Keqing emerged and looked at Lin Haihai sympathetically. She told the helpless Zheng Feng, “She can’t get anything down. Bring her some milk!”
Zheng Feng looked up at Lin Haihai and asked, “Would you like some milk?”
Lin Haihai knew that was best for pregnant women who suffered from vomiting. She nodded weakly. She had to replenish her stamina quickly to become healthy again.
Zheng Feng rushed out immediately. Lin Haihai pondered for a moment and said, “We don’t have any milk cows. Where is he going to find milk this late at night?”
Wangchen paused. She hadn’t thought about that. He wasn’t going to steal milk, was he? Lin Haihai shared her speculation and the urge to rub her temple.
Qing Feng put a cape around Lin Haihai’s shoulders and said, “His Highness was here. I told him you were in surgery, and he went home first.”
Lin Haihai nodded. Yang Hanlun had been staying close by her side the past couple days. She could sense his aloofness and coldness, which she had attributed to the promise to give her away after a month. She often thought about how deeply her decision would hurt him. However, Chen Birou turned out to be a malicious woman. Would Yang Hanlun be able to accept the truth when he knew?
Lin Haihai smiled wryly. She took Keqing’s pulse and asked, “The full moon is near. How are you feeling?”
“Tired, weak, and feeling the urge to vomit. Just like you!” Keqing had gotten to know her story the past few days. She knew Lin Haihai had been stuck between the emperor and his brother, unable to come to a win-win situation.
Lin Haihai chuckled and tightened her hand around Keqing’s. “Don’t worry. I’m fine.”
Keqing’s eyes stung. She had experienced all manners of kindness and cruelty while she was running away. The woman who should’ve held herself in high regard ended up showing Keqing the care of a family. Keqing felt her hardened heart thawing little by little under her warmth.
“Where’s Juanzi?” asked Wangchen.
“She’s gone to bed,” Keqing said with a smile. “I was hit by a sudden bout of emotions and couldn’t fall asleep, so I came out to chat with you.”
“No need to think too much at this point!” Lin Haihai had listened to her story. She knew about Keqing’s sorrow, but she didn’t know how she could comfort her.
Ruefulness colored Keqing’s beautiful face. She opened her mouth, but ended up saying nothing. Something couldn’t be understood even if she put it into words, and some words would end up in vain even if someone could understand it since there was nothing anyone could do to help.
“Are you feeling better, Master?” Qing Feng asked worriedly as she patted Lin Haihai on the back.
“I’m fine, Qing Feng. Don’t worry!” Lin Haihai smiled warmly. Qing Feng and Ming Yue had been with her for a long time, and they had dutifully followed her instructions. She cared about them deeply.
“Why don’t I make some millet porridge for you? You haven’t had anything other than water today!”
Lin Haihai was about to turn her down when Zheng Feng returned carrying a milk cow. He looked like a mess, but he ignored everyone’s shocked glances and led the cow into the backyard, hollering, “Help me milk the cow, Qing Feng!”
Qing Feng rushed out in delight. Lin Haihai and the other two women exchanged a glance before hurriedly following her out to check on the situation.
Zheng Feng had tied the cow to a post. He pondered for a moment, standing rooted to the spot, before he rushed into the kitchen to fetch a pot of water. In a serious tone, he said, “That woman told me to clean the cow before milking it!”
Lin Haihai and the others widened their eyes at him. He bent down to sprinkle water on the cow’s udder. Shocked by the cold water, the cow raised its legs and kicked him. Caught off guard, Zheng Feng was kicked squarely as he knelt before the cow and lost his balance, lying prone on the ground.
Lin Haihai turned red with the effort to stop herself from laughing. After all, Zheng Feng was milking the cow for her. She should be more considerate of his feelings. Qing Feng, meanwhile, had no such reservation, and she burst into laughter, triggering the other three women to follow suit.
Zheng Feng scratched his head with a flushed face and said, “That’s what the woman taught me!”
After a thoughtful moment, he found a towel to carefully wipe the cow’s udder. This time, it didn’t lose its temper, but instead quietly let Zheng Feng clean it. Once that was done, Zheng Feng remembered the woman telling him to massage the cow. He turned around and threw the women a bashful look. “You should go back first!”
Lin Haihai nodded and left with the others. Zheng Feng didn’t turn back to the cow until the women had left him alone.
However, he didn’t know that they were actually hiding and peeking at him. Zheng Feng rolled up his sleeves and felt the cow’s plump udder. He began to massage it as per the woman’s instructions.
After he was done massaging, he squeezed the cow’s udder with a basin underneath. He carefully applied his force, and the cow came out in drips and drops. Then he applied more force, and the milk shot out like a water gun - not into the basin, but onto his face.
Zheng Feng’s nose wrinkled and pushed toward his eyes in disgust. That was pungent! He wiped his face with his sleeve carelessly and adjusted the direction before starting anew. This time, the milk finally went into the basin.
The women laughed until their stomach hurt. They didn’t know Zheng Feng could be this adorable. Lin Haihai gestured at everyone to go to the inner hall and wait for Zheng Feng’s return.
After a while, Zheng Feng came back with half a basin of milk. He told Qing Feng, “Cook this, but add some sugar. The milk tastes gamey!”
He got his clothes sorted out. Close by his side, Lin Haihai immediately put on the surgical mask hung on her ears. Wangchen rose to her feet and said, “You should go take a bath. You smell like cows!”
Awkwardly, Zheng Feng smelled his sleeve and said with a smile, “I’ll take my leave then. You should spend the night with Physician Lin here, Wangchen. It’s already midnight!” After a pause, he added, “Keep a close eye on her!”
