Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 38
Wu Run was an old person next to Hua Yang who had served for more than ten years. Under his supervision, the entire Qifeng Hall was designed according to Hua Yang’s likes and habits. He even gave the maids a specific measurement on how thick Hua Yang’s mattress should be.
Therefore, although Ningyuan was a new house, Hua Yang felt as comfortable as returning home. She slept soundly that night until the sky was slightly bright.
Hua Yang turned over and scanned the babu bed inch by inch.
The Babu bed in Siyi Hall was chosen by Qi shi. Although Qi shi was greedy for money and had limited knowledge, she did not dare to fool Hua Yang. The bed materials she chose were indeed decent, but the carvings and other details were not elegant enough. The bed in Qifeng Hall was probably a new bed that Wu Run selected after he came here. Both the wood and the carving of peony, Luan bird and Phoenix were of the highest quality. If it was placed in the capital, it was also a treasure that noble families would rush over to buy.
In her previous life, in order to vent her anger with Chen Jingzong, she made big statements too early and never visited Ningyuan once, leaving the place deserted.
After sighing, Hua Yang stretched her muscles, sat up, and shook the bell.
The ones who came were Chao Yun and Chao Yue.
Thinking of Chen Jingzong who slept in the side room last night, Hua Yang wondered: “Where is Prince Consort?”
Chao Yun: “Prince Consort woke up half an hour earlier than you. He went out in his practice clothes and said he wanted to run in the garden.”
Hua Yang admired his good spirit.
She then went to wash her hands and face. Chao Yue stood in front of the eight-door rosewood wardrobe and asked excitedly: “What will Princess wears today?”
In the past year, the princess mostly wore white, with simple and plain attire. From today onwards, the princess could finally dress as she pleased.
Hua Yang looked at it and chose a skirt that gradually changed from apricot to red, and paired it with a lighter yellow jacket.
Of course, she loved peonies, and all her clothes were embroidered with peony patterns that match the background color.
“Princess’s skin is like cream. You look good in any color, and this outfit makes you even more noble.”
The two maids served her change clothes one after the other, while sweetly complimenting her.
Ever since she married Chen Jingzong, Hua Yang couldn’t bear to hear others praise her for being fair. The words, which were obviously very pure and elegant, were used too often by Chen Jingzong, and it became full of lust.
The top was yellow, Chao Yun added a red golden tassel for the princess. She insisted that there’s nothing more luxurious and opulent than gold jewelry, but some people can’t carry off gold, making it look tacky. The princess, however, had no such concerns, it would only complement the princess’ innate nobility.
In the outer courtyard of Ningyuan, Chen Jingzong ran a long circle and completely stretched out his muscles. Seeing the guard commander, Zhou Ji, coming in from the outside, Chen Jingzong smiled and asked when Zhou Ji stepped forward to salute, “How old are you?”
Zhou Ji said respectfully: “Twenty-four.”
Chen Jingzong: “You’ve become the commander of the princess’s guards at such a young age, so your martial arts skill must be impressive, right?”
Zhou Ji lowered his eyes and said, “Prince Consort is praising too much. This subordinate used to serve in the Imperial Palace. Thanks to His Majesty’s appreciation, he entrusted me with the important task of protecting the princess.”
The imperial guards in the palace were all selected from thousands of people. Zhou Ji’s words seemed modest, but in fact they also sounded a little proud.
He was the princess’s bodyguard. Even though the prince consort and the princess were husband and wife, and their physical relationship was closer, the prince consort may wrong the princess, and these bodyguards would always be loyal to the princess. Therefore, everyone around the princess should treated the prince consort neither humbly nor arrogantly. If all of them turn into weaklings, it would only increase the power of the prince consort and gradually treated the princess as an ordinary wife.
Chen Jingzong looked at his resolute face and smiled: “I haven’t had anyone around me who is good at kung fu this year, and my hand is itchy. Why don’t you and I learn from each other?”
Zhou Ji took two steps back and said respectfully: “Prince Consort has a distinguished status, this subordinate dare not offend.”
Chen Jingzong said impatiently: “You are also a martial artist, how can you be so wordy like a scholar? If you dare, just try and compete. If you don’t dare, forget it.”
At this time, Wu Run came over and said to Zhou Ji with a smile: “Since Prince Consort is interested, you can accompany Prince Consort to practice.”
Zhou Ji also wanted to accept the challenge, and after listening to Wu Run’s words, he no longer hesitated. He took off his sword and put it solemnly on the ground. He then took off the guard hat on his head and turned to look at the Prince Consort.
