Chapter 189: The Wedding

Under Yu Qing’s treatment, the empress dowager had made substantial progress in her recovery and was able to take a few steps on her own. She would be able to walk properly with more physical therapy. However, she seemed to have aged several years over the past couple months. The sides of her hair were now peppered with white.

Lin Haihai held onto her hand with teary eyes, opening her mouth to reassure her, but the empress dowager shook her head and said, “Imperial Mother understands!”

She understood and accepted what would happen since there was no way for her to resist fate, but it didn’t mean that she wasn’t heartbroken.

On the day of the wedding, Lin Haihai’s body felt incredibly heavy. She had been in pain every day; she didn’t even have the strength to organize her own marriage. Guihua helped her put on her wedding gown, while Yu Qing applied makeup on her. Lin Haihai asked for heavier makeup since she looked too pale now. Yu Qing could only oblige her.

Everyone working at the plantation had been invited to the imperial city to attend the banquet, so were those from the Linhai Hospital. Moreover, the emperor decreed that a banquet would be held for the people of the capital for three days, organized by the lineage temples and paid by the imperial court. Everyone was welcome, be them a scholar official or a beggar. They might eat and drink to their heart’s content for three days.

Words about Physician Lin’s wedding spread through the city, and the citizens gave her their blessings in the form of gifts. A merchant guild had donated a great amount of silver to the Linhai Hospital. Lin Haihai ordered the money to be used to establish a charity fund for those in need.

Her father and mother in this era looked at Lin Haihai with joy, while Lin Yuchen and Lin Yuhao struggled to put on a smile. Her brothers knew the truth. They also knew that Lin Haihai had to go through inhumane torment every day for her unborn child.

In came a maid with a decorated box in her hands. She said that it was Young Master Zhou’s wedding gift for Physician Lin. Lin Haihai smiled and instructed her to open the box. Inside was a finely crafted jade figurine. The figurine had a medical kit on her back; her hurried expression resembled Lin Haihai.

There was also a sheet of paper in the box. Yu Qing read it out loud, “I hope what I did in the end didn’t disappoint you, Xiao’hai. I’ve left with Zhen’er. His Majesty discovered her disloyalty a long time ago, but he didn’t punish her, which proved him to be a kind-hearted ruler and a man you may entrust your life to! The Carefree Tavern has gone out of business. Perhaps it’ll open again in the future. Suxin has fallen in love with someone. I wonder if Physician Li would mind that she had once worked for Prince Pingnan?

Last but not least, please take care of yourself, Xiao’hai!”

Lin Haihai closed her eyes, reading between the lines to sense the emotions put into the writing. She couldn’t ask for anything but for everyone to be happy!

The auspicious hour came, and Yu Qing helped Lin Haihai out of the door. She turned back to look at her friends and family. All of them were giving her their blessings, and all of them were smiling.

A coldness struck her heart suddenly. She heard a scream. It seemed to be her mother. She turned around in panic, only to see a maid stabbing a dagger into her heart. Her eyes focused, and she realized that the maid shared some resemblance to her. It was Imperial Consort Wen!

Her vision went red, and the image of her smiling loved ones burned into her memory. She didn’t have the strength to open her eyes to look at the panicked faces and hear the heartbroken cries.

Before she fell to the floor, she whispered, “Brother Yang, Brother Yang...” The groom who was happily waiting for her in the palace didn’t know that his bride had collapsed into a puddle of blood. He was still dreaming about the wonderful days they would spend together.

Yu Qing and Li Junyue shouted before catching Lin Haihai. Yu Qing stared at the dagger buried into Lin Haihai’s chest as blood geysered out like springs. Li Junyue panickedly rummaged through his medical kit for medicine and gauze to stop the blood loss. Everything fell and scattered on the floor.

That was when Yang Hanlun arrived. He had been the first of the group to escort the bride. All he could see was chaos. Wailing crowd made a circle around something, their cries threatening to shake the sky. His heart pounded as he elbowed his way through, only to see Lin Haihai lying prone in a pool of blood.

His mind blanked and froze. They might really lose her this time! Trembling, he watched fearfully as Li Junyue and Yu Qing attempted to save Lin Haihai!

The two physicians shared a glance. There was no hope for her to survive given the entrypoint of the dagger and the depth of the trauma. However, her heart was still beating, so was the child’s. Was it because of the pill?

The pill that had been torturing her every day was keeping the child and Lin Haihai alive! Yang Hanlun cried when he checked her breathing. He carefully picked her up and asked Li Junyue, “Is she still alive?”

Li Junyue looked away, his vision blurry with tears. He took a deep breath and said with a trembling voice that turned into a sob, “Maybe, maybe not...”

Yang Hanlun couldn’t contain his tears. It pained him to think about how his elder brother had been looking forward to her arrival in the palace. He carried Lin Haihai to the bridal sedan chair. The only thing he could think about now was how his brother was still waiting for his bride; he had asked Yang Hanlun to bring the bride to him!

The escorts and the commoners here to spectate were stunned to see the sixth prince emerge with a bloody Lin Haihai. Everyone behind them had a sorrowful look on their faces. Lin Haihai’s eyes were closed, and her hands hung low. On her face was a serene expression.

The first to drop to their knees were her disciples at the hospital. Then it was those from the plantation. Finally, the common people knelt down as well. Behind Yang Hanlun was a great crowd of kneeling people. In no time, thunderous cries could be heard all over the capital. The colorful decorations and lanterns were taken down. Wherever the sedan chair went, people knelt down to see Physician Lin off.

Yang Shaolun rode a horse under the winter sun. Dressed in a golden dragon robe, the handsome man exuded an imperious presence. He had received news of Lin Haihai’s assassination fifteen minutes ago. He seemed completely unfazed on horseback. He never even frowned.

