Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 87
Fu Gui brought another basin of water in and saw that the eldest master was lying down but his master was still standing on the ground, emitting cold air from head to toe like a lump of ice.
Fu Gui lowered his head, placed the copper basin in front of a stool, and then left.
Chen Jingzong sat on the stool and took off his boots one after another.
These boots have been worn all day long, and for a sweaty military attaché who was busy training soldiers, it was basically impossible not smell at all.
Chen Bozong: “…Open the window.”
Chen Jingzong washed his feet with a calm face, as if he didn’t hear anything.
Chen Bozong endured it for a while, got out of bed, put on his shoes and robe, and went to the south to open the window.
The cold wind of early Tenth Month blew in.
The window would be closed later, so Chen Bozong walked to a spot sheltered from the wind. From this angle, he could only see his brother’s broad back and stern profile.
While he was observing, Chen Jingzong suddenly sneered: “A gentleman never loses his dignity or loses his words. You pretend to be a true gentleman outside, but you come here to deceive others.”
Chen Bozong looked calm: “Really? How did I deceive you?”
Chen Jingzong: “The Princess has always respected the old man and Mother, so why would she move back to the Princess Mansion rashly and let the two elders go to the palace to apologize? She’s unlikely to move at this time, and it’s impossible for Mother see it. You just used those words to fool me.”
Chen Bozong: “It is true that the Princess respects the two elders, but if you make her angry, the two elders’ face will not matter.”
Chen Jingzong: “I make her angry? You really think too highly of me.”
Chen Bozong: “That means some of the Princess’ words and deeds offended you, and you move out in a fit of anger and deliberately ignored the Princess.”
Only now did he realize that he had fallen into his brother’s trap. If his brother directly asked him why he didn’t go back when they met, he would definitely not tell him. Now, with just a few words, his brother had guessed half of the truth.
He stopped talking.
Chen Bozong: “You are so bold, you even date to ignore the Princess. Seeing His Majesty gave four beauties to Meng Yanqing, you want to imitate him?”
It was impossible for Chen Jingzong to fall into his aggressive tactics again.
Chen Bozong: “On the 16th of Eight Month, you accompanied the Princess on a trip. Your sister-in-law quietly told me that she felt that your relationship with the Princess was getting better and better. At that time, I admired your ability to make the Princess fall for you. Now I admire you even more. You can even belittle the Princess’s affection, and you ignore as soon as you say ignore. Probably only a fairy that really falls from the sky will make you cherish and protect her.”
Chen Jingzong: “Stop talking nonsense, you know a fart.”
Chen Bozong: “Of course I don’t understand the Princess, I only understand you, my younger brother.”
He grabbed a towel and wiped his feet, then called Fu Gui in.
Fu Gui came in while bending over, glanced at the two brothers who were both standing, didn’t dare to interrupt, picked up the basin and came out again.
Chen Jingzong took off his outer robe and got into bed first.
Chen Bozong walked around the room and found that there was no smell, so he closed the window, turned off the copper lamp, and lay down on his quilt.
The brothers’ quilts were spread very close to each other, but Chen Jingzong deliberately slept on the edge with his back to his brother.
Chen Bozong sighed and said to the dark ceiling: “I still remember before we went to the capital, you were only three years old. Sometimes you would come into my room and insist on sleeping with me.”
Chen Jingzong: “Shut up. Why don’t you say that you still like to chew your own feet when you were three years old.”
Chen Bozong: “Maybe it’s as you said, but I don’t remember it. I only remember when you were a child.”
Chen Jingzong: “If you keep nagging, believe or not, I’m going to sleep with Fu Gui?”
Chen Bozong: “I came to persuade you on Mother’s order. If you don’t go back for a day, I will come for a day, and the nagging will only be more. Unless you’re really ruthless and don’t see me every time, and have the heart to make your sister-in-law worried at home, and make Wan Yi and Dalang anxious whether something happened to me. It’s dark and the road is far away, and my riding skill is not as good as you, so I might accidentally fall off my horse…”
Before he could finish speaking, Chen Jingzong threw the pillow over and hit him in the face.
