Lin Haihai awkwardly broke out of Yang Shaolun’s embrace and asked with a blush, “Anything wrong with the patients staying in the hospital tonight?”
“The patient receiving surgery woke up and kept complaining about the pain,” Imperial Physician Chen answered with cupped fists. “This student sealed his acupuncture point with golden needles, and he’s feeling better for now!”
Lin Haihai nodded. “Good job. I’ll take over the shift tonight. You should go home to your wife!”
Imperial Physician Chen blushed. “This student isn’t married, Master!”
Lin Haihai paused before breaking into a laugh. “That’s right. It’s Li Chaomin who’s married. You should hurry up, though. You aren’t a young man anymore!”
Imperial Physician Chen awkwardly responded, “This student has a cousin with whom I was matched with in childhood back in my hometown!”
Lin Haihai widened her eyes at him. “Then you should take her here to marry her!”
“This student was going to take a few days off to go back home, but the hospital has been busy near the opening of the new branch, and Physician Li hasn’t yet returned. It’s not a good time for this student to leave - ”
“You should go!” Lin Haihai interjected. “Just write me a leave slip. I’m in charge of the Imperial Physicians Branch, and I’m the only one you have to get approval from. Set out tomorrow. Where’s your hometown?”
Lin Haihai had thought he was a local in the capital.
“Quxuan Town at the border of Chen,” answered Imperial Physician Chen. “But I don’t have to take a leave since I’ve written a letter to my uncle ten days ago, asking him to hire a group of armed carriers to escort my cousin to the capital. They must be on their way already!”
“Then this Emperor will decree your marriage once your cousin arrives!” Yang Shaolun was moved by his sense of duty.
Pleasantly surprised, Imperial Physician Chen dropped to his knees to thank the emperor for his kind offer.
“Alright,” Lin Haihai said with a smile. “You may go. Leave the rest to me!”
“Understood. This student will take my leave!” Imperial Physician Chen left with a grateful heart. It was worth many lifetimes of fortune for him to receive the emperor’s blessing in marriage!
Lin Haihai was feeling hungry. She said, “What’s taking Qing Feng and Ming Yue so long? I should go to the kitchen to help them!”
Yang Shaolun and Chen Luoqing shouted in unison, “Don’t!”
Lin Haihai jumped. Yang Shaolun immediately amended in a gentle voice, “You’ve been busy the whole day. You must be tired. Come have a seat!”
“It’s fine. I’m just offering them a hand. I’m starving!” Lin Haihai chuckled. “I’m a great cook! You should have a taste, Wangchen, Zheng Feng!”
“Of course,” Wangchen said happily. “I didn’t know you cook, Master. I must have a lot then!”
Zheng Feng had a look of anticipation on his face as well. Chen Luoqing and Yang Shaolun exchanged a glance. The general shot his old friend a warning look, telling him to deal with his woman, while Yang Shaolun looked back with innocent puppy eyes, responding, You deal with her! She’s stubborn! In the end, they exchanged another glance and sighed in resignation.
Just when Lin Haihai had eagerly rolled up her sleeve, Qing Feng and Ming Yue emerged with their dinner. Chen Luoqing and Yang Shaolun wiped away their sweat at the same time, letting out a silent sigh of relief.
“You’re wonderful, Ming Yue!” Chen Luoqing said with a grateful expression.
Ming Yue gave him an odd look. Why does the general look like he’s going to cry?
Lin Haihai shrugged. It seemed she had lost her chance. “I’ll cook for you next time, Wangchen!”
“What a shame I couldn’t have Master’s delicious cooking!” said Wangchen.
Zheng Feng was still unconvinced. “Is it that good?”
“Ask General Chen. Is my cooking delicious?”
Chen Luoqing looked up at the excited look on Lin Haihai’s face. Yang Shaolun let out a few forceful coughs. Chen Luoqing said seriously, “The meal your master prepared sure is a meal to remember. The impression has gone bone deep. Late at night, I often remember the taste I cannot forget!”
Zheng Feng widened his eyes. Is it really that good?
