Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 70
Chen Tingjian was still talking to Emperor Jingshun, while Chen Bozong and Chen Jingzong exited the imperial study first.
The palace was not a place for heart-to-heart conversations. Even if Chen Bozong had something to ask his younger brother, he could only endure it for the time being.
After walking a certain distance, Chen Jingzong said to him first: “I just received an errand of Daxing Left Guard. I will live directly in the guard station for a while, you tell Mother for me.”
Chen Bozong: “After all the fuss, one night won’t make a difference, right? Go home tonight. Father must have something to say to you.”
Chen Jingzong: “I have nothing to say to him. Forget it. Fu Gui will go back to pack my things later. I’ll ask him to inform Mother.”
After saying that, he quickened his pace and left.
How could Chen Bozong catch up with the military attaché’s speed, unless he had a dragon walk and tiger step like his younger brother. However, as a civil servant, unless there was an emergency, he should walk at a non-hurried pace.
Chen Bozong could only watch his brother walking further and further away.
Chen Tingjian returned to the cabinet and was really busy all morning. However, no matter how busy he was, he still held the official position of crown prince’s teacher.
In the afternoon, Chen Tingjian took half an hour to come to the East Palace to teach the crown prince.
This was also the first time Chen Tingjian met the crown prince alone after returning to the capital.
The crown prince was sitting in the East Palace School in an orderly manner. When he saw Chen Tingjian, he stood up to salute also in an orderly manner: “Disciple have seen Teacher.”
Chen Tingjian looked pleased, feeling that the crown prince in the palace was much more sensible than his fourth son when he was a child.
Chen Tingjian had four sons. The first three were in the ancestral home in Lingzhou when they were enlightened. He was not able to supervise them personally. When he finally settled down in the capital and could afford to buy a big house that could house all his family members, and brought his mother, wife, children, and brother, the Old Three was already eight years old, and only the Old Four was just three years old, the same age as the crown prince when he first taught him. Therefore, Chen Tingjian always compared the performance of the Old Four with the crown prince.
Chen Tingjian always felt that among the four brothers, the Old four had the best life. He could follow him at a young age and receive personal instruction from his father since childhood. His three older brothers regrettably missed out a few years.
Because of this, Chen Tingjian had always believed that the Old Four who received the most guidance from him would definitely become the best among his sons!
Chen Tingjian devoted all the fatherly love that he could not devote to his first three sons to his fourth son!
How could he have expected that the three sons who had never been taught by him on their enlightenment were all smart, polite and well-mannered, and that they could easily become a Xiucai, Juren even the highest scholarly honors, without any difficulty. However, the Old Four was rebellious. The older he got, the less he liked to attend school, only liked to ran rampant every day. It was useless to ask the servants to watch him. Either by climbing over the wall or digging into a dog hole, the Old Four would always slip out and refuse to return home until dark!
Chen Tingjian had to worry about political affairs during the day, and when he went home at night, he was angry with his son. He was exhausted mentally and physically. His wife also doted on the Old Four and refused to follow him in strict discipline. Chen Tingjian had no choice but to let go and let the Old Four practice martial arts.
The Old Four ran back to his ancestral home with a martial artist master. Then within a few years, Chen Tingjian began to work as a teacher for the crown prince.
Seeing the three-year-old crown prince for the first time, Chen Tingjian seemed to see the three-year-old Old Four who had just entered the capital.
At that time, Chen Tingjian secretly vowed that he must teach the crown prince well and not let him become the second Old Four.
The crown prince’s polite behavior at this time also proved that it was not the way he taught that was problematic, but that the Old Four was too unruly and stubborn!
After returning the greeting, Chen Tingjian sat down, touched his beard, and first asked the crown prince the progress of his homework.
After all, it was a reunion after a long absence. The crown prince also felt fresh when he saw Chen Tingjian and answered them carefully one by one.
This class was mainly about reviewing the past and learning the new, and the relationship between teachers and students was harmonious. After class, Chen Tingjian took out two well-bound books from the book box he brought, and said to the crown prince with a gentle smile: “This is a set of books compiled by this minister when in Lingzhou, called “Emperor’s Illustrations” and is now given to Your Highness. I hope Your Highness will like it.”
The crown prince came over, took the book, and handed one Cao Li, a close eunuch next to him, while he opened the top one.
After looking through it, the crown prince’s eyes lit up!
Chen Tingjian said: “Starting tomorrow, this minister will explain an imperial example to Your Highness every day.”
The prince was very happy. When he was happy, he lost his reservedness and asked with concern: “I heard from my sister that Sir was ill when in Lingzhou. Fortunately was cured by Imperial Doctor Li. I wonder if Sir has fully recovered now?”
The smile on Chen Tingjian’s lips was slightly stiff, but fortunately it was blocked by his beard: “Thank you Your Highness for your concern, this minister is fine now.”
