Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 28
After all, Chen Jizong was Chen Tingjian’s nephew. After the Lingzhou prefect heard the case, he immediately submitted the case to the capital.
Emperor Jingshun had a gentle and kind personality, and this gentleness was mainly manifested in the courtiers he wanted to favor, so even if someone put the evidence of the other party’s crime in front of him one by one, he could still pretend to be confused and refuse to punish the other party severely.
Emperor Jingshun relied heavily on his cabinet, so much so that he only enjoyed himself in the harem and completely handed over the government affairs to the cabinet.
The Cabinet Elders might have different political views, but they were all his beloved courtiers, including Chen Tingjian.
If Chen Tingjian wanted to favor his nephew, Emperor Jingshun might have been lenient and found an excuse to give beating punishment to Chen Jizong before letting him go. But Chen Tingjian didn’t want to be partial and he personally had his nephew sent to prison with a resolute attitude. Emperor Jingshun no longer bothered, approved the death penalty for Chen Jizong, and personally inscribed a four-character plaque with the words “铁面无私” (impartial and incorruptible) and sent it to Lingzhou Prefecture.
It was already mid-Ninth Month when the plaque was delivered to the Chen family in Shiqiao Town.
Chen Tingjian knelt down to receive the plaque and hung it high in the Danyuan Hall of the Chen family’s Main House. He then led the whole family to worship three times. Using the example of Qi shi‘s mother and son, Chen Tingjian once again warned his family not to take bribes, bend the law and harm the common people.
Hua Yang looked at Chen Tingshi.
Qi shi’s mother and son were imprisoned in the prefect’s prison and would be executed soon. Guo shi returned to her parents’ home with a generous gift from the Chen family, while Brother Hu was said to have been sent to a famous temple in a distant place.
In the entire East House, Chen Tingshi was now the only master left.
The man near his fifties stood there alone with his shoulders slumped and his back slightly arched, looking very pitiful.
Hua Yang had no sympathy for him. Whether it was Qi shi‘s corruption or Chen Jizong harming a woman, these were all things that happened around him, and Chen Tingshi was so stupid that he didn’t even notice.
Look at Chen Jingzong, she just looked at her two brothers-in-law with admiring eyes a few times, and Chen Jingzong noticed it. He even sarcastically said that she might have a male pet. If Hua Yang really wanted to a male pet, even before she chose one, Chen Jingzong would have already killed him. How could it be possible for someone let him put on a green hat for more than twenty years?
Hua Yang even appreciated her father-in-law’s thunderous methods, which completely eradicated the two troubles in the Chen family’s ancestral home. When they returned to the capital, they needed to bring back Chen Tingshi, this honest man, to keep a close eye on him. Like this, the charge of “indulging relatives to commit crimes” would probably no longer be put on father-in-law’s head.
The day after Chen Tingjian received the emperor’s gift, a distinguished guest came to Chen House.
Usually when there was mourning, it was inappropriate for the masters of the house to go out during mourning period. It was also rude for guests to come to the house rashly, unless there was a reasonable reason.
Since they were distinguished guests, Chen Tingjian called all his three sons over, and the four father and son came to the gate together.
Outside Chen House, people gathered around to watch the excitement.
A young married woman was cleaning the yard at home. When she heard the commotion on the street, she threw her broom and rushed over happily. She squeezed into the middle of the crowd and looked forward. She saw a very impressive carriage parked at the gate of Chen House, followed by eight strong guards. In front of the carriage, stood a fat man wearing aand a purple dragon robe. From the back, his waist was thicker than a barrel!
“Who is this?”
“Nonsense, there is only one Prince Xiang in our Lingzhou City. Who do you think he is?”
At this time, Chen Tingjian and his sons had already come out, with Chen Tingjian taking the lead in saluting: “This commoner pay homage to Your Highness the prince.”
The common people called him Cabinet Elder, but now that he was mourning his parent at home, he had no official position, so he called himself “this commoner”.
Prince Xiang had a white fat face and small eyes. When he smiled, he looked like Maitreya Buddha.
He let Chen Tingjian get up and asked him to dispense the courtesy.
Chen Tingjian glanced at him, then lowered his eyes again, “Don’t know what bring Your Highness to visits my humble bode.”
Prince Xiang did not hurry to answer, but stroked his beard and looked at Chen Tingjian with a smile.
He and Chen Tingjian were old acquaintances.
When Chen Tingjian became aat the age of twelve, his mother Princess Dowager praised him to the sky in front of him, urging him to follow Chen Tingjian as an example. When Chen Tingjian became a at the age of sixteen, his mother once again took Chen Tingjian out to praise him. The more she praised him, the more disdainful her words sounded to him. As a result, Prince Xiang decided to run out and see what this rare talent of Lingzhou Prefecture, who had not appeared in a century, looked like.