Chen Bozong moved the pillow away: “Tell me, how was the Princess angered you? Did she criticized you for being rude, or did she dislike you for not being clean?”
Chen Jingzong: “These two sentences of yours seem to be saying that I am to blame for being angry, and she’s not wrong at all.”
Chen Bozong: “I’m sorry for my limited knowledge, but I really can’t imagine how the Princess would offend you.”
Chen Jingzong snorted hard.
He was angry inside, but no matter how angry he was, no matter how stupid Princess Nan Kang was, Chen Jingzong couldn’t tell his brother Nan Kang’s stupid words because it was related to the reputation of the other person.
Chen Bozong: “Not to mention anything else, you and the Princess have been married for almost three years, and you have some affection for each other. Now that you gave the princess the cold shoulder for more than half a month, are you not afraid of losing that affection?”
Chen Jingzong: “I didn’t give her the cold shoulder. I don’t have that ability. You and Mother are worried too much. She may wish that I don’t go back.”
If an ordinary husband ignored his wife and didn’t see her for half a month, that’s called giving the cold shoulder. He was just a prince consort…
Chen Bozong: “I understand, you were hurt by the Princess. Like a woman running back to her parents’ house in a fit of anger, you want to wait for the Princess to pick you up before you cool your temper, right?”
Chen Jingzong: “…Seeing that you are a scholar, I won’t even bother to beat you.”
Chen Bozong: “Okay, you are my brother after all, and I still side with you. I will tell Mother tomorrow and ask her to coax the Princess to come to the guard station to pick you up in person.”
He clenched his fists, hesitating whether to punch his brother.
While he was hesitating, Chen Bozong already fell asleep. The errands in Dali Temple were not easy, and after riding a horse for so long on empty stomach, Chen Bozong was really tired.
Although he was tired, Chen Bozong woke up while it was still dark outside the next day. He groped around the kang bed in the dark, lit a copper lamp, and looked at the waterclock to see the time.
Fortunately, there was no morning court today. If he set off now, he could get to Dali Temple in time for his job.
When Chen Bozong got dressed and was about to go out, Chen Jingzong, who seemed to be sleeping in the bed, suddenly said: “I will go back tonight, you don’t have to come again.”
It was getting colder and colder, and it was getting dark earlier and earlier.
After dinner, Hua Yang was ready to go to bed.
The four maids silently served the princess to change her clothes.
In the past, prince consort would go home almost every day. After dinner, the princess would either read a book or ask them to play chess. After prince consort came back, she would sleep with him.
Now that prince consort had not came back, there was no need for the princess to deliberately find things to kill time. When winter came, of course she should get into bed early and get comfortable.
“What the hell Prince Consort sulking about?”
Tonight, it was Chao Yun’s turn to keep night watch. After the princess went to bed, Chao Yue, Chao Lu, and Chao Lan returned to their small courtyard together. Although Chao Yue lived in another room, she also brought the footbath to the next door. The three sisters gathered together to chat.
“Who knows? I tried to probe the Princess twice, but she acted as if nothing happened. She didn’t say anything and didn’t seem to care much.”
“It’s better not to care. If the Princess cares, she must be very sad when Prince Consort didn’t come back for so long!”
“Yes, as long as the Princess is happy, it doesn’t matter where Prince Consort lives. If he doesn’t come back, the princess can go to bed early!”
After washing their feet and chatting, Chao Yue went to the next door. Chao Lu and Chao Lan also took off their clothes and got into bed.
Before the quilt was warmed up, there was a sound of hurried footsteps, followed by Zhen’er’s urgent voice: “Are Sisters asleep? Prince Consort is back!”
While the little maids done the menial work, the errands of serving the masters had to be done by the eldest maids!
After a period of chaos, Chao Lu, Chao Lan, and Chao Yue checked each other’s appearance to make sure it was presentable, and then hurried to the main courtyard together.
In the back yard, prince consort had not come yet, and there were no lights in the inner room, side rooms, or main room. Chao Yun was standing under the eaves with a lantern.
