Silence reigned in the courtyard but for the tiger and two bodies. The midwives died from both the bite and poison from the tigers, their wounds quickly turning black. But strangely enough, the ferocious tiger simply turned docile after killing the two women and was now licking its paws in front of the door.
The servant girl had long fled the scene, while the guards were taking shelter on the roofs. All of them were flustered and alarmed, including the ashen looking head guard with rapid breaths. If he had been a second later, he might be one of the corpses in the courtyard right now.
Nobody was in any mood to care about the people inside the birthing room now!
By the time they calmed down, they realized it was impossible to enter the room. For one thing, they were all men, making it inconvenient to go in. For another, that poison tiger was blocking the entrance and none of them dared to approach. They were beasts under one master and above all else. Who had the guts to provoke them?
“Big bro...this...what’s going on?”
“Big bro, should we tell His Highness Duke of Kang? That tiger...it couldn’t have gone mad, right?”
The head guard was puzzled as well. The Duke of Kang had long tamed the tigers here. They were perfectly capable of heeding his commands even without him here and never attacked one of their own!
Did the tiger really go mad?
Unable to figure it out, the head guard only urged, “Hurry and write a letter to His Highness Duke of Kang!”
But none of his men dared to leave the rooftops. In the end, he angrily kicked one off the edge--naturally in a direction away from the tiger. With the tiger refusing to budge from the door, the guards could only stay put and wait. Naturally, the commotion attracted everyone else in Tiger’s Prison. When they heard it was a tiger gone rogue who’d bitten two people to death, no one dared to approach the rear compound. The guards even sealed off all the exits and windows there.
Many more climbed atop the walls to stand guard and keep watch. Uncle Cheng had escaped to a roof as well. He looked around, but didn’t see Manager Jin anywhere. Still, he didn’t care, his attentions more fixated on the rear courtyard in hopes of catching a glimpse. The rear compound became the focal point of Tiger’s Prison, its walls and roofs soon surrounded by spectators. Despite this, there was no sound. Everyone was afraid of inciting the poison tiger into another killing spree.
In the stillness, an infant’s piercing cries suddenly filled the air. Most of the crowd were taken aback.
“She gave birth?”
“Mu Linger’s delivered?”
“Mu Linger, she...she was actually giving birth?”
Although no one knew Mu Linger was undergoing labor tonight, the guards in the know exchanged looks. His Highness Duke of Kang had instructed them to bring the baby back to the army camp as soon as it was born without delay. But how could they get close with the tiger there? With no choice, they were forced to wait.
Inside the rooms, the midwife was showing Ning Jing her new baby. “Miss Jing, it’s a girl.”
Ning Jing was thoroughly exhausted, but she wasn’t disappointed by the baby’s gender. With a faint smile, she wanted to hug her daughter but simply had no strength. Not daring to delay, the midwife handed the child to a servant girl and began to treat Ning Jing’s injuries. Fortunately, everything else went by smoothly. Ning Jing’s bleeding stopped and her injuries were cleaned up nicely. The servant girl washed the baby clean before wrapping her up in swaddling clothes and placing her by Ning Jing’s side. The little baby had a had full of long black hair despiite being just born. Her skin was a little dull, but very clean, and she had a tiny face. Her hands were tiny too, making one afraid to touch them in case they hurt her. After a good cry, she was now sleeping soundly.
Bai Yuqiao had already helped Mu Linger to her feet. The two supported each other as they watched the mother and daughter reunion on the bed with teary faces.
“She looks like big sis Jin. The nose, and the mouth,” Mu Linger smiled.
“I think she looks more like Tang Li. Don’t they say the daughters resemble the fathers while the sons resemble the mothers?” Bai Yuqiao asked.
The two of them scooted to the bed for a closer look. Ning Jing and the midwife had fought a tough battle, so the two of them were still clueless as to what had happened outside. Looking at the daughter nestled in her arms, she murmured, “You’re finally here.”
Although she didn’t manage to wait for her dad, she did see her mom. Ning Jing thought she could bear it, but she had overestimated herself. How much she wished for Tang Li to be by their side right now! How dearly she wished her daughter would see their unreasonable father as soon as she opened her eyes! She sniffled and forced back her tears.
Mu Linger could seem them glistening all the same and hastened to say, “Big sis Jing, you can’t cry! You have to hold on, because crying in the first month will hurt your eyes! You won’t be able to recover ever after the month’s over!”
The midwife chimed in too. “Miss Jing, no matter how terrible things are, you have to hold fast.”
Ning Jing sniffled a few more times before breaking into a grin. “What crying? I’m too happy! I have a daughter now! She’ll definitely look like me in the future!”
Since Tang Li’s not coming, I’ll make sure both of us can order him around in the future!
Bai Yuqiao finally snapped out of her joy to remember the chaos outside. She quickly to the door and peeked out of crack, only to see the tiger still sprawled by the door with the two corpses. It was surrounded by people on all sides, giving her a scare.
“What’s happened?” Ning Jing asked.
Bai Yuqiao quickly walked back and told everyone what was going on. Ning Jing’s pale face turned even more ashen. Fear in hindsight stole upon her as she cradled the baby in her embrace.
