Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 67
When it was nap time, Hua Yang couldn’t sleep, she was just lying on the same bed with Empress Qi. She lay in Empress Qi’s arms for a while and talked, and then she lay on her side and really wanted to sleep. After a while, she turned around again and opened her eyes. Her eyes were shining and full of smiles.
Empress Qi said helplessly: “You, you, why are you still acting like a child?”
Hua Yang: “I am your child.”
Outside she was a princess, and everyone respected her and feared her. Hua Yang enjoyed that feeling, but she must also maintain the majesty of a princess at all times. For example, she clearly wanted to wade in the stream behind the Chen family’s ancestral house, but she still had to act like she was not interested, and was “forced” by Chen Jingzong to play with for a while. Only when she was with her father emperor and mother empress, could she do whatever she wanted without worrying about damaging her dignity.
Empress Qi touched her daughter’s messy long hair and asked, “How is your relationship with your prince consort? It’s been two years since you’ve been together. Has he ever made you suffer any grievances?”
She was at ease with the rest of the Chen family, after all, her daughter did not need to deal with them day and night. But Chen Jingzong was her daughter’s pillow person, and the couple was most likely to have conflicts.
Empress Qi still remembered her daughter unconcealable resentment in her eyes when she mentioned Chen Jingzong shortly after her wedding when she returned to the palace.
Hua Yang thought about it carefully and realized that Chen Jingzong did often make her angry, but in terms of deliberately wronging her, Chen Jingzong really never done anything.
He would sleep on the ground obediently to keep her away from bugs, secretly buy meat for her when she could only eat vegetarian food, and even willingly carry her up the mountain when the flood came.
“No, how dare he wrong me.” Hua Yang said, playing with a strand of hair, looking a little proud.
Empress Qi smiled: “It’s one thing to dare or not, it’s another thing to think about it. Some Prince Consorts are afraid of the imperial power and dare not beat or scold the Princess, but they may have beaten and scolded them countless times in their hearts. In the final analysis, it still depends on whether he has love or interest for the Princess?”
Hua Yang was silent.
The matter of love seems to be something that discussed by literati and scholars, whether it’s through eloquent conversations, writing affectionate letters, expressing feelings through poetry and art, or conveying sentiments through the sounds of musical instruments. But for someone like Chen Jingzong, he treated her well, but he never said a single sweet word, instead talked a lot of nasty things. As for his statements that he would not touch other women even if she divorced him, or he was willing to be a ghost couple with her if she die, that was all bed talk nonsense, and Hua Yang never take it to heart.
Hua Yang was very sure that Chen Jingzong liked her body to the point of obsession, but was this sexual desire equal to love?
Hua Yang was more inclined to believe that if one day the two of them really separate, as long as a beautiful woman with flowery face and snowy skin was inserted into Chen Jingzong’s house, Chen Jingzong would pounce on her.
Of course, the two were not separate, so Chen Jingzong naturally looked down on others when he got a princess like her.
“I don’t care if he think about it or not, as long as he doesn’t dare.” Hua Yang said nonchalantly.
Empress Qi looked at her daughter inquiringly: “What about you, do you like Prince Consort?”
Hua Yang: “I can’t say I like him very much. But he doesn’t look as unpleasant as he was at the beginning.”
Her feelings for Chen Jingzong were more like satisfaction. It seemed that whenever she needed something, for example, if she needed someone to carry her or if she needed Chen Jingzong to go to Prince Xiang Mansion to act, Chen Jingzong would consciously satisfy her, and he had never disappointed her in important matters. Hua Yang was satisfied, and when Chen Jingzong came to ask for spring night, unless Hua Yang really couldn’t arouse the interest that day, she would be willing to give it to him. After all, both of them would be happy.
Looking at her daughter’s bright, flower-like face, Empress Qi smiled softly.
In a marriage arranged by parents like this, it was already good for their daughter to see Chen Jingzong pleasing to the eyes. It was better than having to sleep in the same bed even though she didn’t like it.
After all, Hua Yang sat in the carriage all the way, and as she talked, she finally felt sleepy and really fell asleep.
Empress Qi turned around and lay on her back.
Seeing her newlywed daughter, Empress Qi thought of her own youth.
She was born beautiful and came from a good family. At the age of awakening of love at thirteen or fourteen, she also hoped to marry a man she chose.
But she was selected to enter the palace and became Emperor Jingshun’s woman.
Emperor Jingshun loved her very much, but an emperor’s love could only be like that. He could accompany her one night and stay up all night with other concubines the next night.
Empress Qi didn’t even have time to have any affection for Emperor Jingshun, and was frozen by the emperor’s passion. Now that Emperor Jingshun was over fifty, Empress Qi was even more anxious for Emperor Jingshun to stop spending the night with her.
