Chapter 145: Your Position is Mine

Mid-Autumn Day came. The empress dowager invited imperial princes to spend the day in the palace. Yang Hanlun hadn’t gone to Lin Haihai. He had assigned his men to keep an eye on her instead the past few days, and Prince Pingnan’s followers had been spotted around the hospital. Of course, Lin Haihai was completely in the dark. She thought they were regular patients here to get prescriptions for medicines.

 

Guihua had been waiting for Lin Haihai in the Linhai Hospital with her court attire. Lin Haihai had the maid wait in her room before checking on Keqing.

 

The Rong empress dowager’s complexion had turned sickly. Beads of sweat dripped from her face. Although she underwent such torment every month, she still couldn’t get used to it. Stabbing pain assaulted every single pore on her body, cutting her heart open like the sharpest blade. Juanzi bit into a handkerchief and bawled her eyes out, but she didn’t dare make a sound.

 

Keqing curled into herself and writhed around, her teeth clattering. She even scratched her skin open as she endured the pain. Lin Haihai was stunned. She went up to steady the empress dowager and sealed her acupuncture point to immobilize her. Paralyzed, Keqing’s face turned red and dark as she was pushed to the edge of breaking down. Lin Haihai made circles with her right hand and placed it on Keqing’s forehead. The power of the spiritual pearl slowly dispersed the poor woman’s pain. Keqing widened her distant eyes at Lin Haihai. She couldn’t believe that Lin Haihai wielded such tremendous power.

 

Lin Haihai felt the resistance coming from Keqing’s body. She couldn’t cleanse Keqing of the Gold Caterpillar Gu. The poison had been cultivated through unorthodox and insidious means, and the gu eluded the power of the spiritual pearl. The most she could do was to suppress its potency. If the poison wasn’t cured on the fifteenth day next month, Keqing would surely meet her demise!

 

Lin Haihai pulled her hand back and felt a wave of weakness wash over her. She would be as powerless as a regular person for the next few hours. She wiped away the sweat on her forehead and instructed Juanzi, “Watch over her, Juanzi. She’ll be pretty weak today, but the poison won’t act up this month!”

 

Juanzi dropped to her knees and declared gratefully, “Juanzi will never forget what Physician Lin has done for Her Majesty!”

 

Lin Haihai rose to her feet. A bout of lightheadedness came over her. She struggled to keep herself steady and managed a weak smile. “Rise. I’m leaving. Keep a close eye on her!”

 

She turned to Keqing, who had slowly closed her eyes. The woman must be exhausted. Lin Haihai returned to her room and sat down. It was the first time she quietly allowed Guihua to put makeup and accessories on her. She was so tired she couldn’t even utter a word!

 

Lin Haihai fell asleep as soon as she got into the carriage. Wangchen peered at her worriedly. She had never seen her master like this. What happened? However, she didn’t want to bother Lin Haihai, so she let her rest. Zheng Feng parted the curtains and asked gently, “What’s wrong with her?”

 

Wangchen shook her head. “She’s probably sick. She seems to be running a fever. Why don’t we return now?” The boring palace banquets didn’t suit Lin Haihai anyway!

 

“She’s been unwell recently.” Zheng Feng frowned, his handsome face shrouded with concern. “Didn’t she say she would cook for us? But she forgot about that in the evening, and she didn’t even have dinner that night!”

 

“She’s been so distracted that she didn’t dare see any patients, worried that she would make a mistake!” Wangchen remembered what Lin Haihai had said when she asked her why she hadn’t been seeing patients. Lin Haihai told her she didn’t want to make the wrong diagnosis because of her exhaustion!

 

Zheng Feng worriedly glanced at Lin Haihai, who had curled into herself in the corner in her sleep. “The empress dowager will tell her to go home and rest when she sees how unwell she is. We should still enter the palace!”

 

Guihua put a cape around Lin Haihai’s shoulders with the same brewing concern.

 

The palace was bustling with activity. Every prince had attended the banquet in formerwears with their family members. Lin Haihai struggled to keep a smile on her face and approached the beaming empress dowager. Her pale face made Yang Shaolun’s heart clench. Is she sick?

 

Yang Hanlun stared at her with conflicting emotions warring in his heart. He hated her but also loved her. The two extremes clashed in his heart, leaving him mentally exhausted and compromising his judgement.

 

Chen Birou smiled faintly, her eyes shining viciously. Everything will change tonight!

 

“Have you been feeling better, Imperial Mother?” Lin Haihai sat down by the empress dowager’s side.

 

“This Empress Dowager is fine, but what about you? You look sick!” The empress dowager put a hand on her forehead and said in surprise, “You’re running a fever! Summon the imperial physicians, Lihua!”

 

Lin Haihai hurriedly stopped the maid from leaving and told the empress dowager, “I’m a physician myself, Imperial Mother. I’ve taken medicine. I’ll be fine!”

 

Yang Shaolun put aside his reservations and instructed Lihua, “Summon the imperial physicians! Physicians sometimes make wrong judgments when it comes to their own health!”

 

“Wait, I’ve let all the imperial physicians have a day off. I’m in charge of the branch. When I say I’m fine, I really am!” Lin Haihai put on a smile. “I’m hungry, Imperial Mother. Where’s the food?”

 

She was actually hungry, but she couldn’t get anything down.

 

“Lihua, Lihua! Get Consort Lin something to eat. Look how thin she’s become!”

