at the small rock that slowly stopped.

Chen Jingzong’s voice came from the bridge: “Why are you hiding here? You’re like a young wife who’s been bullied.”

Hua Yang looked up and saw him leaned on the railing with his back to the sun. His handsome face was bright and his posture was nonchalant, like a dandy young man.

Hua Yang glared at him.

Chen Jingzong: “You won’t be bullied by Eldest Sister-in-law and Third Sister-in-law, right?”

That would be totally impossible, Hua Yang didn’t even bother to answer.

With a “bang”, Chen Jingzong actually jumped over the bridge railing and jumped straight down, which made Hua Yang tremble all over. The next moment, she was afraid that he would break the ice and fall down!

“Come up!” she urged unhappily.

Chen Jingzong stepped on the ice and said, “In this small pond of our house, the water is not even as deep as my waist. I am not afraid of falling in.”

Hua Yang just stared at him.

Chen Jingzong then came to her, half-knelt on one knee, held the stone she was sitting on with one hand, and lifted her chin with the other hand.

Hua Yang knocked his hand away.

Chen Jingzong looked into her eyes and asked, “Shedding these golden beads again?”

Hua Yang pursed her lips.

Chen Jingzong: “I saw that Eldest Sister-in-law and Third Sister-in-law were crying too. Is it because Eldest Brother and Third Brother will be sent out after the New Year?”

Hua Yang: “Didn’t you went out to play with Dalang and the others, why are you spying on us women?”

Chen Jingzong: “I didn’t do it on purpose. I saw it on the way back.”

Hua Yang was silent.

Chen Jingzong: “It’s natural for Eldest Sister-in-law and Third Sister-in-law to be reluctant to part with their husbands. But why would you, a younger sister-in-law, be reluctant to part with them?”

The familiar sarcasm and the familiar sourness.

Hua Yang: “You try to talk nonsense again?”

Chen Jingzong: “Seriously, the old man has arranged ten guards for each of them, so they will be safe. It just takes some brains and glib tongue, which are what civil officials are good at. You really don’t have to worry.”

Hua Yang lowered her eyes: “I’m not worried about them. I really admire Father. He could have let Eldest Brother and Third Brother go to the six ministries for training, but he sent them to do the most difficult and offending tasks.”

Chen Jingzong: “You know I am the most jealous of the old man, but you still insist on saying that.”

Hua Yang pushed him hard.

Chen Jingzong then sat on the ice.

Suddenly, there were a few giggles above their heads. The couple looked up at the same time and saw that Wan Yi, Wan Qing and Dalang with his brothers had sneaked over at some point. Five heads of different sizes were lined up on the guardrail, like five chubby sparrows.

Hua Yang: …

Chen Jingzong patted his pants and stood up, raising his hand to shout at them: “You are so disrespectful, get out of here!”

Wan Yi saw that her aunt princess was blushing, as if she was worried that they had heard her words, so she smiled and explained, “We just arrived and didn’t hear anything. We just saw that Fourth Uncle had fall down.”

Chen Jingzong: …

Fourth Aunt’s face is important, so his face doesn’t need to be taken into consideration, right?

“Go away, or Fourth Uncle won’t give you any New Year’s money this year!”

Wan Yi winked at her fourth uncle and took her brothers and sisters away.

Chen Jingzong watched his nephews and nieces walk away. Just as he was about to squat again, Hua Yang stood up and said to him in a domineering tone: “Let’s go to Hongfu Temple to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year.”

Chen Jingzong: “Why?”

Hua Yang: “I want to burn the first stick of incense of the New Year.”

So many things happened in the third year of Yuanyou. Hua Yang had to pray for her brother’s new policy to go smoothly, and also pray for the Chen family to have everything go well and for the whole family to be safe.

The author has something to say:

Buddha: The little princess is so greedy.

Chang’e: She is so pretty, just granted it.

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