Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 81
Hua Yang slept for a whole night, and when she woke up, she found that the sky was already slightly bright, and Chen Jingzong was sleeping in another quilt.
The bed was so big that it was more than enough for one more person to sleep between them.
Hua Yang looked at his face in surprise.
Chen Jingzong must have come back in the middle of the night, but she didn’t notice at all. He kissed her so hard when he left, but he was so well-behaved and honest when he came back.
Are you too tired from the night watch?
Hua Yang tried her best to move as gently as possible and slowly stood beside the bed. At this time of the year, the morning was neither cold nor hot, so Hua Yang went to the bathroom wearing only a lotus-green silk clothes.
Chen Jingzong opened his eyes and saw her slender back.
Her silk clothes were as thin as cicada wings and were soft in texture. She walked so lightly, and her loose sleeves and hem fluttered slightly, as if the fairy was about to step on the wind.
In the bathroom, Hua Yang stood on the side of the screen and washed her hands carefully with water.
Asking the maid to come in and serve her now would definitely wake up Chen Jingzong, so it would be better to just go back to bed and lie down for a while.
After finishing her thoughts and washed her hands, Hua Yang wiped them dry with a white towel, straightened her somewhat messy hair, and walked towards the door.
As soon as she came out, a big hand suddenly stretched out from beside her, covering her mouth and pressing her tightly against the wall from behind.
Hua Yang was so frightened that her heart almost jumped out of her chest. The first thought that came to her mind was assassins!
While struggling, she looked back in horror, and saw Chen Jingzong’s teasing face. His eyes were clear and full of energy, where could he be sleepy at all?
Frightened turned into anger, Hua Yang glared at him fiercely.
Chen Jingzong turned her around and said, “You have rinsed your mouth.”
Before Hua Yang understood what he was saying, Chen Jingzong put his arm around her waist, almost lifting her toes off the ground, and then lowered his head to kiss her.
Hua Yang didn’t dodge.
When he finally let go of her lips and turned to kiss her neck, Hua Yang gritted her teeth and said, “Not here.”
Only a rough guy like him would choose to do this at the door of the bathroom.
When Chen Jingzong heard this, he held her upright in his arms, walked to the bed, and rudely threw her on top.
The bed was thick and soft, so Hua Yang didn’t feel any pain. When she turned around, Chen Jingzong also pressed down on her.
When the sound of maids walking around could be heard outside, Chen Jingzong finally let go of Hua Yang, jumped off the big bed, and put on his clothes one by one.
Hua Yang grabbed the quilt to cover herself and asked him, “Were there no problems last night?”
She was still panting, and her voice softer and weaker than usual.
Chen Jingzong glanced at her: “If something happens, can you still sleep comfortably all night?”
Hua Yang was just asking this casually.
Chen Jingzong fastened his belt and said, “You take your time to get ready. I’ll pick up the Crown Prince first.”
Hua Yang nodded.
When they go out today, they and all the guards have to dress up as ordinary people. Hua Yang was still wearing silk clothes on the inside and ordinary clothes on the outside.
“Princess, will you still dress as an unmarried girl?”
Chao Yun asked with a smile while holding the princess’ long silky hair and gently combing it.
Hua Yang hummed.
For women from ordinary families, unmarried girls have fewer rules than married women. Girls who were playful and flexible could be said to be cute. But if young married women wandered around and went to lively places, she would lose her steadiness, and the elders would criticize her while outsiders would think that this woman was frivolous.
If Hua Yang went out as a princess, no one would dare to comment, and she also was not afraid of being discussed over trivial matters. But she concealed her identity in order to reduce the attention of the people around her, and it was more convenient to dress up as an unmarried girl.
Moreover she was twenty years old, not much different from seventeen or eighteen.
Chao Yun: “Princess is so beautiful. Not to mention that you are only twenty, even ten years from now, you will be no different from a fifteen or sixteen-year-old girl. Niangniang is the best example.”
Hua Yang smiled.
In her previous life, she only lived to be twenty-four before being reborn. She had never seen what she looked like at the age of thirty.
Would it be like Chao Yun said? Mother Empress had worked hard to maintain her appearance, not to mention her life was much more relax than Mother Empress.
After she finished getting ready, Chen Jingzong and the crown prince also came over.
The crown prince also changed into ordinary clothes. When he saw his sister dressed as a young girl, the crown prince was not surprised. After all, he had seen his sister as a young girl before, only she was dressed more noble.
Chen Jingzong glanced at Hua Yang with unclear meaning.
