Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 174

Chapter 174

After discussing important matters, the three cabinet ministers Lu, Liu and Shen escorted the vassal princes out of the palace.

Emperor Yuanyou took Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian to the Imperial Study.

In his hand, he held a “Letter to Our Ancestors”, in which he stated the reasons and outline of his new policies. On this simple document, in addition to his imperial seal, twenty-one vassal princes also signed their names and pressed their imperial seals.

Throughout the more than 200 years of this dynasty, only Emperor Yuanyou did such a great thing to unite all the vassal princes.

Emperor Yuanyou unfolded the bright yellow file and examined it carefully again.

He Qingxian said dissatisfiedly: “So many letters of complaint have been burned. Your Majesty is still too kind to the vassal princes.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “If you want them to do something, you must give them some benefits. Moreover, Zhen only written off their previous crimes. If they commit the same crime again in the future, Zhen can still hold them accountable.”

He Qingxian: “Although the vassal princes have agreed to this, they may not really be willing to cooperate after returning to their fiefdoms. They may find excuses to shirk responsibility, or fan the flames among the officials and gentry. As long as the officials and gentry step forward and successfully block the new policy, the vassal princes will still reap the benefits.”

Emperor Yuanyou looked at Chen Tingjian.

Chen Tingjian smiled and said, “We summoned them to the capital to show the officials and common people that the imperial court’s implementation of the new policy is unstoppable. Anyone who dares to stop it will be killed. This is courtesy before force.”

He Qingxian: …

People still say that he is cruel. The Chief Minister who makes cruel remarks lightly is the real cruel one!

The next morning, twenty-one vassal princes also came to the court.

In fact, most of the civil and military officials in the court were forced by the cabinet to agree to the new policy. When they heard that Emperor Yuanyou was going to summon the vassal princes to the capital, they hoped that the vassal princes would come sooner even more so than Emperor Yuanyou, hoping that the vassal princes could cut off the young emperor’s absurd ideas.

To their disappointment, Cao Li had just finished reading out the imperial edict to implement the new policy when the twenty-one vassal princes knelt even faster than the cabinet. In a blink of an eye, they were all kneeling.

The vassal princes were of higher status than them and owned much more land than them. Now that the vassal princes had knelt, who in the court, civil or military, dared to oppose them?

That evening, Hua Yang learned about this from Chen Jingzong.

The first step of the new policy had been truly taken. The most difficult vassal princes had at least promised on the surface to cooperate with the new policy and dare not cause too much chaos, otherwise the court could go to their fiefdoms to punish them with a volume of “Letter to Our Ancestors”.

Hua Yang breathed a sigh of relief.

Chen Jingzong picked up the wine pot, looked at her and said, “Finally, it’s not in vain that I memorize so many relatives.”

Hua Yang smiled and said, “When the new policy has bear result in the future, I will ask His Majesty to give you great credit.”

Chen Jingzong pointed the spout of the pot at her white porcelain bowl and said, “You don’t have to bother His Majesty. Grand Princess, just drink a few sips with me, and that will be enough to be my reward.”

Hua Yang could even get drunk on fruit wine, so how could she possibly drink the strong liquor he usually drinks?

Chen Jingzong proposed this with ulterior motives.

Thinking of the expensive west ocean mirror in the inner room, Hua Yang pushed Chen Jingzong’s hand away and glared at him.

Chen Jingzong was not disappointed and started drinking by himself.

But at night, he still hugged the grand princess and asked for his reward.


The vassal princes came all the way to the capital, and the journey was not easy. However, in order to prevent the vassal princes from colluding with the officials in the capital, Emperor Yuanyou only entertained them for three days and then politely sent them away.

Hua Yang still followed his brother to send him off.

The next day, Princess Anle came to visit.

It was springtime, and the aunt and niece were walking side by side in the garden. The peonies had not yet blossomed, but the begonias were blooming in clusters of red clouds.

Princess Anle picked a begonia branch, put it in her hair, and asked her niece, “How is it?”

Hua Yang smiled and said, “As beautiful as a fairy.”

