Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 39
After Chen Jingzong left, Hua Yang picked up the three greeting cards on the table.
Princess Consort Xiang and Lingyuan County Lady were both imperial clan members, and the famous Bai family had produced several high-ranking officials in this dynasty. The head of the family, Old Madam Ji, was indeed qualified to visit her.
Beside Old Madam Ji, Hua Yang only heard of Princess Consort Xiang and Lingyuan County Lady by name but never met them.
There were too many imperial clan members in this dynasty, a hundred thousand people in total. Hua Yang was only deeply impressed by these two people because of her previous life.
In Fifth-Month of the same year in the previous life, Lingyuan County Lady hanged herself at home. His son was so grief-stricken that he ran to the prefect’s yamen of Lingzhou Prefecture in mourning clothes, suing Prince Xiang for injustice of raping his mother, Lingyuan County Lady, at the Prince Mansion.
The prefect at that time was Hua Yang’s eldest brother-in-law, Chen Bozong.
Chen Bozong sent someone to invite Prince Xiang to come to the Yamen to confront him, but Prince Xiang said that he was drunk and met the Lingyuan County Lady while wandering in his garden. His mind was muddled at the time and did not recognize her, only thought that it was a maid in the mansion who took the initiative to seduce him, so he took her to the garden and done a good deed. After the incident, Prince Xiang sobered up and found that the woman next to him was actually Lingyuan County Lady. Prince Xiang was furious and scolded her for shamelessly seducing a fellow clansman. He concluded that Lingyuan County Lady was so ashamed that she resorted to suicide after that.
Prince Xiang also brought several servants around him to testify, but on Lingyuan County Lady’s side, except for a maid who was missing at the time of the incident, there were no witnesses.
In this case, Chen Bozong could not convict Prince Xiang because there was no evidence.
But not long after the case, Hua Yang’s father-in-law Chen Tingjian suddenly handed over a memorial to the capital, listing thirteen crimes in one breath, including Prince Xiang’s rape of women, disregard human life, and seizing people’s fields.
Father emperor sent two imperial envoys to Lingzhou Prefecture to thoroughly investigate Prince Xiang’s crime. One of them was Shi Yao, an old friend of father-in-law, and the other was Zheng Hong, father-in-law’s opponent.
When the Prince Xiang heard that the imperial court had sent imperial envoys to investigate him, he actually raised a large flag in front of Prince Mansion and wrote a letter of “Redress of Injustice Banner” (讼冤之纛).
The term “纛” referred to a military banner, and unless it was used by the military, this banner was typically associated with rebels. Shi Yao reported to the court that Prince Xiang intended to rebel. Although Zheng Hong believed that there was insufficient evidence of Prince Xiang’s rebellion, her father emperor still decreed the demotion of Prince Xiang’s entire family to commoners and their exile to the frontier.
At this point, the case seemed to have been settled. However, after her father-in-law died of illness, the former Princess Consort Xiang suddenly came to the capital with her son and accused her father-in-law of using public affairs for personal gain. Because the Chen family had an old grudge with the Prince Xiang, he instructed Shi Yao to falsely accuse Prince Xiang of conspiring a rebellion. At the same time, Zheng Hong also submitted a memorial again, proving that Prince Xiang did indeed commit various evil deeds, but he never intended to rebel.
After a thorough investigation by the Jinyiwei, there was one more item on her younger brother’s decree to convict her father-in-law – falsely accusing his vassal!
Among the seven charges, Hua Yang was the most dissatisfied with this one. Based on what Prince Xiang had done, not to mention that there was no evidence to prove that her father-in-law once instructed Shi Yao to falsely accuse Prince Xiang of rebellion. Even if he really gave the instruction, Prince Xiang truly deserved it, and father-in-law helped eliminate a scrouge for the common people! So what about the vassal relatives?, that old man, hated evil the most. If he were alive and knew that there were such unworthy descendants in his family, he would probably punish him even more severely.
Hua Yang didn’t know what had knocked her brother’s head into confusion in her previous life. Anyway, in this life, she decided not to rely on her father-in-law or the Chen family to take action. This time, she was going to deal with Prince Xiang herself!
At around noon, Chen Jingzong, wearing a dark brocade robe, took his young servant Fu Gui out of the house.
The master and the servant each have a horse.
Seeing Fu Gui’s figure getting on his horse, Chen Jingzong said disgustedly: “Are you getting fat?”
Fu Gui blinked his eyes, drooped his eyebrows, and looked like he was about to cry: “Fourth Master, I…”
Chen Jingzong: “What Fourth Master, called me Prince Consort.”
Fu Gui’s brewing emotions were interrupted for a moment, but he immediately picked it up again and said miserably: “Prince Consort, you can’t blame me. Although this year I have been following the masters by eating vegetarian food and chanting sutras to remember the old lady, but you and the Princess live in the inner house, without any errands for me to do. I’ve been stuck in the house every day, and these hands and legs still have the strength but nowhere to use it. I’ve just been wasting away here. If you don’t believe me, pinch my arm. It’s just a bit of puffiness; I haven’t gained any real weight! ”
Chen Jingzong did not pinch his arm, but simply said: “The eunuchs around the princess are all like jade trees in the wind, and you are the only one available to me. You should clean yourself up as soon as possible, don’t embarrass me.”
