That night, Yang Shaolun issued an urgent summon for Lin Haihai due to stomach ache. Lin Haihai panicked. He must have eaten something spicy. She grabbed her medical kit and rushed into the palace. Xiao Yuan was waiting for her at the door.
“What happened?” Lin Haihai said angrily. “Why did you let him have spicy food?”
“He insisted. This servant tried to stop him, but then he threw away his bowl and scolded me!” Xiao Yuan was worried as well. He had never seen Yang Shaolun act like this.
Lin Haihai frowned. Could it be a side effect of the Forgetness Pill? She rushed to push open the door and saw Yang Shaolun clutching at his blanket in pain. Lin Haihai’s eyes brimmed with tears. She tried her best to hold it in.
Yang Shaolun gazed at her. How was he supposed to act like he didn’t know her? He loved her, and yet they had to pretend to be strangers. Pain couldn’t even begin to describe how that made him feel.
“I know you!” he said, his gaze inquisitive. This was his only excuse for looking at her without reservation, and he greedily took in the sight. He had eaten spicy food nonstop tonight precisely because he wanted to see her. He ate until the numbness gave way to pain before summoning her, lest she saw through his act.
Lin Haihai froze. Does he still remember me? No, that can’t be. He didn’t recognize me last time. Perhaps he remembers only snippets of memory. After having the Forgetness Pill with Imperial Consort Wen’s blood, his love for her had long been transferred to the imperial consort. It made Lin Haihai’s heart ache, and her chest filled to the brim with jealousy.
“Your Majesty has naturally seen me before,” Lin Haihai said, composing herself. “I’ve been Branch Head for more than a couple days!”
Yang Shaolun looked away and sighed. “Is that so? Perhaps I got the wrong person.”
He hadn’t. He had never forgotten about the woman he held dear in his heart, not for a second.
Lin Haihai’s heart clenched and her eyes stung. She tipped her head up to stop the tears from falling.
“Are you feeling unwell, Branch Head?” Yang Shaolun stared at her. “You seem tense!”
“I’m simply nervous before Your Majesty,” Lin Haihai changed the subject. “Are you feeling better now, Your Majesty?”
“This Emperor is still hurting. It hurts so bad. Does Branch Head have some way to alleviate the pain?” His eyes remained fixed on her, his gaze heated.
She had nowhere to hide. Nervousness and concern made her lose her calm and composure. She rummaged through the medical kit for a painkiller syringe and anti-inflammatory medicine. Yang Shaolun said with a sigh, “Aren’t you going to take this Emperor’s pulse, Branch Head?”
Heat rushed into her face. She had somehow forgotten even the basic procedure of diagnosis. She took a deep breath and put away the medicine before saying with purposeful calmness, “Have you eaten something spicy, Your Majesty?”
“How do you know this Emperor cannot have spicy food?” Yang Shaolun’s brows furrowed. “This Emperor had a lot of spicy food today because a voice told me that it would help me remember the faint figure in my memory!”
Lin Haihai was stunned. All colors drained from her face suddenly.
Yang Shaolun smiled weakly before calling out, “Tea, Xiao Yuan!”
Xiao Yuan paused before turning away with a heavy heart. Not long after, he returned with a cup of tea.
“Please, Madam Branch Head!” Xiao Yuan didn’t dare meet Lin Haihai’s eyes, but Lin Haihai accepted the tea without any suspicion. This would at least help cover up her helplessness. She thanked Xiao Yuan before taking a sip.
As soon as she tasted it, though, she widened her eyes in shock, staring at Yang Shaolun. Yang Shaolun met her eyes seriously. “Why don’t you finish it? Drink!”
Lin Haihai shook her head and put away the tea cup, visibly shaken.
“This Emperor orders you to drink it!” Yang Shaolun raised his voice, his heated gaze hardening.
“No, I’m not going to!” Lin Haihai sobbed. “I’m a physician. I know what this will do to me!”
Yang Shaolun shot to his feet and looked down at her before grabbing the dagger on the table to cut his own arm. Blood gushed out immediately and dyed his yellow robe.
Lin Haihai stared at him dumbly. Yang Shaolun didn’t even frown. He asked again, “Are you going to drink it or not?”
Lin Haihai was stunned, her eyes shining with pain.
Yang Shaolun laughed bitterly at her hesitation. Again, he cut across his arm, the pain in his heart greater than any physical pain. The blood gushing out was but a color to him, and the pain didn’t register in his brain.
