Yang Shaolun stared at Lin Haihai’s back in a daze. Strands of her hair and the hem of her robes fluttered with the night wind. He hugged her tightly from behind and leaned his chin against her ears, holding in his breath as if it could stop the pain in his heart. Lin Haihai closed her eyes as tears rolled down from the corners. Her love was buried prematurely in the soil before it even had a chance to sprout.
“Don’t leave me, I will handle everything.” His promise appeared to be extremely weak and powerless. Lin Haihai turned around and threw herself into his arms, wanting to remember the warmth of his embrace for the last time.
“Don’t leave me. Even if I can only watch you from afar, it’s okay. I promise you that I really won’t do anything to you. I promise!” Yang Shaolun hugged her firmly, his body slightly trembling.
Lin Haihai said nothing. She felt at ease in his arms, and didn’t want to talk or move.
“Haihai, promise me that you won’t leave. I’m okay with not seeing you. As long as I know you’re here and fine, I’m okay with not seeing you. Just please, don’t go!” Yang Shaolun resorted to begging in a low voice. This emperor had already given up on his dignity.
Lin Haihai stayed in his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck tightly. She used all her strength to hug the man in front of her. He lowered his head to find her cherry lips. She gasped in pain from how hard he was plundering her lips. She didn’t shy away however, and shyly entangled her tongue with his. She didn’t know what to do about this new sorrowful feeling. She just wanted to continue this passionate intimacy with him forever, until her heart stopped hurting.
Yang Shaolun could tell that she was determined to leave from her passionate response. He went from panic to hysterical. He didn’t want to lose her, he really didn’t, and he couldn’t lose her! He wanted her. He wanted to be with her forever and ever. He was the emperor. The world was his, but why couldn’t he have her? So what if Yang Hanlun cooperated with that person and rebelled against him? Yang Shaolun didn’t care about his title. He’d give it to Yang Hanlun!
“I won’t let you go, I won’t. I won’t let you leave me!” Yang Shaolun proclaimed in a determined tone as his lips parted from hers. His eyes were filled with passion and aggressiveness.
“What are you planning?” Lin Haihai felt a bad inkling.
“Don’t ask, you just need to believe me. Things won’t won’t always be like this between us.”
Happiness flickered in his eyes — a danger sign. Lin Haihai suddenly felt alarmed and nervous. He isn’t going to openly steal his brother’s wife, is he? He should be a reasonable person, especially when he is facing issues, both internally and externally. He won’t get into a conflict with his brother because of a woman, right? Wouldn’t that be giving his enemies an opportunity?
I shouldn’t have come today. He has always been very calm and restrained. He even kept a distance away when we saw each other. Why did I have to come to clear up things with him? Lin Haihai thought, vexed.
“Don’t change anything. I don’t want anything to change. Let’s end our relationship here.” She returned to her indifferent tone. If things went on, it’d only make the situation even worse.
“No, I wasn’t certain of your feelings in the past, so I convinced myself to not think about you. But now that I know you feel the same and that we are both thinking about each other day and night, I won’t give up on you no matter what!” Yang Shaolun had lost his rationality, the feelings that he had kept suppressed in him for a long while finally took over his mind. His narrow eyes were filled with only infatuation and love for Lin Haihai. He was the emperor; he had his responsibilities and burdens. However, he desired ordinary love too. He just wanted to hold onto the woman in front of him. Everything else was insignificant.
Lin Haihai was very touched, to the extent that she wanted to cry. This man loved her more than she imagined, but it was a pity that they met at the wrong time. He was already a husband and a father. She couldn’t tolerate other women being around him, but he had a palace of women, all of whom were of high standards. They were beautiful, generous, educated and refined. In the future, he would have even more women. How was she supposed to adjust her mindset? Instead of being in pain, she might as well end everything now since it hasn’t started. Only then would this love still be a beautiful memory and evoke happiness in her whenever she reminisced about it.
“I admit that my heart races when I see you, but that’s just a temporary feeling, okay? Let’s take an analogy for example. I have a kitten and I love it very much. Once in a while, I would encounter a puppy. The puppy is very cute and I like it a lot too. But that doesn’t mean I’d let the puppy replace the kitten. I like the puppy, but I’d only play with it and observe it when I have time,” Lin Haihai said ruthlessly. Such words would put him in a lot of pain, but at least he’d be awake and realize the situation. They probably really had to act like strangers in the future after this!
“You’re saying… that I am that puppy? The puppy that you want to tease when you’re happy?” He gazed at her, fury gradually forming in his eyes. The pain in his voice was too apparent that she didn’t dare to look at him as she turned around. She said nothing, but her silence confirmed his words.
“That means, you never loved me? It was all because you wanted to tease me on a whim?” Yang Shaolun probed as Lin Haihai remained silent, stubbornly turning her back against him.
“Then it seems like this Emperor has misunderstood and offended Consort Lin. So you were just teasing me when you said you’d leave and never return as well? That makes sense. After all, you love my younger imperial brother that much, how could you bear to leave him?” Yang Shaolun spat out in an indifferent voice. He then laughed. “May you two grow old and happy together until death do you part then!”
Lin Haihai tried her best to keep her eyes open and to control the tears threatening to spill. Her heart was so in pain that she couldn’t form any words. If she hadn’t laid out things so openly on the table, they could still have an amicable relationship. But the moment she decided to lay things out in the open, it was a painful truth to face.
