Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao were busy day and night at Medical City just tracking down medicine and performing experiments. Xu Donglin sent Long Feiye updates everyday to tell him about the truth; he also set a single letter to Han Yunxi daily with nothing but good news.
That cheered her up immensely, especially when Xu Donglin mentioned that they had found this or that ingredient. She always went to report the news to Long Feiye, who was intimidated into hiding the truth when he witnessed her joy.
If this was the past, he’d never hide such secrets, but now that she was with child, he had to be prudent. As he was looking after her food and care during the entire trip, it took them half a month to reach the army camp.
It was the Baili Army stationed in Tianning, Long Feiye’s largest forces. The army stretched from Tianning to the south central regions and included many smaller battalions in Tianan as well. Because the Baili Army was the leader of them all, they were collectively called the Baili Army.
Besides the branch armies, the Baili Army also controlled Cloud Realm Continent’s only naval force. Judging by their current circumstances, Long Feiye’s strongest forces were concentrated with these troops.
Currently, the Baili Navy was still out in the North Sea on the eastern shores of Northern Li. As long as Long Feiye gave the order, they could cooperate with the northern forces and Ning Cheng to take down the country. But Long Feiye and Ning Cheng had their deal in place, so the navy was left waiting at the harbor for months.
Because of this, Baili Yuanlong had his share of resentment. As for the land troops, the Baili Army had absorbed three smaller battalions before pitching their main camp on the outskirts of Tianning’s central prefecture, Yunning. This location allowed them to attack the borders on the west, threaten Tianan in the east, reach the Three-Way Battlefield in the north in only half a month, and use the main roads to connect with the three grain-rich prefectures in the south.
Of course, it was Long Feiye who chose this spot, not Baili Yuanlong. His carriage with Han Yunxi hadn’t arrived yet before Baili Yuanlong got the news and went to welcome them with ten or so deputy generals on horseback. They had a pile of things to discuss with His Highness and assumed they could travel with him by going out to meet him.
But His Highness never alighted from the carriage or entered the camp. He chose a small patch to circle around the Yunning barracks and head for a newly built dwelling behind the army camp.
Half a month ago, Baili Yuanlong had received orders to build this place. Since it was located behind the army, it was called the Rear Camp and only connected to the main army by a small pathway. However, the security here was much stricter than the army. Zhao mama had personally picked out all the furniture and other necessities. It was also equipped with its own kitchen and storehouse.
Seeing the carriage drive far away, Baili Yuanlong was perplexed.
“Father, what does His Highness mean by this?” Baili Qiyu asked.
Baili Yuanlong muttered back, “The West Qin princess is pregnant.”
“Preg--!” Baili Qiyu shut up mid-sentence when Baili Yuanlong glared at him.
“This is an important matter, but His Highness hasn’t publicized it yet. If word gets out from your mouth, you best watch your head!” Baili Yuanlong censured.
His Highness having descendants was of monumental importance as it was a matter of the East Qin Dynasty living on with a heir to the throne. Now it was even more important because Han Yunxi, the West Qin princess, was bearing his seed. The complicated relationships this involved was a tangled mess to Baili Yuanlong. Naturally, he wouldn’t discuss such matters too early with his son.
“Your son understands.” Baili Qiyu was full of dread. Although he couldn’t see through the complex situation, he knew it would be complicated. “So the Rear Camp was built for the use of the princess!”
Actually, His Highness didn’t live luxuriously, but his clothing and meals were all exquisite. Even if Han Yunxi wasn’t pregnant, it wouldn’t be strange for him to live in the Rear Camp. What Baili Yuanlong couldn’t understand was why His Highness wouldn’t even show his face at the main tent now that he was here.
“Father, should we follow them or fall back?” Baili Qiyu asked.
Baili Yuanlong was weighing the options as well. He had no idea whether His Highness would go to meet the various soldiers after settling in at Rear Camp. If that was the case, it’d be extraneous for a bunch of men like them to follow him to the Rear Camp now. They would disturb the peace of the area and make His Highness unhappy.
But if His Highness never showed up to meet them and he left things just like that, it’d be difficult to meet with His Highness again. If His Highness’s own soldiers couldn’t see their leader and the news broke out, wouldn’t the all powerful Baili Army be seen as a joke?
What to do?
Baili Yuanlong hesitated as he realized his master was more than the leader of the Baili Army anymore. In the future, he would rule over all of Cloud Realm Continent. To grasp his thoughts was much more difficult than before.
Eventually, father and son decided to go back to the main camp. They didn’t want to risk following after His Highness and being lectured to high heaven in front of the troops.
The horse carriage slowly entered Rear Camp. When Long Feiye got off, he personally helped Han Yunxi out after him. Fourth Young Miss Ren had told him that the fourth to fifth month of pregnant was quite stable and wouldn’t be affected by large movements, but Long Feiye was still careful and didn’t allow for any accidents.
