After taking a bath, Lin Haihai stood before the window dressed in light, plain clothes. There were things she found terrifying in this era, especially on a quiet night and when she was cursed with ceaseless agitation. It felt as if she had no connection to anything in the world, that she was merely an outsider visiting.
The door creaked open, and the chilling wind sweeping in sent a shudder down her spine. She turned to look at her visitor. The emptiness and sense of loss in her heart evaporated immediately. She could only find herself in him.
“Why haven’t you put on more clothes?” Yang Shaolun reprimanded and came up to hold her tight. “It’s chilly late at night. You’ll catch a cold!”
“Are you done with court affairs?” His warmth felt like home to her.
“One can never be done with court affairs, but I put them aside since I didn’t want my wife to wait too long for me!” Yang Shaolun held her cold hand in his, his eyes shining with care.
“Where’s this wife you’re talking about? You’re shameless!” Lin Haihai broke into a smile, her heart swelling. She never knew a single word would be able to elicit such happiness.
“Why would I want shame when I have you?” Yang Shaolun said cheekily. “Having a wife is much more important!”
“You have much more than one wife! All three thousand beauties in your harem are your wives!” Lin Haihai’s voice was practically dripping with jealousy. It was a woman’s nature to be jealous.
“The only one I want as my wife is you. What do the women in the harem have to do with me?” Yang Shaolun chuckled, stroking her delicate skin with his slender finger, which stopped at her lip. “You’re jealous, my wife!”
She’s cute when she’s jealous!
Lin Haihai glared at him. “Jealous? Why would I resort to such childishness? Go seek your wives out. I swear I won’t be jealous at all!”
She was a confident professional woman. There was absolutely no reason for her to get jealous.
“I’m worried that you’ll cry if I do so!” Yang Shaolun pretended to be torn.
“Then I’ll find another man to marry!” Lin Haihai said seriously.
Yang Shaolun’s sharp eyes flared as he pinched her chin with a dark scowl. In an urgent voice, he said, “You wouldn’t dare!”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Lin Haihai taunted him. If he dares go to those women, I’ll marry myself off!
“This Emperor wouldn’t allow it!” he commanded, his voice hardening. He even called himself emperor before her.
Lin Haihai narrowed her eyes. How dared he order her around? Trying to intimidate her as the emperor? She pulled a long face and said, “You’re the emperor. If you refuse to let me go, how am I going to go against the imperial decree?”
Yang Shaolun was regretful. They had finally gotten together. Why should they waste their time on unnecessary arguments? He put his arms around her and whispered, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say that. Please don’t be mad at me.”
“I didn’t want to,” Lin Haihai said honestly. “I am jealous, though. It feels terrible when I think about your relationship with those women.”
“Give me some time. Once we deal with Prince Pingnan, we’ll get out of here. Then we’ll have only each other!” Yang Shaolun couldn’t wait. He had long grown tired of the throne. He wanted only to build a life with her.
“Don’t be hasty,” Lin Haihai warned. “Or you may make a mistake!”
Yang Shaolun was confident. “Don’t worry. Everything is going according to plan!”
Lin Haihai realized this was the side of him she loved the most. Men were most attractive when they were focused. Perhaps it was time for her to reveal her pregnancy. She believed he could handle everything well.
She was about to open her mouth when he said mysteriously, “There’s something I have to tell you!”
Lin Haihai was caught off guard. “What is it?”
“Imperial Brother had a chat with me. He said that he would let us be together. He only wanted a month to spend with you!” Yang Shaolun’s expression was colored by a faint sorrow. She could understand the source of his melancholy. Their relationship ended up hurting the little brother he cared about the most. That was their biggest regret.
Lin Haihai sighed. She owed Yang Hanlun too much.
“Your heart aches for him, doesn’t it?” she asked gently, pulling his hand to her chest, where her heartbeats could be felt.
Yang Shaolun’s eyes grew misty with tears. “For the longest time, I’ve considered protecting my younger brothers my most important duty. I swore to Imperial Father by his sickbed that I would care for and cherish them my whole life. Imperial Father was able to leave in peace because he knew I was a man of my words. Now, however, my younger brothers ended up getting hurt by me, the big brother they love and support!”
He didn’t know where the urge to confess came from. Perhaps he had been keeping everything bottled up for too long, and he forgot about how his words would make Lin Haihai feel.
Lin Haihai’s chest tightened. He was under more pressure than she was. Before meeting her, the man she cared deeply thought only about the nation and its people, and he never once considered his own needs. Now that he finally wanted to fight for his own happiness, though, he was met with resistance from all fronts. She put her arms around him and swore to herself that she would do everything she could to make him happy.
“Would you give up on me?” Yang Shaolun asked in a whisper.
“I won’t!” Lin Haihai promised. “My child and I will wait for you!”
This wasn’t the time for her to run away. She was Lin Haihai rather than Lin Yuguan, and she had the right to fight for the man she loved.
