Chapter 177: Cannot Forget

The empress rushed straight to the empress dowager’s bedchamber upon arrival at the palace. The anxious empress dowager asked as soon as she saw the empress, “How did it go?”

“He’s taken the pill,” the empress reassured her. “I just saw Xiao’hai off. The emperor should still be asleep. Don’t be too worried, Imperial Mother!”

The empress dowager sighed. “This Empress Dowager would be lying if I say I’m not worried. Something’s been bothering me!”

“It pained this Empress to see Xiao’hai heartbroken!” The empress felt a renewed sorrow at the empress dowager’s words, her heart filled with pessimistic thoughts.

Yang Shaolun was at the door and happened to hear the empress. His hand moved to his chest and clutched at his heart on its own accord, where he was hit with tremendous pain.

“His Majesty has arrived!” Defu reported in a projected voice.

The empress dowager and the empress shared a helpless look as Yang Shaolun walked in.

“Greetings, Imperial Mother!”

The empress bowed to Yang Shaolun. “Greetings, Your Majesty!”

“You’re here as well, Empress!” Yang Shaolun greeted faintly.

“This Empress was chatting with Imperial Mother. Have you had breakfast, Your Majesty?” the empress asked tentatively to find out how much he had forgotten.

“This Emperor is going to have breakfast with my beloved consort after visiting Imperial Mother!” Yang Shaolun said with a smile.

“Beloved consort?” the empress dowager and the empress blurted out in unison. “What consort?”

“How can you forget, Imperial Mother? Didn’t Imperial Consort Wen and the empress swore to become sisters yesterday, with Branch Head Lin as the witness? Don’t you remember?”

Yang Shaolun walked up to the empress dowager and took her hand, gently massaging her. He hadn’t done something like this before. Ever since he took over the throne, he had put on a mask of aloofness. He didn’t show his emotions even when he cared deeply about someone. And yet he had shown her such an intimate gesture. The empress dowager’s eyes brimmed with tears. This was Shao’er before he became the emperor at fifteen!

“How much do you remember about last night?” the empress dowager asked.

“Everything. I remember everything clearly!” Yang Shaolun said seriously.

“Everything?” The empress was surprised. “Do you mean Imperial Consort Wen?”

“Of course it’s her,” Yang Shaolun said. “Has she visited you today, Imperial Mother?”

“She hasn’t!” Which was strange. Usually she would’ve come this time of day, but she hadn’t visited today.

That was when Lihua came in with the explanation, “Imperial Consort Wen’s personal maid reported that she caught a cold last night and cannot get off the bed. Thus she isn’t able to visit Her Majesty!”

“A cold?” Yang Shaolun asked nervously. “Is it serious?”

Lihua speculated, “Must be, if she can’t even get up.”

“Summon an imperial physician,” Yang Shaolun ordered. “No, summon Branch Head Lin to treat her!”

He wanted to see Lin Haihai. He wanted to see her so bad. He would be content even if he could only look at her from afar.

“That...” The empress turned to the empress dowager, concerned. The empress said, “Who’s the imperial physician on shift? You should just summon whoever’s at the palace!”

It would kill Xiao’hai to see Yang Shaolun worry over Imperial Physician Wen!

“Summon Branch Head Lin, Lihua!” Yang Shaolun insisted despite what his mother said, his expression dark. He knew what his mother was thinking, but if he didn’t do this, she would never come to see him again. He swore he wasn’t going to hurt her. He could no longer bear being separated from her. He had to see her!

Lihua was the only one who knew the truth. She received the instruction with a heavy heart and left to send a messenger.

Lin Haihai was surprised when a eunuch came to the Linhai Hospital to summon her. Her heart sank to an unknown depth. The emperor had fallen for Imperial Consort Wen! That’s what I knew would happen, what I wanted to happen. I shouldn’t be surprised, should I?

“Don’t go, Xiao’hai!” Yu Qing blocked the door and watched Lin Haihai prepare a medical kit, furious.

Lin Haihai looked up at her and smiled. “I have to do my job. How can I possibly go against the emperor’s decree?”

She was nothing but his official now. Nothing more, nothing less!

“Let her go, Yu Qing. She has to face reality sooner or later!” Li Junyue said. “She can’t run away forever!”

“It shouldn’t be now!” Yu Qing growled.

“It’s fine. I can do it!” Lin Haihai said with determination. She knew something like this would happen, and she had prepared herself mentally. It couldn’t be that hard, could it?

“I’ll go with you!” Yu Qing said to her before looking away, pained.

“That won’t be necessary.” Lin Haihai met Yu Qing’s gaze to reassure her. “Two of our physicians have left for medical visits. We don’t have enough people left here. You should stay, Yu Qing. Trust me, I’ll be alright!”

“Don’t worry, Physician Yu,” Wangchen emerged from the inner hall and promised Yu Qing. “We’ll keep an eye on her!”

Lin Haihai’s shoulders drooped. She would have to say goodbye to all these lovely people in the near future!

After taking the patient to her ward, Zheng Feng looked at Lin Haihai worriedly and said, “You haven’t experienced the pain today. Would it...”

That was what Lin Haihai was worried about as well. She wouldn’t be able to control it when the pain hit her. Ah, that’s not gonna matter, she laughed at herself quietly. He wouldn’t feel anything even if the pain killed me. He has forgotten about me after all!

“Let’s go first,” Lin Haihai said pensively. “If the pain hits me then, take me to the empress dowager’s bedchamber!”