 

The empress dowager called out urgently. Lihua rushed out to get some food, and was stopped by Yang Hanlun midway. “Get Consort Lin a bowl of soup,” he said in a pained voice. “She can’t stomach anything else!”

 

Lin Haihai looked up at him with complicated feelings in her heart. He still cared about her, but would they ever be friends again?

 

The empress emerged with Xiao Jueran by her side, her stunning beauty accentuated by elegant and luxurious attire. She nodded at Lin Haihai when she saw her, and Lin Haihai smiled in return. Xiao Jueran walked up to Lin Haihai with a frown. “Why do you look so pale? Are you sick?”

 

Lin Haihai smiled with difficulty. “I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten anything today.”

 

Yang Shaolun wanted nothing but for everyone to vanish from the room so that he could punish the woman for not eating anything. He had told her she must have two bowls of rice every meal. Her face was getting thinner and thinner. He couldn’t bear to look at her wasting away.

 

Lihua returned with a bowl of soup. With a smile, she said, “Please have this, Sixth Princess Consort!”

 

Lin Haihai looked around at all the people in the room and said with embarrassment, “Bring the soup to the dining hall, Lihua. I’ll have it there!”

 

Lihua voiced her assent, and Lin Haihai followed her to the dining hall. As soon as Lin Haihai drank a mouthful, she felt her stomach acting up. She rushed to the door and threw up, scaring Lihua witless. Lin Haihai grabbed her before she could rush out to call for help and said weakly, “Bring me a bowl of milk, Lihua, and don’t tell the empress dowager! She’ll be scared. We can’t let that happen!”

 

If the imperial physicians come, my pregnancy will be found out. How’s the empress dowager going to take the truth?

 

Remembering the empress dowager’s illness, Lihua tearily said, “Wait here, Consort Lin. I’ll get you some milk. I’ll have Lady Wangchen keep you company!”

 

She helped Lin Haihai to a chair and rushed out. The eunuchs and maids were busy working in the front hall, leaving the dining hall empty. It was better this way. She needed some peace and quiet.

 

Seeing Lin Haihai entering the dining hall, Chen Birou turned to Yang Hanlun and said, “I want to get some fresh air. You should keep the empress dowager company.”

 

Yang Hanlun looked up at her. “I’ll go with you!”

 

Chen Birou shook her head and smiled gently. “Don’t. You should stay and make the empress dowager feel better. She’s sick. Tonight’s banquet should lighten her mood!”

 

Yang Hanlun nodded lovingly. He’d always felt something special about Chen Birou.

 

Chen Birou walked out of the room with her maid Yanping, and no one even spared them a glance. Meanwhile, Wangchen and Zheng Feng had been standing guard outside the Ci’an Palace. They were both worried about Lin Haihai’s condition.

 

Lin Haihai rested her upper body on the table. She thought it was Lihua when she heard someone entering. She struggled to look up and saw a figure dressed in light yellow. Lihua wore a different color today. She opened her eyes fully. The unwanted visitor smiled at her and said, “Are you feeling unwell, Elder Sister?”

 

Lin Haihai rose to her feet. She knew what kind of a woman she was, and she wouldn’t humor her any longer. “What do you want?”

 

“What does Imperial Sister think?” Chen Birou sneered.

 

Lin Haihai saw the answer in her eyes. She can’t be bold enough to make a move on me here, can she?

 

“Get out! I don’t want to see you!” Lin Haihai remembered how Chen Birou had attempted to kill her child with poison several times. The vicious woman was capable of anything!

 

“Hahaha, don’t worry. Soon, I’ll be out of your sight!” Chen Birou scoffed and grabbed Lin Haihai’s chin. “Your position is mine, bitch! I’m taking back everything that is rightfully mine today!”

 

She took a step closer to Lin Haihai with hatred and jealousy twisting her features. “I met him when we were children. Everyone said that we were a match made in heaven. Ever since I was little, Father has said that I would be a princess consort. He hired a teacher to teach me palace etiquette, to speak and act appropriately and magnanimously. Everyone praised me for behaving like a proper princess consort!”

 

“And yet you showed up and took everything from me. I’ve worked so hard, but I ended up becoming a secondary consort. Why? Why would the emperor and empress dowager favor you? Why has the sixth prince fallen deeply for you as well? That love should’ve been mine and mine alone!”

 

Lin Haihai was feeling lightheaded under her growl. The woman had lost her mind. Chen Birou paused and put her hands behind her back. A smile bloomed on her face. “Soon he’ll be mine. He’ll only be mine. You’re going to disappear from this world!”

 

Lin Haihai backed away. She knew there was nothing she could say to make things better. She wanted to call out for help, but she started retching as soon as she opened her mouth.

 

“You’re pregnant?” Chen Birou glared at her with a frown.

 

Lin Haihai didn’t respond. She put her hands on her aching belly. Wangchen and Zheng Feng are standing guard outside the front door and can’t enter. Why hasn’t Lihua returned? There are too many people in the front hall. Brother Yang won’t be able to make it here. All the eunuchs and maids are busy at work there as well. They won’t come unless something happens!

 

Chen Birou’s speculation was cemented by Lin Haihai’s reaction. Is she pregnant with the prince’s child? A myriad of emotions rose in her heart. She was jealous, resentful, pained, and she felt a deep hatred for Lin Haihai. She lost her control completely and went up to slap Lin Haihai in the face.

 

Lin Haihai fell to the floor. I must protect my child! Staring up at Chen Birou’s twisted face, she scrambled slowly away, calling out, “Lihua…!”

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