When the door opened again, Lin Haihai had put on a full smile. Yang Shaolun gave her a concerned look and asked, “How is it? Are you alright?”
“It’s no exaggeration to call the young gentleman a divine physician!” Lin Haihai beamed. “I’m completely fine now!”
Yang Shaolun’s expression relaxed when he noted that Lin Haihai’s complexion seemed much healthier now. She must be feeling better. He gave Baizi a grateful look and bowed deeply. “Thank you for saving my wife, Young Master!”
Lin Haihai grinned at Baizi and said, “Lin Haihai will never forget about what you’ve done for me!”
She had travelled millenia to meet Yang Shaolun, and it was more than worthwhile. At least she would be able to leave him with a child. That would be a fitting conclusion to their story.
Baizi looked at them with a conflicted expression and sighed inwardly. “I’m going now. Take care of yourselves.”
“See our benefactor off, Xiao Yuan,” ordered Yang Shaolun.
Xiao Yuan immediately bent down to show Baizi the way. “After you, Young Master!”
Baizi nodded and said as parting words to Yang Shaolun and Lin Haihai, “This gentleman will take my leave!”
“Pardon us for not walking you out,” Yang Shaolun said amicably. “Take care!”
Baizi left with a heavy heart. Lin Haihai shot him a determined look before his departure to reassure him.
“Are you really feeling better?” Yang Shaolun helped Lin Haihai sit down. Lin Haihai felt a stabbing pain in her heart as she watched him treat her with great gentleness. A smile tugged at her lips, and she said with a soft look on her face, “I am feeling better now. Don’t worry about me. Is there any porridge left in the kitchen? I suddenly feel like eating!”
The pill worked wonders. She was in a much better condition now.
“There is, there is. As long as you want it!” Wangchen hurried out. “I’ll have it delivered here!”
Yang Shaolun could finally allow himself to relax. He touched Lin Haihai’s forehead. She smiled and took his hand away. “I’m fine. Don’t be so worried. You’re making them paranoid as well! If something this trivial is enough to make you this nervous, what are you gonna do if I die?”
She was saying that to see how he would react. Yang Shaolun frowned and snapped panickedly, “Don’t say that again! Without you, what would I keep living for?”
Lin Haihai widened her eyes and said only partly in jest, “Raise our kid, of course!”
“Stop it!” Yang Shaolun covered her mouth. Even listening to the possibility of her death threatened to undo him. He couldn’t possibly face that reality should death claim her. Lin Haihai barely managed to suppress her tears. She hurried to the bed to cover up her reaction.
“It’s a bit chilly. I’m gonna lay down for a while. You should go. Wangchen will be taking care of me!”
“I’ll take Wangchen’s place!”
Yang Shaolun tucked her in before untying her hair. Heart throbbing painfully, Lin Haihai blurted out, “Don’t spoil me too much!”
Yang Shaolun looked shocked. She hurriedly put on a smile and added, “Or I’ll become dependent on you!”
“You can depend on me your whole life, silly girl!” Yang Shaolun lovingly brushed away the hair before her forehead. The others left the room to the couple. The clerk walked away after serving the porridge and bowing in respect.
This time, Lin Haihai was able to finish the porridge. Yang Shaolun let out a silent sigh of relief, satisfied that she had at least eaten something.
“Do you want more?” Yang Shaolun would love to feed her everything so that she could gain some weight.
“It’s best that I don’t. Vomiting is bad for the stomach. I should avoid straining it by eating too much!”
And that was Physician Lin talking. Yang Shaolun smiled. She always had so much to say when it came to anything medical.
“Then rest,” Yang Shaolun said in a gentle voice, his eyes glinting with love. “I’ll keep you company!”
Lin Haihai smiled and closed her eyes. She wasn’t tired. She didn’t need to sleep. She simply couldn’t figure out a way to face the cruel reality. If she had to return to the modern day, she should at least give him something to live for, something that would keep him from taking his life. She had exchanged herself for the child’s survival. The child should be enough to make him pick himself up.
What she had to work on now was a plan to resolve the war. According to Baizi, Brother Yang would die in winter next year if everything followed its original trajectory, which meant Prince Pingnan would succeed in taking over the throne. She must change the course of history to save him. No wonder there was no record of the Daxing Dynasty in any historical texts. The development of the dynasty was twisted, and thus couldn’t be recorded!
Yang Shaolun considered her serene face. There were shadows under her eyes, and her lips were a faint red under her delicate nose. She looked tired, exhausted, which made Yang Shaolun’s heart clench. Why must you take on so many responsibilities? I’ll take you away from this mundane world as soon as possible, so you won’t be troubled further by these worldly concerns!
Lin Haihai didn’t manage to fall asleep that night, but she wasn’t tired. Looking at the slumbering man next to her, she felt happy. She had met him, fallen for him, and shared this love with him. It was better than having never met him. She was easy to satisfy, and she was a woman with great fighting will. She was willing to give her life for the person she loved.
It hurts, but so be it. I’ll bear the greatest pain in the world if it means keeping him and my child safe!
They soon set out again at a quickened pace. Lin Haihai felt a sense of urgency. She wanted to return to the capital as quickly as possible. She knew she didn’t have a lot of time left, and she wanted to deal with Prince Pingnan.