If this was the past, he’d carry Han Yunxi right off the carriage, but even that made him uneasy these days. Han Yunxi stroked her stomach and silently laughed to herself. This little fellow’s become a protection charm for me. Even Long Feiye’s afraid to bully me now.
She had just gotten her bearings on the ground when a familiar figure rushed in front of her.
“Princess! Princess...this old servant missed you!” Zhao mama flew out from one of the buildings. She was already getting on in years, but still ran as smoothly as ever. If it wasn’t for Long Feiye standing on the sidelines, she might have dashed right over to hug Han Yunxi.
Zhao mama was delighted to see the princess. The fact that she was pregnant only made her feel like she’d fulfilled her heart’s desire.
She stopped herself before Han Yunxi and respectfully paid her respects. “Many blessings to Your Highness and princess.”
Her gaze never left the protruding stomach as she added, “Many blessings to the little master.”
Han Yunxi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but Long Feiye only asked expressionlessly, “Is lunch prepared?”
Zhao mama immediately straightened up and said briskly, “To reply Your Highness, as soon as Chu Xifeng’s people arrived, this old servant began to make preparations. The food has just come out of the stove and includes old hen stewed with--”
It’s old hens again!
Zhao mama, why don’t you just open up a restaurant selling old hen soup?!
Han Yunxi’s face blackened. She desperately wanted to bash herself unconscious, but she simply interrupted Zhao mama to said, “I’m not hungry right now, my back is just sore. Let’s go to the rooms so I can lie down a bit.”
“Princess must be tired from your carriage journey. The rooms are all ready, please come in,” Zhao mama said hastily.
Inside, Han Yunxi discovered there were ten servant girls and two nurses waiting in attendance. Before Long Feiye could speak, Zhao mama quickly introduced them. “Princess, these two nurses were personally selected by Fourth Young Miss Ren. This old servant has already made arrangements for them. In two months when the baby is eight months old, we’ll send for experienced midwives from Fourth Young Miss Ren and Medical City.”
Han Yunxi didn’t speak. It was obvious that Long Feiye had agreed to these arrangements beforehand. She stroked her stomach and sighed internally. The child in my womb is like a little emperor. So many people are waiting on him.
Still, upon closer thought she realized that if she had a boy, he actually would end up as a sovereign one day. A boy would be Long Feiye’s eldest son, making him the future crown prince!
Han Yunxi didn’t mind boys, so she was sure Long Feiye wouldn’t either. However, the world would care whether she birthed a boy or girl once they heard the news. She sat down on the bed as Zhao mama instantly brought over some water. Seeing His Highness sit down as well, she tacitly retreated while dismissing the servant girls and nurses.
Outside, Zhao mama discovered Baili Mingxiang standing at a distance while waving her her. She was surprised to see the girl here and rushed over to examine her from head to toe.
“Miss Mingxiang, I heard that Chu fellow say you’ve been taking care of him before this? You looked after him so well, but why are you so thin now?”
Baili Mingxiang smiled as she studied Zhao mama. “Mama, you look younger now.”
“Of course. His Highness and the princess are back, so my old bones are full of energy. Naturally I have to be younger so I can serve the little master in the future!” Zhao mama was serious.
“Mama, I only came to see you. Later I’ll return to the army. It’s been a while since I’ve seen father and elder brother, so I miss them a lot,” In truth, it was time for Baili Mingxiang to receive her punishment from the army. Thanks to the incident with the den of poisonous snakes, His Highness had “rewarded” her with meritorious service and given her a military rank. What looked like a reward on the service was actually a penalty in disguise. She would have to spend the rest of her life serving in the army.
Zhao mama knew this well and silently mused that it wasn’t a bad deal for Miss Mingxiang to stay in the army. If she found someone she liked to marry there, she’d be much better off than any of her older sisters. Judging from the rank His Highness conferred her, even Baili Yuanlong won’t be able to marry off his daughter to just any family. They wouldn’t dare to take her.
There were many things that Zhao mama understood implicitly in her heart but never spoke out loud. She took Baili Mingxiang’s hands and said kindly, “Lass, since mama’s missed you, your father should be longing for you as well. Go back now. If you miss mama again, come see me often.”
Baili Mingxiang broke into a faint smile. “I might be joining the navy, so I can’t come again. Mama, I want to give you something before I leave.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sigh, Baili Mingxiang's a good girl, so I hope she ends up finding a new love to wrap up her life. It seems too lonely for the likes of her and GBY to stay single for the rest of their lives just because their true love lies elsewhere.
C'mon, there are still plenty of fish in the sea...especially if you're going to the navy, girl!