Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 36
Jiangping County was in the southwest of prefecture capital. Not long after the convoy left Shiqiao Town, Chen Xiaozong and Luo Yuyan were about to turn onto another official road.
The carriage stopped and the three brothers said goodbye briefly.
Yu Xiu saw Chen Xiaozong and Luo Yuyan walking towards them through the gap in the curtain, and was about to get out of the carriage to meet them.
Hua Yang reminded: “You are the Eldest Sister-in-law, so you can just say a few words in the carriage.”
Although she was also the younger sister-in-law, Chen Xiaozong and Luo Yuyan were not good enough to make her get off the carriage.
Yu Xiu had no choice but to sit still, her white hands slightly clenching her sleeves revealing her uneasiness.
Outside the carriage, Chen Xiaozong and his wife stopped in front of the carriage, cupped their hands, and said warmly to the carriage: “Sister-in-law, Princess, we take our leave first.”
Hua Yang didn’t move, but Yu Xiu raised the curtains and said with concern: “Third Brother, Third Sister-in-law, please take care. After you settle down over there, remember to write a letter.”
Chen Xiaozong said yes, Luo Yuyan looked at Yu Xiu’s pretty face in the carriage window. Because her elevated position, it gave her the momentum of an elder sister-in-law, while Hua Yang didn’t even show her face, which made Luo Yuyan curled her lips secretly. At the same time, she felt a little sour in her heart. They were all sisters-in-law, so why did Hua Yang invite Yu Xiu for the ride but not her? The princess’s carriage was spacious enough to comfortably accommodate four people playing cards inside.
“Let’s go.” Chen Xiaozong called his wife.
Luo Yuyan followed him into the carriage with low spirit.
The carriage turned around and drove onto another road. Seeing that his wife was unhappy, Chen Xiaozong asked curiously: “You were so happy that you couldn’t sleep last night, why are you wilting now?”
Luo Yuyan glared at him and muttered: “You also said that the Princess doesn’t dislike me, so why did she only invite Eldest Sister-in-law to ride with her? Yes, they’re going the same way, but we’re also traveling for a for miles together, and I’m going to be separated from them. It would have been polite to invite me along, wouldn’t it?”
Chen Xiaozong: “Maybe the princess just wants to have a companion on the road, and one is enough. She doesn’t know when we will change roads. Of course, it’s more convenient to ask Eldest Sister-in-law.”
Luo Yuyan snorted: “Eldest Sister-in-law came from a small family, what can the Princess talk to her about?”
Chen Xiaozong still smiled warmly: “Our Chen family is also a small family. Thanks to His Majesty’s value, Father was allowed to join the cabinet. Otherwise, you and I would probably be just strangers in this life.”
Luo Yuyan’s face turned red and she said angrily: “You are His Majesty’s hand-picked Tanhua. With your talents, you can reach success even without Father. How can you be a stranger to me? You only know nonsense.”
Chen Xiaozong: “Throughout the ages, there have been so many Tanhuas. After the grand palace examination has passed, they gradually faded into obscurity, especially a humble scholar like me.”
Luo Yuyan bit her lip and said with a straight face: “Okay, I know what you want to say. You’re not happy I look down on Eldest Sister-in-law. As the third sister-in-law in the whole family, I should tuck my tail between my legs and respect both sides, right? It’s wrong for me to disrespect Eldest Sister-in-law, but if the princess looks down on me, I deserve it!”
Chen Xiaozong did not coax or reprimand her, but said calmly and honestly: “I have no right to interfere with how the Princess gets along with Eldest Sister-in-law, but you are my wife. I respect my Eldest Brother and Sister-in-law, so I hope you can do the same. Unless you come up with reasons why they don’t deserve your respect, then I will stand on your side.”
Luo Yuyan tilted her head and refused to speak.
Chen Xiaozong silently picked up the book and continued reading.
After a while, he heard slight sobbing, raised his eyes and saw tears on his wife’s white and delicate face, her red lips pursed tightly, as if she had suffered a big grievance.
Chen Xiaozong lowered his eyes, holding the book in one hand, taking out the handkerchief with the other, and handed it over.
With a “smack”, Luo Yuyan slapped his hand away: “You continue to lecture me, why are you pretending to be kind?”
Chen Xiaozong felt funny: “That’s called lecture? You have seen how Father and Eldest Brother lecture people. When have I ever treated you like that?”
Luo Yuyan’s beautiful eyes widened: “If you dare to do that, I will pack my bags and go back to my parents’ home!”
Chen Xiaozong said with a straight face: “Of course I don’t dare. My wife has five brothers in her family, and I am just a weak scholar, so I don’t dare to offend my wife’s maiden family.”