Fu Gui immediately straightened his back: “Don’t worry, now that you’re going to be on errand, I will follow you every day. I will definitely lose weight in three to five days!”
Chen Jingzong said no more and let him lead the way.
As early as the appointment documents from the Ministry of Personnel were sent to the Chen family, Chen Jingzong asked Fu Gui to come to Lingzhou City first and inquired about everything that needed to be inquired.
Fu Gui reported in a low voice while riding on horseback: “The Commander of the Lingzhou Guard is called Xiang Baoshan. Like thoseand in the guard station, they are all hereditary officials from their ancestors. He is pretty good-looking, arms like ape, waist like wasp (believe it or not, this is what considered good figure for men). He married a relatively favored shu daughter of Prince Xiang, and usually very close to Prince Xiang.”
“You have two otherabove you. The white and chubby one is named Wang Feihu. He’s not good at kung fu, but very good at boot-licking and bend with the wind. You can recognize him when you see him. The other one is called Lin Yan. He is nine-feet tall and powerful, the most capable person in the guard station, and married to Xiang Baoshan’s sister, so he wears the same pants as Xiang Baoshan.”
“The other Commanding Officer whom the same level as you is called Lu Da. He is a man of temperament and is often excluded by those three people. He is twenty-five years old and has not yet married.”
In the next year, Chen Jingzong would often deal with these four people, so Fu Gui inquired very carefully and talked about big and small things all the way.
They then arrived at Zuixianju.
When Chen Jingzong reined in his horse, four figures walked out of Zuixianju.
The leader was wearing a sapphire blue robe, with a handsome, tall and straight appearance, and a smile that made people feel like a spring breeze. He must be the commander Xiang Baoshan.
Behind him were two men, one fat and one thin, making it easy for him to match the two Wang and Lin that Fu Gui introduced before.
The other one walked behind alone, with a straight face, looking at Chen Jingzong with inquiring eyes, and at the same time with three points of vigilance.
“This young master is heroic and dignified, is it the Prince Consort from the capital?”
Xiang Baoshan smiled and cupped his hands.
Chen Jingzong turned over and dismounted, and returned the salute politely: “The new Commanding Officer, Chen Jingzong, has met the Commander. From now on, we will work together in the guard station, Sir can call me by my name.”
Xiang Baoshan said with a smile: “Don’t dare, I’d better call you Prince Consort.”
Chen Jingzong didn’t dispute him, only looked behind him.
Xiang Baoshan introduced Wang, Lin and Lu to him one by one.
After greetings, the four of them moved to the private room on the second floor.
Zuixianju was the most famous restaurant in the area. In addition to good wine and good food, there were also beautiful singers ready at hand.
Xiang Baoshan behaved calmly and decently, but Wang Feihu, who was sitting next to Chen Jingzong, after drinking a round of wine, wore a slightly flattering expression. He glanced meaningfully at Chen Jingzong and said: “Prince Consort has just arrived, perhaps hasn’t heard about the three main major attractions of Zuixianju. Besides exquisite foods and fine wines, Zuixianju also has a singer named Yu Niang. She possesses celestial beauty and an exceptional voice. Listening to her song lingers in the heart for three days. How about I have her come over and sing a couple of songs to enhance our enjoyment of the wine?”
There were not many men in the world who were not lustful and greedy for novelty.
No matter how beautiful Princess Hua Yang is, Chen Jingzong, this prince consort, might have gotten tired of her after spending time day and night with her. Plus, the princess might be very strict and never allow the prince consort to have a tongfang. Now there was an opportunity for Chen Jingzong to cheat, could Chen Jingzong resist the temptation?
Wang Feihu quietly glanced at Xiang Baoshan and Lin Yan.
How they should get along with Chen Jingzong in the future could be judged through this meal.
Only Lu Da snorted disdainfully after Wang Feihu spoke.
Chen Jingzong smiled lightly, played with the rim of the wine cup and said, “Chen is a rough guy. Not good at music and can’t appreciate it, finds it noisy to the ears.”
Wang Feihu immediately said: “No problem, no problem, let’s just drink. Come on, I toast Prince Consort a cup!”
Chen Jingzong lifted the cup and drank nine-tenths of the wine in big cup under the watchful eyes of the four people.
Xiang Baoshan’s eyes lit up: “Prince Consort is a good drinker, I’ll toast you a cup too!”
Chen Jingzong drank the wine without fail.
Lin Yan also paid tribute, only Lu Da, just drank his own drink.
After three rounds of drinking, the waiter began to serve the food. After setting up a full table, a woman in a red dress with a gauze veil covering her face walked in from the door. She stood gracefully opposite Chen Jingzong, and gently saluted everyone.
Lin Yan explained: “Prince Consort, this is the rule of Zuixianju. Whenever there are distinguished guests, it’s customary to havecome and announce the dishes.”
