Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 73
The west-slanting sun was still dazzling, the air was hot and dry, even the flowers and plants in the yard were wilting, and the birds that occasionally jumped and sang in the treetops were nowhere to be seen.
Only the princess’s unique clear voice kept coming from the inner room, but it was much more delicate and charming than usual.
She had deliberately kept it down and didn’t even want to make a sound, but when she met such a strong and powerful prince consort, she couldn’t control it at all.
When the masters first entered the house to rest, the four maids, reunited after a long time, sat together on the bench in the corridor, whispering happily.
The good sisters were chatting lively over here, but then the movement from the house suddenly floated over.
Chao Yun and Chao Yue blushed first.
Chao Lu and Chao Lan were stunned for a moment before they came to their senses.
“Hey, if you have anything to say, we can talk about it later tonight. You two will stay here while we go back and take a nap first.”
Chao Yun hurriedly pulled Chao Yue to stand up. They had been packing since early in the morning in the palace and were really tired now. Moreover, the princess over there would take at least an hour. If they didn’t take the opportunity to take a rest, would they just stay here eavesdropping? Secretly listening to it alone was still fine, but when everyone was together, it was so much more awkward.
Chao Yue thought the same and quickly followed her.
After the two of them disappeared, Chao Lu hummed in a low voice: “What’s this? It’s not like we haven’t experienced it before.”
Before the princess went to Lingzhou with the Cabinet Elder’s family, she and her prince consort also spent almost three months of their newlywed life here. Although the princess disliked prince consort and couldn’t stand his shameless nature, there were always something like this a few times every month.
Chao Lan: “Exactly, it’s probably just a cup of tea long, why are they running away?”
Both of them were very indifferent and continued to chat about the news they had just heard from the sisters, still curious about how the relationship between the princess and prince consort could turn around.
“If they didn’t run away, we won’t have to guess.” Chao Lu was still very annoyed.
Chao Lan: “Could it be trials and tribulations make them get close? I heard from the little maid in the Old Madam’s courtyard that there is a flood over there in Lingzhou.”
The two maids kept talking to each other and didn’t take the little movement in the house seriously. Until the movement lasted for a long, long time.
It was unknown whether it was Chao Lu who noticed it first or Chao Lan, but at a certain moment, they both forgot to speak and stared at each other blankly.
Immediately afterwards, Chao Lu’s ears turned red and she tried to cover up her embarrassment by chatting: “The Princess is really nice to Prince Consort. She would never have indulged him for so long before.”
Chao Lan joked casually: “Maybe Prince Consort is a scoundrel, deliberately forcing on the Princess.”
Chao Lu: “He dares!”
Chao Lan didn’t say a word and hid on the bench farther away. She lay down and said, “I’m sleepy. If the Princess call us to serve. You wake me.”
When the sun outside the window finally stopped shining so much, Chen Jingzong finally lifted up the drooping gauze curtain of the bed and walked out wearing only a pair of mid-length trousers.
He went to the clean room to clean up the thing, washed them four to five times with water, then returned to the inner room and continued to soak them in the lotus bowl, saving them for use tonight.
After wiping his hands, Chen Jingzong walked to the table, took the teapot in one hand and the teacup in the other, then returned to the babu bed.
Just now, Hua Yang spent her last bit of energy on getting dressed. She was now wearing a light red silk coat as thin as a cicada’s wings, with loose silk trousers of the same color underneath, and was lying lazily on the pillow. It was a hot day, so she didn’t cover herself with a quilt. Her wrists, which were as white as agar, were exposed. Her trouser legs also shrank upwards with her posture, revealing two thin white calves, and a pair of small and exquisite feet.
Everything was white, except for the face that was rosy, like a red peony that had just been moisturized by a drizzle of rain.
Hearing Chen Jingzong sit down next to her, Hua Yang didn’t want to pay attention to him, but she was really thirsty, so she let him pick her up.
Chen Jingzong’s strength was reflected in all aspects, but now, the ease with which he picked her up gave Hua Yang the illusion that she was really as light as a fairy.
With her eyelashes drooping, she took small sips of the water that was brought to her mouth.
