Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 65
After coming out of mourning period, Chen Tingjian spent three days entertaining some local officials, relatives and friends, and then arranged the marriage of his younger brother Chen Tingshi.
Chen Tingshi was already this old, and he was not marrying a noble girl, so the marriage was not a grand event.
On the second day of the wedding, Chen Tingshi and his new wife Fang shi came to serve tea to his brother and sister-in-law. Hua Yang, who was watching the ceremony, met Chen Jingzong’s new second aunt for the first time.
Fang shi was thirty-six years old. She was an orphan before and was adopted by the old lady of the Chen family, half as an adopted daughter and half as a maid. Fang shi‘s appearance was mediocre, but when she reached the age of marriage, she was reluctant to let go of the old lady, and was willing to remain unmarried and serve the old lady for the rest of her life. After the old lady died, Chen Tingjian came back and asked Fang shi what her plans were. Fang shi had no place to go and hoped to stay in the Chen family and take care of the old lady’s courtyard.
Fang shi was of average appearance and temperament. She was neither very clever nor stupid.
After the evil deeds of Qi shi and Chen Jizong were exposed, Chen Tingjian replaced almost all the original servants in the old house. Later, he arranged for Fang shi to take care of his younger brother because he thought that Fang shi had served the old lady for so long and was very familiar with his younger brother. When his brother was lonely, Fang shi could still reminisce the old lady’s life with him. He really didn’t expect that his brother would fall in love with Fang shi at this age and appearance.
Chen Tingshi told his brother his consideration: “I am already this age, to marry a fifteen or sixteen-year-old girl, even if people are willing, I don’t have the nerve. I married Fang shi just to have a companion in the future. If I can still have a son or a daughter, it’s my blessing. But if I don’t, it doesn’t matter. I’m so stupid and don’t know how to raise a child. If I don’t have one, it will save me trouble.”
The dejection made Chen Tingjian feel angry and sour at the same time. Of course, he agreed to his brother.
After settling his brother’s marriage, Chen Tingjian didn’t feel sentimental for the ancestral home where he had stayed for two years. The court still had a lot of things to do, and he couldn’t wait to return to the capital to show his capability.
On 15th of Fourth Month, the family officially set off for the capital.
The people in the town followed the convoy to see them off for a long time. When passing through Lingzhou City, officials, wealthy households and people in the city also came out to send them off.
There was a wealthy man named Gao who had his garden taken away by Prince Xiang because his garden was very well maintained. Because the princess sued Prince Xiang, when Prince Xiang fell, he also took back his garden, so he was very grateful to the princess. Hearing that the princess liked peonies, the wealthy man surnamed Gao bought a pot of rare peonies called “Snow Tower” at a high price. He personally brought it to the princess and knelt down by the roadside to offer it to the princess.
Other gifts were nothing special, but when Hua Yang heard that someone wanted to give her peonies, she was a little moved.
Chao Yun and Chao Yue were waiting on their master in the carriage. They understood the situation and ordered the coachman to stop.
As soon as the carriage stopped, Chen Jingzong, who was riding beside them, approached the window.
Chao Yun opened half of the curtain, and Hua Yang looked past Chen Jingzong and fell on the peonies in the hands of the wealthy man surnamed Gao.
It was the peony season at this time. Although the white Snow Tower was not very big, it was blooming beautifully. Five flowers as big as the mouth of a bowl had already bloomed among the green branches and leaves. The spotless snow-white petals trembled in the sunshine with the breeze, delicate and lovable.
Hua Yang sent meaningful gaze at Chen Jingzong.
Chen Jingzong jumped off his horse, walked over, and said to the wealthy man: “You have cultivated this flower well, and the Princess has accepted it.”
The wealthy man surnamed Gao was overjoyed, as if he had picked up silver.
He did not dare to look into the carriage window and respectfully handed the white-glazed pastel flowerpot to prince consort.
Chen Jingzong took it, the peonies swayed gently, and the two big white peonies swayed almost close to his face.