Compared with her, her daughter was much more comfortable. Chen Jingzong was young, handsome, strong, and upright. Most importantly, Chen Jingzong and even the entire Chen family would not dare to openly offend her daughter.
So she still liked to be an empress, at least the empress position gave her the power to protect her son, and also allowed her daughter to be like a fish in water in her husband’s family.
With these benefits, it’s okay to not get that illusory love.
Hua Yang took a very comfortable nap, and when she woke up, she learned that her younger brother had finished his afternoon lessons and had come here early to wait for her.
Hua Yang quickly got up and dressed up, and went out refreshed.
“Mother, Sister hasn’t been back for a long time. I want to take her to visit the Imperial Garden.” The crown prince asked seriously.
Empress Qi smiled and said: “Go, don’t walk for too long, at most half an hour, your father should come over for dinner.”
The siblings nodded and left holding hands.
Empress Qi looked at the hands of the two siblings and shook her head slightly. Her son didn’t like being disciplined like a child, but when his sister held his hand, he stopped pretending to be an adult.
What the crown prince wanted to talk to his sister was naturally different from what Empress Qi wanted to talk to her daughter.
The sister and brother came to a pavilion facing the lake. Hua Yang, like a storyteller, told her brother many interesting stories about her in Lingzhou.
The crown prince was full of longing for Lingzhou, Dongting Lake, Wudang Mountain, etc., which were more than two thousand miles away from the capital. He wanted to go out to enjoy the mountains and rivers, and he also wanted to personally catch local corrupt officials to punish evil and promote good.
Hua Yang ate a piece of fruit and said in a casual tone: “You are the only Crown Prince of our dynasty. For your safety, Father Emperor and Mother Empress will definitely not feel at ease letting you leave the palace. For now, you can’t go to distance places to enjoy the mountains and rivers, and it’s still not easy for you to personally punish evil and promote good. You must first learn how to be a monarch. In the future, people all over the world will count on Father Emperor and you to help them live a good life with plenty of food and clothing.”
She followed her brother’s words and turned serious. The crown prince unconsciously also turned serious and asked curiously: “Are the local people really so miserable?”
In her previous life, Hua Yang might not have understood this issue. In this life, she heard with her own ears the complaints made by the people of Lingzhou against Prince Xiang. She also learned about the situation in the military station from Chen Jingzong, so she could naturally explain it in detail to her brother.
After all, the crown prince was a crown prince. He had the wilfulness and impulsiveness of his age, but as a crown prince, he also cared and thought about important affairs of the court.
The whole world was the family business that he would inherit in the future. Which crown prince does not want to inherit the country’s wealth and military strength, and which crown prince wants to inherit a bunch of corrupt officials and soldiers?
If the suffering of the people still did not let him feel it himself, when he heard that many of the soldiers in the military station were starved to the bone, and their weapons were in tatters, the crown prince became furious: “Fortunately, Prince Consort did not join them, otherwise the Lingzhou military station will continue to rot, and all the military pay allocated by the imperial court will go into the bellies of those corrupt officials, and they can only send out a group of weak soldiers who use random weapons to make up for their numbers!”
Hua Yang patted her brother on the shoulder comfortingly: “Okay, the matter has been resolved, don’t be angry. Just remember that problems may arise at the local military station, and don’t be deceived by the officer’s rhetoric in the future. Hmph, when I went out on this trip, I finally understood that some officials were so respectful when they handed over the memorials to Father Emperor. But privately they bullied Father Emperor into staying far away and did not take the court seriously at all, including Prince Xiang. If it weren’t for the fact that I brought enough guards on the trip that day, I might be kidnapped by Prince Xiang!”
Speaking until here, Hua Yang gritted her teeth and looked disgusted by Prince Xiang: “Once a man is lustful, there is no good thing!”
Just as the crown prince was about to nod, he was suddenly startled, looked around, and then winked at his sister.
As if Hua Yang had just come to her senses, she put her head close to her brother, frowned and asked, “While I’m away from the capital, Father is still like that?”
The crown prince also looked sad.
Father Emperor treated him leniently, but most of his thoughts were spent on women. Sometimes he was clearly talking to him, but any concubine could lure him away by pretending to be sick.
Mother Empress was not confused about a matter of men and women. Except for caring for his sister, she spent almost all her thoughts on him. However, Mother Empress was too strict and controlled him too tightly.
The crown prince couldn’t tell whether he liked his father more or his mother more.
Fortunately, he also had a biological sister. She had the gentle side of his father emperor and mother empress, and would also play with him, so the crown prince liked his sister the most.
