Chapter 176: My Love For You Will Never Change

The empress arrived after Yang Shaolun’s departure with a bowl of water. Lin Haihai put the Forgetness Pill into the water with a trembling hand, which melted in an instant. Lin Haihai then heated up the water and poured it into Yang Shaolun’s teacup. The empress looked away. She couldn’t bear to witness the cruelty.

Lin Haihai sat quietly in the room, waiting for Yang Shaolun to return. Time crawled by one second at a time. She felt as if there was a thorn in her back. The pain slowly but surely spread through her body and seeped into her blood.

Yang Shaolun returned to see Lin Haihai’s face covered in tears. He averted his gaze, pained. Lin Haihai hurriedly got to her feet and put on a smile, walking up to him to take off his dragon robe and put a light cyan robe around his shoulders. She caught his cool hands in hers and said lovingly, “Is it windy outside?”

“It’s not that cold.” Yang Shaolun put on a heartbreaking smile, his eyes misty with tears. Lin Haihai turned around as stabbing pain wreaked havoc in her. She picked up the teacup with unsteady hands and turned to Yang Shaolun with teary eyes. Despite his sinking heart, Yang Shaolun accepted the cup with a smile and said, “I’m feeling thirsty. You’re truly wonderful!”

Lin Haihai covered her mouth with a hand and looked at him with despair. Yang Shaolun almost couldn’t contain the grief in his eyes. It was all he could do to down the cup and said with a smile, “Is there more?”

Face pale, Lin Haihai took the cup from him, her heart shattering the way the glass had shattered during the car accident that killed her. There would be no putting the pieces back together!

“I’m a little dizzy. I’ll have a short nap!” Yang Shaolun shook his head and walked up to his bed, levelling Lin Haihai with an adoring gaze. “I love you, Xiao’hai,” he promised. “My love for you will never fade!”

Lin Haihai covered her face with both hands as tears streamed down through her fingertips. Yang Shaolun lay down on the bed with his back to her. He no longer had the strength to smile at her. The pain threatened to destroy him, and he failed to contain his flooding tears. He covered himself with the blanket before going completely still.

Lin Haihai stood rooted to the spot. It felt like her body had frozen over, and her vision had gone dark. Her legs began to shake, and so did her body. One step at a time, she made her way to the door, which was enough to exhaust her. When she opened the door, the brilliant sunlight stung her eyes. She knelt down as a relentless tremor overtook her.

The empress rushed up to throw her arms around her, sobbing, “It’s okay. You’re okay!”

Lin Haihai leaned into the empress and used the last of her strength to say, “Take me away, now!”

Yang Shaolun didn’t sit up until he heard their footsteps fade away. His dazed eyes were so red it seemed like blood would come out of them any second. He rose to his feet and walked to the table, picking the cup he had drunk from up and shattering it. The pieces stabbed into his palm. His crimson blood streamed through his palm and dripped down like red plum blossoms falling onto snow, the color offensively vibrant. The great pain hitting him had made his heart go numb.

“I’ll never forget about you, Xiao’hai,” he whispered. “Never!”

He stared at the stains of blood on the floor, which slowly dried and turned the color of rust, blending into the color of the floor until only a metallic smell was left to prove that he had bled.

-----

The empress immediately brought Lin Haihai out of the palace. Li Junyue and Yu Qing stared at her, at a loss of what to say, while the empress watched her with tears in her eyes. Lin Haihai seemed like a lifeless doll that would topple any second.

“Please take care of her,” the empress said anxiously. “I have to keep an eye on the emperor to make sure nothing has gone wrong!”

“Take care of him, Qiuyang!” Lin Haihai pleaded, her eyes brimming with tears.

“I will. Don’t worry!” The empress left in a hurry, lest she fail to contain her tears and let loose her emotions before Lin Haihai. She didn’t want to cry when Lin Haihai could see her. She didn’t want to sadden her friend.

“I’m gonna go to bed. I didn’t have enough sleep last night,” Lin Haihai stood up and said before Yu Qing could open her mouth. “Don’t wake me up for lunch. I won’t wake up until much later!”

“Xiao’hai...”

“Let her be,” Li Junyue stopped Yu Qing and shook his head. Lin Haihai rushed into her room and gave in to her sadness, her tears finally falling.

“Would she be alright?” Yu Qing asked worriedly.

“We can’t help her,” Li Junyue said with a sigh. “There’s no place for outside intervention in matters of the heart!”