“Don’t!” she cried out, her face covered in tears. That finally got a smile from Yang Shaolun. “I’ll drink it!”
Yang Shaolun was betting on her reluctance to see him hurt, on her love for him. He won. She would be able to give up everything for him.
“Do you remember everything?” Lin Haihai asked. He didn’t seem to have forgotten about her.
“This Emperor has an obsession, which is to make you abort your child. Only then would this Emperor be able to move on. This Emperor doesn’t know what has happened, neither does this Emperor know what I should and should not remember. This Emperor sees only limbo regarding my past and future!”
His eyes were red like his blood, and his loving expression seemed almost heartless. When one loved too deeply, they would end up not caring about anything regarding themselves.
Lin Haihai was confused. She wasn’t sure if he had remembered her, or if this was merely a side effect of the Forgetness Pill. How was she going to give up on the child?
“What does it make you feel to see me hurting?” Yang Shaolun asked coolly.
Realization dawned on Lin Haihai. He remembered her, and he had seen her hurting for the child in her body. That was why he cut himself to make her feel what he had felt. She had been hiding the truth from him because she was worried that he would make her get an abortion to prevent her from suffering.
Lin Haihai tried her best to hold in her tears. If he wasn’t going to speak openly about it, she wouldn’t, either. How did the pill lose its effect so soon? She took out a roll of gauze and a bottle of antiseptic with trembling hands to clean his wounds. The cuts were deep enough to reveal the bones. He had been so cruel with himself.
She could no longer keep in her tears, and they dropped onto her arms. Her heart, nose, and eyes were all prickling with numbing pain, and it spread to all parts of her body.
“Would you drink it, please?” he begged.
She nodded as she sobbed and continued to patch him up. Looking at her trembling shoulders, he wanted nothing but to pull her into his arms. However, he knew it wasn’t time yet. He had to wait until everything settled.
“Imperial Consort Wen has arrived!” announced a eunuch outside. Lin Haihai hurriedly composed herself and sorted out Yang Shaolun’s robe.
Yang Shaolun cursed inwardly. Why would that woman come now, when he was just about to convince Lin Haihai? He had to let her in, or people would suspect he’d been acting.
“Let her in!” Yang Shaolun gave Lin Haihai a pointed look. She turned away, feeling uncertain about him again.
Imperial Consort Wen had rushed to visit Yang Shaolun after hearing about his stomach ache. She had always been a reserved woman, but her feelings for the emperor made her lower her dignity.
“Greetings, Your Majesty!”
“Greetings, Imperial Consort Wen!”
She and Lin Haihai greeted each other at the same time.
“Please relax,” said Yang Shaolun. “Have a seat!”
“Here you are as well, Sixth Princess Consort. How’s His Majesty?” Imperial Consort Wen spoke condescendingly. Yang Shaolun had shown her favorable treatment, and a man’s affection was a woman’s glory.
“His Majesty must have eaten too much spicy food during dinner. That’s why he’s suffering from a stomachache!” Lin Haihai gestured at Xiao Yuan. “Please help His Majesty to the bed. I’ll give him an injection!”
Imperial Consort Wen hurried to help Yang Shaolun up. Lin Haihai managed to keep her pang of jealousy from showing. Yang Shaolun gently took Imperial Consort Wen’s hand and said, “Don’t worry, Imperial Consort Wen. This Emperor is alright!”
Imperial Consort Wen frowned. “You should take better care of yourself, Your Majesty.” She turned to Xiao Yuan angrily. “How have you been doing your job, Xiao Yuan? You knew His Majesty couldn’t have spicy food!”
Xiao Yuan glanced at Lin Haihai, who was preparing a syringe with her head lowered. He sighed silently and said respectfully, “It’s this servant’s fault!”
“This Emperor has insisted on that.” Yang Shaolun smiled faintly, which brightened his handsome face. “This Emperor wanted to know if spicy food really is as delicious as people said, but it ended up making me ill!”
Lin Haihai was momentarily lost in his bright smile. Perhaps he had forgotten about her, but a trace of yearning remained in his heart, which should be more than enough for her. She reaffirmed her determination not to have the medicine. The Forgetness Pill must be slowly coming to effect. She was but a faint shadow in his memory now, and she would become nothing to him soon!Previous Chapter Next Chapter