Chapter 84: The Visit

“This official recognizes his crime. Your Majesty, please punish this official!” Prince Pingnan clenched his teeth and said with his face ashen. 

 

“This Emperor has ordered Prince Pingnan to stay at your feudal land unless you’ve obtained this Emperor’s explicit permission. Since you violated this Emperor’s order, your punishment will be to leave the capital at once. Without this Emperor’s permission, you are not to set foot in the capital!” A cold glint flickered in Yang Shaolun’s eyes. He couldn’t show mercy anymore.

 

“This official obeys the decree! This official withdraws!” Prince Pingnan stood up in hatred, unwilling to kneel down anymore. He glanced at Yang Shaolun with his narrow eyes, pursing his lips tightly and coldly. 

 

“Imperial Uncle, take care. This Emperor won’t be seeing you out.” Yang Shaolun looked at him. Their similar faces showed a matching coldness. Strife between family members was the most tragic occurrence of all, yet also most common within the imperial family. 

 

“Nephew, you don’t need to see me out. Just sit tight on your throne; otherwise, you might accidentally fall off your seat. This Imperial Uncle won’t be able to help you then!” 

 

Yang Shaolun was shaken by his Imperial Uncle’s dominant and overbearing aura. However, he wasn’t the young lad he had been in the past anymore. He’d be waiting for this battle! 

 

“Imperial Uncle, don’t worry. This Emperor isn’t the child I once was. There is little chance that this Emperor would fall off the throne,” Yang Shaolun replied coldly. His gaze swept over the kneeling officials, and he deliberately said, “Officials, you may all rise!” 

 

“Thank you, Your Majesty!” A range of emotions could be observed on the officials’ faces - happy, fearful, worrying, and unresigned. Yang Shaolun took in all of them. 

 

Prince Pingnan left with a flourish of his sleeves. 

 

Yang Shaolun looked at the officials and said meaningfully, “My condition today has revealed to me the true color of many people and many matters. Let this Emperor reiterate something. If your wish as an official is to benefit the common people, then this Emperor can promise that everyone can make the most out of their abilities to fulfill their ambitions. If you are eager to bring chaos to the world and hurt the common people as well as the country, don’t blame this Emperor for showing no mercy!” 

 

“This official is loyal and willing to follow His Majesty to bring about centuries of prosperity!” The officials kowtowed thrice and exclaimed in high spirits. 

 

“It’s best this way. This Emperor is very pleased! This Emperor isn’t feeling well today, so you may all withdraw from court!” Yang Shaolun leaned against his dragon throne tiredly. His injuries hadn’t recovered, and he hadn’t slept the entire night. It took a lot of effort to confront Prince Pingnan back then; he couldn’t hold on for long now. 

 

“Your Majesty, please take care! Paying respects to Your Majesty!” The officials kowtowed thrice again. 

 

Fuxi hurriedly helped the emperor up while Chen Luoqing and the others followed closely behind. 

-----

 

Emperor’s Bedchamber

 

Imperial Physician Shangguan hurried over, and his shiny forehead was densely covered in sweat. Yang Shaolun lay on his bed, looking at everyone weakly. His brothers and officials looked at him in concern. He felt touched. His gaze gained a guilty glint when it settled on Yang Hanlun. Haihai was correct. If the two of them insisted on being together, he’d lose all these brothers. He didn’t want to lose either his love or his family, so he’d be content watching her from afar. 

 

“Your Majesty, how are you feeling?” Chen Luoqing asked worriedly. The imperial physician had taken a while to inspect the emperor without a word, which stoked his anxiety. 

 

Yang Shaolun smiled sickly and said, “I’m fine, don’t worry!” In front of these people, he didn’t address himself as “this Emperor.” They were his brothers, his loyal followers who had risked their lives for him. He didn’t need to act high and mighty. 

 

“His Majesty has been stabbed many times. Strangely, the injuries are nearly healed already. This official is puzzled!” Imperial Physician Shangguan pinched his chin and knitted his brows as he said. Usually, his appearance would’ve made one choke on laughter, but no one was in the mood to laugh at the moment. 