“It’s true that I love him. It’s also true that I’m leaving. Maybe I’m leaving because I love him very very much, and don’t want to hurt or be hurt by him. After I leave, he’d quickly forget about me and start a new life. When we see each other again one day, we can still be good friends!” Lin Haihai faintly said, her clear voice was like a flowing brook in the dark night. “I came tonight because I don’t want to regret anything. It’s true that I do feel something towards you. That’s why I came. I want to find out my feelings towards you. In the end, I realized that I was just temporarily infatuated, and acted on impulse. Right now, I am thinking about my husband and I want to return to his side, so that I can see him. After all, I don’t have much time with him left!” She turned around, the mist within her eyes had already disappeared. Her eyes were sparkling and contained the depths of an abyss, reflecting Yang Shaolun’s crestfallen expression.
Yang Shaolun stared at her. Despite his broken heart, he maintained the icy expression on his face. Yet, the pain and disbelief in him made him croaked out in a slightly trembling voice, “Since that’s the case, Consort Lin, please head back. This Emperor should rest now. Servants, arrange to head to the Plum Garden!” Plum Garden was Consort Lin’s boudoir. He turned and left, not sparing Lin Haihai yet another glance.
Chen Luoqing rushed over to see Yang Shaolun leaving alone. His heart felt heavy. Lin Haihai had hurt Yang Shaolun after all. Anger rose from the bottom of his heart. He turned to see her standing by the lake. He flew over and grabbed her, about to question her when he noticed the tears streaming down her face. Lin Haihai struggled free and squatted down, burying her head in her lap, weeping lowly.
Chen Luoqing froze. What was going on? One left dejected while the other was crying on her knees. What happened?
“Stop crying. You’ll become very ugly if you keep crying.” The anger in him quickly dissipated and he felt bad. He had never coaxed a woman and didn’t know what women liked to hear. But all women loved being beautiful. She would be concerned if he said that she’d become ugly, right?
However, Lin Haihai ended up crying even harder. Her constantly trembling shoulders against the backdrop of this dark night painted a rather pitiful woman. Chen Luoqing squatted down and hesitated before placing his hands on her shoulder awkwardly, but feeling sorry for her.
Lin Haihai suddenly stood up and wiped the tears from her face. She glanced at Chen Luoqing defensively and exclaimed, “Don’t you dare speak a word about tonight, otherwise I’ll kill you!” Her threat held no imposing aura. Chen Luoqing looked at her swollen eyes and asked, “What happened?”
“Nothing, accompany me for a drink!” It is just a break up, no? No big deal. People in modern times get themselves drunk and then casually find a one night stand when they just broke up, don't they? They feel no pain when they wake up the next day. He’s the emperor and has countless women. It’s Imperial Consort Lin tonight and it will be Noble Lady Ling tomorrow night. He will soon forget about me. So I have to work hard and stop thinking of him and get him out of my heart too!
“Drink? I heard that you had gotten drunk after having a few glasses at the Empress Dowager’s banquet. You still want to drink?” Chen Luoqing raised his brows in doubt. When it came to drinking, he only enjoyed downing bowls of wine and drinking to his heart’s content with his soldiers, not with these young misses and masters who drank small sips after small sips.
Lin Haihai’s eyes reddened, and she clutched onto his clothes. She exerted strength on her feet before swiftly lifting herself into the night sky and through the darkness, arriving in front of Carefree Tavern.
A flicker of panic flashed by Chen Luoqing’s eyes. Lin Haihai’s martial arts skills were much stronger than he imagined. Was she a friend or foe? Up until now, she hadn’t hurt anyone, but she constantly recruited disciples and expanded her business. Was it just merely to earn money? But according to the information he received from scouts, her hospital had been giving out free treatment and medicine. She didn’t even earn any money. As the daughter of a businessman, what was her motive if not to earn money? Did she merely just want to help people?
Lin Haihai naturally hadn’t detected Chen Luoqing’s unease. Her brows furrowed together as she stared at the dark and gloomy tavern. Was it closed? She felt a bit dejected. Just as she was about to turn and leave, the tavern door creaked open. The lady boss slowly walked out with a bowl of water in her hands. Lin Haihai looked and realized she was that woman with the faint smile.
When the lady boss saw the duo before the tavern door, her lips slightly curled up as she asked, “My guests, you must be here to drink? The tavern is closed at this hour, but we can sell drinks to you!”
“Then let’s buy some and drink elsewhere. Lady boss, give me five catties of wine!” Lin Haihai exclaimed passionately and enthusiastically.
“What? Five catties? Do you think we are buying water? Lady boss, just two catties will do!” Chen Luoqing ignored Lin Haihai’s stern gaze and glanced at the lady boss calmly and naturally.
The lady boss chuckled softly. She turned around to grab a pure white porcelain bottle from inside the tavern. She handed it to Chen Luoqing and exclaimed, “Our tavern’s wine is very strong. You can only buy one bottle each time. After finishing this bottle, I hope that you guys will figure out what you want.” The lady boss smiled and turned to leave. She closed the door quietly behind her and the lights were extinguished instantly.
Lin Haihai stared strangely at the porcelain bottle. She had only drank a small glass with Li Junyue last time before the alcohol went up her head. Then, she entered the palace to change bandages for Brother Yang, and she couldn’t help but kiss him while she was at it. That must be the origin of their ill-fated relationship. Was it because of this strong wine? This lady boss was really not an average person.
Cheng Luoqing didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he stared at the bottle of wine in his hands. This little bottle? No matter how strong the wine was, he wouldn’t be drunk.
“Go, let’s go back to North Court to drink.” Lin Haihai suddenly had a feeling that this bottle of wine would give her the answer she wanted.
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He had never coaxed a woman and didn’t know what women liked to hear. But all women loved being beautiful. She would be concerned if he said that she’d become ugly, right?