Yu Qing put her hand on Lin Haihai’s forehead and was shocked by how cold it was. Lin Haihai grabbed her hand and said through the pain, “Don’t worry. I’m fine! Tell Hanlun to take us back to the Prince Residence. Don’t let Li Junyue know!”
Yu Qing’s expression tightened, but she did part the curtains and told Yang Hanlun, “Let’s go back to your residence!”
Yang Hanlun had been setting a moderate pace at the front of the carriage. He turned to ask, “Aren’t you going to the Linhai Hospital to pack up?”
“I said we’re going to your residence!” Yu Qing said icily before dropping the curtains. Yang Hanlun was puzzled. Is she angry?
Yu Qing tightened her arms around Lin Haihai silently. There was nothing she could say or do to make things better. The horse carriage came to a stop right outside the Prince Residence. Lin Haihai took a deep breath, but it only made her pain worse. She didn’t dare fight against it and could only brace it quietly. When Yang Hanlun parted the curtains, Yu Qing choked, “Carry her in!”
Yang Hanlun looked down to find Lin Haihai pale as paper sheet and her forehead covered in sweat, drenching strands of her hair. She curled into herself like she was under tremendous pain. He jumped onto the carriage and pulled Lin Haihai into his arms, saying in a trembling voice, “What’s going on? What happened?”
Yu Qing scowled. “Stop asking. Take her inside, now!”
Heart aching, Yang Hanlun picked up Lin Haihai’s huddled form and got off the carriage, taking big strides to hurry into his residence. Yu Qing quickly ran after him.
Guihua had just finished cleaning Lin Haihai’s room. She walked out and turned to see Yang Hanlun rushing her way with Lin Haihai in his arms. Shocked, she went back into the room to put away the canopy. Yang Hanlun gingerly laid Lin Haihai on her bed when Yu Qing told Guihua, “Go fetch us a basin of hot water!”
Guihua nodded and hurried outside. Yang Hanlun panickedly held onto Lin Haihai and asked Yu Qing, “What’s wrong with her? Why is this happening?”
Yu Qing took Lin Haihai’s pulse but found nothing amiss. In her pain, Lin Haihai bit into her lips and kept scratching herself. Beads of sweat popped out one after another despite the chilly weather, and her clothes ended up soaked. Yu Qing tearfully caught Lin Haihai’s hand and said, “Don’t keep it bottled up, Xiao’hai. Let it all out if you’re in pain!”
Lin Haihai tried her best to endure the pain, but the waves of pain were too much. She growled and squirmed out of Yang Hanlun’s arms before jumping off the bed and rushing to the wall, knocking her head against it. Yang Hanlun’s heart almost stopped. He rushed up to grab her while she shook and clutched at Yang Hanlun’s clothes. Yu Qing covered her mouth with a hand and cried silently.
Guihua blanched when she returned to the scene. She, too, covered her mouth with tears streaming down her face. “What happened to Consort Lin? What’s wrong?”
Lin Haihai forced her eyes open. She held her breath at the sudden pain assaulting her and managed to endure it. A weak smile tugged at her lips as she said, “Don’t… worry. I’ll be fine in two hours!”
Yang Hanlun put his arms around her and looked up at Yu Qing. “Is there any medicine to lessen her pain?”
Breaking out of her shock, Yu Qing scrambled to find the medical kit, but Lin Haihai stopped her. “There’s no need. Painkillers won’t work. It’ll only be a waste!”
Yang Hanlun’s eyes turned red. What he wouldn’t do to take the pain for her! He looked at the brave face Lin Haihai had put on as Yu Qing gently wiped her face and hands with hot water. His heart throbbed with pain. She had always needed being taken care of, and yet he hurt her again and again. I’ve been terrible to her, haven’t I? But she’s never once complained!
His tears dropped and scorched her face as he tightened his arms around her, whispering guiltily to her, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
Moved, Lin Haihai levelled her gaze on him and smiled, “Don’t apologize. Neither of us are in the wrong!”
Pain had rendered her a pale imitation of herself. She curled up and braced for the upcoming torment.
It took two hours for the pain to die down. Lin Haihai hurt, but the other three people in the room hurt even more. When she picked herself up like nothing had happened, they were so exhausted that they could barely stand.
“What’s going on?” Yu Qing sat bonelessly on the chair and demanded.
Yang Hanlun let go of Lin Haihai. It felt as if he had gone through a battle. Seeing her suffer inflicted on him a pain that was a thousand times greater.
Guihua wiped the sweat from Lin Haihai’s face and poured her a cup of water. Lin Haihai accepted the offer. Seeing the worried look on everyone’s face, she sat down and fiddled with the cup, considering how she should explain the situation.
“Tell me!” Yu Qing’s pale face grew icy. “Are you trying to scare me to death?”
Lin Haihai took a deep breath and put on a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “To put it simply, there’s a pill in my stomach. It’ll torture me for two hours every day from now on until I give birth to the child.”
“What do you mean?” Yu Qing glared at her. “What child?”
“I’m pregnant, Yu Qing!” Lin Haihai wanted to announce the news with joy, but her smile was more heartbreaking than her crying face.
“Why would your pregnancy hurt you like this?” Yang Hanlun asked confusedly.
Lin Haihai stared at him and instructed Guihua, “Shut the door!”