Chen Jingzong rolled up his sleeves: “Come on!”
One was a twenty-two-year-old heroic prince consort, and the other was a twenty-four-year-old guard commander. The two were about the same age and height. When they started fighting, they were like two fierce tigers meeting in the mountains. No one could tolerate the other.
“Gonggong, do you want to report it to the princess?” A young eunuch asked Wu Run worriedly, “In case Prince Consort is injured, let the Princess know that it was the Prince Consort who proposed to compete, and it will also prevent the Prince Consort from going to the princess to sue Commander Zhou.”
Wu Run smiled and said: “Cabinet Elder Chen’s beloved son is not someone like that.”
Of the four sons of the Chen family, the second son had long since died of illness. The eldest son Chen Bozong and the third son Chen Xiaozong were both gentlemanly and talented. They all heard of it in the palace. Only the fourth son Chen Jingzong had never had a reputation. But because the empress admired Cabinet Elder Chen, he was selected as the prince consort in one fell swoop.
Wu Run wanted to know what kind of person this vulgar prince consort was like.
He watched the princess grew up. If the prince consort had no redeeming qualities, or if the princess didn’t like him, even if the marriage couldn’t be cancelled, Wu Run would have a way to make the Prince Consort have a difficult time around the princess.
While the two were chatting in low voices, Chen Jingzong and Zhou Ji had passed more than a dozen moves.
As time passed, in addition to Wu Run and the little eunuch, some of the patrolling guards and other servants were also attracted by the movement here, and gathered around, watching with great interest.
When the first ray of sunlight fell over the wall, Chen Jingzong suddenly caught Zhou Ji’s mistake, grabbed Zhou Ji’s left arm with his backhand, pulled and pushed Zhou Ji to kneel on the ground.
Zhou Ji struggled for a moment and felt the unyielding iron arm of the Prince Consort. He was convinced and said happily: “Prince Consort has great skills. This subordinate is inferior.”
After hearing this, Chen Jingzong relieved his strength and pulled him up with a smile.
Zhou Ji bowed and resigned, continuing to arrange for the guards to patrol.
Chen Jingzong twisted his shoulders, turned around, and met Wu Run’s eyes.
Wu Run admired: “Prince Consort is valiant.”
Anyone, who had excelled to the peak in any aspect, whether in terms of learning or martial arts, was worthy of admiration, which could lead people to overlook some of their flaws.
Having seen Chen Jingzong’s skills with his own eyes, Wu Run had already accepted this prince consort. Of course, if the other party’s etiquette was more thoughtful and perfect in everything, it would be more in line with his identity as the prince consort.
“The weather is still cold, and Prince Consort is sweating. Please go back and take a bath and change clothes to avoid the cold.”
Seeing a bead of sweat rolling down Chen Jingzong’s forehead, Wu Run expressed his concern.
The princess had a body of gold. If the consort was ill, he should not be close to the princess until he recovered.
Chen Jingzong actually didn’t like him very much, but while he could compete with Zhou Ji, there was no reason to force a eunuch to practice martial arts with him.
Moreover, Wu Run’s wisp of femininity due to his work as a eunuch was somewhat similar to his sickly second brother who died young. He spoke softly, even though his nagging made people impatient, and he looked like a slight wind would topple him over, it was hard to talk to him in harsh and cold words.
Leaving Wu Run behind, Chen Jingzong strode towards Qifeng Hall.
As soon as he stepped into the main room, he saw Hua Yang coming out of the side room. Wearing a gold hairpin, yellow coat and red skirt, she slightly raised her snow-white face, looking more and more like a proud little phoenix.
He stared fixedly at Hua Yang’s exposed white neck.
Hua Yang glared at him and asked even though she knew: “Where have you been so early in the morning?”
Chen Jingzong: “Go and have a fight with your guard commander.”
Hua Yang did not expect this answer and asked curiously: “Who won?”
Chen Jingzong raised his eyebrows: “Who do you want to win?”
Hua Yang: “If you don’t want to say it, go take a bath quickly. The food will be served later.”
Chen Jingzong really didn’t say anything more. He also didn’t have the patience to take a bath, so he ordered a young eunuch standing at the door: “Bring a bucket of warm water to the bathroom.”
The little eunuch then ordered the other little eunuch who was one level lower than him to go to the water room to deliver the message.
With these little eunuchs, Chao Yun, Chao Yue, Zhen’er, and Zhu’er finally no longer have to do so much strenuous work.