After a day of travel, they entered Liang County. All that met their eyes was a vast bamboo forest. Dusk saw the sun setting to the west, and the breeze rustled the bamboo leaves. Yang Shaolun’s eyes flashed in alert. He parted the curtains and scanned the area with piercing eyes, quickly coming to a realization. They were strangers intruding upon the forest, and yet they saw no crows inhabiting the area fly off in fright. Someone must have come earlier and set up an ambush!
Xiao Yuan and Zheng Feng became alerted as well, while Chu Zijun and Mother Qin leapt to the front of the horse carriage. Lin Haihai was pleased by their show of support. Yang Shaolun took her hand and brushed away a strand of hair from her cheek. “Don’t be afraid. Wait for me in the carriage. Don’t get out under any circumstances!”
Lin Haihai nodded and said, “Be careful!”
“Rest assured that this guilty official will give my life protecting Consort Lin, Your Majesty!” Chu Zijun took Mother Qin’s hand and kowtowed to Yang Shaolun.
“Rise. There’s no telling if we’ll survive this. It’s an unavoidable danger this Emperor must face. This Emperor asks only for the mother and child to be safe!” Yang Shaolun lowered his voice to stop Lin Haihai from hearing his words. It was a man’s duty to protect his family; he would keep his wife and child safe! However, Lin Haihai had heard everything. He wanted her and their child to survive, but she wanted to protect him as well. She couldn’t ask for more when he had devoted his entire being to her.
“This guilty official understands!” Chu Zijun knew how Yang Shaolun felt.
A group of men dressed in black descended to surround them. An arrow shot through the sky, and an army emerged suddenly like they had come from underground. Everyone of them moved with the lightness and agility of a sparrow, making it clear that they were all powerful martial artists. Yang Shaolun frowned. This might very well be his end. At least he had to get Xiao’hai to safety!
“Get Physician Lin out of here when we managed to break the assassins apart!” Yang Shaolun instructed Chu Zijun.
“Understood! Keep an eye on Physician Lin, Xiao’qin. Get her out of here once we scatter the men!” He wanted her to survive as well.
Mother Qin nodded with a myriad of unspoken words in her eyes. She had made an oath to follow him to the death. Even after she escaped with Lin Haihai, she would return to fight alongside him!
A handsome young man dressed in a long robe walked out from among the soldiers, his expression gloomy. He was in a different camp than she was. He’d always known that sooner or later they would meet on a battlefield.
Yang Shaolun glared icily at the man. He was Consort Zhen’s cousin, the one she had been having an affair with. Lin Haihai parted the curtains and shot Zhou Junpeng a piercing gaze. They were making their moves!
Eyes flashing with faint reluctance, Zhou Junpeng stopped hesitating and waved his right hand in command. The group of assassins in black rose with strange battle cries and charged at Yang Shaolun with their long swords. Yang Shaolun leapt lightly into the air and told Lin Haihai, “Drop the curtains. Don’t come out no matter what!”
Lin Haihai did as he said so as to not distract him. She watched the scene calmly, paying close attention to the strange way in which the assassins were moving.
Five men tackled one of them each. Wangchen was struggling to keep up. The men attacking her seemed to have noticed her insufficient strength. They opted to knock her sword away with their own every time she struck. If this kept on, Wangchen would run out of stamina soon.
Meanwhile, Zheng Feng had gained the upper-hand, but the way his opponents moved perplexed him. Many times, his sword should’ve hit his target, but they ended up dodging out of the way suddenly without suffering any injury.
Yang Shaolun remained agile as he fought the men. It was clear to him that they didn’t want to attack him, but were instead trying to tire him. Yang Shaolun wanted to get this over with quickly, but he ended up using up even more stamina.
Xiao Yuan was in a similar condition as Mother Qin. Their opponents were clearly dragging the fight out, choosing defense over offense, while taking a more aggressive stance whenever Xiao Yuan and Mother Qin stopped attacking. The battle dragged on for half an hour. Neither side had suffered any casualties.
Yang Shaolun and the others were losing their patience. It was to their disadvantage to fight the men in black while they rotated in and out in waves. Soon, the party showed signs of exhaustion.
It was then Zhou Junpeng yelled, “Stop!”
The men in black retreated. The forest fell suddenly silent. As confusion set in for the party, they saw fire spreading through the bamboo forest. It started out as mere sparks, but quickly grew into blazing flames and devoured the entire area.
Yang Shaolun hurriedly leapt into the horse carriage. Lin Haihai was surprised by their flickering eyes and nervous expressions. Illusions. They’re seeing illusions!
“I’ll get you out of the fire, Xiao’hai!” Yang Shaolun caught her hand and brought her out of the carriage.
Lin Haihai scattered the illusion with a wave of her hand before walking up to Zhou Junpeng. In an icy tone, she asked, “Why would you help the vicious tiger in its crimes?”
“We simply serve different masters,” Zhou Junpeng said. “Either you all die, or I’ll be killed!” He spoke softly, but his words contained pain and grief only he understood.
Yang Shaolun turned to Lin Haihai in shock. She knows Zhou Junpeng?Previous Chapter Next Chapter