The maid hurriedly closed the door before returning to Lin Haihai.
“If you’ve been observing closely, Hanlun, you should know that I’m not actually Lin Yuguan. I’m Lin Haihai, and I’m from the future. Lin Yuguan died committing suicide, and I took over her body. I’m not her!” Lin Haihai explained in a serious tone. Yang Hanlun wasn’t actually that surprised. He had long noticed how different she was, but had been unwilling to investigate further.
“I’m able to sustain my life only through the spiritual pearl in my body. Now that I’m pregnant, the spiritual pearl cannot protect both me and my child. That’s why someone gave me a pill to keep the child alive until they’re one year old, while I’ll have finished my mission in this era by then and returned to the modern day. Before I go, I’ll leave the spiritual pearl to my child and have them live in this world in my stead!”
Lin Haihai finished the story without pause and quietly looked at the cup in her hand. Her words stunned everyone. Yu Qing almost laughed. She’d gone so far to transmigrate to this world, and yet Lin Haihai was leaving. What a joke her effort turned out to be!
“Does Imperial Elder Brother know?” That was the first time Yang Hanlun asked.
Lin Haihai’s heart clenched. She lowered her head and said, “He doesn’t. I don’t want him to know!”
“You can’t keep this from him forever. He’ll know sooner or later. You’re pregnant with his child, aren’t you?”
Yang Hanlun sounded calm when he asked the question. She wasn’t Lin Yuguan, and it was true that she never had anything to do with him. He was in no place to interfere with her love life.
“I’m sorry I’ve deceived you, Hanlun!” Lin Haihai looked up at him and said mournfully.
“Don’t. You have nothing to apologize for!” Yang Hanlun’s eyes stung and almost teared up. She had nothing to do with him, and yet she kept tolerating his unreasonable and rude behavior. He had even slapped her for Chen Birou. Why would she apologize to him for having a child with the man she loved? What did anything have to do with him?
“Keep this from him for me. Don’t let him know that I’m going through this pain every day. Otherwise he won’t let me give birth to the child! Please take care of him for me after my departure, Hanlun!”
Lin Haihai forced herself to smile, but her eyes were brimming with tears.
“How is he going to take the cruel reality?” Yang Hanlun asked in a pained voice.
“I’ll have you enter the palace then, Guihua. I’m entrusting my child to you!” Lin Haihai trusted her.
“Guihua doesn’t want you to leave, Consort Lin!” Guihua sobbed quietly, looking at Lin Haihai with swollen eyes.
Lin Haihai was about to respond when she heard knocking outside the door.
“Your Highness, Minister Chen requested for a meeting!”
Yang Hanlun said in a low voice, “Take him to the living room. This Prince will be right there with him!”
Lin Haihai rose to her feet and said, “I’ll go with you!”
After a silent pause, Yang Hanlun nodded.
Minister Chen fidgeted as he waited in the living room. When Yang Hanlun showed up with a grave look on his face, he shot to his feet and bowed to the prince. “Greetings, Your Highness!”
“No need for the formalities, Minister Chen. Have a seat!” He chose to address him by his official title rather than as father-in-law.
Minister Chen’s heart sank. He looked up to find Lin Haihai trailing after Yang Hanlun. She’s back?
“An honor to meet you, Minister Chen!” Lin Haihai greeted him coolly. The man was Prince Pingnan’s follower. It had been the steward of his residence who attacked Chen Luoqing.
“Greetings, Consort Lin!” Minister Chen hurriedly bowed to her. “The honor is all this lowly official’s!”
Lin Haihai sat down on an armchair and stared at him with piercing eyes. “What has Minister Chen visited the Prince Residence for?”
Panic flashed through Minister Chen’s eyes, but he forced himself to speak up, “Please forgive my daughter Birou, Your Highness, Consort Lin! She’s been struggling in the living hell that is the dark, sunless prison, seeking but failing to find the release of death. It breaks this lowly official’s heart!”
“What she did has broken more hearts, hasn’t it?” Yang Hanlun said coldly. He couldn’t help but ache for the condition she was in. Why must she be that vicious a woman?
“She knows her mistake. Please show her some mercy. This lowly official will be eternally grateful!” Minister Chen dropped to his knees. It was his fault that Chen Birou was the way she was. He had been instilling in her mind that she should fight for anything she wanted no matter the method. However, she ended up trapped by her own obsession, and her heart was tainted by malice.
“Even if I can forgive her, will the people of the capital let her off the hook? How about the many apprentices at the plantation? The empress dowager? His Majesty?” Yang Hanlun gave Minister Chen a rueful look. “She’s made a mistake. Official Luo will judge her for her crime!”
“That won’t do. That won’t do!” Minister Chen panicked. “Birou has lived a pampered life and has never suffered any pain. The trial and the resulting punishment will kill her!”
“What do you want this Prince to do then?” Yang Hanlun scoffed weakly at the man. “Do you think this Prince has any say in this matter? Do you want this Prince to visit His Majesty and beg him to let Birou go, blatantly ignoring the law?‘
“Your Highness will have a way if you’re willing! Please save her, Your Highness, for nothing if not for your past marriage! She’s committed the crime only because she loves you!” Minister Chen knelt on the floor and begged, his wrinkled face covered in tears.Previous Chapter Next Chapter