Chen Jingzong was a rough man. He had never thought those flowers and plants were anything special before, but now he realized the beauty of white peonies, which were fragrant and fair, just like her.
In front of the carriage door, Chao Yun held up the curtain. Chao Yue carefully took the flower pot and took the opportunity to stuff the Prince Consort with a banknote.
Chen Jingzong took a casual look and saw that it actually denomination of one hundred taels. Naturally, the reward was for the wealthy man surnamed Gao.
He secretly had a toothache. Fortunately, Hua Yang was a princess herself, otherwise he would not be able to support her with just his salary.
The moment the curtain was lowered, Hua Yang saw a somewhat familiar face in the crowd on the roadside. It was the Lingyuan County Lady who was killed by Prince Xiang in her previous life.
The sun was shining brightly, and Lingyuan County Lady stood there wearing a plain dress with a gentle smile on her face.
Hua Yang nodded to her from afar, and her mood felt a little lighter than when she had just received the peony.
When Hua Yang and the others went south to Lingzhou, it took two months on the road. This time they went north back to the capital at a similar speed. It was already mid-Sixth Month when they arrived at the nearest post station to the capital.
That pot of white peonies had withered long ago, leaving only the green branches and leaves. Despite this, Chao Yun and Chao Yue was still moved the pot of flowers to the princess’s room every time they stop at an inn. Watering them when it’s time to water them, and wiping the leaves when they need to be wiped.
It took time for the convoy to settle at the inn. Chen Jingzong and Zhou Ji checked the inside and outside of the inn to avoid hiding any unknown persons.
When Chen Jingzong came back from his inspection, he saw Hua Yang had just taken a bath, sitting at the table with her long black hair hanging loosely, and seriously wiping the leaves of the peony herself. A beautiful fair face was hidden behind the green leaves, as if a white peony had bloomed again from within the branches and leaves.
She seemed to be humming something, and stopped when she caught a glimpse of Chen Jingzong. However her expression remained relaxed, her eyes were cheerful, and she was obviously in a good mood.
Chen Jingzong then ordered Chao Yun who was about to go out: “Prepare the lotus bowl.”
Chao Yun blushed, bowed her head and retreated.
Hua Yang, who was busy cleaning up flowers and plants, also blushed a little, glared at him and said: “We’re still outside, don’t cause trouble.”
Chen Jingzong sat down next to her, drank tea, and then said: “We didn’t do anything in the past two months. Tonight is the last night we spent outside, and we occupy a small courtyard by ourselves. So what if you agree to it once? ”
Hua Yang only looked at the leaves in her hand: “You also said it’s the last night. You have already endured for two months, so why not endure it for one more night?”
Chen Jingzong: “I think when you enter the palace tomorrow, you will probably live there for ten days to a half months before you’re willing to come out.”
She really planned to do so. She had lived outside with her husband’s family for more than two years. Let alone return to the palace to live for half a month, even if she lived for half a year, the Chen family could not criticize.
It was precisely because of this that Hua Yang went along with Chen Jingzong. As soon as night fell, she lay down on the bed to sleep first.
Chen Jingzong slept with her. In the middle of the night, he woke up naturally, took out that thing and came to hug Hua Yang.
The bed in the inn was already old, and it creaked as if it might collapse at any time. Hua Yang didn’t want to make such a ridiculous joke with her prince consort that might be recorded in the unofficial history. In desperation, she finally agreed to the method that Chen Jingzong had already requested many times.
There was a small table by the window. The edge of the table was originally about a palm away from the wall, but Hua Yang pushed it up and soon it touched the wall.
The table could no longer move, but the peony flower pot on the table slid along the table toward the wall. The dark green peony leaves vibrated slightly at night. It seemed that Hua Yang might not be able to face this pot of peonies again in the future.
When Hua Yang couldn’t make any sound at all, Chen Jingzong brushed away the hair from her ear and kissed it.
“Come out of the palace early, don’t make me wait too long.”
As soon as it dawned in the morning, everyone had breakfast and boarded the carriage again.
