Imperial Consort Wen shuddered when Lin Haihai inserted the needle into Yang Shaolun’s vein. It was such a terrifying method of practicing medicine! At the same time, though, she was curious. She asked, “Your medicine is completely different from our traditional medicine, Sixth Princess Consort! Who is your master?”
Lin Haihai smiled gently. “I’m no longer Sixth Princess Consort, Imperial Consort Wen. I’m nothing but the Head Imperial Physician. You don’t need to address me as a consort from now on. As for my master, he’s someone out of the ordinary world and thus remains completely unknown.”
“You’re no longer a princess consort? What do you mean?” Imperial Consort Wen paused. She hadn’t heard anything about that in the harem.
“The sixth prince and I have ended our relationship!” That was the only explanation Lin Haihai could give.
Yang Shaolun’s loving gaze lingered on Lin Haihai. She’s never been the sixth princess consort, but my beloved woman and empress! She cares about neither riches nor glory. She loves me for the man that I am!
“Is that so? What a pity!” Imperial Physician Wen was surprised by the delight she got out of Lin Haihai’s misfortune. She couldn’t help but be a little hostile toward the former princess consort. It might be because Lin Haihai looked like her; she worried that the emperor would notice Lin Haihai because of that. Now that Lin Haihai was no longer a princess consort, she would visit the palace less, and in turn see the emperor less. Then Imperial Consort Wen wouldn’t have to worry about Lin Haihai getting involved with the emperor.
It seemed that Dingya’s speculation had influenced her more than she realized. Her maid had said that there was something between the emperor and the sixth princess consort. She had scolded Dingya for her baseless speculation then, but now it seemed that it wasn’t that far from the truth.
Lin Haihai smiled faintly and finished the injection with practice ease. Then she rubbed alcohol over the hole left by the needle. It was cool to the touch, but it left Yang Shaolun with warmth. Her touch was as lovingly tender as ever, and she had been careful and gentle with him out of her care for him.
“Xiao Yuan, make millet porridge for the emperor for the next three days. He may also have other softer food like noodles in moderation. He must not have any stimulating dishes, especially spicy food. He should be checked by imperial physicians daily. Only when they deem him ready may he have harder food.”
“Aren’t you going to check on His Majesty yourself the next few days, Physician Lin?” asked Xiao Yuan.
Lin Haihai put away her equipment. Her gaze crossed with Yang Shaolun’s inquisitive one. Heart softening, she said, “I’ll be away for some time. You should take good care of His Majesty!”
Lin Haihai didn’t want to explain too much. She wanted to get out of here now to avoid the abortion medicine. She wanted Yang Shaolun to forget about her forever. Then he wouldn’t be hurt by her departure, and his memory of her would remain forever buried. That was why she had given him the Forgetness Pill in the first place.
“Where are you going, Physician Lin?” Xiao Yuan had served Yang Shaolun for too long to not know what the emperor was thinking. He had asked the question for Yang Shaolun.
Lin Haihai didn’t respond to that. Instead, she bowed to Yang Shaolun and Imperial Consort Wen and said, “Lin Haihai will take my leave!”
She no longer knew how she should address herself. That was what she settled on.
Yang Shaolun wasn’t going to let her off the hook so easily. In a deep, rumbling voice, he said, “You haven’t had your tea, Physician Lin!”
Lin Haihai paused and stared at him, while Imperial Consort Wen watched the two of them in confusion. Lin Haihai smiled bitterly. “Are you sure you want me to drink it, Your Majesty?”
Yang Shaolun nodded. “This Emperor has given you this cup of tea. Shouldn’t you finish it before you go?”
“How much do you remember?” Lin Haihai began to doubt her assumption again.
Yang Shaolun glared at her, forgetting about Imperial Physician Wen in his anger. “This Emperor doesn’t remember anything, but the child you bear must be dealt with now!”
Lin Haihai glanced at Imperial Consort Wen, shamefaced. The imperial consort was visibly shaken with her pale face and widened eyes.
“It’s my child. I’m keeping it!” Lin Haihai flinched at the angry look on his face. She was close to four months pregnant. She had cared for the child for four months. How could she possibly part with the child willingly?
“Do you need this Emperor to force the tea down your throat?! It’s this Emperor’s child as well. This Emperor has a right to decide its fate!” Yang Shaolun flew into a rage. She had been lying when she said that she would drink the tea!
Imperial Physician Wen was stunned as she sat by the bed. His Majesty and Sixth Princess Consort are closer than Dingya speculated! They had an affair together! No wonder she’s no longer the sixth princess consort. She’s pregnant with His Majesty’s son, which the emperor doesn't want, but she wants to keep! That was the logical conclusion anyone would come to with the facts presented here.
