Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 22
Hua Yang slept until dusk.
The body felt soft and numb, and the stomach was very hungry.
Chao Yun reported while hanging up the curtain: “Princess, Prince Consort went out to help the people drain water, and he hasn’t come back yet.”
Hua Yang: “When did he go?”
“In the morning, Prince Consort set off not long after you fell asleep. He was still wearing the same dirty clothes, and also ate outside at noon. I asked Zhen’er to inquire about it. Except for the Eldest Master who was interrogating the case in the east house, almost all the men in the family were taken out by the Old Master to do some work.”
Hua Yang nodded. There were priorities. The old lady was gone, but there were still so many people outside who were homeless and unable to return.
“What did the kitchen make?”
“The meat from before is gone. Chao Yue has cooked red dates and longan porridge to replenish your energy and blood, as well as stewing bamboo shoot soup, and she’s ready to fry two vegetarian dishes when you wake up. Princess, is there anything in particular you want to eat? The big kitchen has been steaming buns stuffed with vegetables all afternoon, each bigger than a fist. The family will eat a few and the rest is sent to the Old Master to distribute to the people affected by the disaster.”
With the Chen family taking the lead, some wealthy households in town also donated some food.
Hua Yang’s food in the small kitchen was enough, but Chen Jingzong had done strenuous work all day, and it was difficult to fill his stomach just by eating porridge and soup.
She said casually: “Go to the big kitchen and get two plates of steamed buns. One plate will be eaten tonight, the other will be fried and heat it up for Prince Consort tomorrow morning.”
Chao Yun blinked and smiled: “Princess is starting to feel distress for Prince Consort.”
After getting up, Hua Yang went directly to the bathroom. The previous two nights were so difficult that she didn’t have a chance to take a bath!
First, she sat outside and let Chao Yun rub it once, then rinsed it off, then Hua Yang stepped into the tub and took a comfortable bath.
While she was soaking, Chao Yun picked up the pile of used clothes and went outside to give them to Zhu’er.
Just after the two handed over, Chen Jingzong came back, covered in mud and even his face was rubbed with mud.
Chao Yun secretly sweated for the prince consort. Fortunately, the princess didn’t see this appearance!
“The hot water has been heated in the water room. Prince Consort, would you like take a shower first?”
Chen Jingzong swept his eyes into at the central house.
Chao Yun pointed to the bathroom and said, “The princess had just woke up and is taking a bath.”
Chen Jingzong paused and ordered: “Send the towel and clothes to the wing room.”
After saying that, he turned around and walked to the water room to carry the water himself.
Chao Yun quickly went to the closet in the inner room to get the prince consort’s change of clothes, and asked Zhu’er to take them to the wing room. When Zhu’er put away the clothes, she saw the prince consort coming in with a bucket of water in each hand.
The tall and big prince consort suddenly blocked the light at the door. His indifferent face was stained with mud. He looked very fierce.
Zhu’er was a little scared.
Chen Jingzong opened the door and said, “You go out and come back later to collect the dirty clothes.”
Zhu’er breathed a sigh of relief, lowered her head and retreated.
Chen Jingzong closed the door, walked to the inner room and took off his clothes, revealing his lean body. However, there were rope marks on his shoulders and arms, and his legs and feet were white from being soaked in water for a long time.
Chen Jingzong wiped it expressionlessly, using half a bucket of water to wipe his body, half a bucket to wash his hair, and repeated the process with the other bucket.
After cleaning, Chen Jingzong put on his clothes and lay down on the bed here.
After taking a nap for half an hour, Chen Jingzong frowned and went to the central house. When he arrived at the door of the main room, he saw Hua Yang sitting at the main seat, wearing a plain white brocade dress, with black hair as fluffy as clouds, and only a white jade hairpin.
She had just taken a bath, and her fair face had a rouge-like blush. After a day of rest, her lips had regained an alluring moist luster.
Such a delicate beauty would make anyone feel better after seeing her.
Chen Jingzong smiled: “After not taking a bath for two days, you moved quite fast.”