No one knew what he had been thinking as he looked into the distance, quietly waiting for his bride. Chen Luoqing and Xiao Yuan stayed with him without a word. They had discarded the red flowers they had been wearing. They worriedly looked at Yang Shaolun, but they didn’t know what they could possibly say to him.

Finally, they heard a chorus of suona and firecrackers. Yang Hanlun approached them carrying Lin Haihai, who was dressed in her wedding attire. He had promised to bring her to the man she loved.

Yang Shaolun dismounted and slowly walked up to the woman he had been in love with, his eyes dark with adoration. He had been waiting for her, seemingly for a lifetime. Finally, she would be his wife!

Yang Shaolun reached out to hold his bride. Lin Haihai’s serene face glowed with rouge, and her delicate brows had been filled in with makeup. He had known her for a long time. She had never put so much care into her appearance before. It looked like she had simply fallen asleep.

“Imperial Elder Brother...” Yang Hanlun spoke up hesitantly. Yang Shaolun didn’t respond. He carefully carried his bride to the front door of the imperial city. Everyone behind him had knelt down.

He dismissed all the servants and placed her in the newlywed room in the Qian’kun Palace. The red candles had burned to the end with tears of wax, while the food and wine were still untouched.

Yang Shaolun held onto Lin Haihai’s hand. It was cold, too cold. He hurriedly stood up to close every window. Then he put a few blankets over her body. With his gaze fixed on her face, he whispered, “Are you still cold?”

Her eyes remained close, and her lips curled into a smile. She didn’t respond to him.

He remembered how she disliked makeup. It made her uncomfortable, she said. Without hesitation, Yang Shaolun rushed out of the door and told a crying Guihua, “Fetch me a basin of hot water!”

Guihua left with her face covered by her hands. She quickly returned with hot water. Yang Shaolun harshly ordered, “Shut the door. Don’t let the wind in, or Physician Lin will be cold!”

Staring at Lin Haihai’s peaceful face, Guihua bit into her lip to stop herself from crying. Yang Shaolun squeezed the towel dry. When he noticed that Guihua was still standing there doing nothing, he said in a rumbling growl, “Get out and shut the door. Don’t disturb her. She’s been exhausted after seeing patients every day. Let her rest. Out!”

Guihua made a sound of assent and ran away, her tears dropping like beaded pearls.

Yang Shaolun thoroughly wiped away the makeup on her face and warmed her hands with hot water. He had held this pair of hands many times, but it had never hurt so much.

He put away the towel. Remembering that she had been complaining about her calves cramping, he moved away the blanket and put her feet on his legs. Then he covered them again with the blanket and gave her a gentle massage. “I always wondered when you were going to let go of your patients and spend your time with me.” He chuckled. “It always felt like I was fighting everyone in the world for you. Now, finally I have you to myself. You’re mine and mine alone!”

He massaged her other foot. “You said you would like the child to be a son, but wouldn’t a daughter be better? I want her to be like you. Then I would be able to see you in our daughter even if you’re gone and out of my life. What do you think?”

His voice was trembling, but he kept going, “What am I going to do if I can’t see you again? I’m not prepared yet. Without you, what meaning does the rest of my life have? Even if we will both reincarnate into our next life, there are a thousand years between us. Will we always be a thousand years apart? I’ve thought about it, Xiao’hai. We must not give up no matter what. If you fall asleep, we may never meet again. You have to wake up. Don’t sleep!”

He shook her shoulders and kissed her cold lips. “Wake up. Don’t sleep. We’ll think of a way. We will!” Panic colored his voice. “I’ll pick you up, Xiao’hai. Look at me. Open your eyes and look at me! Please!”

He gave it some time, but when she still didn’t respond, he called out, “Xiao Yuan! Xiao Yuan!”

Xiao Yuan had been waiting outside. He rushed into the room when he heard Yang Shaolun. “This servant is here. This servant is here...”

Yang Shaolun sat on the bed with Lin Haihai in his arms. Lowering his voice, he said, “Please summon Physician Li to treat Xiao’hai!”

Xiao Yuan’s heart broke when he thought about what Li Junyue had said. “Physician Li said that the pill in Physician Lin’s body will keep the child alive, but her heart had stopped beating. Your Majesty should place Physician Lin in an ice coffin. After four month, he will conduct a surgery to deliver the child!”

The pill would sustain the child. As long as Lin Haihai’s body didn’t rot, the child would continue to grow normally.

“That can’t be! Why would her heart stop beating? She’s a physician. She can do everything! This Emperor has asked you to find Passerby, Xiao Yuan. Have you found her?”

Yang Shaolun shook his head, his mind a tangled mess. All he could think of was the shy look on Lin Haihai’s face when she said she wanted to marry him. She must not leave just like that. He would not calm down. If the price of his calmness was losing her, he would rather go mad!

“Condolences to Your Majesty!” Xiao Yuan’s heart ached. He didn’t know what to do when the emperor finally acknowledged the truth and was struck by sorrow.

“This Emperor will not accept your condolences! What’s the meaning of that?!” Yang Shaolun tightened his arms around Lin Haihai and snapped, waving his hand to dismiss Xiao Yuan. Xiao Yuan could only follow the order, his eyes stinging.

Outside the Qian’kun Palace, the empress, Wangchen, Zheng Feng, Chen Luoqing, Yu Qing, Li Junyue, and many of Lin Haihai’s friends and disciples gathered. The only one still in the dark was the empress dowager, but not for long.

It was the day of the wedding. She had been waiting in the Ci’an Palace for the newlyweds to greet her. However, the couple never came even after nightfall. Her eyes and brows kept twitching. She was certain something had gone wrong!

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houseau3's Thoughts

...Anyone remembers the killer? No? Just me? Okay...