Considering that Lin Haihai was pregnant, Yang Shaolun ordered the horse carriage to take it slow. They therefore didn’t cross Yangzhou’s border until dusk.
Night slowly descended, and the sky went dark. The emerging moon sent the perching crows flying.
The group chose an inn in the town to settle down. Lin Haihai was a little dizzy. Riding in a horse carriage in this era for longer distances was always uncomfortable. They had dinner before retiring to bed. Lin Haihai was somewhat puzzled. Although the body she took over wasn’t in peak condition, she shouldn’t be exhausted so easily. The spiritual pearl had allowed her to recover quickly.
Fortunately, Baizi had returned. She would ask him what was going on.
Yang Shaolun looked worriedly at Lin Haihai’s pale face. She had been lying bonelessly on him since evening, breathing so softly it was almost imperceptible. He was terrified for her. If the child was the cause of her ailment, he would rather not have a child with her.
“I’m fine, silly!” Lin Haihai opened her eyes to his worried expression, hurriedly putting on a smile.
Yang Shaolun’s heart broke. She always put on a brave face before him!
“You couldn’t get anything down earlier, so I asked a clerk for porridge. Have some now, alright?”
Lin Haihai’s stomach protested. She didn’t want to have anything. Noting the frown between Yang Shaolun’s sharp brows, though, she said, “Of course. I am feeling a bit hungry!”
She smiled as Yang Shaolun happily served her the bowl of porridge. Pushing aside her rising disgust, she smiled and said, “It smells good! I wonder if I’ll ever get to have porridge you cook for me.”
“I’ll cook for you every day if it’ll make you eat!” He felt a pang in his heart whenever he looked at her hollowed cheeks.
Lin Haihai was moved. “You’re the emperor. How can I possibly have you make porridge for me?”
“The emperor belongs to the world, while I belong to you!” Yang Shaolun didn’t know where the grief he felt came from, but it overtook him when his gaze landed on her delicate features.
Lin Haihai smiled warmly, which made Yang Shaolun’s eyes sting. He pushed aside the sorrow he couldn’t place and fed her some porridge.
She swallowed the first mouthful. The second and third she forced down. When he fed her more porridge, though, her stomach turned against her, and the overwhelming repulsion made her push Yang Shaolun away and vomit all over her bedside. She threw up everything she had eaten, and she couldn’t stop. Once her stomach was empty, she continued to retch and vomited bile.
Yang Shaolun reached out to steady her, smoothing his trembling hand over her back. Her limbs were cold; so were his. She was drenched in cold sweat; so was he. They had long become one, their lives intertwined and their fates linked. His heart clenched painfully as her stomach twisted. He wanted nothing but to endure her pain for her.
“Xiao Yuan, Xiao Yuan!” Yang Shaolun called out for help. There was a rush of hurried footsteps before Xiao Yuan, Zheng Feng, and Wangchen barged in together. Lin Haihai had stopped throwing up and was lying prone all over Yang Shaolun, her face as pale as sheet paper. Xiao Yuan hurriedly summoned a clerk to clean up the room.
“Why is she throwing up like this again?” Wangchen said with a sigh.
“Has she always been like this, Wangchen?” Yang Shaolun gave her a stunned look.
“Not always,” said Wangchen. “She threw up every day, but not often to this extent. This isn’t the first time, though.”
“She was throwing up like this the evening of Mid-Autumn Day, the day she got kidnapped!” Zheng Feng said gravely. Seeing her suffer prickled his heart like a swarm of ants.
“Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal for a pregnant woman. I know my body, and I’m a physician myself. If I were sick, I would’ve cured myself. Do you think there’s any illness in the world I don’t know how to treat?” Lin Haihai tapped into her vital essence, and her face finally regained some color.
“This Emperor would rather not have the child if it made you suffer like this!” Yang Shaolun said gravely. He did like children, but between their child and her, he would always choose her.
“It’s fine,” Lin Haihai reassured them. “I’ll be fine by the end of the month. Vomiting during pregnancy usually lasts for three to four months. I’m about three months pregnant. It’ll soon be okay!”
“That’s not right, Consort Lin.” Suqiu poured Lin Haihai a cup of water. “I’ve seen many pregnant women vomit, but none of their conditions got as serious as yours!”
That made everyone worried again. Yang Shaolun pulled a long face and told Xiao Yuan, “Have the staff of the inn summon a physician!”
“That won’t be necessary!” Lin Haihai interjected.
“This servant is worried as well, Physician Lin,” Xiao Yuan said with a frown. “It’s better to find you a physician. Although you’re a physician yourself, you can’t treat yourself properly!”
Yang Shaolun waved a hand at him. “Go. Don’t waste your time here!”
Panic rose suddenly in Lin Haihai’s heart. It was true that her vomiting had been abnormal. What went wrong, though? She didn’t know!
After a while, Xiao Yuan returned with a handsome young man. Yang Shaolun looked up and saw to his delight the masterful physician who had saved him back in the cavern.
“This young master said he was a physician, and that he knew you, Your Majesty!” Xiao Yuan explained with cupped fists.
Lin Haihai gave Baizi a conflicted look. He had shown up without her summoning him. Things must have been really bad!
Yang Shaolun shot to his feet to welcome the man. “I do know him. Have a seat, Young Master!”
