"A martial artist saved me. I ran away when they were engaged in a fight," Lin Haihai said, trying to cook up an excuse.
"I see. You must be very lucky then." Yang Shaolun suppressed the internal turmoil within him and forced himself to keep his distance from her.
"Yeah." Lin Haihai found Yang Shaolun's attitude was slightly different, as though he was deliberately keeping a distance. Could it be because of the forced kiss? Lin Haihai was vexed. She was his brother's wife, and yet she dissolutely seduced her own brother-in-law; what debauchery! No wonder he looked uncomfortable; he must have a bad impression of me. Lin Haihai bowed her head and fell silent.
Observing her sudden crestfallen face, his heart throbbed in pain, but he wasn't able to offer any comforting words. However, he was surprised by the lack of panic or fear on her face. She didn't look like she had been abducted, but rather as though she had been out to play and was depressed over being caught in a downpour. Also, would there actually be a martial artist who coincidentally passed by to save her when it was raining cats and dogs? On top of that, that person was able to take on the numerous assassins while ensuring her safety and giving her the opportunity to escape?
Zheng Feng, coupled with his imperial brother and a whole band of highly-skilled guards, hadn’t been able to fend off the assassins; they had allowed them to infiltrate the hospital and abduct her. And yet, that person was able to engage the assassins in a fight all at once, such that they couldn't even disengage to intercept her escape? Was there really such a strong and powerful martial arts expert? Yang Shaolun had never heard of such a person. But if that person hadn't existed, then Lin Haihai and that group of assassins… Yang Shaolun's blood ran cold. Could that have happened? He looked at Lin Haihai; the latter was just fiddling with the embroidery on her dress, a desolate look on her face.
Unprecedented silence filled the carriage, while outside, the sounds of rain grew more intense and frantic.
"Your Majesty, it's Sixth Prince, who has returned from searching for the assassins." The carriage driver stopped and deferentially lifted the curtains to report.
Yang Shaolun quietly watched his brother from within the carriage. Yang Hanlun had been drenched from head to toe as he went to search from door-to-door. How would he resort to such methods, which would disturb civilians, if the anxiety within him hadn't reached its peak? Yang Shaolun suddenly felt ashamed and fearful of his previous analysis.
"Yang Hanlun!" Lin Haihai jumped off the carriage; she was moved by his actions.
Yang Hanlun turned around. Though the wind and rain had blinded his vision, he could recognize her voice. He froze for a split second before he dashed towards Lin Haihai and pulled her into his arms. His heart had been in his mouth, but now it could return. "Are you alright? What did they do to you? Are you hurt anywhere?" Still recovering from his extreme anxiety, Yang Hanlun bombarded Lin Haihai with a flurry of questions.
Lin Haihai felt a tinge of warmth in her heart as she replied, "I'm fine, I'm really fine!"
"That’s good. Don't be afraid. It's all over, don't be afraid," Yang Hanlun's voice trembled.
Lin Haihai patted him on the back and said, "Yeah. With you around, I'm not afraid." She wasn't afraid, but he was!
Yang Shaolun let down the curtains and instructed Xiao Yuan in a low voice, "Let's head back to the palace." Xiao Yuan nodded, feeling really helpless. He motioned for the driver to move and the carriage rattled away.
Meanwhile, Yang Hanlun didn't notice his imperial elder brother leaving in a hurry. Currently, his heart was full of gratitude. When she had been missing, he felt pain with every breath he took. He had thought he would never see her again.
Lin Haihai watched the carriage disappearing into the distance and felt a sudden emptiness in her heart. She allowed Yang Hanlun to hold her tightly. In her heart, she saw him as a younger brother — warm-hearted, naughty, but also knew how to care for her at times.
On the way, Lin Haihai reiterated the cooked-up lie about how she was saved by a passing-by martial artist. It was able to fool Yang Hanlun, who was still in ecstasy over her return, but Zheng Feng behind them pressed his brows together. It was already late in the night when they arrived back at the hospital, but her disciples were still awake; they had gathered in the inner hall and were waiting for any updates.
As soon as Lin Haihai entered the room, the disciples were stunned momentarily before they suddenly burst into tears and swarmed around her. Lin Haihai could feel the tears welling up in her eyes, but due to the presence of others, she desperately tried to hold it in.
"Was it fun being a hostage?" Li Junyue entered the room with a yawn.
"Screw you, you heartless dude! You don't even know how to show some concern!" Lin Haihai glared at him.
"What's there to show concern about? Aren't you back safe and sound?"
"And what if I hadn’t been?"
"The heavens favor you, how is that possible?" Li Junyue replied in disdain. Those neophytes could never get the better of you; what’s with the act?
Yang Hanlun observed Li Junyue's expression; there was indeed no tinge of surprise, as though he knew that she would return safe and sound. How could he be so certain? Those were a dozen ruthless killers!
"Is General Chen in stable condition?" Lin Haihai asked.
"Yeah. He will wake up after the anesthesia wears off. Rest assured, he will be fine," answered Li Junyue as he patted his chest.
"I'll naturally rest assured with you around, but it's better to keep him under careful observation since the facilities here are simple and shabby," Lin Haihai replied.
"Got it, you naggy hag... even the old folks' home wouldn't take you in. Such a nagging pain." Li Junyue replied, annoyed.
"We really don't speak the same language!" Lin Haihai rolled her eyes at him.
"Alright, go to bed, everyone. We still have to open our doors for appointments tomorrow," Lin Haihai clapped her hands together and said.