Wangchen and Zheng Feng exchanged a look and saw the same worry and sadness in each other’s eyes.

The newly ascended imperial consort was surprised when Yang Shaolun visited the Yunyi Palace with the empress. Without makeup, she looked refreshing and pretty. Yang Shaolun’s heart spasmed at the sight, remembering how Lin Haihai had looked the when she rested her head on his shoulder in the cavern to watch the sunset with him. They had thought that it would be impossible for the two of them to get together then.

“This Emperor heard that you were sick, Consort Wen. Is it serious?” Yang Shaolun broke out of his reverie. The woman before him wasn’t Lin Haihai no matter how much she resembled her. Lin Haihai was the only one who could catch his attention, but he had to keep up the act and see it to its conclusion.

Imperial Consort Wen propped herself up, feeling lightheaded. The empress hurriedly said, “Please don’t get up if you’re feeling unwell. His Majesty and I have come to visit you!”

Imperial Consort Wen gave the empress a grateful look. She assumed that the empress must have spoken to the emperor for her. That was why the emperor would check on her so nervously. With her eyes and brows lowered, she said gently, “Thank you, Elder Sister!”

The empress nodded with conflicted emotions in her heart. Imperial Consort Wen did look a little like Lin Haihai, but this woman could never replace her magnanimous and lovely friend!

“How are you feeling?” Yang Shaolun asked in a tender voice, forcing himself to treat her like Lin Haihai.

“Thank you for your concern, Your Majesty,” Imperial Consort Wen said bashfully. “This Consort is fine!”

Even her voice was similar to Lin Haihai, but it wasn’t as composed.

Yang Shaolun tucked her in and said, “You should take care of yourself. Stay in bed. This Emperor has summoned an imperial physician to treat you.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty!” Imperial Consort Wen was caught off guard by his kindness, her eyes a little misty. She never thought something like this would happen!

Yang Shaolun looked out of the door and asked, “Why hasn’t Branch Head Lin come? You’re Dingya, aren’t you? Go outside to check!”

Dingya hurried out of the door with a satisfied look on her face. The empress felt bitter inside. How painful it must be for Xiao’hai to see Yang Shaolun worry over Imperial Consort Wen?

Wangchen and Zheng Feng had just escorted Lin Haihai to the Yunyi Palace when Dingya came out. She bowed to Lin Haihai and said, “Here you are, Sixth Princess Consort! His Majesty is getting mad!”

Lin Haihai lost her balance for a brief second before standing straight and said with a smile, “How’s Consort Wen?”

“Consort Wen has caught a cold after returning from the Ci’an Palace last night,” said Dingya. “She hasn’t been able to get up since this morning!”

Wangchen scoffed and said mockingly, “Your master sure is a weak delicate flower!”

Dingya sneered after a moment of surprise, “She sure is precious. His Majesty cares about her like a great treasure. A guard like you is in no place to run your mouth!”

Wangchen wasn’t one to step back from a provocation. She unsheated her sword and held it to Dingya’s neck. Dingya froze in fear. She didn’t expect her to be so bold.

“Oh, and is it in a palace maid’s place to run your mouth?” Wangchen said coolly, her brows lowered in a threatening manner. “I’ll cut your tongue if you say another word. You should watch yourself in the imperial harem!”

Dingya glared at Wangchen, her face pale, but she didn’t dare say another word.

“Let’s get in, Wangchen!” Lin Haihai didn’t feel too good. She didn’t want to start any trouble.

Only then did Wangchen put away her sword. In a cold voice, she said, “You and your master should stay far away from me if you know what’s good for you!”

Wangchen didn’t want Lin Haihai to see Lady Wen. It didn’t matter that the woman had become the imperial consort. She had taken the place that should be Lin Haihai’s. None of this should’ve belonged to that woman!

Dingya was a petty person. Now that she held a grudge against Wangchen, she wouldn’t let it slide!

Lin Haihai dragged herself into the room. There Yang Shaolun was in his yellow silk robe, sitting worriedly beside another woman’s bed. Lin Haihai had overestimated herself. It felt like a lifetime had passed between this and their last meeting. His gaze was as loving as ever, but it was on another woman. Lin Haihai felt like running away. She was worried that her tears would drop any second.

“Greetings, Your Majesty!” She didn’t even recognize her own voice.

Yang Shaolun looked at the shadows below her swollen eyes and her pale face. Her hair was a little tousled, and she was dressed in plain clothes. This was his woman, the woman he loved!

“Rise.” Yang Shaolun tried his best to control his voice, but found it difficult to contain his overwhelming love for her.

“Come have a look at Imperial Consort Wen, Xiao’hai!” The empress called out for Lin Haihai, worried that she wouldn’t be able to take it for long. It was best for her to leave immediately after treating the imperial consort.

Lin Haihai calmed herself and hurried to the bed. She should’ve bowed to the imperial consort, but thankfully, Imperial Consort Wen didn’t care. Instead, the woman said gently, “I’ll be in your care, Consort Lin!”

Her smile stung Lin Haihai’s eyes. She almost couldn’t contain her tears. She hurriedly turned to the empress and said, “Have someone shut the door, Empress. Imperial Consort Wen has caught a cold. She should stay away from the wind!”

Her addressing another woman as the imperial consort broke Yang Shaolun’s heart. He ached for her. How hard must it be for Lin Haihai to say something so calmly before him?

Without missing a beat, the empress ordered Dingya to shut the door.

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houseau3's Thoughts

Can't you wait for, I don't know, a week before asking her to come to the palace...??