This was also what Chen Jingzong was used to do. At first, he couldn’t grasp the right balance. He would either feed her too fast and choke her, or feed her too slowly and get a glare from her. Now Chen Jingzong was very skilled at it. Even when Hua Yang had to rest for a while after a few sips, he knew it clearly.
The last person who could serve Hua Yang so meticulously and impeccably was Eunuch Wu Run.
“What are you laughing at?” Noticing the corners of her lips raised, Chen Jingzong asked, did you feel happy after drinking water?
Hua Yang raised her eyes, her wet eyes had a clear smile: “I’m laughing, if one day I really get tired of you and don’t want you to be my Prince Consort, but you serve me so well. If you’re reluctant to part with me, and would rather become a eunuch to serve by my side, I will probably keep you.”
Chen Jingzong sneered: “I’m afraid that I will be willing to part, but you won’t.”
She continued to drink water.
When she lay back on the bed again, Chen Jingzong asked: “Sleep for a while or ask the maids to prepare water?”
Hua Yang: “Let’s prepare water.”
Although she was sleepy, she couldn’t stand the sweat on her body, so she had to wash it off first.
Chen Jingzong took out the bell she used to call the maids and shook it a few times.
Soon, the sound of running footsteps could be heard outside, and finally they stopped in front of the inner door, waiting for instructions.
Chen Jingzong asked them to prepare water. He simply wiped himself with a towel in the room and then put on his outer robe.
“I’m going to stay in the front yard first, and then come back at dinnertime.” He stood in front of the screen and said to the bed.
Now was not like the time when they were mourning in Lingzhou, when the whole family had nothing to do. After returning to the capital, the old man had been promoted to become the chief minister. The three brothers had also their own’s official positions. Someone might come to the house at any time, and even father and sons or bother and brother have to meet each other to discuss things. He must be prepared to deal with them at any time. As a princess, she probably didn’t have too much leisure time either. Not to mention his mother and sisters-in-law, there were also people outside who want to visit her and curry favor with her.
Hua Yang responded casually.
Chen Jingzong then went out.
Chao Lan and Chao Lu told the little maids to go to the water room to deliver the message. They didn’t have to do the menial work of carrying water themselves, and just needed to wait in the side room to serve.
When the prince consort came out, they subconsciously looked up and saw that the prince consort was neatly dressed in a round-collared brocade robe. His posture was straight, and his handsome face was still as cold as usual. He did not show off his might in front of them once he was favored, and seemed to be the same prince consort who was frequently disliked by the princess.
When prince consort’s figure disappeared completely, the two maids looked at each other for a while until water was brought from the water room.
After coming back to their senses, they hurriedly went to the inner room to serve the princess.
The two of them first rolled up one side of the gauze curtain, and Chao Lu looked towards the bed with a bit of worry and curiosity.
In her memory, every time prince consort finished sleeping with the princess, the princess would look angry…
But now Chao Lu saw a lazy and charming beautiful face, which seemed a little sleepy, but could not hide the comfort and joy between her eyebrows.
It was like when they sisters were tickling and playing with each other, they laughed so much that their stomachs hurt, but it was a joyful hurt.
Hua Yang opened her eyes at this moment and found that it was the two of them who came in, which was somewhat embarrassing.
Chao Yun and Chao Yue had long been accustomed to what she and Chen Jingzong did. Master and servant did not take each other seriously when they met, and everyone was calm.
However, Chao Lu and Chao Lan would soon get used to it. It was them who need to adapt, not her, the princess.
Hua Yang raised her hand.
Chao Lu hurriedly came over and steadily helped the princess up.
However, Chao Lan noticed that the bed was covered with an ordinary white middle coat. Looking at the nondescript style, she knew it belonged to prince consort.
Only then did Hua Yang realize that the middle coat was still pressed underneath.
Chen Jingzong’s body was really like copper poured into iron. If there were no extra layer underneath, no matter how much Shu brocade she had, it would not be enough.
But there was no need to explain this to the maids. After sitting by the bed for a while, Hua Yang went to the bathroom to take a bath when her legs no longer trembling.
