Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 181

Chapter 181

 

On the first day of Eight Month, Hua Yang stayed in the palace for a day as usual, accompanied her mother to listen to the play, and in the evening listened to her brother talk about the progress of new policies in various places.

The most difficult time of the new policies had passed. The gentry and scholars from all over the country may continue to criticize her brother and the court, but after the court sent troops to suppress them several times, no gentry was willing to be the first to take action. The officials and gentry did not make trouble, and the powerful did not dare to cause trouble. The vassal princes who had promised in person in front of the emperor to cooperate with the new policies had no excuse to push back and obstruct again.

Emperor Yuanyou seemed to have become a farmer, sowing the seeds of the new policies in the spring, and then began to take care of and worry about it. Now the crops had grown and were ready for harvest.

“Sister, you also contributed to the success of the new policy.”

Emperor Yuanyou looked at his sister with bright eyes.

Hua Yang laughed and was surprised: “What did I do?”

Emperor Yuanyou whispered, “If you hadn’t encouraged me, I wouldn’t have gone against Mother Empress.”

Hua Yang quickly made a “hush” gesture with her fingers and scolded her brother, “This is all your own idea. Don’t involve me.”

Emperor Yuanyou no longer mentioned the past and said with a smile: “When there is more money in the treasury, I will give you a generous gift.”

Hua Yang: “I won’t accept rewards without merit, and I can’t afford expensive gifts. I’ll be happy to be rewarded some rouge, powder, silk and satin during festivals, then I won’t have to worry about being criticized by the censors.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “That is easy. Mid-Autumn Festival is coming soon. I will ask someone to prepare those things for you.”

The next morning, Hua Yang left the palace and came to the Chen Mansion.

The two sons had been sent out to serve as officials for more than half a year, and there were some more silver strands in Sun shi‘s thick hair. Perhaps she knew that the new policy had worked, recently Sun shi had been eating well and sleeping well, and her complexion had become better. Yu Xiu and Luo Yuyan were very filial to her, and her grandchildren were becoming more and more sensible. Sun shi really didn’t need to worry too much.

They had lunch together at noon, then at dusk, Hua Yang came to Chunhe Hall from Siyi Hall. While chatting with her mother-in-law, she mentioned her father-in-law: “Is Father still come home late these days?”

Sun shi: “Yes, I don’t know what he’s busy with every day. It seems that the five cabinet elders in the cabinet cannot exist without him.”

Hua Yang: “It’s the most capable who do the most work. Father is like this, always working hard, and it’s the court and the people who benefits from it.”

Sun shi: “Grand Princess is always so good at praising people. You came here so early, do you want to play chess with the old man again?”

If that was the case, she would immediately send someone to the cabinet to call the old man back.

In the past, the old man would come home early to entertain his daughter-in-law, and the family would have dinner together in the evening. But this year, the old man was so busy that he didn’t even take the grand princess seriously, and he didn’t return home until dark.

Hua Yang smiled and said, “No, it’s just that I haven’t seen Father for a long time, and I miss him a little bit.”

Sun shi touched her chest and said, “If the old man could hear Grand Princess’ words in person, he would be so grateful that he would burst into tears. Not to mention Prince Consort, even his third brother has never coaxed the old man like this.”

Hua Yang discovered that her mother-in-law was quite good at making people laugh.

But she really wanted to see her father-in-law. At this time in her previous life, her father-in-law was bedridden and would pass away in a few days. Everything had changed in this life. The old man was also strong and healthy, but Hua Yang still wanted to see it with her own eyes.

It was not known whether the cabinet was not so busy today or Chen Tingjian also remembered to entertain his daughter-in-law princess, but Chen Tingjian actually came back early tonight. Chen Jingzong dismounted and strode to Chunhe Hall, where he saw the grand princess and the old man sitting side by side in the main seat, laughing and chatting about something. His mother, two sisters-in-law, and children gathered together, chatting happily about family matters.

Seeing him looking at her with that jealous look again, Hua Yang glared at him unnoticedly.

Chen Jingzong leaned over to her chair, looked at his mother and said, “Mom, I’m hungry. Let’s eat.”

