Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 35
In the dead of night, the bed creaked for an hour.
After a while, a thin and muscular figure opened the curtain and walked towards the clean room.
The only bronze lamp was lit on the table, and the man’s shadow first became shorter, then longer, and finally disappeared behind the curtain of the clean room.
Hua Yang curled her fingers lazily, as if she had just come back to her senses. Then she heard Chen Jingzong come out again. He stood in front of the washstand with his head lowered, washing seriously.
Through the hazy curtains, Hua Yang saw his strong shoulders and narrow waist.
Her ears rang with the comments made by her aunt in her previous life who invited her to watch the guards fighting: “Appreciating a handsome man is the same as appreciating a beautiful woman. In addition to the face, you also need to look at their neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen, waist, buttocks and… legs, if any one of these things is bad, it will not be considered handsome. Of course, if you want to choose a male pet, besides being handsome, they should also have real skills; otherwise, they are just like a, pleasing to the eye but of little use.
If Hua Yang hadn’t got married yet, or if Chen Jingzong hadn’t dies, maybe as soon as her aunt opened her mouth, Hua Yang would have avoided it and would never listened to the end. But at that time, she had become a widow, and the long night was lonely, so she listened with interest. Although on the surface, she never admitted it, and always maintained a noble and dignified demeanor in front of her aunt.
Therefore, a pure little girl and a married woman who have truly experienced that taste, looked at men in completely different way.
Just like Hua Yang, when she met Chen Jingzong, she only looked at his face. After marrying him, because of various dislikes, she didn’t even want to see his face, and had no interest in his body.
In the final analysis, she was still in a young girl’s state of mind at that time, but now, Hua Yang was far more satisfied with Chen Jingzong’s body than he was as a person.
Silently watching Chen Jingzong changed the water several times and washed that thing thoroughly, and saw that he still moved closer to the lamp to carefully check whether there were any leaks, Hua Yang felt both embarrassed and amused. She hurriedly put on her middle coat before he came back, and prepared to take a bath in the west room.
Chen Jingzong had just hung that thing on the end of the washstand to dry when he saw her walking out with her long hair flowing like a waterfall from the corner of his eye. He said helplessly: “In this cold weather you have to be careful. What if you catch a cold? It’s reasonable to say that you disliked me before, but now all of me is yours, you can just wipe yourself with a towel.”
Hua Yang: “…Shut up. If you don’t speak, no one will treat you as a mute.”
There was water in the bathroom, but it was a little cold because it was sitting there for too long. There were two copper kettles filled with boiling water not far away. Hua Yang tried to lift them, but they were too heavy.
Because she knew what Chen Jingzong was going to do tonight, Hua Yang didn’t ask Chao Yun to keep a night watch, and specifically asked her to sleep with Chao Yue in the side room.
Even if it was her own confidant, Hua Yang was still not used to having Chao Yun listen to them every time.
“Come here.” She called to the east room.
The sound of footsteps echoed, and Chen Jingzong came over, draped in a middle coat, revealing two long and powerful legs. Fortunately, the hem of the middle oat was long enough in this season, blocking the part that Hua Yang least wanted to see.
Hua Yang pointed to the copper pot and ordered, “Help me mix the water.”
Chen Jingzong picked up the copper kettle, first tested the water temperature in the tub, and then poured the hot water into it.
Hua Yang stood on the opposite side, testing the water temperature at any time. When she felt it was right, she asked him to get out.
Chen Jingzong: “Since I’m here, I might as well enjoy it.”
After saying that, he pulled off his middle coat and was about to step into the tub.
Hua Yang looked at his big feet raised high and scolded: “You dare!”
She didn’t want to soak in his footbath!
Catching a glimpse of her disgusted look, Chen Jingzong had to give up his plan to take a bath. He only wet a towel, stood on the side, and wiped himself while facing her.
Hua Yang turned around, the roots of her ears were red.
Chen Jingzong whispered: “With your temper, if someone wants to murder you, they don’t need to use knife or spear. Just force-feeding you a bowl of foot-washing water, then you will be disgusted to death.”
Hua Yang snorted angrily.
After wiping, Chen Jingzong put on his middle coat again and strode out.
Hua Yang closed the door and soaked comfortably for a quarter of an hour. When she was about to come out, she was shivering from the cold. Just as she was about to shrink back into the water and soak for a while longer, the door was suddenly pushed open, and the fully-clothed Chen Jingzong walked in. He casually pulled off the towel hanging on the side, came to the tub, closed his eyes and said: “Come out, I will wipe it for you, I am fast.”