Wangchen nodded. “Don’t worry, I’ll watch over her!”
She had a smile on her face to mask her thoughts. When are you ever going to care about me in the same way?
After a while, Qing Feng came up to Lin Haihai with a pot of milk. The smell refreshed Lin Haihai, and for the first time in quite some time, she felt like eating. She was touched by everything Zheng Feng had done for her.
Qing Feng gave everyone a bowl of milk and left the rest to Lin Haihai, leaving herself with nothing. Lin Haihai gave her a questioning look. “Why don’t you have some milk?”
Qing Feng furrowed her brows. “I don’t like it!”
“It’s fragrant and silky smooth,” Lin Haihai said with a smile. “Moreover, it’s nutritious. It seems that we should keep a few milk cows here as well to provide our patients with nutrients.”
“There’s a stable in the back,” Qing Feng said. “We should just keep the cows there!”
Wangchen picked up her bowl of milk and drank slowly. After a bemused moment, she said, “The renovation of the new hospital has been completed. Might as well use the backyard for keeping cows. The milk tastes good!”
Then a tall white figure appeared at the door. Wangchen looked up with shock and hurriedly dropped to her knees. “Greetings, Your Majesty!”
Qing Feng followed suit immediately, while Lin Haihai and Keqing rose to greet the man with a smile.
Yang Shaolun glanced at Wangchen. Lin Haihai had told him about her. He had been opposed to the idea, but Lin Haihai swore that the former consort had turned a new leaf completely. Only then did he allow her to stay by Lin Haihai’s side.
“Rise,” he said.
Wangchen picked herself up, her expression calm. She had let go of her obsessive love entirely.
“Greetings, Empress Dowager!” Yang Shaolun cupped his fists at Keqing.
Keqing bowed slightly. “And you, Your Majesty!”
“It’s late. Why did you come?” Lin Haihai asked. Then she turned to Qing Feng and said, “Fetch me another bowl!”
Qing Feng made a sound of assent and turned to leave.
“Zheng Feng returned to the palace when Luoqing and I had just finished discussing state affairs. He told us you’d stayed up to complete a surgery, so I came to check on you!”
Yang Shaolun looked at her closely. Her pale face radiated exhaustion, but her eyes were bright with joy.
“You should be sleeping this late at night!” said Lin Haihai. “Take a seat. You must be tired!”
“All my exhaustion evaporated when I saw you!” He didn’t mind being cheesy, but the two bystanders were too embarrassed to stick around. They bade the couple farewell and rose to leave.
Qing Feng returned with a bowl. She was just about to step back outside when Lin Haihai filled her bowl with milk and said, “Drink, Qing Feng!”
Qing Feng shook her head and said, “I don’t like it!” But she stared at the hot milk and licked her lips.
Lin Haihai shoved the bowl into her hand. “I’ll throw it away if you don’t drink it!”
Qing Feng hurriedly steadied her hands. “Thank you, Master. I’ll leave you alone!”
Lin Haihai nodded.
Yang Shaolun helped Lin Haihai sit down and massaged her arm. “Tired?”
Lin Haihai smiled at him. “Like you, my exhaustion evaporated when I saw you!”
Yang Shaolun chuckled and put his arms around her. “You’re not staying up this late again!” He put his hands on her belly with a serious expression. “Does the child miss me?”
Lin Haihai closed her eyes and snuggled close to him, whispering, “As much as their mother!”
Yang Shaolun felt warmth bloom and fill his chest to the brim. Lin Haihai was his home!
“I’m going back!” Yang Shaolun said reluctantly. “I have to prepare for the morning meeting, and I have reports I haven’t read!”
“You should stay in the palace if your schedule is so tight,” Lin Haihai said caringly. “I’ll pay you a visit sometimes!”
“You’re busier than I am, Physician Lin. It’s been days, and I saw neither you nor a letter from you. I had to visit the empress every day, worried that she had forgotten to hand me your letters!” He felt a little embarrassed. He knew the empress was smothering laughter when she saw him.
Lin Haihai didn’t have a choice. Yang Hanlun hadn’t allowed her to leave his sight over the past few days. She couldn’t find any time to visit him. She cupped his face and said, “Be patient. There’s still a fortnight til the promise will be fulfilled. The end is near!”
Yang Shaolun’s eyes darkened, and he asked worriedly, “Has Imperial Brother said anything to you?”
Lin Haihai shook her head. “He’s been quiet, but I can feel his aloofness. I think he’s probably adjusting!” That was merely her speculation, of course.
“He’ll come around,” Yang Shaolun said comfortingly. “Don’t worry.”
Lin Haihai managed a smile. “Go ahead. Be careful!” She rolled up his sleeves and checked the red string tied to his wrist. “Think of me when you see the red string, alright?”
Yang Shaolun frowned. “I saw Li Junyue wearing the same red string. Is that what you told him as well?”
Lin Haihai paused and made up blatant lies on the fly. “The patterns are different. His represents the love between brother and sister, while yours represents romantic love!”
Yang Shaolun believed her. “Is that another custom of your world? It’s strange, but very interesting!”
Lin Haihai laughed and nodded. She smoothed his clothes for him before handing him her bowl of milk. He accepted it, finishing it in one go.
Lin Haihai smiled. Her man was a big boy with a pure heart. She would love him properly in the future.
Yang Shaolun dropped a kiss on her lips and left with great reluctance. Lin Haihai watched him disappear into the night, feeling content and happy.Previous Chapter Next Chapter