Yu Qing fell silent. She could still keenly feel the pain of being betrayed like it was yesterday. The arduous path of recovery from heartbreak had to be tread one step at a time until both feet were submerged in mud. It was a path to wade through alone.

More and more patients came to the hospital, keeping Li Junyue occupied for the whole day. After some thinking, he told the two imperial physicians on shift, “You should go on your medical visits. I’ll wake your master up for additional hands!”

The imperial physicians exchanged a look. They had postponed the visits since they had a lot of patients at the hospital. Imperial Physician Chen said, “Those aren’t urgent calls. We can visit those patients later!”

“It’s fine. You should go now,” Li Junyue said. “Pack up your medical kits and go!”

The two imperial physicians had to do as he said. Li Junyue then told the patients waiting in line, “Please be patient. I’ll have Physician Lin come to see you. Just give me a moment!”

He turned to Qing Feng and instructed, “Wake your master up. Tell her that there are too many patients for us to handle!”

Qing Feng left after making a sound of assent.

Yu Qing gave him a pointed look, which Li Junyue responded with a wry smile. “Sometimes, working hard is the best cure for heartbreak!”

Lin Haihai emerged after a while. Although her eyes were red and swollen, she seemed to be in pretty good spirits. Yu Qing looked at the focused look on her face and had to agree with Li Junyue. Being busy would do her good!

“Physician Lin, I’ve been coughing for many days. Is there a cure for that?” A woman with dark yellowed complexion looked up at Lin Haihai, her expression miserable.

“Have you been working hard, ma’am?” Lin Haihai looked at the exhausted lines on her face. She was in her forties, and yet she looked to be in her fifties with her hair having gone grey.

“It’s not that bad. Just a little tired.” After a pause, the woman asked, “Is that related?”

“It is,” Lin Haihai said gently. “You’ve been overtaxing yourself to the point of exhausting your organs, which weakens your immune system. Moreover, you haven’t been taking medicine regularly when you get sick. You’ll never recover like this!”

“I’m the only breadwinner in my family, Physician Lin! I’m responsible for all of them. I can’t possibly stop working!” The woman brushed her messy hair back with a calloused hand. Her tone was self-depreciative.

“I’ll prescribe you with some medicine, but you have to remember not to push yourself too hard,” Lin Haihai instructed her. “And you have to return for regular follow-ups!”

“I understand. Thank you, Physician Lin!” The woman got to her feet and sighed, her eyes suddenly red. “Fate can be cruel. First my husband went missing, then my oldest son, too. I have elderlies and children to take care of in my family. I can’t just abandon them for my own comfort!”

“Both your husband and son went missing?” Lin Haihai pressed, a thought taking shape in her mind. “When did that happen?”

The woman sat back down and sobbed with her head lowered. “My husband disappeared two months ago, and my son, a month after that. I’ve reported to the local government, but no clues have been found. Where could adults like them have gone, Physician Lin?”

“Don’t be too worried. Think on the bright side. Believe me when I say that they may return home not long after!” Lin Haihai’s instinct told her that this had something to do with the living corpses.

“I can only hold onto that hope,” the woman said dejectedly. “Otherwise, how am I going to support my family?”

“That’s even more reason for you to take care of yourself.” Lin Haihai then asked with purposeful nonchalance, “By the way, where did they go missing?”

“They went into the mountains for firewood and never returned!” The woman cried again.

“Which mountain?” Lin Haihai had a general idea. The daoist nun wouldn’t dare kidnap people in the city center. She must have been going after woodcutters in the mountains.

“In the Cloud Mountain. Their clothes should have been left behind if they were eaten by tigers or hyenas.” That was what had been troubling her.

“Then you should have faith that they’re still alive. Go have your prescription filled. I’ll visit the yamen when I have the time to look for clues!” 

Hope was the best medicine. Patients often recovered at a miraculous pace when they were hopeful. Lin Haihai wanted to rekindle the woman’s faith. She was going to destroy those who had been creating living corpses.

“Thank you, Physician Lin!” Overjoyed, the woman grabbed Lin Haihai’s hand and thanked her.

“I want her to keep smiling like that,” Yu Qing said to Li Junyue. “I can’t bear seeing her in pain!”

“She’ll still be in pain when night falls,” Li Junyue stated the cruel reality. “It’s a process she has to go through. There is no avoiding it!”

Yu Qing didn’t have anything to say to that. Li Junyue was right. She had been there herself!

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houseau3's Thoughts

Dear lord they just keep torturing each other