Hua Yang was very sleepy, but fortunately her carriage was spacious enough. She lay lazily on the couch and caught up on her sleep for more than an hour.
When the thick and majestic walls of the capital were already in sight, Chen Jingzong knocked on the window outside: “We have about half an hour before entering the city.”
Chao Yun and Chao Yue hurriedly woke up the princess. One cleanse the princess’s face with wet towel, and the other quickly prepared jewelry.
They had just finished dressing up when Chen Jingzong’s voice came in again: “There is a welcoming party lead by the Crown Prince under the city gate.”
Chao Yun smiled and said: “Princess has been away for so long, His Highness must have been miss you so much.”
Hua Yang looked in the mirror and made sure that there was only a light sleep mark on the left side of her face. Other than that, there was nothing unusual about her, so she wholeheartedly waited for the moment the brother and sister reunited.
The convoy came to the city gate, and the princess’s carriage was the first to stop.
Before the carriage stopped, Chen Jingzong had already dismounted and saluted the distinguished young man who couldn’t wait to run over: “This minister pay my respects to Your Highness Crown Prince.”
The crown prince’s footsteps paused slightly.
He naturally had met Chen Jingzong, but because his sister followed the Chen family to Lingzhou not long after they got married, the crown prince only met this brother-in-law a handful of times.
More than two years had passed, and the crown prince had almost forgotten what the prince consort looked like.
At this moment, the man standing opposite him was wearing a crimson prince-consort’s uniform embroidered with qilin patches. He had a handsome face and a tall figure. Even though he was bending down in a posture of submission, he still made people feel his imposing appearance.
Regardless of men or women, good look was an advantage. Even if the crown prince was dissatisfied with his teacher, Cabinet Elder Chen, facing such a brother-in-law, he couldn’t feel any disgust for the time being.
“Prince Consort may dispense the courtesy.” The crown prince said calmly, his eyes already glancing at the stopped carriage.
Chao Yun and Chao Yue jumped down first, set up the stool, and then helped the princess get out of the carriage together.
As soon as Hua Yang appeared, the coldness on the crown prince’s face disappeared, the corners of his mouth turned up, and his eyes looked at his sister with bright eyes.
Hua Yang’s eyes were already fixed on her younger brother’s face.
This year her brother was only twelve years old, which could be considered a young man. However, he was still half a head shorter than her. Compared with Chen Jingzong not far away, he looked even more like a child.
As soon as Hua Yang got out of the carriage, she walked over and pulled her brother into her arms.
Chen Jingzong’s face changed slightly. When he looked at the crown prince again, he saw that his exposed ears were red.
“We haven’t seen each other for two years, why has my brother grown so much?”
After letting go of her brother, Hua Yang held his shoulders and looked up and down carefully.
The prince couldn’t help but puff up his chest. At the same time, he was also observing his sister.
From the time the crown prince began to remember, he knew that his sister was the most beautiful person in the palace. Even if the siblings met every day, the crown prince would always be moved by his sister’s beauty. He only felt that it was right for his father to pamper his sister as much as he did, and when he became the emperor in the future, he would continue to pamper his sister like his father. His sister never had to worry about life necessities, and whoever dare to make his sister angry, he would definitely make the decision for her.
However, after not seeing each other for more than two years, the crown prince found that his sister had become more beautiful. She wore her hair in a married woman bun that he was still not used to, but her face was more beautiful than a peony, her eyes were clear and bright. Even the brightest black pearl in the palace would lose its luster compare to his sister.
“Sister, sister seems to have lost weight.”
The crown prince said a little awkwardly.
In fact, he wanted to praise his sister for being more beautiful, but such words were a bit frivolous, however he had to say something, so the prince had to make up some nonsense.
Hua Yang smiled. She was indeed quite haggard when she returned to the capital in her previous life, but she definitely didn’t have that problem in this life, especially since she had just looked in the mirror and her complexion looked better than if she had put on rouge.