“Linger, quickly!” Bai Yuqiao urged. As soon as the tiger left, the soldiers would order men in to take away the child. Although the midwives were already dead, they still had to put up a show for the rest.
Ning Jing began to get off the bed, but everyone stopped her. Mu Linger said, “Big sis Jing, you’re not allowed to get off. Your wounds are still healing--and you’ll injure your knees, too!”
Ning Jing didn’t protest. She truly was feeling weak and her injuries still hurt. Bai Yuqiao and the rest worked together to move Ning Jing to a warm bed on the side while Mu Linger took her spot. She covered herself up with sheets while Ning Jing held onto the baby.
“Medicine, drink the medicine first,” Mu Linger urged.
The servant girl hurried to carry over the two bowls of medicine and gave one each to Mu Linger and Ning Jing. Yet the midwife stopped Ning JIng with a helpless air. “Miss Jiing, you must be hungry, right? Eat some food first, before drinking that brew.”
They couldn’t come out, but neither could the outsiders step in. Fortunately, the midwife had long ordered the servant girl to cook up a bowl of lean meat porridge on the side. Hearing this, Ning Jing finally realized she was hungry--so much that her entire stomach felt hollow.
“Big sis Jing, I’ll feed you!” Mu Linger quickly scooted to the edge of the bed, but Bai Yuqiao shot her a glare.
“Lie down and stay put!” she cried. Picking up the porridge, she sat next to Ning Jing herself.
“No need, I can manage myself,” Ning Jing refused.
“Just consider this me doing my task to the end! When you escape in the future, remember my good points and treat my little sister well!” Bai Yuqiao said.
“You’re not leaving?” Ning Jing asked.
Bai Yuqiao fed her a spoonful of soup without a word. Ning Jing didn’t press the issue, but ate spoonful after spoonful of soup. Her heart was filled with gratitude at the sight of Bai Yuqiao’s serious face. Who would have thought that this girl would be feeding her soup today?
After finishing the porridge, Ning Jing felt some strength returning. She drank up the medicine and laid down on the bed, already tired enough to sleep. Yet she couldn’t bear to shut her eyes and ended up staring at her baby sleeping instead.
“She still looks a little more like Tang Li,” Ning Jing muttered to herself. “Especially her nose and mouth. Daughter, you better not learn from your father’s mouth in the future, always saying what you want and making a racket.”
With difficulty, she shifted on her side and gave her daughter a kiss.
No one urged her to rest, because they all knew she wouldn’t be able to keep her baby for long. As Ning Jing stared at the baby, she couldn’t resist reaching out to touch her little face, or tug at her little hands. Perhaps she really was exhausted, because she ended up dozing off in the end. Bai Yuqiao and Mu Linger both exchanged looks, unsure of what to do. Even they couldn’t bear to part with the baby!
One hour later, Ning JIng was still asleep, but the midwife woke her up and said, “Miss Jing, feed the child some milk.”
With her guidance, the first-time mother Ning JIng managed to hold her daughter and feed her successfully for the fist time.
“Child,” she murmured, “Eat a little more, drink until you’re full. Father and mother are sorry to you. You have to remember us. Your mother’s name is Ning Jing, and your father’s name is Tang Li. You...you can blame us all you want, but...in the future, please don’t reject us.”
By the end, Ning Jing was too choked up to speak. She lifted her head but stubbornly refused to cry. How could a mother cry in front of her daughter?
Mu Linger and the rest didn’t dare to make a peep. Her eyes were already red with tears, while Bai Yuqiao turned away, unable to look any longer. How wonderful it would be if time could just pass a little slower?
Still, time waited for no one. By daylight, the tiger by the door had left. Seeing this, the guards and soldiers finally drew close. They got rid of the corpses first before the head guard personally knocked on the door. “Miss Bai! Miss Bai, it’s safe now, you can come out.”
No one reacted inside.
Ning JIng simply pretended to hear nothing as she tightened her grip on the baby, rubbing her cheek against hers. Mu Linger laid on the bed while clutching the sheets, gritting her teeth to endure it all. Bai Yuqiao sat in the corner without responding.
The pounding on the door grew fiercer. “Miss Bai, are you inside? Can you say something?”
“Miss Bai, has anything happened inside? Where’s the child?”
“Miss Bai, if you’re not coming out, we’re going to come in!”
Finally, Bai Yuqiao lifted her head. She shot Ning Jing an apologetic look, but the latter wasn’t paying her any attention. Resolutely, she rose to her feet. It’d be much worse if the guards charged straight inside instead. On her way to the door, she passed by Ning Jing and whispered, “Ning Jing, I’m sorry I couldn’t help you.”
Then she took wide strides out of the building.
“What’s with all the racket? The mother needs rest, don’t you understand?” she snapped at the guards.
The soldiers were resentful. “Miss Bai, the Duke of Kang has orders for us to take the child away. It’s not convenient for us men to enter, so we’d like to trouble you to carry the baby out.”
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Our first time witnessing the birth of a new member of the PGC clan! Alas, JYX and his goons had to ruin the moment....