When Chen Jingzong went to the bathroom, Hua Yang muttered in a low voice: “Could it be he lost?”
Chao Yun walked to the door and sent a young eunuch to inquire. It was the first time the young eunuch worked for the princess after coming to Ningyuan. He worked hard and ran around panting. When he came back, he found that the prince consort and the princess had already sitting together to eat.
Seeing that the princess noticed him, the little eunuch cleverly pointed at the Prince Consort who was engrossed in eating, and then clapped his hands happily.
Hua Yang understood, but she wondered why Chen Jingzong didn’t take this opportunity to show off to her despite clearly winning.
After dinner, Hua Yang finally went to visit this new house.
Chen Jingzong naturally accompanied her, but he had already seen the route in advance this morning, and he was not interested in enjoying the scenery. The whole journey, his eyes almost glued to Hua Yang’s face.
As the saying goes, if you want to be pretty you should wear filial clothes. Hua Yang had been wearing white clothes for the past year. Beauty was beauty, the white attire might add a touch of gentleness, but she was never one with a gentle disposition. Now, in her yellow jacket and red skirt, she exuded a unique radiance, like a scorching summer sun, making it hard for people to keep their eyes open.
Hua Yang really lives up to her name. (tn: Hua Yang means magnificent sun)
In Ningyuan, there was a lake that was dug and built by diverting flowing water. It occupied a large area and beautifully reflected the clear blue sky above.
This lake alone was larger than the Chen family’s ancestral home.
Hua Yang stood on the shore and took a deep breath facing the lake. The morning breeze caused the ripples in the water and blew her red skirt embroidered with peonies.
Suddenly, Chen Jingzong stood in front of her. He was frowning while holding her shoulders, saying: “It’s windy here, go back, don’t shamelessly show off your beauty.”
However, the wind came in waves, and it was indeed a bit cold after a while.
When they returned to Qifeng Hall, Wu Run was already waiting, holding several greeting cards in his hand.
He first handed three cards requesting to see the princess to Hua Yang and explained: “Princess, these three cards are from the Princess Consort Xiang, Lingyuan, and Old Madam Ji, the matron of the Bai family, a prominent family in Lingzhou.”
Hua Yang put it aside for the moment and looked at the remaining one in Wu Run’s hand.
Wu Run handed this one to Chen Jingzong and said: “This is an invitation from Xiang Baoshan, the commander of the Lingzhou Guard. He said that the Prince Consort had just arrived, and he and several colleagues from the guard station had booked a table at Zuixianju in the city, and ask would the Prince Consort do the honor to come.”
Chen Jingzong took the card, opened it, and scanned it briefly. The writing on it was almost the same as what Wu Run said, except for the names of a few colleagues.
After closing the card, he asked Hua Yang: “Do you mind if I go out to eat at noon?”
Hua Yang: “This is your official entertainment. It’s up to you whether you go or not. I won’t interfere.”
Chen Jingzong laughed: “The what if in order to flatter me, they ordered a singer to play, sing, and dance for fun during the feast? Should I be perfunctory, or should I leave the table in anger? I haven’t been an official for that long, so I have no experience in this area, and I don’t know what should I mindful about as a Prince Consort.”
Hua Yang smiled lightly: “It’s simple. If the singer is to your liking, just concentrate on admiring it. If the singer looks average, you keep a straight face. They will naturally know to pick a beautiful one for you next time. Okay, you go to Liuyun Hall to prepare for the noon feast, I still have some business here.”
Chen Jingzong looked at some of her cards, got up and left.
Wu Run watched him leave, and when he turned around, he saw the princess glaring at the Prince Consort’s back angrily. He thought for a while and whispered: “Princess, why don’t you set some rules for Prince Consort? This servant will write them down in black and white and give it to Prince Consort, this way the Prince Consort won’t worry about how to behave.”
Hua Yang retracted her gaze and snorted: “He won’t read it even if you write it. He’s such an unscrupulous person that even Cabinet Elder Chen can’t correct him. Why should you and I waste any more energy?”
Wu Run looked at her and said: “If Princess wants to change Prince Consort, there is no need for Princess to bother, this servant will find a way for you.”
For more than ten years, he had trained many eunuchs and maids for the princess. He didn’t believe that he could not make a good prince consort who perfectly met the princess’s requirements.
Hua Yang believe in his ability, but Chen Jingzong was by no means ordinary person.
She only smiled and said: “It’s fine, let him do as he pleases.”