Chao Lu blew out a cloud of white mist and asked in a low voice: “Why don’t you light the lamp?”
Chao Yun hummed: “The Princess has gone to bed, so what’s the point? If Prince Consort want to come back, he should inform us in advance. He shouldn’t expect that whenever he returned, the Princess would entertain him with a good temper.”
This was right, and the three maids all believed it, but Chao Lu still asked curiously: “Have you reported it to the Princess?”
Chao Yun nodded.
Chao Lu: “The Princess told you not to light the lamp?”
Chao Yun: “The Princess just said hmm and didn’t say anything else.”
The four eldest maids have been with the princess since they were seven or eight years old. They understood that the princess’s “hmm” actually gave the prince consort a chance. If the prince has urgent matter or insist on seeing the princess, the princess would also be willing to see him.
After waiting for a while, a lamp appeared in the corridor, and the person holding the lamp was naturally the Prince Consort.
It was difficult to see clearly from a distance. When prince consort came closer, the four maids realized that he must have just taken a bath and his hair was still wet.
Chen Jingzong looked at the four maids with different expressions standing in a row, then looked at the dark rooms behind, and asked: “Is the Princess sleeping?”
Chao Yue: “Yes, Prince Consort is back at this time, but what happened?”
This was said with a bit of irony. If prince consort was just busy training soldiers and informed them in advance, it wouldn’t matter if he lived outside for half a year or a year. But they all knew that prince consort left with anger and living outside was just to throw a tantrum at the princess. Fortunately, the status of a princess was different. If She was an ordinary woman, when her husband was so angry that he did not come back for more than half a month, this woman would be pitied.
Chen Jingzong: “Prepare food.”
After saying that, he walked directly to the main room.
The four maids were full of momentum, but when they saw prince consort’s tall figure gradually approaching, and carrying a biting cold air, the four maids subconsciously moved out of the way, and watched helplessly as prince consort entered.
Of course, this was because the princess did not signal them to stop prince consort, otherwise they would have to protect the princess even if they were beaten by him.
After looking at each other for a moment, Chao Yue went to the kitchen.
Chao Lan went to prepare hot tea for prince consort. Chao Yun and Chao Lu walked in and found that prince consort had actually lit the lamp in the side room and was already sitting inside, making it clear that he would eat in the side room like before.
A quarter of an hour later, Chao Yue brought a bowl of steaming noodles over and whispered: “The kitchen didn’t know that Prince Consort was coming back, so they didn’t keep any rice. Feng gonggong cooked a bowl of noodles first. If Prince Consort wants to eat something else, I’ll let Feng gonggong prepare it again.”
Chen Jingzong: “Just eat noodles, you don’t need to serve here.”
The four maids did not move.
Chen Jingzong sneered: “Don’t worry, I don’t have the guts to do anything to the Princess yet.”
The four maids temporarily retreated to the main room.
Chen Jingzong glanced at the door of the inner room and lowered his head to eat noodles.
He ate in a hurry, but he didn’t make much noise. It was just that the night was too quiet. Even though there was a door, a screen, and a curtain, Hua Yang, who was sleeping in the bed, still heard it.
She was already a little sleepy, but when she learned that Chen Jingzong had returned, she became alert again. She didn’t know if something had happened, and she also didn’t know what he was angry about.
If it was just because of Nan Kang, then his temperament was truly too big.
Chen Jingzong finished a bowl of noodles, drank all the soup, rinsed his mouth, then asked the maids to come in and clean up.
Chao Yun walked in first and saw that prince consort had already pushed open the door to the inner room, leaving only his back.
The four maids stood silently in the side room. If anything went wrong inside, they would rush in to protect their master.
Chen Jingzong did not light a lamp, but walked to the box specially placed for quilts and pulled one out.
He entered the babu bed, skilfully spread the quilt on the bed floor, then took down the empty quilt on the bed, and lay down without caring whether the princess was awake or not.
Hua Yang heard his breathing, like the wind outside the window, heavy.
She lay silently.