“I’m obviously fat, it’s just your mouth is so sweet.” Hua Yang took the opportunity to pinch her brother’s cheek. Of course, she used her figure to block her father-in-law and others who were hurrying behind her.
The crown prince’s face turned redder. Ever since he was seven or eight years old, he had resisted being pinched on his face. Only his sister was allowed to pinch him.
Hua Yang pinched and then let go of her hand, taking a step to the side.
“This minister Chen Tingjian has met Your Highness Crown Prince.”
Chen Tingjian led his wife and children to greet him solemnly.
The crown prince pursed his lips and looked at his sister. He put on a smile and walked over to personally help Chen Tingjian up: “Sir, please dispense the courtesy. Sir has travelled a long journey must have been tired. Mother Empress specially sent me to greet you outside the city.”
Chen Tingjian hurriedly faced towards the palace and bowed to thank the empress for her kindness.
The crown prince didn’t want to chat with everyone in the Chen family, so after some pleasantries he immediately said: “Sir, please get on the carriage. Father Emperor has been waiting in the palace for a long time.”
Chen Tingjian said respectfully: “Your Highness, Princess, please go first.”
The crown prince nodded, took his sister’s hand and went to his crown prince’s carriage.
When Hua Yang walked forward with her brother, she caught a glimpse of Chen Jingzong on the side. This guy looked very serious in his official uniform and didn’t look at her much. No one could have imagined how wild he was last night.
The crown prince’s carriage was equipped with an ice cauldron and fresh and delicious fruits.
“Sister, are you tired?”
The crown prince felt more at ease without outsiders. Seeing his sister’s rosy cheeks, and she seemed to be hot, he took the initiative to pick up a fan to help fan her.
Hua Yang smiled and said: “It’s fine, it just heat from basking in the sun for a while. What about you, how long have you been waiting here?”
Crown Prince: “About half an hour. Mother Empress was afraid that I would miss the time, so she kicked me out early. Humph, if it’s not for Sister, I wouldn’t want to come out and get sunburned.”
If most of Hua Yang’s respect for her father-in-law was due to witnessing her father-in-law’s achievements before her rebirth, then mother empress’ respect and appreciation for her father-in-law was due to her true ability to recognize people. Otherwise, mother empress would not have matched her with Chen Jingzong.
Mother empress always asked her brother to remember her father-in-law’s teachings and respect her father-in-law like an ordinary disciple. Even this time when her father-in-law returned to the capital, mother empress also sent her brother out of the city to welcome him.
Hua Yang had been influenced by her mother, and actually felt that this was the way it should be, and her brother should not complain.
But now, hearing his brother’s complaints again, Hua Yang suddenly became wary.
Was it because everyone wanted her brother to respect her father-in-law, but her brother actually unwilling but had to endure it, and over time, the endurance turned into resentment?
Just like when she married Chen Jingzong in her previous life, she didn’t like that vulgar man. Every time she complained to her mother in private, her mother would only advise her to get to know Chen Jingzong better. She was upset after hearing this, and the more annoyed she became, the less she wanted to see Chen Jingzong, and even reduced the number of visits to the palace to see her mother.
At that time, she had the nature of a child, and the younger brother in front of her was a real teenager.
Regardless of whether it makes sense or not, everyone has their preferences. Going against these preferences, can one’s mood be good?
It was fine if it was an ordinary child, but her brother would become the emperor in the future. Whoever he holds a grudge against now, he would have the ability to retaliate in the future.
After thinking about this, Hua Yang did not persuade her brother to sincerely respect her father-in-law like her mother. Instead, she hugged her brother again and said happily: “You miss your sister so much, it’s not in vain that I thought about you every day when I was in Lingzhou.”
At the mention of Lingzhou, the crown prince became more energetic: “Sister, tell me about Prince Xiang. Did that bastard bully you?”
Hua Yang smiled and started telling her brother the story.
The Author has something to say:
Cabinet Elder Chen: Where did I offend you?
Crown Prince: You have offended me everywhere!
Old Four: This scene seems familiar.