Sun shi: “You are the only one who is anxious. Dalang and the others haven’t complained of being hungry.”

Chen Jingzong: “They have a snack in the afternoon. Do I have any?”

Sun shi was too lazy to argue with him and asked her daughter-in-law princess, “Then shall we serve the meal now?”

Hua Yang smiled and nodded. She and her father-in-law were just chatting casually and there was nothing important.

Hua Yang and Chen Jingzong were sitting at the same table. When they were almost done eating, Chen Jingzong leaned towards her and whispered, “Later, you will help Mother cut flowers and I will play chess with the old man.”

Hua Yang nodded and didn’t ask any more questions.

After the meal, Hua Yang just said that she wanted to spend more time with her mother-in-law, so the couple naturally stayed.

Chen Jingzong didn’t really play chess with the old man. After the curtain in the main room was drawn, the father and son went to the inner room.

Sun shi murmured quietly: “It’s so mysterious, what could they be talking about?”

Hua Yang: “After all, they are father and son, maybe they want to have a heart-to-heart talk.”

Sun shi burst into laughter.

The father and son in the inner room: …

After a short silence, Chen Jingzong continued, “The rabbit from the south has arrived and is temporarily placed in Eldest Brother’s villa. I went to see him and he is a sensible man and will not change his confession.”

Chen Tingjian looked at his son and asked, “Do you think one sparrow and one rabbit is enough?”

Chen Jingzong: “It’s enough to arouse suspicion in the palace, but it will be difficult to convict.”

Almost three years had passed. As long as Qi Jin insisted that he was framed and that Sun Fu and Li Xin accepted benefits from the Chen family or were coerced, they would not be able to produce any hard evidence. Even if they call Ling Rucheng, Qi Jin could say that Ling Rucheng was also bribed by them. Even if they follow the clues provided by Li Xin and dig out the skeleton of the scout in Wudou Mountain, Qi Jin could also say that they had anticipated this day and set up the trap in advance.

Chen Tingjian: “So what are you going to do?”

Chen Jingzong: “Let’s test His Majesty’s intention first. If he wants to investigate, I have my own countermeasures.”

Chen Tingjian: “What if His Majesty doesn’t want to pursue the matter?”

Chen Jingzong: “Then you should reflect on yourself. How could you have raised such a foolish emperor who protected treacherous ministers after working so hard for more than ten years?”

Chen Tingjian: …

Chen Jingzong: “Anything else?”

Chen Tingjian: “Don’t be impulsive.”

After all, Empress Dowager was the emperor’s biological mother, and it was natural for the emperor to want to conceal the truth. They have to give Emperor Yuanyou time to make his own real choice.

Chen Jingzong didn’t say anything, went back to the main room, called Hua Yang and left.

“What did you talk to Father about?”

At Siyi Hall, after lying down, Hua Yang asked curiously.

Chen Jingzong hugged her and explained, “It’s still about that thing on the rainy night last time.”

Hua Yang: “Are you done?”

Chen Jingzong: “Soon.”

Hua Yang tactfully stopped asking any more questions.

.

In late August, Qi Jin heard the news that a wounded soldier named Sun Fu, who was retiring from the Jinwu Vanguard, caught his wife Xu shi committing adultery at night and divorced her.

If something like this happened, not only would Sun Fu lose face, but who among the Jinwu Vanguard could tolerate it?

It would be fine if Qi Jin didn’t know, but since he knew, there was no reason for him not to visit.

At dusk, Qi Jin sent his long-time attendant to the Marquis Mansion to inform his family that they did not need to wait for him for dinner, and he rode to the Sun family on horseback.

Without Xu shi, the Sun family was now even more deserted. The hired old maid was concentrating on taking care of the two frightened children. She led Qi Jin to the outside of Sun Fu’s room, and after confirming that the honorable shizi of the marquis mansion and the commander did not need tea, the old maid took Sun Fu’s two sons into the side room.

Qi Jin had been to the Sun family several times and knew that this old woman was always like this. Even Xu shi used to treat him with fear.