Chao Lan tidied the bed, and Chao Lu followed to wait on her.
They were all close maids, but the closeness to the master could be different, and some would dare to say some things.
Chao Lu sat on a stool, gently wiped the princess’s creamy shoulders with a towel in one hand, and asked in a low voice: “Princess, is your relationship with Prince Consort now much better than before?”
Hua Yang: “It’s okay. Remember to tell Chao Lan that you should treat Prince Consort with more respect in the future and not be as cold as before.”
Of course, she didn’t blame these maids for being rude to Chen Jingzong before, because the maids all acted based on her face. When she didn’t want to see Chen Jingzong, if the maids gave Chen Jingzong a good face all day long, it was tantamount to betraying her, this princess.
Chao Lu secretly smacked her tongue: “Ah, Prince Consort has really won your favor. If I had known, the night Prince Consort just came back and last night, we would have been more polite.”
Hua Yang sensed something was wrong and asked, “Except for these two nights, did Prince Consort always stay at the guard station?”
Chao Lu: “Yes. The first night you were away, Prince Consort came to sleep in the back yard. We almost wanted to drive him away, but because Prince Consort was too strong, we didn’t dare to speak. And last night, we thought Prince Consort was just wishful thinking and looked forward to sleeping with you, and my face didn’t look very good when serving Prince Consort. Ah, Princess, we really didn’t know that you already dote on Prince Consort. Wouldn’t Prince Consort hold grudges against us?”
They had lived in the palace with the princess for so long, and they often heard that a favored concubine would stirring up trouble in the emperor’s ears. Now Chao Lu was afraid that prince consort would use his favor to encourage the princess to punish these rude maids.
She was far from doting on Chen Jingzong, right? At most, it was just a little better than in the previous life.
Doting should be like the way father emperor treated mother empress. Always cared about the little things and was willing to listen to her mother empress on important things. Of course, father emperor had a lot of doting, but he gave the most to mother empress.
“Don’t worry, Prince Consort is not so narrow-minded, and I won’t punish you because of what he said.”
Hua Yang comforted her close maid first.
Chao Lu breathed a sigh of relief.
Hua Yang continued to think about the fact that Chen Jingzong had not returned home for ten days.
In her previous life, when she returned to the capital, she lived in the palace for a full month. It was only after her mother urged her several times that she reluctantly returned to the Chen family. Chen Jingzong took her back to the mansion and stayed there for two nights. Later, he said that the guard station was busy training troops and would only come back when he had a rest day.
Hua Yang guessed that Chen Jingzong turned away from her because he couldn’t stand her cold face and disgust. After all, his pride had never changed.
But in this life, the two were very harmonious at night. If Chen Jingzong still wanted to stay in the guard station for a long time, it meant that Hua Yang misunderstood him in her previous life. He was really busy training soldiers and wholeheartedly threw himself on his job like her father-in-law. So busy that he didn’t even stay home.
In the evening, before it got dark, Chen Jingzong came to the back yard.
Hua Yang was sitting under the shade of a tree in the yard enjoying the cool air. It was always like this in the summer, only in the early morning and evening could she stay outside.
Chen Jingzong naturally sat next to her, picked up the fruit plate on the table, took a bite for himself, and then fed her a piece.
When Chao Lu and Chao Lan saw this, they understood more and more the prince consort’s new position beside the princess.
The maids tactfully retreated.
Hua Yang looked at Chen Jingzong and asked, “I heard that you have been busy training recently and haven’t even gone home?”
Chen Jingzong looked at her and said, “What’s busy training? Train during the day but still has to sleep at night. I also need rest. But if you’re not here, why should I waste an hour running back.”
Hua Yang: “So, you will come back every day in the future?”
Chen Jingzong ate some fruits and said without thinking: “Don’t you want to take a rest every other night? On the days when you want to take a rest, I will sleep in the guard station.”
Although he had a lot of strength, he would also get tired and did not want to waste his efforts.
Being a lofty character or obsessed with official duties had nothing to do with him. He was just a dog. If could eat meat, it didn’t matter to wake up early or stay late. Without the meat, he became a lazy bone!