Who Cares – Chapter 102
Chapter 102 Humility
Ye Zhen had never seen a dead person before, so she never expected the real scene to be a hundred times more terrifying than she imagined. In order to preserve the body, Ruan shi was placed in a huge ice coffin, her skin glowing blue, her cheeks sunken, and although the corner of her mouth was smiling, it only made it more and more eerie.
Her muscles were frozen, so her her hands and feet couldn’t be bent at all. To change her clothes, she had to be picked up and slowly moved back and forth. It’s unknown where Guan Suyi had so much strength, she picked up Ruan shi by herself, and then quickly take off the burial clothes and put on the court dress.
During this action, the cut in Ruan shi’s belly that was sewed with needles and thread was inevitably revealed, making Ye Zhen’s hands and feet weak, if she hadn’t covered her mouth in time, she would have collapsed and screamed on the spot. Guan Suyi also asked her to put the shoes on the corpse, how dare she? Without even touching the tip of her toes, she was frightened by the flickering candle flame, and ran out while shouting.
“There is a ghost, there really is a ghost! There’s a shadow swaying on the wall!” She threw herself into Zhao Luli’s arms, trying to get comfort, but found him quickly pushed her away, then raised his hands and took two steps back. As if feeling it was not right, he put his hands behind his back, and said solemnly, “There are guests outside, don’t talk nonsense about ghosts, adding some confusion.”
“But I really saw it.” Ye Zhen threw herself at him with tears in her eyes, but was avoided again, only then did she realize that the momentary alienation was not an illusion. What is this? Emperor Sheng Yuan accepted her but didn’t touch her, now even Zhao Luli wants to draw a line with her. What is this?
Before she could understand, Guan Suyi lifted the curtain and said lightly, “The court dress have been changed, but sister-in-law doesn’t look well. I will sort out her remains for her again, and I would like to ask the guests to wait for a moment.”
“Naturally, naturally.” The guests who were a little flustered just now were infected by her and slowly regained their composure.
She then glanced at Ye Zhen and explained, “The candle flame was shaken by the wind, so the light and shadow were chaotic. It just so happened that I asked her to change the shoes for sister-in-law, maybe she was too afraid and scared herself. If so, then stay in the outer hall and recite the scriptures, so as not to scare till you sick.”
Compared with her calm and graceful attitude, Ye Zhen, who was tearful and shouting, was like a clown jumping on the beam, which made people look down a few points.
Ye Zhen also recalled the taste, looked at Zhao Luli, and looked at the guests who were secretly disdainful, her pale cheeks flushed red. Although she had lived in the palace for a long time and had real power, she really didn’t need to take care of anything. The internal affairs were basically handled by Baifu, except to inquire about the expenses of the concubines in the palace, there was almost nothing else she need to do, and in order to maintain her “gentle and kind” beautiful image, showing weakness everywhere, and playing tricks behind the scenes, she developed a temperament that couldn’t be put on stage.
No one in the palace could compete with her, so she didn’t notice, and now when she was facing Guan Suyi, she finally understood what different like clouds and mud was. She herself felt it so strongly, then how about others? Before the so-called “competition” begin, she already lost her momentum.
“I’m sorry, sister, it’s me who make a fuss about nothing.” She had no choice but to hang in there, “Wait for me to go in and apologize to sister-in-law, I hope her spirit in heaven won’t bother with me.”
Guan Suyi didn’t even look at her, she turned around and entered, and after a while, the word “come in” came out.
Ye Zhen inhaled again and again, but all she could smell was the musty smell emitted by the corpse and the pungent smoke of the candle, and she almost choked up.
Zhao Luli took a deep look at her, and suddenly said, “You don’t have to compare yourself with Madam, don’t. You are afraid of these, I know; you are not good at common affairs, I know that too. Since you are back, then just do like before, stayed at the courtyard looking at the scenery, write poems, and don’t worry about anything.”
Perhaps because the person who was gone had returned and stood by his side, the memories that had been blurred and then beautified in the past became real and clear. Ye Zhen might understood the melody of, hurting for the spring and sad for autumn, but when it come to managing the house, she was a mess. At that time, his mother was still in a good health, so she handled all the household affairs, both inside and outside, by herself. The two children were either left to the wet nurse and maid, or sent to the main courtyard to be taken care of by her in-laws. Ye Zhen only needed to dress up brightly, then burn a pot of incense, or sit by the lake to play the zither; or stand in front of the window to recite poetry; or improvise poems to pass on to others for appreciation.
The woman who he thought was so talented and had unparalleled charm at that time was now just a vulgar person who was beautiful on the outside and empty on the inside. If she was bent on comparing herself with Madam, she would only become more and more inferior and making a fool of herself. Thinking like this, Zhao Luli warned again, “You stay at the Zhao family with peace of mind, I will not treat you badly, but I will not hurt Madam in the slightest for you. Don’t carelessly call her sister, I can see that she doesn’t like it.”
Ye Zhen couldn’t believe her ears. Were these unkind words really said by Zhao Luli, who dead set on her back then? What kind of drugs did Guan Suyi gave him?
But at this time, she obviously couldn’t get to the bottom of it. She stared at the person with tears-soaked eyes, and when he took the initiative to dodge and evade, she entered the mourning hall, and then was frightened by Guan Suyi again. She, she was actually putting makeup on the corpse, gently smearing Ruan shi‘s blue face with her fingertips. Is she still human?