As he spoke, Lu Da frowned and looked at the Qing Guan’er. He saw that the veil on her face was as thin as a cicada’s wings, as if she was not wearing it, revealing a pair of watery eyes and a pair of fiery red lips. It was clear that Xiang Baoshan and the other two invited her to seduce Chen Jingzong. He snorted again.
Chen Jingzong said nothing.
Lin Yan winked at the woman in the red dress.
The woman in the red dress began to introduce the name of the first dish. But she only said three words before Chen Jingzong suddenly left the table and said in a cold voice: “If you want to drink, just drink. What bother me the most is people making noise in my ears. I won’t accompany you.”
After saying that, he turned around and walked out.
Xiang Baoshan quickly grabbed his arm, winked at the woman in the red dress and told her to get out, and then apologized and persuaded Chen Jingzong to stay.
The face of the woman in the red dress turned pale. She was conceited with her beauty. Seeing that the nobleman she wanted to seduce today was so handsome, she also secretly yearned for a man who could sleep with the princess. Who would have thought that the man hated her so much that he wouldn’t even look at her?
The woman in the red dress retreated in shame.
Xiang Baoshan and Lin Yan pressed down Chen Jingzong on the left and right, and drank three large cups in succession in order to apologize.
Chen Jingzong generously forgave their mistakes, and the men continued to drink.
At first, Xiang Baoshan and the other two took turns toasting Chen Jingzong, but after several rounds, Xiang Baoshan, Wang Feihu, and Lin Yan fell drunk on the table one after another.
Chen Jingzong drank the most, but his expression did not change. He poured himself another cup and glanced at Lu Da, who was sitting opposite.
Lu Da finally said: “Prince Consort is not getting drunk after a thousand cups, Lu admires it.”
Chen Jingzong: “Why don’t you toast with me?”
Lu Da: “Drinking is harmful to the body and it’s easy to cause problems. I don’t like to drink too much, nor do I like to force others to do so.”
Chen Jingzong just scoffed and drank slowly while picking up vegetables. After eating and drinking, he ignored Lu Da and left alone.
Lu Da followed him downstairs, but he was still a step too slow. Chen Jingzong had already mounted his horse and had no intention of talking to him anymore.
In the private room on the second floor, Xiang Baoshan hid behind the window, watching Chen Jingzong ride away. Then he looked at Lu Da, who was still standing downstairs. He turned around and asked Lin Yan and Wang Feihu, who were also awake: “What do you think of this Prince Consort?”
Lin Yan: “I see that he has heroic posture. It’s definitely not like the rumor said, that he relied on Cabinet Elder Chen to be chosen as Prince Consort.”
Wang Feihu: “I don’t understand those things. But it must be true that he’s not lecherous. Just that Yu Niang’s small waist and small voice, if I take one look and listen to one word, then the thing below my belt won’t listen to me anymore.”
Xiang Baoshan muttered: “The Chen family has an old grudge against the prince, and Chen Jingzong can’t be seen through for the time being. Before we can deal with him, you all should tighten your skin first and don’t let him catch your handle.”
Wang and Lin both nodded.
Hua Yang had lunch alone. Guessing that Chen Jingzong wouldn’t be back for a while, she went to rest.
While Chao Yun brushed her master’s hair, she looked quietly through the mirror, and said curiously: “Princess, are you really not worried about the Prince Consort listening to music and dancing at the banquet?”
Hua Yang smiled: “What should I worried about? If he dares to mess around with women outside, I will divorce him.”
Compared with her previous life, she was much kinder to Chen Jingzong, but if Chen Jingzong didn’t cherish her, she had nothing to give up.
When Chen Jingzong came back, he went directly to Liuyun Hall without even looking at Qifeng Hall.
Fu Gui asked curiously: “You don’t want to go find the Princess?”
Chen Jingzong: “I stink of alcohol. I will only be disliked if I go there.”
Fu Gui thought for a while and advised: “Then you should go and walk around in front of the Princess first, otherwise the Princess will think that you smell of powder and you dare not see anyone because you feel guilty.”
He slowed down and after a while, and actually went to Qifeng Hall.
Hua Yang was sleeping soundly when a smell of alcohol hit her face. As she opened her eyes, she saw Chen Jingzong standing by the bed, looking at her with unclear expression.
Just as Hua Yang was about to order him to get out, Chen Jingzong said first: “At noon they asked me if I wanted to order a singer, but I didn’t. Later they tried another trick and asked a woman to announce the dish, but I also scolded her away.”
Hua Yang listened and said sarcastically: “These colleagues are really good to you.”
Of course, this time she was satirizing outsiders.
Chen Jingzong: “It’s not surprising. Since you’re awake, come over and smell it.”
Hua Yang: “Smell what?”
Chen Jingzong: “Powder, lest you become suspicious and frame me for cheating on you.
She only smelled the strong smell of alcohol, covered her nose and tilted her head: “Don’t worry, I don’t doubt you. Hurry up and take a shower.”
Chen Jingzong glanced at her half-exposed snow-white arms and then left.