Qi Jin opened the door and saw that the east room was dark. Sun Fu was lying on the bed in the north side, as if he was sleeping, or dead.

Qi Jin walked over and stood in front of the bed.

Sun Fu moved slightly, turned his back to him and said, “Sir? This subordinate is fine, please go back.”

In Qi Jin’s memory, Sun Fu was a capable young man with a good appearance. Now he had become a half-human, half-ghost appearance, and Qi Jin feels a little sympathetic for him.

He sat down, held Sun Fu’s wrist and said, “A man should have no trouble finding a wife. Don’t worry, I will find you a gentle and virtuous wife.”

Sun Fu smiled bitterly: “I appreciate your kindness, but I have given up and don’t want to delay others.”

His subordinates were disheartened, so Qi Jin certainly had to comfort him.

He said a lot of things, and Sun Fu was gradually moved and burst into tears out of grievance.

Qi Jin comforted Sun Fu again, and when he calmed down, Qi Jin asked him what kind of woman he liked.

Sun Fu: “An ugly one with a kind heart, preferably one with more strength so that she can help me.”

Qi Jin sighed. It didn’t matter if she was ugly, since Sun Fu couldn’t see her anyway. If he married a pretty woman, she would easily be coveted by other men.

After finally comforting his former subordinate, Qi Jin stood up. Unexpectedly, the world suddenly spun around him. He staggered a few steps and had to hold onto the bed frame to avoid falling.

Qi Jin looked at Sun Fu in disbelief, then quickly scanned the room, and finally found a thin bamboo tube sticking out from under the wardrobe against the west wall.

Qi Jin bit his tongue, but this brief moment of clarity only lasted long enough for him to see a short, thin, masked man push open the closet and walk out.

.

It was late at night and everyone was asleep. In the distance, one could hear a few faint barking sounds, as if the dogs raised by some villagers were barking when someone passed by the door.

Qi Jin was awakened by the intermittent barking of dog.

As soon as he tried to raise his head, he felt a dull pain at the back of his neck and his head felt heavy.

Qi Jin stared at the ground in front of him, which was covered with thick layer of dust and had several clear footprints. His memory slowly came back to him, and he remembered that he had been ambushed at Sun Fu’s house. Now he was tied up all over, with a cloth tied around his mouth, so he couldn’t make any sound.

Qi Jin did not make any futile struggle, but examined the room where he was imprisoned inch by inch.

The windows were broken, the tables and chairs were in tatters, and considering the barking of dog in the distance, he guessed that it was an abandoned house in a village outside the city.

He didn’t know how long the time had passed before he heard footsteps outside.

Qi Jin looked coldly at the door. There was no door curtain, only two rotten doors with wormholes. Someone pushed the door open and entered. Through the door that was not closed, Qi Jin saw half of the main room door and a corner of a dark yard with overgrown weeds. In the distance was the dark shadow of a wall.

He looked again at Chen Jingzong in front of him, and Sun Fu who was supported by a strange man with words engraved on his forehead.

Chen Jingzong put the two wine jars in his hands on the ground and said expressionlessly: “You two, first tell Sir Qi the whole story.”

Sun Fu spoke first, saying that the night before Prince Jing’s rebels were defeated, he saw Qi Jin killing a scout and shooting an arrow at the rebel camp.

Li Xin went on to say that he was one of the soldiers on night watch who was supposed to carry the scout’s body to see Prince Jing that night. He had seen the bloody words on the scout’s clothes and had buried the scout with his own hands. If he was taken there now, he would be able to find the burial place of the scout.

Qi Jin remained unmoved.

Chen Jingzong ordered: “Go to the yard and wait first.”

Li Xin helped Sun Fu to back off.

Before Sun Fu left, he turned toward Qi Jin and said sadly, “Sir, please don’t blame me. You were the first to betray the entire Jinwu Vanguard.”

Qi Jin seemed not to hear.

Chen Jingzong came over and untied the cloth on his face.

Qi Jin looked at him and sneered, “Do you think you can frame me by bribing these two people?”

Chen Jingzong: “Whether it is a frame-up or not, you know better than me. I suspected you as early as the moment I encountered the rebel ambush at Baihe Ridge. You deliberately led the Jinwu Vanguard to encounter the rebels, both to attract the other guards so that they would not rescue me, and to use the lives of thousands of Jinwu Vanguards to perform a self-torture trick to clear yourself of suspicion.”

Qi Jin: “You must have your reasons if you want to frame me.”

Chen Jingzong: “I just want you to die with a clear conscience. It’s too troublesome to frame someone then ask someone else to judge.”

After saying that, Chen Jingzong picked up a wine jug and started pouring the inside from beside Qi Jin to the other side.

Qi Jin smelled a strong scent of tung oil!

His heart sank: “You want to kill me?”

Chen Jingzong: “It’s not me who killed you, it’s Sun Fu. He has long held a grudge against you, but he didn’t dare to expose you for the sake of his family. Now that Xu shi is having an affair, and those two sons may not be his. He was provoked by my words and came to his senses. If you die, he will turn himself in to the government, which will not only expose your crime, but also free him.”

Qi Jin: “Aren’t you afraid that he won’t be able to withstand the interrogation of the Jinyiwei and will give you away?”

Chen Jingzong smiled, threw away the empty wine jar, and continued to pour tung oil in the other jar: “I will tell him that those two sons are indeed his own flesh and blood. Then, do you think he will betray me?”

Qi Jin stared at Chen Jingzong as if he was meeting this person for the first time.

Chen Jingzong didn’t look at him much. After spreading the tung oil, he picked up the only lantern in the room and retreated to the outside of the broken door.

At this time, Chen Jingzong looked at Qi Jin seriously and smiled: “I have tolerated you for three years, and it can finally over tonight.”

Qi Jin: “How dare you! Everything will always leave traces. If you could track down those two, after my death, Niangniang will be furious and order the Jinyiwei to thoroughly investigate. Naturally, the Jinyiwei will be able to follow the clues and trace it back to you!”

Chen Jingzong: “You still underestimate me.”

As he spoke, he raised the lantern.

Seeing that he was about to let go, Qi Jin threw his whole body and fell to the ground. When he looked up, the distinguished shizi of marquis mansion who once looked down on Chen Jingzong seemed to have disappeared, leaving only a cowardly man who wanted to live.

Chen Jingzong seemed to be pleased by his embarrassment and lowered the lantern slightly.

Qi Jin’s eyes were bloodshot and tears rolled down. He begged, “Chen Jingzong, there is no deep hatred between you and me. I just like Hua Yang too much and I am too jealous of you. That night, I was just too obsessed! After that battle, I was completely scared and regretted it. I never dared to have any thoughts about Hua Yang again, otherwise I would not have favored my concubine and have three sons! Chen Jingzong, now you have two witnesses in your hands, it’s even more impossible for me to do anything. As long as you let me go, I will voluntarily transfer to the border and never appear in front of you again. How about it?”

Chen Jingzong was silent.

Qi Jin: “Think about it carefully! Killing me will put you in danger, and you will be in a state of anxiety like me. Once you are discovered, you will become a criminal, and your family will be implicated and Hua Yang will be hurt. Is it worth it?”

Only by staying alive can there be hope of turning the situation around. Tonight he must make Chen Jingzong give up the idea of ​​burning him to death!

Under Qi Jin’s pleading gaze, Chen Jingzong extinguished the lantern in his hand.

Qi Jin’s expression did not change at all, but his heart was beating violently.

Just when he thought things had taken a turn for the better, footsteps suddenly sounded in the dark hall behind Chen Jingzong. Soon, Empress Dowager Qi and Emperor Yuanyou appeared in front of him at the same time, the former with a complicated look in her eyes and the latter with overwhelming rage.

Qi Jin: …

The author has something to say:

This scene was filmed at the deep cold palace.

Special guest actor: a dog who is good at barking.

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One thought on “Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 181

  1. Love this latest development! What a clever way to verify what happened with scarce hard evidence around.

    Thank you translator for such a good translation and for translating the author’s notes too. They’re hilarious! Even this latest author’s notes is really quite funny for some reason!

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