Princess Anle looked at her niece’s delicate face, then touched her own face and sighed, “What kind of fairy is this? I’m already getting old, with wrinkles at the corners of my eyes.”

Hua Yang observed her aunt carefully, and just when she was about to point out where the wrinkles were, Princess Anle smiled more exaggeratedly on purpose, and sure enough, a few fine lines appeared at the corners of her eyes.

Hua Yang: “…you don’t usually smile like that.”

Princess Anle: “But I didn’t get wrinkles when I smiled like this in the past, so I am still old.”

Hua Yang was only twenty-four years old and could not understand her aunt’s feelings. In her opinion, her aunt was still as beautiful as ever, but her mother in the palace had actually grown silver hair. Fortunately, there were only two or three strands, and when the palace maid saw it when they were combing her hair, they would cut it off from the roots.

As the sun gradually grew brighter, the aunt and niece sat down in the pavilion.

Princess Anle mentioned the new policy: “When I went out these past two days, people on the street were discussing the new policy. His Majesty is young and bold, and Cabinet Elder Chen is also very courageous, dared to go against all the officials and gentry. I also heard that he sent Third Master Chen to Huating County where Cabinet Elder Xu is?”

There was no Cabinet Elder named Xu in the current cabinet. The Cabinet Elder Xu that Princess Anle mentioned was the former Chief Minister who had returned to his hometown to retire. The one that Chen Tingjian had to listen obediently.

It was said that Cabinet Elder Xu’s family had hundreds of thousands of acres of land, and even when he was still a first-rank official, he could only exempt 10,000 acres of land from tax. It was conceivable that when the court implements the new policy this time, the Xu family alone would have to pay a lot of land tax, and how much resistance Chen Xiaozong would face there.

Hua Yang smiled bitterly: “Someone has to do these things. If Cabinet Elder Chen doesn’t dare to take the lead in offending the officials and gentry, other officials will be even more cautious.”

Princess Anle snorted: “Thanks to your father-in-law, your aunt has to pay more land tax.”

Hua Yang: …

She was a little embarrassed, but Princess Anle actually burst out laughing: “I’m kidding, Auntie can live a carefree life with just the salary from the court, and I have no children to support, so why would I mind the land tax, let alone complain to you about the new policy.”

Hua Yang admired and said, “It would be great if all the imperial clansmen supported the new policy like you do.”

Princess Anle said: “It’s difficult. We princesses are not so bad, but those princes all keep a lot of concubines. The more people they keep, the more expenses they have. If they want to maintain a luxurious life, they can only find ways to bring money into the family.”

Hua Yang sneered: “If you don’t make money in a legitimate way, you can only blame yourself.”

Princess Anle: “I’ve just realized that you’re someone who truly hates evil, and just as the saying goes: ‘Birds of a feather flock together.'”

After lunch, Princess Anle said goodbye.

Hua Yang was reminded of something by her aunt’s words. When Chen Jingzong came back in the evening, she asked him casually, “Eldest Brother and Third Brother have been away from the capital for three months. Have they written to you?”

Chen Jingzong: “No, why did you suddenly mention them?”

Hua Yang was afraid that he might get jealous, so she brought up her conversation with her aunt.

Chen Jingzong: “Grand Princess is really well-informed. Nothing in the capital can be hidden from you.”

Hua Yang: “Aren’t you worried about them? Eldest brother is in Guangdong. Even if he is the eldest son of the Chief Minister’s family, it will still be difficult for him to convince the people there with his identity. And Third Brother, not to mention that he only won Tanhua’s title back then, even if he won Zhuangyuan, it would be useless against Cabinet Elder Xu.”

Chen Jingzong: “It’s because it’s difficult that they were sent out, otherwise how can they prove their abilities?”

Hua Yang: “…I don’t have anything to say to you. On the day off at the end of the month, I want to go back and visit Mother.”

Chen Jingzong: “Visiting Mother, or asking whether Eldest Brother and Third Brother have written to the family?”

Hua Yang: “It has nothing to do with you.”