Crown Prince: “That’s good. Sir, you must take good care of your body. I still count on you to share Father Emperor’s worries for all matters in the cabinet.”
Chen Tingjian nodded, saluted then left.
The crown prince rested for a while, went to another half-hour martial arts class, and then took these two volumes of “Emperor’s Illustrations” to Qifeng Palace to find his sister.
It was midsummer. Hua Yang saw that her younger brother was sweating profusely along the way and his little face was flushed from practicing martial arts. She first asked Chao Yun and Chao Yue to serve her younger brother to clean his face.
While the crown prince was washing his face, Hua Yang flipped through the book her brother brought over.
She had seen this set of “Emperor’s Illustrations” in her previous life, and it was also brought over by her brother. Before her brother showed it to her, she didn’t know that her father-in-law had compiled this book while he was in mourning.
The upper section of “Emperor’s Illustrations” collected eighty-one virtuous deeds of twenty-three emperors in history, and the lower section listed thirty-six bad deeds of twenty foolish emperors.
Father-in-law used short and easy-to-understand words, and cleverly added a simple picture to each deed, making the characters vivid and interesting.
Her brother and Father Emperor liked this set of books very much, and ordered the Secretary of Ceremonies to print them widely. Hua Yang also collected a set.
“Sister, has Cabinet Elder Chen show this book to you?”
After cleaning up, the crown prince sat next to Hua Yang and said excitedly. He liked those simple pictures, which were much more interesting than books full of words.
Hua Yang smiled and said, “This is a gift from Cabinet Elder Chen specially to you. I have never seen it before.”
The crown prince could not put down his new gift.
Hua Yang accompanied her brother to read it and saw those vivid portraits of emperors and courtiers. Hua Yang recalled: “On Prince Consort’s birthday the year before last, the gifts sent by Chen Bozong and Chen Xiaozong were all calligraphy and painting. Today, when I saw Cabinet Elder Chen’s calligraphy, I understand where did my two brothers-in-law get their talent.”
The crown prince often looked at Chen Tingjian’s handwriting and followed his sister’s words and asked: “On Prince Consort’s birthday, did the Cabinet Elder not give him a gift?”
In the past, Chen Tingjian would give him gifts on his birthday.
Hua Yang: “He stopped giving it away a long time ago. Cabinet Elder Chen is always a strict father. Since Prince Consort and his brothers were ten years old, the family will not specially celebrate their birthdays.”
The crown prince understood. He looked at the book in his hand and said to himself, “I don’t know how long it took him to compile this book.”
Hua Yang: “I’m also not clear. I expect at least a year. It’s also because Cabinet Elder Chen has a heart. The winter in Lingzhou is wet and cold, and the Chen family’s house didn’t have earth dragon. When I wrote a letter to you, I would hurry up and write when the sun was shining at noon. Have you noticed that the letters I wrote home in the winter were always very short? That’s not because I am lazy on purpose, my hands are actually freezing.”
The crown prince first sympathized with his sister, and then the image of Chen Tingjian breathing into the palm of his hand while lowering his head and continuing to write a book appeared in his mind.
Although Chen Tingjian was strict, he was still very kind to him.
Hua Yang suddenly closed the book for her brother and said with a smile: “Keep the book for later. Let’s go to Empress Mother’s place for dinner first.”
The crown prince then took the gift to Fengyi Palace again.
Emperor Jingshun was also there. He had read this set of books from Chen Tingjian in advance, and he was very happy to see that the crown prince liked it.
Any emperors were all urged by their ministers to be a wise monarch. In fact, any emperor would get tired of hearing those words too many times. For example, Emperor Jingshun knew that being a wise monarch would be praised by the courtiers and the people, but he had to attend court every day and review every memorial by himself, he couldn’t hang around in the harem, and that kind of life was not comfortable at all. Then again, although Emperor Jingshun didn’t want to work hard to be a wise monarch, he did hope that his son would grow up to be one. Anyway, it was his son who had to work hard, not him.
After chatting about the books, Emperor Jingshun said to his daughter: “Zhen met Prince Consort in the morning. He didn’t want to do the idle errands in the Jinyiwei and actually asked Zhen for the errand of Commander of Daxing Left Guard, saying that he would train troops for Zhen.”
Afraid that Empress Qi, his daughter, and his son would not understand, Emperor Jingshun also explained the situation of Daxing Left Guard finishing last in the competition every year.
Hua Yang looked surprised.
In fact, after they returned to the capital from Lingzhou in her previous life, Chen Jingzong also went to Daxing Left Guard.
At that time, their relationship was at odds, and Chen Jingzong spent most of his time living in the Daxing Left Guard station. Chen Jingzong would only go back to live with the Chen family during monthly breaks or during holidays. Time passed quickly, in Fifth Month of the next year, her father died. In Sixth Month, Prince Yu rebelled. Chen Jingzong followed the army to suppress it, but he never returned.