Of course, there was no need to say more about Chen Tingjian when he was young. What surprised Prince Xiang was that Chen Tingjian, who was already fifty years old, was still very graceful.
Looking at Chen Tingjian’s beautiful beard that was fluttering slightly in the autumn wind, Prince Xiang unconsciously stopped stroking his beard and praised with a smile: “Haven’t seen each other for thirty years, Cabinet Elder’s style is still the same as before.”
Chen Tingjian was neither humble nor arrogant: “Your Highness is too complimentary.”
His eyes swept over Prince Xiang’s plump body, and there was really nothing to boast about. He didn’t even reply to the polite words of courtesy.
Prince Xiang didn’t care. He looked inside Chen House and said in a more solemn tone: “I heard that His Majesty gave you a calligraphy. This Prince came here specifically to pay homage to the imperial writing, in order to feel the holy’s teaching and spur myself at all times.”
That’s a really good reason.
Chen Tingjian turned sideways and said, “Your Highness, please come in.”
Prince Xiang put his hands behind his back and stepped in boldly. All the guards stayed outside, and he only took one of his close guards with him.
The people were whispering to each other.
“I heard that Cabinet Elder’s grandfather worked as a guard in Prince Xiang Mansion. When Prince Xiang was young, he was jealous of Cabinet Elder’s talent and forced Mr. Chen to drink wine in the name of congratulations. Mr. Chen was so overwhelmed by the alcohol and died of drunkenness.”
“Shh, you don’t want your life. Didn’t you see those guards?”
As soon as the autumn wind blew, the guards looked over with cold eyes, and the people suddenly did not dare to say a word and dispersed in twos and threes.
In Danyuan Hall, Prince Xiang saw the plaque from Emperor Jingshun and knelt down in a serious manner and bowed three times.
Chen Tingjian and his sons had no choice but to follow and worship together.
After worshiping, Prince Xiang sat directly on the main seat, looked at Chen Tingjian who was standing on the side, shook his head while said regretfully: “Heard that you were about to be promoted to Chief Minister? But alas, your old lady, she’s really leaving at the wrong time.”
The faces of Chen Bozong, Chen Xiaozong, and Chen Jingzong all sank.
Chen Tingjian said calmly: “My mother is over sixty years old, and she is considered to be a long-lived and blessed person. To have Your Highness’s thought, she even more has no regrets.”
Prince Xiang: “How did This Prince hear that the old lady lost her life after eating fake ginseng? You ah, you’re still too frugal. If only you send two more genuine old ginseng back, or just inform This Prince, the old lady could have enjoyed millennium ginseng soup regularly.”
Chen Tingjian cupped his hand: “Your Highness’s kindness, this commoner appreciated it for my mother. Your Highness has condescended to come to this commoner’s humble abode, and this commoner should treat you with tea, but this commoner has to copy scriptures for my mother. If Your Highness has nothing else to do, please forgive this commoner not to stay more.”
This was an eviction order, but Prince Xiang just leaned lazily on the chair, rubbed the handle of the chair and said: “This Prince coming here today, also want to meet my good niece, and conveniently passing Princess Dowager’s gifts. She originally wanted to come too. It’s just that as she got older, she really can’t stand the bumpy ride.”
As he spoke, he took out a long brocade box from his arms and placed it on the table.
Chen Tingjian saw it and said to his fourth son: “Go and invite the Princess.”
Chen Jingzong looked at Prince Xiang coldly and withdrew.
Prince Xiang seemed to be in the mood to look at Chen Tingjian’s sons and asked in surprise: “That one just now was the Prince Consort?”
Chen Tingjian: “Yes.”
Prince Xiang frowned and tsked twice. Although he didn’t say anything, he showed that he disapproved of this marriage and felt that the son of the Chen family was not worthy of the imperial princess.
Chen Tingjian still stood with his eyes lowered.
Chen Bozong’s face was expressionless. Chen Xiaozong always liked to smile, but at this time he pursed the corners of his lips.
Prince Xiang laughed to himself, silently admiring the forbearance of the father and sons. What about Zhuangyuan, what about Cabinet Elder, he still had to respect him, this vassal prince.
Hua Yang was painting in the study because she was bored staying in the back house every day. She had to find other ways to pass the time.
“Princess, the Prince Consort is here.”
Seeing prince consort suddenly appearing at the door, Chao Yun, who was standing beside her grinding ink, hurriedly reminded her.
Hua Yang raised her head, looked at Chen Jingzong and asked, “Is Prince Xiang gone?”
