Suxin put a jug of wine and a cup before Zhou Junpeng. Li Junyue noticed the light red plum blossom on the bottle, under which was a woman dancing with a sword. The bottle before him, on the other hand, had only the pattern of elegant plum blossom and no woman dancing with sword. Li Junyue quietly scanned his surroundings. Realization dawned on him suddenly.
“Have a drink, Physician Li!”
The wildness on Zhou Junpeng’s face was replaced by humbleness. Li Junyue picked up his cup and saluted the man before taking a sip of the wine. His smile was faint, but his eyes were piercing. He was waiting for Zhou Junpeng to show his hands. The man wouldn’t have introduced himself for no reason. He must be up to something.
“I’ve approached you tonight for nothing other than befriending you, Physician Li!” Zhou Junpeng said with a faint smile. Under the wavering candlelight, his face faded in and out of the darkness, while the obscured obsession in his eyes remained unchanged. What he wanted the most was to get close to Linhai Hospital.
“We may be brothers without being born brothers. As long as Young Master Zhou is earnest about befriending me, I have no reason to turn you away!” Li Junyue said with underlying meaning.
“I’ve gotten carried away and forgotten my manners tonight. I hope Physician Li may forgive me!” Zhou Junpeng’s embarrassment was in stark contrast to his aggressive confidence earlier.
“Drink. It’s rare to have a drinking partner. Let’s not talk about anything but the wine, lest it disturb the mood!” Li Junyue felt like getting drunk today. It had been a while since he last felt this way.
“Alright,” Zhou Junpeng responded in earnest. “Let’s drink until we’re drunk!”
One cup after another, they drank the wine. Tonight, they were nothing but drinking partners. No words were needed when two men shared alcohol. They needed only to communicate through wine. Li Junyue didn’t want to think about if their meeting tonight was arranged on purpose, or if they had run into each other by chance. It didn’t really matter!
Once he felt a warm buzz from the alcohol, he bade Zhou Junpeng farewell and made his way out on his own, treading his lone path through life. Zhou Junpeng watched as Li Junyue left, having failed to ask what he had been meaning to ask.
There was an air of reclusiveness about the physician. It was as if he’d seen everything good and bad in the world and gained an inner peace that was unusual for the mortal world. Zhou Junpeng couldn’t even bring up Lin Haihai. He’d passed by her many times during the past month. Her usually serene face had been shrouded by faint sorrow. She never spared him even a glance, like he was a total stranger. She must have forgotten about him! There was nothing he could do despite his disappointment.
Dawn broke with autumn breeze and a desolate chill. Wangchen had fled the Linhai Hospital. She’d heard the emperor talk in his dream during the night, always calling out the same name - He had been, and always would be in love with Lin Haihai. Wangchen had thought that she would be sad, that she would at least shed a tear. However, her face was completely dry when she touched it. The thick sorrow in her heart came with a trace of relief. She was sad not because they loved each other, but because they couldn’t be together. The tragedy of their situation struck a chord in her heart, filling her with sorrow. She wanted to do something, anything to make amends to the woman she had once hurt.
The sky was gloomy today, and a chilling wind swept up dust into the air to obscure the sun. Fallen leaves danced on the street, catching the eyes of the passersby. Zheng Feng returned with exhaustion and tinges of frustration. He was surprised to see Wangchen. Looking around, he saw no one but her.
Wangchen returned his gaze, her heart filled with conflicting emotions. She was at a loss of what to do. The man had given her a hand when she had no will to live. He was her savior, in a sense. He knew everything about her past, and seeing him made her feel dirty and wrong. The sense of inferiority weighed her down and almost prevented her from looking at him. However, she managed to keep her calm and said, “Morning, Commander Zheng!”
“Morning, Miss Wangchen!” Zheng Feng was polite to her only because she served Physician Lin. His politeness was distant, which reflected his true feelings about the woman. He didn’t like her. He would not forgive anyone who had hurt Physician Lin easily.
They parted ways and never crossed paths again, and Wangchen’s heart grew a little heavier. How could she become as loved as Lin Haihai? She hadn’t missed the admiring looks in Zheng Feng’s eyes when he looked at Lin Haihai. Even someone as prideful as him treated her like she was a deity, feeling like his attention was somehow sacrilegious. Was Lin Haihai really that great a person?
Wangchen sighed. The indifference in his eyes had shaken her determination. Perhaps it was her fate to be constantly wavering. She quickened her pace and hurried back to the Prince Residence.
Lin Haihai opened her eyes, her lashes fluttering as she blinked with uncertainty. She noticed the man sleeping with his arms on the bed. She took a few deep breaths. Her belly no longer hurt, and her power answered her immediately when she attempted to cycle her inner energy. Everything had gone back to normal. What happened last night felt like a fever dream.