“What are our identities?” The crown prince looked at his sister and prince consort, and asked curiously, “Sister and I are still siblings, then what about Prince Consort?”
If his sister dressed up as a married woman, he could naturally call prince consort his brother-in-law. Now…
After the crown prince finished asking, he thought of it himself and said with a smile: “Let Prince Consort pretend to be our cousin.”
He and his sister were both from imperial family. Even if it was just pretending, it was inappropriate for prince consort to pretend to be their brother. A cousin was just right. Anyway, he had a cousin who was about the same age as prince consort.
Chen Jingzong: “This minister doesn’t dare. This minister will just pretend to be one of Your Highness’s attendants.”
The crown prince looked at his sister and said, “Isn’t this too unfair to you?”
Chen Jingzong lowered his eyes and said, “It’s already this minister’s blessing to accompany Your Highness and Princess on your outing.”
Even if it was just a title, Hua Yang really couldn’t call such an intimate title as “cousin” to Chen Jingzong’s face, so she made the decision: “That’s it then.”
What the crown prince felt was the difference status between his sister and prince consort. It must be that his sister was too cold towards prince consort, so prince consort did not dare to pretend to be their cousin.
This was similar to the relationship between men and women that the crown prince had seen in the palace. His father emperor’s concubines were all respectful to his father, but his mother empress was not as humble and restrained.
The three of them had breakfast and set out incognito.
Chen Jingzong walked beside Hua Yang. Cao Li and a guard sent by Emperor Jingshun always kept a distance of about three steps to protect the crown prince. Zhou Ji and other guards were secretly distributed on the left and right to ensure that they could respond to any accidents at any time without disturbing the master having fun.
For Hua Yang and her brother, this was the first time they have walked so freely in the streets of the capital.
Although there was an eight-year age difference between the two siblings, their playfulness at this time was exactly the same. When Hua Yang saw something interesting, she would pull the crown prince to see it. When the crown prince saw something strange, he would drag his sister and run towards it.
Chen Jingzong followed silently, observing the siblings while being alert of the surroundings. He felt that accompanying the siblings was similar to accompanying his nephews.
Ahead of them, the common people formed a circle, and it turned out that there were Jianghu people performing a show of breaking rocks on their chests.
The crown prince pulled his sister and squeezed in.
Chen Jingzong, Cao Li and others formed a half circle around the siblings, with guards surrounded them behind.
After making sure that there would be no danger behind them, Chen Jingzong looked at the front and saw a strong and burly man standing in the middle with his chest exposed, showing off his strong body.
Chen Jingzong looked at Hua Yang.
Hua Yang’s ears turned red and she deliberately stared at the stones placed on the side.
The performance then began. The strong man lay on the ground. Two helpers worked together to lift a large stone and press it to his chest, and the common people around were cheering. Then one person smashed the stone with a hammer, but the strong man stood unscathed. When he got up, the people began to cheer again.
The crown prince’s eyes were bright, and he turned around and asked Chen Jingzong: “Can you also do that?”
Chen Jingzong smiled and said: “The strength of the man doesn’t matter because the force on the hammer is borne by the stone, and the person only bears the weight of the stone.”
The crown prince didn’t believe it, so he pointed out a guard and asked him to try it.
The strong man was unwilling, was this people trying to ruin his business?
Cao Li snorted and threw a silver ingot at him.
Only then the strong man stepped aside.
When the guard also easily broke a large stone, the smile on the crown prince’s face disappeared and he walked away with without interest.
Next, the crown prince would lose interest in all the tricks of the jugglery after Chen Jingzong explained the techniques. It would be more fun to watch the women bargaining at the stall.
After strolling for a long time, they had lunch at a restaurant. The crown prince sat near the window, looking at the bustling crowd below, and said disappointedly: “Outside the palace is just like this.”
Hua Yang smiled and said: “That’s because you have seen the truly rare treasures and skills in the palace. The common people have less experience and are more likely to be pleased by those acrobats.”
The crown prince looked at his sister: “Does Sister like these?”
He was referring to the hustle and bustle on the street, which seemed lively but was all ordinary and trivial.
Hua Yang: “I like it. This is the fireworks of the world.”
Crown Prince: “But their liveliness has nothing to do with us.”
The crown prince was not interested in anything that had nothing to do with him.
Hua Yang: “How come it has nothing to do with us? Only when people don’t have to worry about life and death, food and clothing, can they think about eating, dressing up, and going out. Father Emperor and the ministers have to deal with a lot of political affairs every day, so that these people have such a leisurely and ordinary life, instead of being displaced and homeless. All the people in the world are the people of Father Emperor, and they’re also the relatives of you and me. Seeing with my own eyes that my relatives are living well, Sister also happy and proud of Father Emperor.”