When Luo Yuyan heard this, her tears turned into laughter, and she threw herself into her husband’s arms, trying to tear his glib mouth off.
In the princess’ carriage, Hua Yang suddenly remembered Yu Xiu’s family background and asked, “Is Sister-in-law’s maiden family also in Lingzhou Prefecture?”
She remembered that Father Yu and her father-in-law went to the autumn examination in the prefecture capital that year, and had a collision with a rampant carriage on the road. At that time Father Yu saved father-in-law, and father-in-law promised to let their children marry in gratitude.
Yu Xiu: “Well, our home is in Songyuan County, north of the prefecture capital.”
Hua Yang: “Now that we finish mourning, Sister-in-law also has the opportunity to go back and visit her elders.”
Yu Xiu touched her sleeves and said, “My father and mother were both visit when the old lady was buried, but the family was so busy at that time that it was difficult to take them to meet the Princess.”
Hua Yang looked away guiltily. At that time, she was picking on Chen Jingzong and the Chen family’s old house everywhere. Not to mention Yu Xiu’s parents, she was too lazy to entertain the family members of the local officials who wanted to see her. If Yu Xiu really brought over her two elders, she would most likely reject them. But her mentality changed after rebirth, coupled with her sympathy for Chen Bozong’s family in her previous life, she became close to Yu Xiu.
She then changed the subject: “Sister-in-law, do you remember whose family’s carriage that collided with Father-in-law and the others at that time? Father-in-law and the others were already Xiucai at that time, they have won scholarly honor, so they shouldn’t have let that person off scot-free, right?”
That incident caused Father Yu to become lame in one foot and completely ruin his official career. After Yu Xiu was born, it was natural that she often heard her family and neighbors mention this and sighed with regret.
It was just that the other party’s status was too high, so they just casually found an excuse to deal with the authorities, and her father and father-in-law couldn’t pursue it, so the matter was settled in the end.
Before she married into the Chen family, her parents had warned her not to bring up those old irrelevant things.
“My father didn’t say anything. He only said that the other party didn’t mean it, and the other party gave him money as compensation, so why bother pursuing it.”
Hua Yang just chatted casually. After hearing this explanation, she didn’t ask any more questions.
Near noon, the convoy finally arrived outside Lingzhou City.
Yu Xiu said sheepishly: “Princess, I’ll get off here. Fourth Brother has been riding a horse all the way, so he should come here and rest for a while. He will be busy taking care the move later.”
Hua Yang asked the coachman to stop.
The carriages behind also stopped.
Chao Yun and Chao Yue helped Yu Xiu get out of the carriage from outside. Yu Xiu turned around and saw her husband Chen Bozong also getting out of the carriage and walking towards this side.
“Why did Sister-in-law get out of the carriage?”
Chen Jingzong got off his horse and asked politely.
Yu Xiu had always been afraid of this brother-in-law since she witnessed him quarrelling with her father-in-law a year ago. She lowered her eyes and explained: “We are going to enter the city, so I won’t bother you to take a detour to the prefect’s Yamen.”
Chen Jingzong: “That’s fine.”
Chen Bozong said take care to his fourth brother’s couple and walked back with his wife.
After getting inside the carriage, Chen Bozong observed his wife and found that she had a rosy complexion and seemed to be getting along very well with the princess.
“What did the Princess say to you?” Chen Bozong asked.
Yu Xiu’s eyes were bright, and when she opened her mouth, she wanted to give her husband a complete report starting from the first words Hua Yang said to her.
Chen Bozong promptly told her to stop. If it was just chatting, that would be fine. But if the princess said something private between women, it would be rude for his wife to tell him.
“I mean, how is the princess treating you?”
Yu Xiu said happily: “The Princess treats me very well. She doesn’t have any airs of a Princess at all. She also said that if anyone dares to bully me, let me go to her to make the shots! Ah, when the princess first got married, I was taken aback by her imposing manner. I thought she would be difficult to get along with, not someone I, a commoner woman, could befriend. But it turns out she’s quite amiable. No wonder Wan Yi dares to accompany the Princess to play.”
Chen Bozong looked at his wife silently. They had been married for almost ten years. It seemed like it was the first time he saw her looking so relaxed and happy.
Yu Xiu, who was indeed very cheerful, suddenly became restrained and habitually lowered her eyes after meeting her husband’s dark eyes, which made it hard to tell what he was thinking: “Did, did I do something wrong? I shouldn’t take the Princess’s words seriously?”
Maybe the princess was just being polite?