Hua Yang suddenly realized that she couldn’t recall this at all. Every time she thought of Chen Jingzong’s untimely death, she would feel sad, soft-hearted, and have a trace of regret.
Why didn’t she treat him better in her previous life?
Such memories stirred up sadness, Hua Yang still revealed a hint of emotion on her face.
The crown prince misunderstood and asked: “Sister, are you worried that Prince Consort will be at the bottom this year too and you will be embarrassed?”
She was amused by her brother’s simple speculation. Seeing that her father and mother also misunderstood that she was worried about this, she smiled bitterly and said, “A little bit.”
Emperor Jingshun: “It’s simple. Every year, the soldiers who participate in the competition in each guard station are randomly selected from the list of soldiers submitted to Zhen. When the time comes, you ask Prince Consort to select ten most outstanding soldiers in his guard station, write down their name and Zhen will help him secretly. Even if he doesn’t get the top three, he won’t end up at the bottom.”
Hua Yang smiled and said: “Father is very kind to Daughter, but Daughter doesn’t want victory that doesn’t deserved. With Prince Consort’s temper, he will also never agree to this. Forget it, since he dares to ask you for this job, let him do it. If he still come in last place, it will be him who is embarrassed and nothing to do with me.”
Emperor Jingshun: “Based on his performance in the Lingzhou Guard, Zhen still have confidence in Prince Consort.”
Empress Qi sighed: “I hope your Prince Consort will not let you down. Still too young and can’t curb his temper at all.”
Hua Yang picked up the vegetables silently.
It was not that Chen Jingzong couldn’t curb his temper, but he really didn’t want to have free meals in Jinyiwei. He would rather risk being laughed at by everyone, and he also wanted to do something practical for the court.
He was not even willing to flatter her, the princess, so how could he be willing to just be the fourth son of Cabinet Elder Chen and the consort of Princess Hua Yang in other people’s mouth, and wasted his time to achieve nothing?
The bones in his body were harder than stone!
Hua Yang lived in the palace for less than half a month. On the morning of 29th of Sixth Month, Hua Yang sent Wu Run to Daxing Left Guard to inform Chen Jingzong that she would be leaving the palace tomorrow, and to reminded Chen Jingzong to remember to enter the palace to pay respect to her father emperor and mother empress and take her back to Chen Mansion.
She could also go back by herself, but she just wanted to ask Chen Jingzong to pick her up. This was in line with her dignity as a princess.
When Wu Run arrived at Daxing Left Guard, Chen Jingzong was training soldiers on the martial arts field with his shirt off.
As Chen Tingjian said, the soldiers of the twenty-six guards in the capital were all strong men carefully selected from all over the country. Even if the upper-level officers do not train seriously, the foundation of these soldiers was still there. Looking at the past, they were all tall and strong, and under the emperor’s feet, no official dared to enslave the soldiers to do hard work, and there was enough food and drink, so only some soldiers became lazy.
Chen Jingzong didn’t want to understand why the previous commander was slacking off. Now that he was here, he would take away the slackness of these soldiers one by one.
After more than ten days of training, those thorny soldiers who relied on some powerful relatives in their family had been brought in line by the prince consort, and every one of them became very obedient.
In the scorching summer, all the soldiers, like Chen Jingzong, took off their outer robes and wore only a pair of trousers, exposing their shoulders and sweating profusely.
When Wu Run, a jade-faced eunuch, came to a place like this, he was like a lamb entering the wolf’s den.
Fortunately, all the soldiers knew that he was from the palace, and no one dared to look down on him.
Chen Jingzong walked out from the neatly arranged soldiers and whipped another soldier who was not punching hard enough. Then he threw the whip to Fu Gui and walked towards Wu Run.
Behind him were more than five thousand strong soldiers, but in front of these more than five thousand soldiers, Chen Jingzong still stood out from the crowd.
Big beads of sweat slid down his handsome face, and his strong chest and thin waist were also dripping with sweat.
Wu Run couldn’t imagine how the princess could get along with such a prince consort, but at the same time he admired such an iron-clad man in his heart.
When Chen Jingzong stopped and looked at him inquiringly, Wu Run bowed slightly and said with a smile: “Prince Consort, this servant is here on Princess’ order. The Princess said that she will return to the mansion tomorrow and asked you to go to the palace early in the morning to pay respect to His Majesty and Niangniang.”
Chen Jingzong nodded expressionlessly: “I understand, tell the Princess that I will return to the city tonight.”
Wu Run had nothing else to say, so he bowed his head and retreated.
Chen Jingzong continued to inspect the soldiers.
A soldier suddenly felt an itch on the back of his neck. It was so unbearable that he scratched it secretly. When he raised his eyes, he saw prince consort was staring at him.
The soldier couldn’t help but look at the whip in prince consort’s hand.
Just when he was worried that prince consort would come over, he actually walked away as if nothing had happened!
The author has something to say:
Old Four: Hehe!
Crown Prince: Looking for a fight!
Old Four: Where did I provoke you???