“Please leave, Imperial Consort Wen. This Emperor has matters to discuss with Physician Lin!” Yang Shaolun said in a softer tone. Imperial Consort Wen nodded and walked out of the room. Xiao Yuan followed suit and shut the door after him.
“You remember everything!” Lin Haihai said with certainty.
“This Emperor doesn’t know what has happened between us, but remember the child you bear belongs to this Emperor. They will be a scandal this Emperor must not allow to be born. You were the sixth princess consort. Why would there be any relationship between us? This Emperor doesn’t remember at all. Perhaps it was a mistake we made after getting drunk. It’s all in the past now. This Emperor is asking you to abort the child!”
He’d mixed truths with lies and completely disoriented Lin Haihai. Heart clenching, she asked, “You went so far as to cut yourself to make me drink the tea because you see the child as a scandal? No, I won’t do as you said. That may be how you see the child, but to me, the child is incredibly precious!”
She had lost him. She must not lose the child as well.
“You must not keep the child, or this Emperor will force you to get an abortion!” He had seen how painful it was for her, and he swore he wouldn’t let her go through the torture again.
“So be it then! The child isn’t something to be ashamed of!”
Lin Haihai grabbed her medical kit and turned to leave. With a pang in his heart, Yang Shaolun said softly, “Please sit down. I’ll tell you a story!”
Lin Haihai turned to meet his sorrowful eyes, her heart aching sympathetically. She sat down, waiting for him to tell the story.
Yang Shaolun furrowed his thick dark brows, his thin lips curled into a gentle smile and his eyes shining with immeasurable love reminiscent of the vast ocean.
“The first time I saw her, I was eating at a tavern. Her bright eyes and lively expression caught my eyes. I found myself following her with my gaze. At the time, I didn’t know what would become of our relationship in the future. I was captivated by her at first sight. I thought it would be a fleeting feeling I would later push to the bottom of my heart and never explore.”
He was completely immersed in his memory. Lin Haihai looked at him, stunned. It wasn’t the first time he had told her about their first meeting. He did remember everything!
“Then we saved someone on the street together. I had thought that she would be someone I could fall for, not knowing what would happen between us later. I kept thinking about her after returning to the palace. I had thought that she would remember saving the man that day, but when we met again, she had forgotten who I was. I was disappointed, but what made me despair was the fact that she was my sixth brother’s princess consort. Fate had been cruel! I tried my best to not think about her, but I couldn’t get her out of my mind. What should I do?”
“Then a servant said that she had been assaulted by the bandits. In fury, I led a group of elite soldiers to avenge her, but I ended up getting hurt. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though, for my injury became a catalyst that brought us much closer...”
“Stop, stop it!” Lin Haihai covered her ears and bawled.
Yang Shaolun was also crying. In a trembling voice, he said, “However, that woman ended up trying to erase my memory of her with me none the wiser. I thought I would be able to play dumb and pretend to be a happy fool as she wished, allowing her to decide what my future would be. However, I heard her suffering tremendous pain from outside Imperial Mother’s bedchamber, and my heart was emptied, hollowed, numb to even the greatest pain.”
“That was when I knew I had had enough. I would rather not have the child. I could keep pretending to not remember her if that was what she wanted, if that would reassure her. I thought she would at least listen to me for once, but she didn’t. I really want to ask this woman how she felt when I cut myself with a dagger. How did it make her feel to watch me bleed? Why has she been doing whatever she wants without ever counselling me? Without asking me if I’m willing?”
“She doesn’t want me to know that she was going through great pain every day. She wanted me to forget memories that would bring me pain so that she could shoulder everything on her own. However, I feel no joy and only tremendous pain. It felt like my heart was being burnt whenever I thought about my beloved woman showing her love for me in the most foolish ways possible, and yet there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t even say no. I had to play the part and feign obliviousness.”
“You wanted me to show favor to Imperial Consort Wen. Then I did it. You wanted me to forget about you, so I didn’t dare admit that I remember you. You didn’t want me to know you were in pain, so I didn’t open the door to hold you, but instead stayed outside the door tormenting myself for two hours, until my heart hardened into a cold, hard rock.”
“Still I couldn’t be frank with you, since you never intend to return to my side. You’re willing to watch as another woman falls into my arms. I really don’t get how you can just find me a woman and attempt to transfer my love for you to her. It’s been bothering me for days. How could you do it? I thought about what I would do if I were in your place, but I realized that I would rather die than let another man touch you!”
“I don’t know what has been driving you to do all that, Lin Haihai, but I don’t need you to love me in that way! All I ever want is to be with you through thick and thin, to follow you through life and death!” His growls softened into murmurs, and Lin Haihai couldn’t stop crying.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
They really should have had this conversation way earlier