Hua Yang lowered her eyelids and then shakily used the bathtub on her side to straighten herself up.
The next moment, Chen Jingzong wrapped her shoulders with a towel and effortlessly lifted her out. From shoulders to feet, she was tightly wrapped, then he carried her into the babu bed, quickly and meticulously wiping her clean before tucking her under the quilt.
Hua Yang was still cold.
Chen Jingzong threw the water-soaked towel out of the bed, got into the quilt, held her tightly in his arms, and rubbed her shoulders and back with his big hands.
Hua Yang quickly warmed up.
Chen Jingzong then went out to extinguish all the lights. When he came back, he lay on his quilt and said to her: “Sleep, we have to move tomorrow.”
Hua Yang paused and called him over: “It’s still a little cold here.”
Chen Jingzong immediately drilled himself in.
Hua Yang shrank into his arms, his chest was warmer than any heating kettle.
After a moment of warmth, Chen Jingzong tentatively put his hand on her waist.
Hua Yang closed her eyes and said, “Sleep.”
Chen Jingzong: “Who can sleep with you so close to me?”
Hua Yang didn’t care, as long as she slept soundly.
Before dawn, six carriages had parked outside the Chen House. They were sent by the Lingzhou prefect’s yamen, Ningyuan’s steward, and Jiangping county’s yamen to greet their respective masters.
The servants and maids at the gate kept coming in and out, loading boxes and trunks from each courtyard into the carriage.
In Danyuan Hall, Chen Tingjian and Sun shi gave their sons and daughters-in-law some instructions one by one, and then told them to set off.
Hua Yang and Chen Jingzong were the most relaxed, while the other two couples, Chen Bozong and Chen Xiaozong, were surrounded by their reluctant children.
With his majestic grandfather staring at him, Sanlang held back his tears. When he couldn’t hold them back anymore, he tilted his head and wiped them away with his sleeves.
Dalang and Erlang were very sensible, but their eyes were also full of reluctance for their parents.
Wan Yi held her mother’s hand tightly, her eyes red.
Yu Xiu also wanted to cry. If she had to choose between her husband and her children, she would rather stay in the ancestral home to accompany her children, especially her daughter, who was her genuine and caring little cotton-padded jacket.
“It’s okay. We’ll be back when your father has rest day.” Yu Xiu kept touching her daughter’s head.
Chen Bozong glanced at the two of them and quickly looked away.
Luo Yuyan was also reluctant to leave her children, but the children would be taught and taken care of by her father-in-law and mother-in-law, so she had nothing to worry about. She wanted to keep a close eye on her husband, and she had really had enough of living in the small Fucui Hall and couldn’t wait to go out to breathe.
“Alright, let’s go.”
Seeing that the servants had finished loading everything, Chen Tingjian stroked his beard and give order, continuing to cry and cry would only make the people see the jokes.
“Eldest Sister-in-law, we’re traveling the same way, you can sit with me.”
Across the curtain hat, Hua Yang smiled and said to Yu Xiu.
Yu Xiu was so flattered again that she forgot about the sorrow of separation between mother and children.
“Go.” Chen Bozong said from the side.
Yu Xiu hurriedly walked to Hua Yang and got into the most luxurious carriage sent by Ningyuan with her.
Chen Bozong was going to take the carriage, and since the princess invited his wife, he looked at his fourth brother.
Chen Jingzong didn’t want to squeeze into a carriage with him. Driving with the charming princess was fun, but accompanying his eldest brother was torture!
“I’ll ride on the horse.”
In addition to giving his daughter a courtyard, Emperor Jingshun also transferred 200 of the 300 guards from the princess mansion.
Earlier, Emperor Jingshun did not send the guards over because the ancestral house of the Chen family was too small and there was no place for the guards to stay. But Ningyuan was big enough, so of course guards had to be arranged.
Today, half of the two hundred guards stayed in Lingzhou City to guard Ningyuan, and half came to Chen House to welcome the princess.
Chen Jingzong rode a horse and came to the guards.
The commander of the guards, Zhou Ji, stood beside his horse and nodded towards the prince consort.
When they were in the capital, although Hua Yang had her own princess mansion, she had been living in the Chen family’s mansion after getting married. Therefore, Chen Jingzong had never interacted with the guards of the princess mansion. Just now when Zhou Ji came to salute the princess and prince consort, Chen Jingzong noticed this person for the first time.