Yang Hanlun held her hand tight, which surprised her. Usually those who were asleep would be relaxed both physically and mentally. They would unconsciously let go of whatever they were holding. However, Yang Hanlun showed no signs of letting go. In fact, he tightened his grip when she tried to pull her hand back. Lin Haihai was touched by his reflexive reaction, but she felt even more guilty.
She didn’t dare move lest she woke him up. The shadow under his eyes was a clear sign that he hadn’t been sleeping the night before. Light shone in through the crack of the door, accompanied by cool breezes. Autumn had arrived unnoticed. She had been wandering aimlessly when she first came to this world, and now she had a great ambition to realize. Many things had happened, and she had met and befriended many people. She’d lost a lot, but also gained a lot. Such was the nature of life. You gained something, you lost something. Once one got used to the way life worked, losses would no longer faze them.
Yang Hanlun opened his eyes slowly and was met with Lin Haihai’s pure smile. The sorrow that had been looming over her was gone, replaced by hope and a will to fight. He gave her a warm smile and asked tentatively, “Does your stomach still hurt? I was scared to death last night!”
She shook her head. “It doesn’t hurt anymore. I’m hungry!”
Enduring the pain for an entire night had exhausted her, and her stomach had been protesting. Immediately, Yang Hanlun shot to his feet and rushed out after saying, “Give me a moment, I’ll have breakfast prepared and served!”
Wangchen quietly entered the room. Lin Haihai considered the tired look on Wangchen’s face, the pain in her heart fading away. He was safe. That was all that mattered. She didn’t want to know anything else.
“He’s been calling your name for the entire night!” Wangchen said, looking at her with a conflicted gaze.
Lin Haihai suddenly found the light a little too bright; it stung her eyes. She rose to her feet and said, “Why don’t you lend me your name? There are memories I’d like to forget!”
Wangchen stared at Lin Haihai, perplexed. Then she saw a heartbreakingly bright smile bloom on Lin Haihai’s face as she laughed and said, “Forget it. I won’t be able to forget. My past is all I have now!”
Wangchen was at a loss. “What do you mean?”
“I mean I’ll be really busy from now on, and you’ll be even busier than I am,” Lin Haihai patted her on the shoulder and said seriously, her gaze shining with traces of mischief. “Whatever I cannot do, you have to do for me!”
Wangchen gave her a pleading look. She shrugged and said, “There’s no other way. After all, you’re becoming a fellow disciple to the others!”
She turned to leave. Wangchen was stunned for a moment before a smile curved her brows and eyes. She hurried after Lin Haihai and asked tentatively, “Do you mean you’ve agreed to be my master?”
“Be prepared,” Lin Haihai said exasperatedly. “You’ll learn the basics from your senior brothers at the hospital. I’ll kick you out if you’re not paying attention!”
“Are you going to Linhai Hospital?” Wangchen asked with unspoken words.
Lin Haihai paused. That’s right, he’ll be there as well. She had to face him sooner or later. She would not allow him to risk his life again. She wanted him alive and well. If the price to pay was not to see him again, so be it. At least she would know where he was and know that he was safe. That was more than enough for her!
“I am,” she said calmly. “Get ready. Go back to your room to wash your face. You look tired. Would you like to rest for a couple hours?”
Wangchen waved a dismissive hand. “There’s no need. Those who train in the martial arts aren’t that weak!”
“Seeing you, I swear I’ll never pull an all-nighter in the future!” Lin Haihai said gravely. “Women really must get sufficient sleep. You’ve only been awake for a night, and you look like you’ve aged ten years! Such a pity!”
She sighed and walked away, shaking her head. Wangchen touched her own face before dashing back to her room and checking herself with a bronze mirror. Then she put makeup on herself like her life depended on it. It wasn’t until the shadow and exhaustion on her face were obscured that she put down the mirror and let out a sigh of relief.
Lin Haihai stood before the bed and looked at Yang Shaolun’s handsome face. His ink-black brows, his frown, his sculpted features, his tall nose, and his thin lips. She catalogued them all and burned them into her memory. This would be the last time she looked at him with deep love. From now on, their paths would never cross again. It wasn’t the first time she said so, and her promise to herself had always ended up becoming empty words. This time, however, it would be true.
She didn’t tend to his injury. She knew he was recovering well. What she worried about was hurting the child she bore. Life without Yang Shaolun would be agonizing and tragic. The child would give her the courage to face that future. The child was the only connection between the two of them, she being the mother and he being the father. In a sense, they would still be family.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I think Li Junyue may be my fav in this story lol