But it was winter now, and it was winter in the capital. Even if the earth dragon was burned, if people slept on the ground, they were still susceptible to cold and illness.
Hua Yang suddenly let out a sneer.
The breathing of the person on the ground paused.
Hua Yang: “Either you don’t come back, or you sleep in the front yard. You come here to sleep on the floor, thinking that I’m a fairy who descended to the mortal world, so you deliberately trying to prevent me from sleeping well, isn’t it?”
No matter how beautiful she was, she had never thought of herself as a fairy. These words were spoken by Chen Jingzong himself, to ridicule her for being soft and kind.
Chen Jingzong: “I don’t want to come back either. But Mother kept urging me. What can I do?”
Hua Yang: “You can sleep in the front yard.”
Chen Jingzong: “I can go back to the front yard. I’m just afraid that over time when you don’t see me, you will wrongly accuse me of sleeping with maids in secret. Anyway, it’s easy for me to have tender feeling to fair-skinned and beautiful women, and if you add another handle to it, then it would be truly indefensible.”
“Just because I joked that you to have an interest in Nan Kang, you are angry like this?”
Chen Jingzong: “A scholar would rather die than be humiliated.”
Hua Yang: “You still insulted me for being interested in Eldest Brother and Third Brother, what did I say?”
Chen Jingzong: “You are not angry because you know that I just said it casually and never really doubt that you will have anything to do with them.”
Hua Yang: “I also just said casually, you are my Prince Consort now, how can you covet other women.”
Chen Jingzong: “You mean, if I’m not your Prince Consort, give me any fair and beautiful woman, and I will pounce on her.”
Hua Yang snorted: “Of course you will. When you and I were newly married, I was just a fair and beautiful woman to you. If you treat me like a princess, you wouldn’t be so vulgar.”
She had never thought that her handsome and heroic prince consort would hug her and called her ancestor on the first night. He was neither gentle nor elegant.
Chen Jingzong: “…You also said that when we were newly married. The wedding room was full of flowers and candles, it’s only natural for me to pounce on you.”
Hua Yang pulled up the quilt and covered her ears.
Chen Jingzong sat up, his line of vision was fuzzy, and he could only see an inconspicuous figure that was slightly arched under the quilt.
He gritted his teeth and said, “I indeed pounced you because you are fair and beautiful. But I won’t treat just any fair and beautiful person as my ancestor.”
The quilt made Hua Yang’s voice sound muffled: “That’s it if she’s not as a princess. You can sleep whenever you want, you won’t bother accommodating the other person. Didn’t you also say that if I weren’t a princess, you could have killed me on the first night?”
Chen Jingzong: “… I actually said so many things and you only remember this?”
Hua Yang: “What other serious things have you said?”
Chen Jingzong was silent.
Just when Hua Yang thought he was unable to retort, the quilt on her head was suddenly lifted.
Before Hua Yang could take a breath of fresh air, her earlobe was suddenly pinched.
Chen Jingzong twisted it slightly and said in a deep voice: “I said, I only want you, not to mention every other night, every other month, every other year, as long as you are willing to give yourself. I also said, even if you divorce me one day, I won’t look for anyone else. I will go to the Princess Mansion to find you. You can’t remember any of that, can you?”
Hua Yang: “You call these serious?”
Chen Jingzong: “I think so in my heart. They are all serious words. Some people swear an oath to you, but they may not really think that in their hearts.”
Hua Yang was speechless.
Chen Jingzong: “Anyway, remember, it doesn’t matter what else you say about me. If you treat me like a pig who can sleep with any woman and is willing to serve them, I…”
Hua Yang was listening, wanting to see what cruel words he would say.
Chen Jingzong pinched her earlobe, thought for a while, and only thought of a practical way that the family would not interfere: “I will sleep on the floor every night, not even touching you, a fairy, to prove my innocence.”
The author has something to say:
Old One: In fact, sleeping in the front yard can still prove your innocence.
Old Four: Get out!
TN: Ugh this chapter so long, but not long enough to warrant cutting it into two.