“Please leave the room. I need some space to treat her!” Baizi smiled faintly, his gaze growing worried as it landed on Lin Haihai.
“That won’t be necessary,” Yang Shaolun protested. “We’ll stay and keep an eye on her!”
“There’s a reason I told you to leave. Having so many people in the room muddled the air and affected her breathing. Having her breathing compromised prevented oxygen from reaching her blood vessels. The resulting hypoxemia leads to all sorts of problems in her body!”
All the medical jargon from the modern day confused Yang Shaolun and the others. Heart sinking, Lin Haihai told Yang Shaolun, “He’s right. You should wait outside for a bit!”
Convinced, Yang Shaolun nodded and led the group outside.
Baizi immediately set up a boundary to isolate the room, keeping their conversation private. Lin Haihai got to her feet and met Baizi’s gaze. “What’s wrong with me?”
“You weren’t from this world, and the body you’re using died a long time ago,” Baizi explained slowly. “The spiritual pearl can sustain your life and grant you great power, but it can’t protect your child!”
Lin Haihai widened her eyes at him and took a deep breath, pulling her trembling lips into a smile. “Do you mean I can’t keep the child?”
“I told you before that you have a mission, and you’ll be able to return once you complete it. Remember?” Baizi felt sorry for her, but she had to face the reality.
“What mission?” Lin Haihai looked up at him. She didn’t want to return!
“Stop the war,” said Baizi. “Once you stop the war, you’ll receive unmeasurable karma, and our queen will be able to ascend by association!”
“Me?” Lin Haihai couldn’t believe it. “What if I can’t resolve the war?”
“You have to, or Yang Shaolun will die,” Baizi said in a steely voice. “According to Daxing’s history, he will die in winter next year!”
Lin Haihai felt as if she had been struck by lightning, and she couldn’t say anything.
“Moreover, this body cannot support a child, and the spiritual pearl has to allocate half of its power to protect the fetus. Sometimes it has to even use all its power on the unborn child. While it’s still in your body, the spiritual pearl can provide protection. Once your child is born, however, the spiritual pearl can no longer protect them!” Baizi reached out to steady Lin Haihai and continued, “Between you and your child, only one can survive!”
Lin Haihai straightened herself and looked at Baizi with despairing eyes, saying with difficulty, “Don’t let anyone know, do you understand?” If he knew, he would force her to abort the child!
“What I must do now is to stop the war at all cost, right?” Lin Haihai tried her best to steady her voice, but it fluctuated wildly in pitch, and she didn’t sound at all like herself.
“That’s right. If a war does break out, you have to do your best to minimize casualties!” Baizi watched her worriedly. She might appear resilient, but he could see clearly the pain in her eyes.
“Will he really die if I can’t stop the war?” Lin Haihai closed her eyes. She couldn’t muster any tears to release her sorrow.
“He will!” Baizi said seriously. “You have to change the course of history. It’s twisted in nature, and you can only save him by putting it back on the right track!”
“What’s gonna happen to him if I die? What am I gonna do if my child dies?” Lin Haihai murmured, her eyes misty with grief.
“You’ll return to the modern day once you succeed in stopping the war,” Baizi analyzed the situation for her. “If you can’t stop the war, he will die!”
“So I can never be with him no matter what?” Lin Haihai growled, staring helplessly at Baizi. “Why sent me here? Why?”
“That’s not the question you should be asking. All you can do is to protect your child and keep him alive!” Baizi told her the harsh truth. “You’ll be able to return to the modern day even if you die here!”
In fact, she could return to the modern day even if she couldn’t stop the war, but she would be a wandering spirit in need of another host.
“So I have no other choice?” She had to watch herself slowly dying? Returning to the modern day was no longer something she looked forward to.
“What if I choose not to have the child?” Lin Haihai stared at him, taking in all the changes in his expression. “Will I have a chance to stay if I stop the war then?”
“I don’t know!” Baizi shook his head. He really didn’t know what was possible.
“You don’t know?” Lin Haihai wasn’t convinced. He must have refrained from telling her the truth because there was no hope.
“I truly don’t know. I have to return to the modern day now. I wouldn’t have come to you like this if the situation weren’t dire.” Apologetically, Baizi continued, “I know it’s unfair to leave you here on your own. You must be cautious. Don’t do anything reckless, alright?”
“You’re going back?” Lin Haihai’s eyes snapped to him. “You’re leaving again?”
“I am. I have to go back to guard my queen. I’ll visit you if I have the chance. Here’s a pill for you. It’ll be born with the child and protect the child for a year. However, the pill will be in conflict with your spiritual pearl. You’ll have to endure excruciating pain for an hour every day once you have it!”
Baizi had to make sure that the spiritual pearl focuses all its power on Lin Haihai. Only then would she be able to face those with malicious ambition and stop the war from breaking out.
Lin Haihai took the pill and swallowed it without hesitation. “What if I complete the mission before the child is born?”
“The child belongs to this era. You’ll be able to give birth to the child before leaving. The pill is a contingency to give you one more year in case you haven’t stopped the war when the child is born.”
Baizi helped her sit down. The pill would supply her with sufficient energy outside the hour of torment it brought.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Rude. There should be a warning right when she transmigrated :/