Hua Yang took the opportunity to teach her younger brother a small lesson: “Since you also think it’s not good for Father Emperor to do this, when you grow up, you must not be hooked by the harem. Not to mention anything else, it’s not good for your health. I still expect you to support me for the rest of my life. It would be best that when I’m gone, you are still strong and tough, seventy or eighty years old still like a young man in his thirty or forty.”
The crown prince sneered: “How is that possible? People always grow old.”
Hua Yang: “Ordinary people age quickly, but practicing martial arts can strengthen your bodies. For example, the Imperial Doctor Li I met, he is almost sixty, and he can still carry medicine baskets all over the mountains to collect medicines. But even though I’m young, when climbing the Tianzhu Peak, I still need to be carried by Prince Consort on his back, which shows that good health has little to do with age.”
The crown prince asked in surprise: “Prince Consort can still climb Tianzhu Peak with you on his back?”
Hua Yang smiled and whispered to him: “The greatest advantage of Prince Consort is his strong body. One time we climbed a hundred-foot-high mountain to watch the sunrise. Prince Consort carried me to the top of the mountain in one breath. Although he was panting heavily, but it’s much better than most ordinary people.”
The tall and upright figure of Chen Jingzong appeared in the crown prince’s mind.
The crown prince looked at his thin arms again. He also had martial arts lessons, but he thought it was hard to practice and was unwilling to pay attention. His father did not force him, and his mother cared more about him studying well and did not interfere too much in martial arts practice.
But now, the crown prince was sincerely interested in martial arts, because he also wanted to become as strong as the prince consort, and also wanted to be able to climb Wudang Mountain when he was over sixty years old.
“By the way, how is Cabinet Elder Chen’s health?” the crown prince suddenly asked.
Hua Yang thought for a while and said: “Since Imperial Doctor Li cured his disease, it seems that there is no problem. However, Cabinet Elder Chen is always a civil official, different from Prince Consort. That time to avoid the flood, Prince Consort carried me up the mountain as if walking on the ground. Cabinet Elder Chen is always being helped up by his servants, and the two brothers of Prince Consort are too busy taking care of themselves, looking quite worn out. It can be seen that civil and military officials have their own strengths and weaknesses, and there are only a handful of good men who are well-versed both in civil and military skills.”
The crown prince straightened his back subconsciously, just wait, in a few years, he would become one of the few good men well-versed in both civil and military skills in his sister’s mouth.
The two siblings reunited after a long separation. They lost track of time as soon as they chatted. It was the palace people around them who reminded that it was time to return to Fengyi Palace.
After dinner, Hua Yang finally had time to distribute the gifts she brought back to her family.
During the day, she rested in Fengyi Palace. Now that it was dark, Hua Yang took Chao Yun back to Qifeng Palace, where she lived before getting married.
This was the name of the palace given to her by her father, so the Princess Mansion in the capital and the residence in Ningyuan also used that name.
Qifeng Palace was the same as it was before she got married, but when Hua Yang lay on the familiar bed again, she could no longer sleep as carefree as the little princess in the past.
Her father could take turns doting on the beauties in the harem, while her mother was more concerned about important matters and her younger brother. Her brother was attending school now, but in the future after he get married, he would have his own wives and children.
Even if she could return to live in the palace, she would gradually become a seemingly superfluous person.
And it seemed that the only one who could really stay with her for a long time and form a family with her was her prince consort.
The courtyard where Chen Jingzong and Hua Yang resided was also called Siyi Hall, but Chen Mansion in the capital was a large house given by the emperor, and Siyi Hall was also a three-entry courtyard, which was much more spacious.
Before leaving the capital, Chen Jingzong lived in the front yard and Hua Yang lived in the back.
Now that Hua Yang were in the palace, Chen Jingzong had dinner alone. After he thought for a while, he took a shower and changed clothes, and then went to the backyard.
There were two other maids guarding Hua Yang here, one was called Chao Lu and the other was Chao Lan.
Chao Lu and Chao Lan didn’t know how far the relationship between the princess and prince consort had progressed. Their impression of the couple’s relationship was still at the time when prince consort was unruly and the princess disliked him in everything.
Now the prince consort still wanted to come over when the princess was not around, so the two maids looked wary.
“Retreat, you don’t need to serve.”
Chen Jingzong stood in front of the already unfamiliar Babu bed and said with his back to the two maids.
Chao Lu and Chao Lan looked at each other, and finally gave the prince consort face, bowed their heads and exited the place that should have belonged to the princess alone.
Chen Jingzong took off his robe and sat on the bed.
Her scent had long since disappeared from the bed, but he seemed to see her sitting next to him, looking at him with disgust and wariness.
At that time, she really didn’t want to do it at all.
Looking back to that night at the inn, Chen Jingzong lay down calmly.
The author has something to say:
Today’s Old Four is no longer the newcomer he was back then, but a noble concubine who rose to power by his bed skills!