 

“I’m as befuddled as you are. My injuries had mostly healed when I woke up. Then I found the imperial guards searching for me after venturing a few steps!” Yang Shaolun closed his eyes, feeling a bit drowsy. After a pause, he opened his eyes and looked at Chen Luoqing, saying, “Keep an eye on Prince Pingan at all times until he leaves the capital!” 

 

Chen Luoqing nodded and said, “Leave it to me. You should rest. We’ll continue this discussion tonight!” 

-----

 

“Sixth Brother, as for Imperial Mother…”  

“Don’t worry, Imperial Elder Brother. Imperial Mother doesn’t know anything.” Yang Hanlun thought he had hidden the emperor’s disappearance from the empress dowager.   

“That’s good.” Yang Shaolun trailed off until he fell asleep. Yang Hanlun looked at his imperial elder brother. He was back, but what about Lin Haihai? He didn’t know why, but he wasn’t worried to hear that Lin Haihai had been captured. It felt as if he knew for sure that she wouldn’t be in trouble. Why did he think that? She was clearly just a weak woman! However, he was certain that she’d return safely!   When the empress dowager heard that the emperor had returned to the palace, she immediately wanted to visit him. However, Lihua said, “According to those serving His Majesty, His Majesty had summoned the princes and General Chen to discuss important matters as soon as he returned. It’s better for Your Majesty to go later.” 

The empress dowager thought about it before saying, “Order the servants to make some nourishing stew and summon the Sixth Princess Consort into the palace!” Since the emperor was back, Yuguan should be back, too. That child really has a rough life. She’s lost some weight recently. 

“Understood!” Lihua took small quick steps out.  Lin Haihai wasn’t one to stay idle. She hid her sorrow and began to see patients again. More and more patients were coming to Linhai Hospital, and they were lacking in manpower. It seemed like she needed to hurry up and get the establishment of new hospitals going. Imperial Physician Chen just told her that the warehouse was running out of medicine. The market price of medicine was still extremely high. Most importantly, the shortage in the market was severe. Someone must have been hoarding medicine out of malicious intent. As for the second prince’s interrogation on Bai Muyang, there was no result yet. A lot of evidence had been destroyed, and they couldn’t identify the mastermind behind everything. Their hard work had been in vain! 

Her busy self naturally didn’t notice the fierce gaze that had been eyeing her from the door for a long time. At the end of the day, her lack of experience made her trusting and complacent, so she didn’t notice the variety of dangers around her.   Prince Pingnan, Yang Xiaoyun, stood by the door as he watched Lin Haihai’s every action. His instinct told him that this wasn’t an ordinary woman. She had a sophisticated vocabulary and an extraordinary temperament. Zhou Junpeng must have been attracted to her. Who was she? From his spies’ report, her hospital had only been established within the capital for a short few months, but she had already won over all the common people. This woman was more than met the eyes! Most importantly, she was Hanlun’s wife, the sixth princess consort. Instead of enjoying life as she should, she ended up going on the streets and opening a hospital. She also had imperial physicians seeing patients at her hospital! She probably didn’t even understand medicine. How absurd it was that she had told a patient with chest pain to go watch the sunrise? If that was the case, why was she seeing patients at this hospital for?  A smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he walked up to Lin Haihai. Lin Haihai looked up at him. Such a dominant aura! He’s up to something! She remained calm and collected, saying with an amicable expression, “Please sit!”

Yang Xiaoyun sat down and looked at her with malicious eyes. Lin Haihai took a good look at him. He bore some resemblance to Yang Shaolun, and he was in his forties. Realizations dawned on her. She asked in a personable tone, “How are you feeling?”

Yang Xiaoyun sneered. “People say that Physician Lin has marvelous medical skills, so please tell me what condition I suffer from by taking my pulse.”  Is that a challenge? Lin Haihai smiled. She placed her fingers gently on his wrist. While taking his pulse, she said, “You’re in pretty good condition, but there are some chronic problems. You overthink a lot and spend too much scheming. Therefore, you feel anxious and ill at ease. It might also be because you murdered too many people and committed too many crimes that you aren’t able to sleep at night. There’s blockage in your heart and liver due to a lack of care. Other than that, you have no other major issues!” 