“Child?” Yang Shaolun looked at her with confusion in his eyes. Realization soon dawned on him, and he froze like a statute. “Do you mean our child?” he asked carefully, timidly. “You’re pregnant?” Both his voice and hands trembled with the effort to keep his overwhelming emotions under control.
“I am. I’m two-month pregnant!” Lin Haihai nodded happily with her hands on her belly.
Tremendous joy rushed through Yang Shaolun’s entire being. He felt a sudden lightness. His eyes stung as tears threatened to fall. He let go of Lin Haihai and placed his hands on her belly gently, almost fearfully careful. He worried that he might hurt his wife and child with his strength.
“Thank you, Xiao’hai,” he sobbed. Finally, he had a wife and a child!
“It’s not your first time being a father. Why are you so overwhelmed?” Lin Haihai voiced her confusion. “Didn’t you have Chuting?”
“She’s not my child,” Yang Shaolun said slowly.
Lin Haihai shook her head in shock. “What? How did you know?”
“The empress was pregnant when she married me,” Yang Shaolun said with a faint smile. “There’s someone she’s always loved, and she cannot forget him even today!”
Lin Haihai was moved. He knew, and he never blamed the empress, but instead allowed her room to love and miss another man, to yearn for the man she’d loved for a lifetime. He was more magnanimous than Lin Haihai could imagine. She hadn’t fallen for the wrong person!
“There’s something I’ve never told you. I’m not your sister-in-law. Yang Hanlun divorced me a few months ago!” Lin Haihai realized that she shouldn’t keep anything from him. Li Junyue was right. Yang Shaolun was the emperor, and he was capable of handling difficult issues. There were matters that were better left to him rather than her.
Yang Shaolun looked at her in disbelief, caught off guard by the sudden revelation. What shocked him even more was what Lin Haihai was about to say. She tugged at him to sit down and said, “To be more precise, I’m not Lin Yuguan. I’m Lin Haihai. I’m not from the Daxing Dynasty!”
“Not from Daxing?” Yang Shaolun’s heart sank. Luoqing has said she’s no ordinary woman. Could it be…?
“I’m not from Daxing. Neither am I from this era. I came to this world from the future. Li Junyue’s my contemporary. My time may be a few hundred or a thousand years from now. There wasn’t a Daxing in the history I know of!”
Lin Haihai dropped truth after truth, which made Yang Shaolun too stunned to say anything. He could only shake his head. His throat felt tight. Everything was too absurd for him to wrap his head around.
“I know it all sounds ridiculous, but I’m telling the truth. There’s nothing great about my medical skills. I’m simply standing on the shoulder of the experience accumulated for hundreds of years. I’m from China, a society where technology and everything material develops rapidly. Time travelling as a concept isn’t novel.”
Lin Haihai continued, “In my time, a man marries only a woman. There are no concubines. If the couple lose their love for each other, they can get a divorce. A woman can divorce her husband as well. Of course, there are homewreckers everywhere. What I’m doing now fits the description of a homewrecker. You’re married, and I’m wrecking your family.”
“In this nation and era, though, men can marry multiple wives openly. I have no choice but to adapt. You’re gonna take in other concubines even if you don’t have me as a mistress!”
Lin Haihai’s voice grew weaker and weaker as she spoke. Anyone would feel guilty calling herself a homewrecker.
“You’re a homewrecker?” Yang Shaolun was confused. “I’m not gonna accept anyone but you! You’ll be my homewrecker!”
Lin Haihai paused and said angrily, “I’m not a homewrecker!” That wasn’t how it worked here!
“But you said you were a homewrecker, didn’t you?” Yang Shaolun began to stutter. He didn’t know what he’d said wrong. Lin Haihai’s story left him disoriented and completely confused. His instinct told him that she wasn’t lying, but it was way too fantastical to believe.
Lin Haihai fumed. She was from China. A characteristic of Chinese people was that they could point out their own mistakes, but they wouldn’t allow others to do the same. “Told you I’m not a homewrecker! If you dare call me that, I’ll castrate you!”
The Lin Family had raised a thug!
Yang Shaolun ground his teeth together, feeling the urge to bite her on her flushed face. He pulled her into his arms and held her tight. “What do you mean you’re gonna castrate me? Hm?”
Lin Haihai blushed, stammering, “I’m… gonna… make you a useless man!”
“What good is it going to do for you?” he murmured, chasing after her lips and dropping kisses along her jawline to her ears.
Lin Haihai was soon lost in desires. She declared, “I’m not going to be your homewrecker. I’ll be your laopuo!”
“Hm? Laopuo? Laopuopuo? Does that mean we’ll be together until you’re old and grey?”
Lin Haihai tightened her arms around him. She hoped this wouldn’t be merely a dream. She hoped she wasn’t being too greedy. She hoped they hadn’t missed their chance. I want to hold onto his hand until the day we die!
“You’re truly from the future?” he asked, still having trouble reconciling with the truth. “That’s unbelievable!”
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Aaaaaand finally LHH told the truth