Chen Bozong pursed his lips and said: “The princess treats you closely, which means that you have enter the Princess’ eyes. How you got along in the carriage before, you can continue like that. Don’t think too much.”
Yu Xiu breathed a sigh of relief.
In the front, now that Yu Xiu had come down, Chen Jingzong also unceremoniously gave up riding and got on the carriage.
Hua Yang glanced at him then looked away, slightly lifting a crack in the curtain to look outside.
In the past, she would maintain a dignified demeanor in front of Chen Jingzong, but now they had done everything at night, Hua Yang no longer had to be upright all the time, and was happy to be willful.
Chen Jingzong asked curiously: “When did your relationship with Eldest Sister-in-law become so good?”
Hua Yang said calmly: “It’s not that good, I just don’t want to ride with you.”
On one side was a gentle and shy sister-in-law who blushes at the slightest teasing, and on the other was the prince consort who wanted to tease her anytime and anywhere. Of course Hua Yang chose the former.
Looking at her disdainful face, Chen Jingzong sneered: “What’s wrong with riding in the same carriage with me? Don’t tell me you think I’ll behave like last time? Back then I was pent up for too long and was about to go crazy. But if you can satisfy me every night, I wouldn’t bother with such indecent things in broad daylight.”
After saying that, he leaned to the window on the other side and followed Hua Yang’s example of lifting a little bit of the curtain. He seemed to be more interested in the scenery outside than in her.
If she lets him in tonight, she’s not a princess!
Before, Siyi Hall was too small, and she was afraid of snakes and insects, so she let Chen Jingzong sleep beside her every night. Now that she was moving into the large mansion gifted by her father emperor, she wanted Chen Jingzong to understand that under normal circumstances, if prince consort wanted to climb into the princess’s bed, he has to perform well and fight for it!
Under Lingzhou’s city gate, the soldiers guarding the city saw that it was the princess’ carriage, followed by the carriage of the new prefect, and immediately let them go in.
The prefect’s Yamen was located at the center of the city. The Ningyuan, which Emperor Jingshun rewarded to his daughter, was actually not far from the prefect’s Yamen, only three streets away.
Ningyuan was a well-known mansion in Lingzhou City. It was originally built by the first generation of Prince Xiang for his favoriteson who could not inherit the title. Later, the shu son committed a crime and completely cut off the incense of this branch. The mansion was then taken over by the government. Occasionally, the emperor would grant the mansion to local officials who had made great achievements, but it was common for officials’ family to rise and fall. In the past two years, Ningyuan happened to be empty.
Last year, Emperor Jingshun received letters from the three brothers of the Chen family and found that it was just as Empress Qi expected, the three brothers were not in a hurry to return to the capital. Emperor Jingshun looked through the unused houses under the government’s name in Lingzhou Prefecture and chose Ningyuan. He also asked the local government in advance to quickly renovate Ningyuan, replaced old utensils with new ones, and tidied up the flowers, plants and lakes in the mansion in advance.
“Princess, Prince Consort, we are here!”
The new steward of Ningyuan was not a stranger. He was Wu Run, the chief eunuch in charge of the Princess Mansion in the capital, who came with the two hundred guards.
Wu Run was thirty-three years old this year. When Hua Yang was about to move out from Empress Qi’s side when she was four years old, Empress Qi arranged a eunuch for her daughter.
As soon as the carriage stopped, Wu Run bent down and walked to the front of the carriage, smiling and waiting for the princess to get off.
The first person to come out was Chen Jingzong. He looked at this steward who was still very handsome with red lips and white teeth even though he was in his thirties, and then glanced at the armed guard Commander Zhou Ji standing by the side, his face darkened.
When Hua Yang was about to get out of the carriage, Chen Jingzong felt that the maid was too slow to help, so he walked over and hugged Hua Yang down.
Wu Run, Zhou Ji and others all lowered their heads.
Hua Yang glared at Chen Jingzong, but saved her lecture for when they were alone.
The maids and servants were responsible for carrying the bags, and Wu Run led the way, introducing Ningyuan to the masters first.
“Princess, this is your Qifeng Hall, and behind it is Prince Consort’s Liuyun Hall.”
Hua Yang looked at the plaque of Qifeng Hall and heard Chen Jingzong say in her ear: “What Liuyun Hall? I will live with you.”
Wu Run kept smiling.
Hua Yang: “Let’s go and take a look first.”
The Author has something to say:
Cabinet Elder Chen: We should have sent someone from the palace to teach you the etiquette and rules that a Prince Consort should learn!
Old Four: Didn’t you give me a brochure? I’ve learned it already!
Cabinet Elder Chen: …..