The crown prince looked at the ordinary smiling faces on the street again and thought of the people his sister had rescued in Lingzhou City who had been oppressed by Prince Xiang for many years. He thought of the people in Cabinet Elder Chen’s hometown that had to move to the mountains to avoid floods despite the rain. He suddenly enlightened.
Chen Jingzong looked at Hua Yang.
Hua Yang affectionately and naturally picked up a dish for her brother: “We got sidetracked. Brother, try the pork ribs here. It’s crispy and melts in your mouth. It should be to your liking.”
The crown prince actually understood that his sister took this opportunity to teach him a lesson.
But he didn’t resent such a reminder. After all, what his sister said was true, and it happened in front of him.
In the morning, they watched the excitement, and in the afternoon, Hua Yang took her brother shopping.
However, both siblings were raised in a pile of gold and jade. The good things that ordinary people like so much but couldn’t afford, they would only look down on, making the shopkeepers look at them unkindly. It was just the momentum of the siblings, as well as Chen Jingzong and others, making it hard for the shopkeepers to get angry.
As they walked, the group passed a small store selling miscellaneous goods, with several colorful paper kites placed inside.
Spring and autumn were both suitable for flying kites.
The crown prince remembered that when he was a child, he liked to fly kites, but his mother never allowed him to fly kites for too long, and hoped that he would focus on studying.
“Sister, I want to buy two kites and go back to your house to fly them.”
He was tired of shopping around Qianmen Street. At this moment, the crown prince wanted to find a quiet place and fly a kite to his heart’s content.
Of course Hua Yang would satisfy her brother’s simple request.
The two siblings each chose one. The crown prince looked at Chen Jingzong and helped Chen Jingzong choose one. It was a big black eagle.
When they returned to the princess mansion, the three of them went directly to the garden without changing their clothes.
The garden was on the edge of the lake, with green and downy grass.
After the kite flew high, the crown prince lay on his back on the grass, staring at the tiger-head kite whirring in the sky against the sunlight.
He felt like he was a kite, with the spool sometimes held in the hands of Father Emperor and Mother Empress, and at other time in the hands of the cabinet ministers.
The crown prince suddenly wanted to cut the thin thread.
“Prince Consort, does Cabinet Elder still control you now?” The crown prince tilted his head and asked the prince consort sitting on his left.
Chen Jingzong: “He control some. If it’s right this minister will listen, if it’s wrong this minister will turn a deaf ear.”
Crown Prince: “Does Cabinet Elder tend to be right more or tend to be wrong more?”
Hua Yang was sitting on the other side. She didn’t look towards the two of them, but she was a little nervous, afraid that Chen Jingzong would say the wrong thing.
Don’t be fooled by her brother wanting to come out to play that was just like any other child, but in fact, her brother had a lot on his mind.
Chen Jingzong looked at the kite and said: “When this minister was a child, it was difficult to distinguish between right and wrong. He was more concerned with rules, and this minister was more playful, so our temperament didn’t match. Now that this minister is an adult, he basically doesn’t control much. Not to mention this minister rarely make mistakes, so he has no chance to discipline this minister. What he has said most in the past two years is that this minister should abide by etiquette in front of the princess and not contradict her like this minister usually did in the past. And this time when Your Highness left the palace, he called this minister to the study and gave a lot of instructions, asking this minister to ensure to help Your Highness.”
Speaking until here, Chen Jingzong shook his head helplessly, “He’s just too troublesome, as if without his reminder this minister would just leave Your Highness outside.”
The crown prince smiled. His mother empress was also the same, as if he would definitely get into trouble if he left the palace.
However, when he became an adult, would mother empress feel assure to let him take charge of his own affairs and stop interfering in everything?
“Sister, I want to go back to the palace.” The crown prince sat up.
Hua Yang was surprised: “It’s still early, don’t you want to play for a while?”
Crown Prince: “I’ve had enough fun. I want to go back early so that Mother Empress can rest assured.”
Hua Yang asked someone to prepare the carriage, and she and Chen Jingzong took her brother back to the palace.
On the way back, Chen Jingzong sat in the same carriage with her.
Hua Yang looked at him and said, “You are quite good at talking in front of my brother.”
Chen Jingzong sat upright, his eyes falling on her red lips: “Not as good as the Princess, with a tongue blooming like lotus flower.”