Hua Yang glared at him. She wanted to soak in the bath for a while, but when she heard his voice, she hurriedly left the tub because she was afraid of him breaking in.
“Put the food on the table.”
Chao Yun smiled and went to the kitchen.
Chen Jingzong sat on the east side of the dining table and poured himself some tea.
When he was not smiling, his eyebrows were somewhat sharp and cold. This temperament also highlighted his handsomeness and demeanor, like a sharp sword.
At this moment, Hua Yang saw a tired look on his face.
No matter how strong and sturdy, he was still just a human being of flesh and blood.
Hua Yang walked to sit next to him and asked, “Do you still have to go out tomorrow?”
Chen Jingzong looked over: “Is something wrong?”
Chao Yun and Chao Yue came over with the dinner. The staple food was red date porridge and steamed buns, as well as two vegetables and one soup.
Chen Jingzong looked at the vegetarian dishes on the table and remembered. After the maids left, he said, “I have to go out tomorrow. I probably only able to go to the mountains again the day after tomorrow when I’m free.”
Hua Yang: “Who is greedy for meat? If you want to eat then go. I don’t care about it, and I won’t force you to go.”
Chen Jingzong: “Then why did you ask me if I will go out tomorrow?”
Hua Yang scooped up a longan and chewed it slowly.
Chen Jingzong was tired and hungry. When she stopped talking, he grabbed a bun casually.
Chen Jingzong ate all four steamed buns on the plate, leaving out the sweet and greasy red date porridge, and only drank two bowls of bamboo shoot soup.
After eating and drinking, and briefly rinsing his mouth, Chen Jingzong went to the inner room.
Hua Yang had slept enough during the day and was not sleepy at this time. She sat in the side room and asked Chao Yun to prepare brush, ink, paper and inkstone.
Chao Yun yawned.
Hua Yang smiled and said: “There is no need to keep night watch tonight. You can go and sleep with Chao Yue. After tossing around for two days, it doesn’t matter if you get up later tomorrow morning.”
Chao Yun really couldn’t stand it any longer, so she rubbed her eyes and left after thanking her.
Hua Yang grinded the ink herself.
In two days, her father-in-law would be sending a memorial to the capital. As for her, since she was going to write a letter to her father, she should write one for her mother and brother by the way.
Father-in-law had not finished investigating Qi shi’s case yet, so she would write her brother’s letter first tonight.
In the letter to her younger brother, Hua Yang didn’t want to discuss political affairs. Her younger brother was only ten years old and he probably had no interest in how her father-in-law led the people to fight floods and provide disaster relief. What’s more, her mother would definitely tell her brother these things herself.
Hua Yang wanted to tell her brother something new and interesting.
After thinking about it, Hua Yang started writing with a smile.
She wrote about how Chen Jingzong built the small garden at the back with his own hands, including how he squatted on the ground and pressed pebbles one by one, how he was distressed about the money he spent to buy peonies, and even specially built rain shields for several clusters of peonies.
She also wrote about her fear when she first heard that the flood was coming, her relief when the heavy rain ended, and the ease with which Chen Jingzong carried her up the mountain. She used this to urge her younger brother to eat well and practice martial arts diligently so that he could grow tall and strong in the future.
After writing this letter, Hua Yang also felt sleepy.
Pressing the letter with a paperweight to wait for it to dry, Hua Yang turned off the lights in the side room. After her eyes got used to the darkness, she walked lightly towards the inner room.
There was regular breathing inside the Babu bed, and the prince consort, who had worked hard for three days, was sleeping soundly.
Hua Yang climbed into the bed carefully. Although she moved gently enough, but when she just lay down, Chen Jingzong next to her suddenly turned over, put his arm around her waist, and pulled her into his arms.
Warm breath blew on her neck, but he just held her like this, and soon fell asleep again.
The next morning, Chen Jingzong was obviously the hardest working person in Siyi Hall, but he was also the first to wake up.
Inside the bed, Hua Yang was still sleeping. Her fair cheeks appeared moist and radiant in the dim light, and her plump lips were slightly parted.
She was slender, yet had a softness to her body, whether held in one’s arms or lying beneath, she was pure indulgence.
When she was awake during the day, she still had the majesty of a princess, but now that she was sleeping soundly like this, Chen Jingzong wanted to make her cry.
He looked at her ferociously for a while before getting out of bed.
It was early morning outside the window. Chen Jingzong came out of the bathroom, put on his clothes, and when he came to the side room. He then caught a glimpse of the low table on the couch and a flattened piece of letter paper on top of it.
Chen Jingzong walked over, and without touching the paperweight pressed against the corner, he silently read the letter.
A full page letter, almost all of which was written about him, and he was particularly praised for his strength.
But Chen Jingzong frowned. When had she ever liked his strength? Every time he changed clothes, she would show disgust when she glimpsed at his arms, and every time he wanted to sleep with her, she would be even more frightened.
As a younger brother with three older brothers, Chen Jingzong quickly understood the profound meaning of the princess’s writing. Praising him was a fake, but coaxing the little prince to eat obediently was the truth.
When Hua Yang woke up and found that Chen Jingzong had already gone out and the letter paper was still spreading, she guessed that Chen Jingzong had probably seen her letter.
She was a little annoyed. Chen Jingzong was used to inching forward. When he saw her compliments, his tail would probably rise up to the sky.
Today, Chen Tingjian and others were still helping outside, and inside the Chen House was very quiet. Although the servants were busy, they were also orderly and did not make any noise.
Sun shi came to Siyi Hall to sit down and told Hua Yang about the progress of the interrogation in the east house herself.
Qi shi had only one helper, her cousin Steward Yang.
When Steward Yang was young, he worked as a shopkeeper in a merchant’s house in Lingzhou City. He was very good at dealing with people and was knowledgeable. Not long after Qi shi married into the Chen family, she persuaded the old lady and her husband to make Steward Yang the Chen family’s steward.
Chen Tingjian had told Chen Tingshi that he was not allowed to accept any bribes. The bribers outside had trouble with Chen Tingshi and the old lady, so they tried to get through on Qi shi’s side. Unexpectedly, they actually got through. However, Qi shi was cautious and she rarely came forward in person, it was all handled by Steward Yang.
After saying all of this, Sun shi told Hua Yang a lot about Chen Tingjian’s difficulties as a son and a brother.
Hua Yang understood that her father-in-law would punish Qi shi, but he was unwilling to pursue his younger brother.
What can be pursued? Chen Tingshi was not greedy for a penny of silver, and it was not him who replaced the old lady’s ginseng. His only fault was that he was too cowardly to control the family.
In public, Chen Tingshi did not violate any laws, and in private, it was her father-in-law’s choice whether to blame him or not. Hua Yang wouldn’t interfere.
After sending her mother-in-law away, Hua Yang continued to write letters to her father and mother.
The day passed like this, and Chen Jingzong returned home in the evening, covered in mud again. Fortunately, he slept soundly last night and regained his usual energy.
After dark, as Hua Yang expected, this guy got onto the bed and pressed on her.
Hua Yang thought he was too heavy and struggled to lift him off.
“Didn’t you praise me for being strong and mighty, as strong as an ox?” Chen Jingzong clasped her wrist and pressed it against her back.
Hua Yang: “You peeked at my letter and you still have the nerve to tell me?”
Chen Jingzong: “How did I know it was a letter before I read it?”
In term shamelessness, Hua Yang had to bow down to him.
Chen Jingzong turned her over.
Hua Yang closed her eyes tightly.
Chen Jingzong smiled, picked up her hand, and pressed it on his chest: “If you like it, touch it. I’m not as stingy as you.”
Hua Yang smacked him down with a “slap”.
A soft and crisp sound could be heard inside the Babu bed, adding a bit of ambiguity.
Hua Yang’s whole body became hot.
Chen Jingzong picked up her hand again, but she didn’t touch nor hit.
Chen Jingzong leaned over and coaxed in her ear: “Don’t move, I’ll give you some meat tomorrow.”
She wasn’t greedy for his meat at all!
TN: Why that sounds so dirty?! 😏