After applying it, she actually said to the dead Ruan shi, “Sister-in-law, this facial cream is specially developed by Jinzi for you, it can completely cover the birthmarks on your face, and it blends very well with your skin color. Because it contains a lot of lead powder, I was afraid it would be harmful for the fetus, so I temporarily withheld it, then I would give it to you when you have a smooth delivery, let you go out beautifully and have a feast with your guests confidently. Next year, let General Zhao ask for grant order for you so you can raise your head. However, things are unpredictable, I haven’t send this gift yet, but you actually, you actually…”
She shed two lines of tears, but her expression became more determined. She picked up the brush to slowly drew her eyebrows, and sighed, “Now I can only let you walk beautifully, and went grandly. You have a second-rank grant order, with a posthumous title Zhenlie, even if General Zhao marry a new wife in the future, she will not be able to suppress you, let alone suppress your child. Your spirit in heaven doesn’t need to worry. By the way, I named the child Huai’en (to harbor favor), so that he will always remember his mother who sacrificed her life for him. He is very healthy, full of energy when he cries, and doesn’t look like a premature baby at all. If it is possible, I really want to hold him over and let you take a look again, but the cold air in the mourning hall is overwhelming, and there are smoke everywhere, I’m afraid of hurting his body, so I had to give up…”
As she spoke softly, Ruan shi‘s lifeless face gradually restored to its original state. With the birthmarks covered, the willow eyebrows drawn, and the rouge painted on, the facial features were actually very graceful and beautiful. If Zhao Jinyu came back and saw it, how amazing would it be?
The old madam finally cried uncontrollably, shouting “second daughter-in-law” and then “son”, howling so loudly that she almost fainted. Guan Suyi hurriedly went to help her, trying to persuade her, but Ye Zhen was already scared silly and hid in the corner while hugging her shoulders.
The relatives and friends outside heard the noise and ran in, and when they saw the radiant Ruan shi, they exclaimed in amazement, then in front of her body they were reminded of their humility and cowardice, tears ran down their lapels, sobbing without sound. If there was no Madam, how bitter her ending was? Wouldn’t she die with unresolved grievance?
If the child was not born, it would be one corpse with two lives. There would be no grant order and no posthumous title, and a thin coffin would be buried hastily after three days. Compared with the present, how could it not make people feel a lot of emotion and sadness from it?
“Second daughter-in-law, you can go in peace. With your sister-in-law here, Huai’en will not be lacking anything. Second daughter-in-law, your life is bitter, but your life is also good. Having met your sister-in-law, she personally dressed you in burial clothes, personally put makeup on you, personally send you to reincarnate. You must be die in peace, right? But I am afraid! I am afraid in the future I will not die in peace! If the Zhao family can’t keep your sister-in-law, I will not dare die! In this family, only your sister-in-law understands person, without her looking after my old age, without her to manage my funeral, I dare not die, I can’t close my eyes ah…”
The old madam was reluctant to part with her second daughter-in-law, and just so happened Ye Zhen came back. Seeing that the Zhao family was about to fall apart again, the bitterness and grief in her heart were all gushed out. She hoped that these words would make her eldest daughter-in-law’s heart soften, but she also knew that there was little hope, so she cried even more sadly.
Damned that Ye Zhen, why didn’t she die in the palace? For the sake of the two children, the Zhao family could neither drive her away nor demote her. What should they do in the future?
The old madam was almost faint, and Guan Suyi had no alternative but to hug her, and kept patting and comforting her; Zhao Luli quickly knelt down and hugged the two of them and shook them gently; Zhao Wangshu, Zhao Chunxi, and Mu Mu also swarmed over, hugged into a ball and cried. The appearance of a family of six licking each other’s wounds was heart-wrenching and even more very moving.
And Ye Zhen had already been squeezed out of the crowd, looking at all of this with resentful eyes. She finally understood that a few years seemed to wear off Zhao Luli’s love for her, and instead gave Guan Suyi a heavier feeling. The old madam and the children were also completely subdued by her, putting her first in everything.
The entire Zhao family was circling around Guan Suyi, and she was just an unnecessary burden. Thinking like this, Ye Zhen, who was already quite frightened, was even more shocked, she lost her energy and slumped on the praying mat. Her hair in a bun was sweating, her face was gray, and she looked like a sorry figure. However, before she could recover, Guan Suyi had already comforted the old madam and the children, wiped away her tears and prepared to preside over the ceremony.
She had use all her willpower to hold up her weary legs and walked to Zhao Luli’s left side to sit down. No matter what, she was also the original wife, and qualified to be on an equal footing with Guan Suyi. But she underestimated the hard work of a sacrificial ceremony. It turned out that in addition to sitting and reciting the scriptures, she also had to stand up and bow down from time to time, kneeling down on her forehead; read another scripture, stand up and bow, kneel and kowtow, and so on.
Ye Zhen lived in the palace for a long time, pretending to be weak. But overtime she became genuinely weak, and had a hard time breathing after walking a few more steps, so how could she face the two hours of tossing? Her heart was not good, but she could only stiffly carry on. Unexpectedly, just after reading two scriptures and bowing twice, she fell down on the praying mat and couldn’t get up for a long time.
The sacrificial ceremony was the most solemn ceremony, and there shouldn’t be any mistakes, but today, because of the inexplicable return of the original wife, there have been many troubles. Was she doing it on purpose? This is too vicious! If it’s not intentional, then it’s even more difficult to be put on stage. It’s better to lock her in the side room quickly, and don’t come out to shamed people!
Resentment loomed in every guests’ eyes, and Zhao Luli was also helpless and exhausted. He knew that Ye Zhen was weak, but he didn’t know that she was so weak that she couldn’t even hold on to the sacrificial ceremony, then what else could she do? Why he liked this kind of woman back then, now that he thought about it, he found it very unbelievable.