Chen Jingzong showed no expression: “He’s still here. He said he wanted to meet his good niece and presented Princess Dowager’s gift.”
Hua Yang stopped painting in disgust.
Indeed, she and Prince Xiang shared common ancestor, but more than two hundred years had passed since the ancestor came to her generation, and the blood relationship between the two sides had long faded into water. Who is his good niece?
If Prince Xiang was a good person, Hua Yang was fine calling him Uncle Prince, but this Prince Xiang…
“Just say that I’m painting and don’t have time to see him.”
What about vassal prince, not as great as her, theprincess of the current emperor.
For the first time, Chen Jingzong felt that her arrogant and noble temper was quite cute.
No wonder the old man’s mother liked her. Maybe when Hua Yang disliked him, his family members also felt the same way he did now, like watching a play.
“No other excuses?” Chen Jingzong asked.
Hua Yang continued to draw her peonies and said absently: “It’s up to you.”
Chen Jingzong then left.
In Danyuan Hall, Prince Xiang continued to say something that sounded very rude but made people unable to take it to Emperor Jingshun to file a complaint. Unfortunately, no matter how provocative he was, Chen Tingjian and his sons always had the indifferent expression like listening to the wind. Really boring.
When Chen Jingzong came back, everyone looked behind him.
Prince Xiang asked suspiciously: “Where is the princess?”
He had long heard that Princess Hua Yang in the palace was known as the most beautiful woman in the capital and was favored by Emperor Jingshun like a jewel. He really wanted to see her. Even if he couldn’t get her because of his identity, it was good to have a taste of it.
Chen Jingzong smiled and said loudly: “Back to Your Highness, the Princess is painting and has no time to come over.”
Prince Xiang’s face, which had always been arrogant, suddenly turned dark.
He was a dignified vassal prince. Even if he went to the capital to ask for an audience with the Emperor, Emperor Jingshun would not turn him away. This Hua Yang was too arrogant!
Before he could say anything else, Chen Tingjian stretched out his hand and said respectfully: “Since the Princess is not free, this commoner won’t keep Your Highness around anymore. Your Highness, please.”
Prince Xiang snorted coldly and stormed off in a huff.
He walked very quickly, while Chen Tingjian and his sons walked out slowly, their sincerity in seeing off guest was not apparent. When they finally came to the gate, Prince Xiang’s carriage had already drove some distance away.
Chen Xiaozong smiled and asked his brother: “Did the princess really say that, or did you not go to the Princess to convey the message at all?”
Chen Jingzong: “One is a prince, one is a princess, how dare I make trouble? If it’s exposed, won’t people break my legs.”
The muscles in the corners of Chen Tingjian’s eyes were twitching.
Chen Bozong used his eyes to signal his younger brother to behave better.
Chen Tingjian was used to it and said: “The gift from Princess Dowager Xiang is still on the table. Go and bring it to the Princess.”
Chen Jingzong left directly.
He took the brocade box back to Siyi Hall, where Hua Yang was coloring the peonies.
“This is a gift from Princess Dowager Xiang.” Chen Jingzong placed the brocade box in front of her drawing paper and glanced at the peonies casually.
Hua Yang looked at Chao Yun.
Chao Yun went around and opened the brocade box. Inside was a white jade brush with a phoenix pattern and a rat whisker. It was made of long and delicate mutton-fat white jade, which was both expensive and elegant.
Chao Yun smiled and said: “Usually elders will give some hairpins and bracelets, but Princess Dowager Xiang’s gift is really unique.”
Hua Yang knew that this Princess Dowager was not Prince Xiang’s biological mother, so just because she detested Prince Xiang, didn’t mean she took her anger on the other person.
“Put it away.”
Chao Yun went to the warehouse holding the brocade box.
Chen Jingzong sat next to her, looked at her face that was painting with concentration, and asked, “You seem to dislike Prince Xiang, why?”
She probably had never heard of the grudge between Prince Xiang and the Chen family. Even if she knew, she was a princess, she must have took her clan relatives’ side more.
Or is it that her love for the old man has extended to the entire Chen family, and what the old man doesn’t like, she also doesn’t like?
Hua Yang glanced at him and explained: “I heard that he is lustful. Which woman can’t wait to see this kind of person.”
Chen Jingzong was silent.
Before Chao Yun came back, he asked in a low voice: “You don’t like me, could it be because I always want to get close to you?”
He also admitted that he was indeed very lustful towards her at night.
Chen Jingzong took a rare moment of seriousness and tried to make amends for himself: “I don’t have another woman, I’m still young, and you’re so white….”
Before he could finish speaking, Hua Yang dropped her brush and left!