Chen Jingzong pulled her into his arms, forcibly creating a connection. It wasn’t until the maids came in to serve dinner that he finally released the slightly breathless grand princess.

On the day off, the couple took the carriage to the Chen Mansion together.

As soon as they got off the carriage, they saw the steward inside was sending off a matchmaker.

The matchmaker excitedly bowed to the grand princess and prince consort.

Chen Jingzong’s face darkened. Their three brothers were all married, so who was the matchmaker here for? His oldest niece, Wan Yi, was only fourteen years old!

In Chen Jingzong’s eyes, his fourteen-year-old niece was still a child. Anyone who dare to target his niece so early had bad intentions!

Although Hua Yang was surprised, she was not as resistant to this idea as him. A fourteen or fifteen-year-old young lady from a noble family was already at the age of getting married.

The two of them came directly to Chunhe Hall.

The Chief Minister, Chen Tingjian, had not had a day off for a long time, and he was in the palace again today. At Chunhe Hall, because the matchmaker came, Yu Xiu and Luo Yuyan were accompanying their mother-in-law.

Hua Yang sat in the main seat next to Sun shi, while Chen Jingzong sat opposite his two sisters-in-law.

He spoke first: “Someone has taken a fancy to Wan Yi?”

Yu Xiu felt that her bother-in-law’s eyes were somewhat fierce at this moment. She didn’t dare to look him in the eye and just looked at her mother-in-law.

Sun shi smiled faintly and said, “Yes, the eldest grandson of the Minister of Personnel, Sir Ma, is eighteen years old this year. He is well-read and his age is a good match for Wan Yi. But the old man said that he would consider Wan Yi’s marriage after your eldest brother comes back. Anyway, Wan Yi will only be seventeen by then, so it’s not too late.”

This year’s new policy was more difficult than the previous Examination Law and Land Measurement system. Officials were in a state of flux. Some were unsure of how long the old man could hold on and dare not marry into the Chen family. Some were optimistic about the old man and wished to use the marriage as a way to defect to him. In short, everyone had their own thoughts and they were all thinking about the officialdom. Few really like Wan Yi herself.

Her husband did not want to use his granddaughter to win over his faction, and Sun shi was even more reluctant than him. She had always wanted a daughter, but there was nothing she could do if she could not give birth to one. Wan Yi was her first grandchild. She had been smart, gentle and bright since she was a child. Sun shi treated her like her own flesh and blood and would never hastily arrange marriage for her without careful selection.

Chen Jingzong’s expression improved after hearing his mother’s words: “It should be so. Stay for a few more years.”

Hua Yang was holding a tea cup in her hand, and the tea was clear green in color.

Wan Yi was the apple of the Chen family’s eye and also her favorite junior.

In her previous life, when the Chen family was exiled to the border, she was most worried about Wan Yi, so when she returned to Grand Princess Mansion on that snowy day, she asked Zhou Ji to prepare two carriages and warm clothes, and bring a team of guards to escort the Chen family. She didn’t want the once handsome and elegant Tanhua to be shackled paraded before the crowd, didn’t want Dalang and his brothers to endure the hardships of a thousand-mile journey, and she certainly wouldn’t let her two sisters-in-law and nieces face the calamities that any woman would desperately avoid!

She was probably the first grand princess to openly take care of the families of criminals exiled by the court.

At that time, Hua Yang was not in the mood to think about what others would think, and she didn’t care.

She even hoped that some censor would report her to her brother, so that she could see whether her brother no longer recognized her as his sister.

But until she fell ill, there had no movement in the capital, and the censors acted as if they had never heard of the matter and kept silent about it in the court.

Mother Empress would not interfere, and her brother, afraid he didn’t have face to care.

Hua Yang picked up the tea cup and took a sip.

Ever since she returned to the capital, she had done so many things, always openly and covertly guiding her younger brother towards becoming a wise ruler.

With the Dragon Boat Festival approaching soon, she intended to see if her dear brother had truly started to follow the right path.

Previous     TOC     Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *