Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 176

Chapter 176


Emperor Yuanyou drank internal heat clearing soup for three days in a row, and finally the blisters at the corners of his mouth disappeared.

However, complaints about the new policy continued to come from all over the country.

Emperor Yuanyou had an hour and a half rest time in the morning. When he was in a bad mood, he would take a few young eunuchs to the imperial garden to hunt sparrows.

This habit was formed after he played shooting sparrows with Chen Jingzong in the autumn of the year before last. Empress Dowager Qi was worried that his arrows might accidentally hurt palace people, so she asked him to use a slingshot instead.

After running up and down to stretch his muscles, Emperor Yuanyou felt much better and went back to class.

In a blink of an eye, Hua Yang had already lived in the palace for ten days, and the weather was getting hotter and hotter.

At noon that day, Emperor Yuanyou once again left his mother and ran to Qifeng Palace to have dinner with his sister.

Hua Yang: “It’s so far, you don’t have to bother.”

It took more than a quarter of an hour to walk from the Qianqing Palace to the Qifeng Palace, not to mention how bright the sunlight was at noon.

Emperor Yuanyou took the towel handed to him by Chao Yun, wiped his hands and face, sat down opposite his sister, picked up the bowl and drank a few mouthfuls of the sour and sweet plum soup, and felt refreshed all over.

“You don’t understand. I’d rather endured the scorching sun than have lunch with Mother Empress.” Emperor Yuanyou swept his gaze at Chan Yun and Chan Yue, and spoke to his sister in a slightly lowered voice.

Upon hearing this, the two maids tactfully retreated.

Hua Yang glared at her brother: “If Mother Empress heard what you said, she would be sad.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “You underestimate Mother Empress. She didn’t even seem to be very sad when Father Emperor passed away.”

There was a sense of resentment in his words.

Hua Yang couldn’t always accommodate her brother in everything: “Mother Empress definitely cares about you more than me. If you dare to dislike me like this, I will definitely cry, let alone Mother Empress. You don’t have to compare it to Father Emperor. For women, her children are definitely more important than her husband. For example, if you and Father Emperor fell into the river together, Mother Empress would definitely save you first.”

Emperor Yuanyou was amused by his sister’s analogy. He paused and sighed, “I understand the truth, but I lost my appetite whenever I see Mother Empress. If you don’t believe me, go ask Prince Consort if he is happy if he have to eat with Cabinet Elder Chen every day.”

Hua Yang smiled and said, “No need to ask, he would probably rather go on a hunger strike.”

Emperor Yuanyou laughed out loud.

The food was served and the brother and sister ate and chatted.

Hua Yang: “Soon, next year, The Ministry of Rites will organize palace draft for you, and Mother Empress will move to the Cining Palace. When your harem is full and you’re surrounded by beauties, your appetite will naturally improve.”

Unmarried girls would most likely blush after being teased about their marriage, but boys would have different attitude.

Emperor Yuanyou didn’t care: “I have watched you and Mother Empress since I was a child. Which woman dares to call herself a beauty in front of me? They just enter the palace to take advantage of me.”

Hua Yang almost laughed to death.

Emperor Yuanyou was very confident: “Sister, why are you laughing? Do you dare to say that you have seen a man more handsome than me?”

Hua Yang looked at her brother carefully, nodded and said, “There are those who are taller and stronger than you, but in terms of handsomeness, my brother is definitely the best.”

Emperor Yuanyou sighed like an old man: “I just hope they can behave themselves and not cause me any trouble.”

Hua Yang: “That depends on your empress’ ability to manage the harem. I can’t help you at all in this regard, and I don’t want to get involved. The reason why I stay in the palace for so long this time is that I wanted to be wilful for a while before you get married. When you get married, you have to worry about state affairs and balance the harem. How can you have time to entertain me, this sister who’s already been splashed out?”

Emperor Yuanyou: “How can that be possible. In my heart, all the concubines put together cannot compare to my sister.”

Obviously it was sweet talk, but Hua Yang only felt her teeth ache. She glared at his brother and said, “Keep these words to coax your concubines. I’m not a teenage girl who will be easily fooled by you.”

Emperor Yuanyou said sternly: “How can it be called coaxing? Concubines are all outsiders, but you are my only biological sister.”

Hua Yang: “Okay, I’ll remember what you said. If you show partiality to any concubine who bullies me in the future, I will go to Father Emperor’s mausoleum and cry bitterly.”

Emperor Yuanyou thought that his sister would never have such an opportunity.

Hua Yang did not take her brother’s words to heart. Her only hope for her brother’s marriage was that he would not follow the example of their father and indulge in lust and harm his body.

Emperor Yuanyou had lunch at his sister’s place, rested for half an hour, and then returned in a sedan chair.

Hua Yang went to the inner room to rest for a while.

In the afternoon, when the weather became cooler, Hua Yang accompanied her mother empress to the Imperial Garden to relax.

The mother and daughter walked in front, while the palace servants followed from a distance.

“You two siblings often get together. What do you talk about?” Empress Dowager Qi looked at her daughter and asked.

Hua Yang smiled and said, “Does Mother Empress want to hear the truth or a lie?”

Empress Dowager Qi also smiled: “It’s up to you.”

Hua Yang said nothing.

Empress Dowager Qi did not urge her either.

Passing by a pavilion, Hua Yang supported her mother and walked over, asking the palace servants to wait outside at a distance.

There were stone tables and stone benches in the pavilion, but Hua Yang pulled her mother to sit on the railing bench on the east side, then leaned over to her mother’s ear and said, “We usually just chat, but at noon today, I asked my brother why he had to go all the way to my place to eat, and he said that he lost his appetite after seeing you.”

Empress Dowager Qi wanted to keep smiling, but her heart felt like it was stabbed by her son’s words, catching her off guard.

She looked at her daughter.

Hua Yang was also looking at her mother. She didn’t know what her mother was thinking, but she saw a hint of sadness in her mother’s eyes.

Hua Yang was also very sad. Her mother was obviously devoted herself to her brother, but it was only because of the problem in the way she loved him that his brother accumulated so much resentment.

Hua Yang hugged her mother’s arm, leaned against her shoulder, and whispered, “Mom, I know you always treat me like a child and think that I don’t understand anything. I really don’t understand political affairs, but I know a thing or two about family affairs. Why are my brother and I closer to Father Emperor? It’s not because Father Emperor is better than you, but because he is willing to indulge us. Children are the easiest to coax, and of course we all like a loving parent like Father Emperor.”

Empress Dowager Qi just looked across the pavilion expressionlessly.

Her daughter’s voice continued to reach her ears: “Maybe because I am your daughter, you don’t have too high expectations of me and you don’t control me too strictly, so I naturally don’t resist you too much. As for my brother, he is actually resembled Prince Consort when he was a child. Every time I see Prince Consort speak coldly to Cabinet Elder Chen, but talk and laugh with Mother-in-law, and even carry Mother-in-law all the way back to her courtyard, I think of our family of four.

“Mom, I am grown up now and can understand your hard work and that you hope that my brother will grow up to be a wise ruler. When my brother was young and his temperament was not stable, it’s right for you to be strict, and your efforts have not been in vain. Look at how well my brother is doing now. He gets up early and goes to bed late to study hard. He also takes the initiative to learn how to handle court affairs from the cabinet elders. He has the courage to implement new policies, and when he summoned those vassal princes, he is not timid, he can be calm and measured.

“Mom, all this is your credit. You are a smart person, but some things are clearer to a bystander. I sincerely feel that as my brother is getting older and older, you should slowly let go. If you continue to interfere in his every move so harshly, he will get tired, irritated, and will become more and more resistant to you. Mom, do you really want it to become increasingly difficult for you and your son to be close to each other, and in the end only the superficial filial piety remains?”

They were all her family, and Hua Yang didn’t want to see her mother and brother become like they were in her previous life.

Hua Yang remembered that when she went to her brother to plead for the Chen family, he refused to see her. Hua Yang had no choice but to ask her mother, but at that time, her mother seemed to have aged ten years and was full of helplessness about the matter. Her mother did not say much. It was the palace maid beside her who told her in tears that her mother had already gone to see her brother, who coldly warned her that the harem must not interfere with the government.

How could it sound so cold?

At that time, Hua Yang couldn’t figure it out, nor did she have the mind to think about why her mother and brother became like this. But as time in this life got closer to the time of her rebirth, all of Hua Yang’s previous puzzles were answered.

Her father-in-law’s seventh crime was deceiving the emperor and committing offenses against him.

But this crime could not be entirely pinned on her father-in-law.

The cause was in Fifth Month of the previous life, not long after the Dragon Boat Festival. One day her brother held a banquet in the West Garden. It was not a formal banquet, but he asked the palace servants to place his lunch over there on a whim. It was just a meal, so her mother didn’t care about it.

At that banquet, her brother got drunk and called two singing girls from the Imperial Music Bureau to sing him new songs from the folk music hall. However, mother empress had set rules for Imperial Music Bureau, not allowing them to induce her brother with indecent music. The new folk songs were all vulgar, so the two singing girls dared not sing it. Her brother got angry and took out a sword to kill the two girls. Fortunately, he was stopped by Cao Li and the others. The death penalty was avoided, but her brother still cut the hair of the two singing girls.

In fact, most of the dandy in the society may have done such things, and even worse things.

But mother empress, who wanted her brother to become a wise ruler and had disciplined him strictly since childhood, would never tolerate this.

When the news reached her mother’s ears, she was furious. She called her brother to kneel as punishment and asked her father-in-law to draft an edict of repentance for her brother. She ordered her brother to read out his mistakes in front of all the civil and military officials at the court meeting and to inform all the officials in the world.

It was the height of summer and Hua Yang was hiding from the heat in Grand Princess Mansion. By the time she got the news, her brother had already publicly admitted his mistake at the court meeting.

Hua Yang hurried into the palace.

In the past, whenever her brother had something bothering him, he would complain to her. But that time, he kept silent. When she wanted to ask him, he just walked away.

Her mother believed that her brother had brought this upon himself and that she had to teach him a lesson in this way so that he would not do such foolish things again.

Her mother had always been adept at giving lectures on principles, and Hua Yang couldn’t refute her. Besides, it didn’t take long for his brother to regain his former cheerfulness, so Hua Yang didn’t think much about it.

Only now did Hua Yang understand that her brother hated her mother and father-in-law at that time.

He was the son, and he could never punish his mother. He could only vent all his resentment on her father-in-law who had always cooperated with her mother to treat him harshly.

Deceiving the emperor and committing offenses against him: “Deceiving” refers to acts of deception and concealment, while “committing offenses” refers to serious acts of disrespect or insubordination towards the emperor.

Chief Minister Zhang Pan and others did not mention the incident of the edict of repentance. Instead, they listed many memorials from local officials that her father-in-law had concealed from her brother. They criticized her father-in-law for often scolding her brother loudly for unnecessary trivial matters when he was teaching her brother.

But everyone understood that the real cause of this crime was the edict of repentance that was personally drafted by her father-in-law and announced by her brother at the court meeting.

This time Hua Yang went to the palace just to see if her brother would get drunk again and force the singers from Imperial Music Bureau to sing. If it happened again, she would stop her mother.

But it was already past the time when this incident happened in the previous life, and her brother had no intention of listening to music. His favorite pastime became shooting sparrows.

Hua Yang believed that her brother had changed and would not make such a mistake again.

But people always have times when they feel bored and irritable, and times when they would make mistakes impulsively. Hua Yang hoped that her mother could change. There were obviously better ways of persuasion, don’t always be too strict, don’t always hurt her brother’s feelings, and don’t let her brother completely regard their mother as empress dowager, someone he must show filial piety to but does not wish to.

Hua Yang raised her head and looked at her mother who had remained silent all this time.

As she moved, Empress Dowager Qi also lowered her head and saw a line of tears rolling down the corners of her daughter’s eyes.

Empress Dowager Qi smiled and wiped her daughter’s tears with a handkerchief: “I didn’t cry, why are you crying?”

Hua Yang said sadly: “Because I feel sorry for you. You are my mom. If you feel bad, I feel bad too.”

Empress Dowager Qi sighed slowly.

Hua Yang began to worry: “You won’t be angry, will you? You won’t confront my brother?”

Empress Dowager Qi sneered, “Isn’t it too late to worry about this now? If I confront him, the first person he will hate is you.”

Hua Yang was a little scared, but not too scared. She hugged her mother and acted like a spoiled child: “I’ve been worried for a long time, but to ensure that you and my brother can have a loving mother-son relationship, I’m willing to take this risk. Besides, if you really go to find my brother and he hates me, then I will hate you too. I don’t believe you’re willing to never see your daughter again in your life.”

Empress Dowager Qi was indeed reluctant. Her son had already resented her, and now if she even lost her little cotton-padded jacket, she would become a truly lonely person.

After a while, she touched her daughter’s head and said, “Don’t worry, Mom is not that stupid. Mom will put your words to heart.”

Hua Yang asked curiously, “Will you change?”

Empress Dowager Qi said helplessly, “It’s impossible not to change. I don’t want my own son to not even want to eat with me. At least you have your Prince Consort by your side. What’s the point of living in this deep palace if even your brother doesn’t come to see me?”

Hua Yang suddenly remembered something and a smile appeared on her face.

Empress Dowager Qi thought her daughter’s smile was weird and asked, “What are you laughing at?”

Hua Yang leaned close to her mother’s ear again and whispered, “I heard from my aunt that she gave you a gift specifically to relieve your boredom.”

Empress Dowager Qi: …

She grabbed her daughter’s hand and hit her hard: “I told you a long time ago to stay away from her!”

Hua Yang: “If you hit me, I’ll go complain to my brother! The two of us are much closer than the two of you!”

Empress Dowager Qi: …

The author has something to say:

Princess Anle: If you are bored, come to me. I have a lot of fun here.

The late emperor: Little sister, Zhen has always treated you well!

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One thought on “Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 176

  1. One thing I love about this novel is how it really digs into the impact of royalty on a family.

    The emperor isn’t the ML so we get to see aspects of being emperor that would usually be ignored or romanticized, but at the same time the structure of the imperial family and even the court is relatively simple and harmonious. Which makes it really easy to see how becoming emperor has negatively affected Emperor Yuanyou and his family.

    Hua Yang, Empress Dowager, both love Emperor Yuanyou, and Chen Tingjian genuinely cares about him. But they are *never* going to be able to give him the type of honestly, discipline, love, etc. that a kid his age should get from his family and role models because he has a horrifying amount of power over them and millions of other people.

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