Yang Xiaoyun chuckled lowly and smiled. He asked devilishly, “From Physician Lin’s perspective, how do you suppose I should treat myself?” He didn’t care that he murdered too many people and committed a lot of crimes. He just wanted to snatch what was rightfully his. That throne should’ve been his! 

Lin Haihai started writing up a prescription. “Watch the sunset!” 

Yang Xiaoyun looked coldly at her, but there was still a smile on his face. He asked, “Why is that?”  “Don’t you see? The sun is bright and beautiful right now. However, it will always disappear into the west in the end. Nothing is certain in our lives. Peace is what you need right now. You need to let go of your obsession and lead a quiet life. Don’t ask for more than you should have.” 

Lin Haihai wasn’t a psychiatrist. It wasn’t her expertise to treat psychological issues. However, even the most remarkable psychiatrist wouldn’t be able to treat this man. He had already sacrificed half his life for power, and he was going to continue pursuing it in the latter part of his life. The pursuit for power was endless, and he had already fallen into the abyss. There was no turning back. 

Yang Xiaoyun glared coldly at her. “Do you know the consequences of babbling nonsense?”  Lin Haihai smiled faintly. “I am a physician. Physicians never babble nonsense. If you follow the prescription, you might be cured. However, do you know the consequences of opposing a physician?” She met his sharp gaze with her pure eyes, looking at him indifferently.   Yang Xiaoyun had to admire her. Normal women weren’t as courageous and intelligent as her. What a pity that overly intelligent women usually died tragically in the end. She was no different! 

“It’s better for women to be foolish. Then they’d at least live longer!” He’d already set his mind to kill her, and a heavy gloom loomed over him. 

Lin Haihai smiled carelessly and said with a smile, “That’s good. I’m quite stupid, so I’d definitely live a long life!”   “You should take good care of yourself, Physician Lin. Otherwise, it’d be very easy for you to lose your life. Wouldn’t that be a shame?” Yang Xiaoyun rose to his feet, laughing.   “Thank you for the reminder. I will be careful.” Lin Haihai was still smiling, but there was an edge to it. She looked at Yang Xiaoyun with a calm and harmless expression. 

Her composure surprised Yang Xiaoyun. She’s not scared of me. It seems I’ll have some fun in the future. He wanted to see how long she could maintain that indifferent expression of hers. Since she wanted to play, there was no reason why he shouldn’t play along.   “We will meet again very soon!” He announced with certainty and reeled in his imperious aura before walking out of the hospital in steady steps.   “Seems like I’m in this now. Well, he did hurt my man. I can’t possibly stand by and do nothing.” Lin Haihai supported her chin with a hand and talked to herself. 

“Who hurt your man?” Li Junyue approached her silently and asked mysteriously. 

 

Lin Haihai rolled her eyes. “Meddlesome!” Then she thought of Xiao Yuan and Official Wang in the ward. She was about to ask after them when she saw Zheng Feng walking in quickly. He smiled and said, “I knew you would be here! You didn’t even tell me that you were back. You clearly don’t treat me as a friend!”

 Lin Haihai looked at Zheng Feng and asked, “You came from the palace?”

 

Zheng Feng nodded and said, “I did. The empress dowager has summoned you to the palace. Be prepared to give her an explanation!” 

 

Lin Haihai propped her head up with a troubled look on her face. “Can’t I claim sickness and excuse myself? How am I supposed to explain the fact that I was kidnapped, but have returned without even a scratch?”

 

Zheng Feng laughed and revealed his pearly whites. “Running away isn’t the answer. The sixth prince and his secondary consort will go pay respects to the empress dowager as well. There are many more problems for you to face.” Zheng Feng said with a tint of sympathy. What a pity that there wasn’t much he could do. 

 

“Stupid Bear…” Lin Haihai turned to Li Junyue. 

 

“Sorry, I’m busy!” Li Juynue made his escape with an impassive look. He couldn’t help her with this either, really! 

 

Lin Haihai looked at Zheng Feng pleadingly. He waved his hands and said, “You better think of an explanation quickly. The empress dowager is an astute person. If you want to fool her, you need to come up with a convincing story.” 

 

She needed to lie again! Since she came to the ancient time, lying had become second nature. She could lie with a straight face, and lies came easy for her. She was now a master in the art of deception.

 

Sigh. She would have to think on her feet. She had no other choices. 

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