Looking at Zhou Ji’s handsome face, Chen Jingzong asked: “Is your surname Zhou?”
Zhou Ji reported his name again.
Chen Jingzong didn’t say anything. His eyes swept over the ninety-nine guards lined up behind him one by one. He didn’t know if it was an accident or a coincidence, these ninety-nine guards all had young faces, and the ugliest ones could be said to have good facial features, not a single crooked melon or cracked date.
In the carriage at the front, after Hua Yang said goodbye to her parents-in-law and nephews through the window, she lowered the curtains and gave orders to the coachman.
The driver complied.
As soon as the carriage moved, Chen Jingzong immediately urged his horse to follow.
Following Zhou Ji’s order, ninety-nine tall and straight guards got on their horses at the same time in a well-trained manner. One team went to the front of the carriage to lead the way, and the other three teams were scattered on the left, right and rear of the convoy.
The people watching the excitement in the distance were all wide-eyed. It turned out this was the style of the princess!
In the carriage, Yu Xiu sat next to the princess, putting her hands on her knees and so nervous that she did not dare to move.
Hua Yang smiled and said: “Do I look fierce? Why is Sister-in-law so afraid of me?”
Yu Xiu blushed, glanced at her secretly, and stammered: “Princess, Princess is not fierce. It’s just the Princess is too beautiful, like a fairy. I, I don’t know how to get along with you.”
Going to a new house, Hua Yang was in a good mood and couldn’t help teasing this shy sister-in-law: “I said why Wan Yi’s little mouth is so sweet, it turns out that she learned it from Sister-in-law.”
Yu Xiu’s face turned even redder.
At this moment, Hua Yang suddenly understood why Chen Jingzong teased her when they went to offer incense to the old lady last time. As shy and easy to bully as Yu Xiu was, if she were a man, she might also act a little frivolous.
“Sister-in-law only praises me, don’t you know that you are also a beauty?” Hua Yang didn’t want Yu Xiu to be too restrained, so she took the initiative to stir up a topic.
Yu Xiu was stunned, subconsciously lowered her head and said, “How can I compare myself to the Princess?”
Hua Yang: “Okay, you don’t dare to compare with me, then if I say your beauty is not inferior to Third sister-in-law, can Sister-in-law believe it?”
Yu Xiu said nothing, but didn’t seem to believe it.
Hua Yang looked at her for a moment, and hit the nail on the head: “Sister-in-law cares too much about your background. Indeed, you’re not like Third Sister-in-law who was born in a Marquis Mansion, let alone me who grew up in the imperial family. But you are the daughter of a scholar’s family, and your family background is clean, why should you belittle yourself? To use an inappropriate analogy, Mother’s family status is not much higher than your Yu family, isn’t she and Father still has deep feeling and mutual respect as husband and wife? Eldest Brother won the Zhuangyuan’s title, and he’s already a fourth-rank official at a young age. Sister-in-law should show the momentum of a fourth-rank madam.”
Yu Xiu raised her head in surprise.
Hua Yang said seriously: “Our Father is also from ordinary background. Now he has joined the cabinet and is trusted by Father Emperor. It can be seen that a person’s origin is not important. What is important is their current achievements.”
Yu Xiu felt ashamed and said: “Father is an incomparable genius, but I am just the daughter of an ordinary scholar. I have not read many books…”
Hua Yang smiled: “Then let’s not talk about Father, let’s talk about Prince Consort. He hasn’t read many books and he’s a rough man. But after he married me, did he ever feel inferior in front of me?”
Yu Xiu: “…Fourth Brother, Fourth Brother is handsome and has outstanding martial arts skills…”
Hua Yang snorted: “Sister-in-law doesn’t have to flatter him. What I want to say is that as long as Sister-in-law thinks highly of yourself and firmly believes that you are the best eldest daughter-in-law of the Chen family, and you show the qualities of an eldest daughter-in-law, then others will only regard you as such. Whoever dares to act otherwise is showing disrespect to the Chen family. Besides, apart from Father and Mother who will stand up for you, there’s also me. No matter what grievances you face, just come to me, and I will help you out.”
Yu Xiu was so shocked. It turned out that the sister-in-law princess she had always thought were unattainable were so close and kind to her!
“Thank, thank you Princess, I will remember it!”