They finished dinner with friendly chatter. Lin Haihai hadn’t eaten much. After a few mouthfuls of rice and some vegetables, she put away her bowl. Yang Shaolun felt his heart ache as he observed her.
Thankfully they had milk Zheng Feng got from the cow today, and Lin Haihai at least had something to fill her stomach. She purposefully avoided spending time with Yang Shaolun alone, lest he asked about the reason Yang Hanlun and she fought. It would be wrong for her to lie to him, but at the same time she couldn’t tell him the truth. If he knew Chen Birou had poisoned her, he would lose it and immediately arrest Chen Birou. Then there would be no turning back for the brothers!
That was why whenever Yang Shaolun was going to broach the topic to her, she turned to Wangchen or Chen Luoqing with a smile and shared a laugh with them. It was obvious she was changing the subject. Yang Shaolun of course had noticed, and he had to shelf his question for another day. Nevertheless, he couldn’t rest easy until he had figured out the truth!
Before Yang Shaolun and Chen Luoqing left, Lin Haihai whispered to Chen Luoqing, “Don’t let him clash with Yang Hanlun!”
Chen Luoqing nodded. Yang Shaolun stared at the two of them putting their heads together with rising jealousy. Women really weren’t the only ones to get jealous!
After Yang Shaolun had left, Zheng Feng asked Lin Haihai, “Are you busy tomorrow?”
“Perhaps,” Lin Haihai said boredly as she sat on a chair. “Why?”
“Why don’t we go back to the North Court so you can cook?” Zheng Feng was curious after Chen Luoqing talked up her cooking.
“Sure! Let’s do that!” Lin Haihai laughed. Cooking’s good. I love cooking!
“Why don’t I visit the wards with you, Master?” Even Wangchen was talking sweetly now.
Lin Haihai rose to her feet and chuckled. “Let’s check on the boy who just got a surgery. His arms must be hurting!”
The three of them entered the hospital ward. The young beggar had woken up. With his face cleaned by Qing Feng, he appeared to be a young boy with delicate features. Gently, Lin Haihai asked, “How are you feeling?”
The boy blinked at her. “Are you a fairy?”
Lin Haihai gave him a tender smile. “I’m Physician Lin, and I’m here to treat you! I’m not a fairy!”
“You’re so beautiful!” The boy marveled. “You’re more beautiful than the young mistress I used to serve!”
Lin Haihai tucked him in and asked, “What’s your name? Why were you beaten?”
The boy’s eyes brimmed with tears. “I’m Gozi. I’m eleven years old. Last year, I was a servant of an important family. I offended Young Mistress, and she cut the tendons of my arms and legs before kicking me out. From then on I’ve been begging to support myself. Two days ago, I followed Young Mistress to an abandoned convent, where she was talking to a woman about bad things. I was discovered, so they tried to silence me by killing me!”
The boy burst into tears. Lin Haihai and her two companions were enraged. They were about to ask the boy who the vicious woman was, but the boy began whining in pain. It turned out he had torn his stitches when he cried. Lin Haihai hurriedly reached out to steady him, while Wangchen left to fetch some hot water. It took them half the night to take care of his bleeding wounds.
Night deepened. Everyone had gone to bed, but Lin Haihai twisted and turned, unable to fall asleep. Has Li Junyue found the journal? Probably not. If he did, he would’ve returned already. What should we do with Keqing’s poison then?
Yang Hanlun returned home drunk. Chen Birou cleaned his face with an aching heart. She was genuinely in love with this man, and that was why she hated Lin Haihai. Women were emotional creatures. Oftentime they were left with no other options.
Yang Hanlun opened his eyes to the caring look on Chen Birou’s face. All the love he had felt for this woman surged in his heart. He caught her hands and choked out, “I will not let anyone hurt you, Birou! How dare she call you a vicious woman? How dare she accuse you of serving her poisoned soup? I won’t let her insult you and falsely accuse you! You’re the most wonderful and perfect woman in my mind!”
Chen Birou blanched. She must get rid of that woman now!Previous Chapter Next Chapter