"Close down tomorrow, you're not allowed to open!" Yang Hanlun's words were underlaid with anger. This woman; she just escaped from death and instead of having a good rest, she's only thinking about making money. Why is she so greedy?
"How can we not open for tomorrow?" Lin Haihai couldn't understand where his fury was stemming from.
"I'll give you a thousand taels. Close Linhai Hospital for a day!" Yang Hanlun had no choice but to resolve the matter with money. How many patients would she have to see to earn one thousand taels?
"Really? I don't believe you. Give me the money first and I promise that the doors will be closed!" Lin Haihai's eyes widened and shone brightly at the mention of money.
"All the banknotes on me are wet now. I will send it over to you tomorrow morning, but you have to keep to your words and not open!" Yang Hanlun touched the money pouch hanging at his waist; it was completely wet.
"Okay. Everyone, head back to your rooms first. Have a warm bath and drink a bowl of ginger soup. Don't catch a cold!" Lin Haihai's occupational disease as a doctor acted up again as she repeatedly advised her disciples.
Yang Hanlun glanced at Lin Haihai before he led his men away reluctantly. The disciples also left one after another to rest up for the day.
"I can sleep in since we are not opening tomorrow!" Li Junyue sat down on a stool, his upper body sprawled on the table in extreme fatigue.
"Who said that we are not opening?" Lin Haihai took a seat and cupped her chin with both palms.
"Didn't you just promise him? You don't you want the money? We are short of funding!" Lin Haihai had previously told Li Junyue about how she ran the hospital. Li Junyue kept his comments to himself. After all, ever since he was young, he had never expected Lin Haihai to be able to make any money.
"It won't do if we don't open. Many of our patients are from poor families. If we stop treating them, they will never seek treatment elsewhere in order to save money. Those with serious conditions can't be delayed. Time is life!" Lin Haihai said solemnly.
Li Junyue looked at her and said with a smile, "You are becoming more and more like Teacher."
"Of course, I'm his biological granddaughter!" Lin Haihai replied with a mischievous smile. "Go to bed, have a good rest, and we'll continue the fight tomorrow!"
"Okay, you should head to bed early too!" Li Junyue caressed her head and said dotingly.
The first ray of light appeared on the horizon, a peaceful and tranquil sight. It was as though the storm yesterday had never happened. Only the broken tree branches strewn across the roads spoke of the previous night's sorrows.
Yang Hanlun headed to the imperial palace in the wee hours of the morning to send his regards to the Empress Dowager. Before leaving his residence, he instructed his steward to head to Linhai Hospital and give a banknote of one thousand taels to Lin Haihai if Linhai Hospital was closed. His steward didn't dare to neglect the task, and immediately made his way to Linhai Hospital.
When the steward arrived at the hospital, he was stunned. The doors of the hospital were tightly shut, while a few tables were set up right before the entrance. The imperial physicians and Lin Haihai were seated at these tables and attending to patients. The windows by the doors were wide open, and some disciples were jumping through the windows to grab medicine.
"Ah, Mr. Steward, you are here!" Lin Haihai immediately approached the steward with a huge smile plastered onto her face. Money!
"Consort Lin, this servant doesn't deserve your greeting," the steward promptly bowed and greeted.
"It's alright. Did Sixth Prince instruct you to bring the taels over?" Lin Haihai helped the steward up.
“His Highness said to only give it to you if Linhai Hospital is closed," the steward answered with hesitation.
"Then please go take a look at the doors, they are closed!"
"Stop saying this and that. I really closed the doors to Linhai Hospital!" Lin Haihai feigned impatience and retorted.
The steward panicked. He hurriedly took out a banknote from his sleeves and handed it over to Lin Haihai.
"Consort Lin, this old servant will take his leave now."
"Alright! Have a safe journey back," replied Lin Haihai with a smile.
"This seems like a breach of principle," Li Junyue said as he approached her from the back.
"Principles can sometimes be abandoned in the face of reality! A hero is worth a farthing!" Lin Haihai retorted.
"Since when did you become such a realist? Babbitt!"
"You will understand after a while. Prices of medicine remain high, there's no money to earn, and I have a bunch of kids to feed. Tell me, where am I going to get the money from? Besides, I'm not stealing or robbing; I feel that there isn't any breach of principle," Lin Haihai explained in annoyance.
"But there are still elements of deception," Li Junyue countered obstinately.
"Stupid bear, he is my husband! His money is my money. What deception are you talking about?" Lin Haihai aimed a kick at Li Junyue in anger.
"I heard he divorced you long ago and even gave you a huge sum of severance pay." Li Junyue ducked it easily.
"Severance pay? Do you think he's my boss? Then tell me, what should I do? Expenses are high and I just admitted over ten patients yesterday. You saw the books as well, the hospital is losing money everyday." Lin Haihai held her forehead.
"Didn't you mention wanting to plant medicinal herbs? That can be done; we have nothing else but plenty of manpower," said Li Junyue.
"I'm still looking for a place. I asked the Sixth Prince for help with this, but there haven't been any updates."
"I can ask the old man at home. I remember he mentioned that our family owns a lot of abandoned hills. Let's rent them." Li Junyue was reminded of the Li Family's assets, which his "father" had once told him about.
"Really? That's great then. Go and ask your father now. Negotiate a lower rent!" Lin Haihai was overjoyed and hurriedly pushed Li Junyue to go on his way.
"I’ll leave now then. Remember to watch out for General Chen. He should be coming around soon," Li Junyue instructed worriedly.
"Yes, I will take care of it." Lin Haihai naturally didn't dare to be negligent as well.Previous Chapter Next Chapter