Chapter 259: Coincidence
Bingtang was also berating herself for being so rash that she’d made Qin Yining sad. “Don’t worry, miss. This wound will be fine if taken care of properly. I spoke so harshly just now because I wanted His Highness to take it more seriously.”
“I know.” Qin Yining wiped her eyes with her sleeves and forced a smile on her face. “Hurry and treat him. I’ll have Jiyun prepare some late night snacks.”
She made to leave, but —
“Don’t go, I’m not hungry.”
It’d been such a risk to enter the capital so he could see her. How could he bear to have her leave his sight?
“Nonsense. Since you slipped into the city and had to avoid the spies around the manor, you definitely haven’t had the chance to have a good meal. Bingtang says you’re feverish. You have to take care of your body.” An inexplicable blush crossed Qin Yining’s face at this point. “I’ll be right back.”
She left the outer area of the bed through the curtains.
Pang Xiao grinned foolishly for a while as he mind turned over a teary yet embarrassed Qin Yining.
“Don’t say this in front of your miss in the future, she’ll be sad.”
Bingtang snorted. “My miss is very smart. Do you think she doesn’t understand anything just because she doesn’t talk much? She’s just being quiet. If you really want to be good to my mistress, then take care of yourself. Since you’ve captured the miss’ heart even despite being from another nation, don’t ever make her sad again. She’s not the healthiest either.”
Pang Xiao knew all this, of course, but sometimes things were beyond his control given what he’d been born into.
“How is her injury?”
“She’s lost too much blood and harmed her foundations. She needs to rest and recover for a long while. Being who she is, my miss has a never-ending stream of troubles and worries. What constantly down person can live a long life?”
Pang Xiao frowned, perturbed.
“I don’t even have to go too far back. When we ran short on food in the capital last month, the people somehow learned that the previous emperor stole all of the nation’s silver. All of them rushed to Xuan Su Temple to ask her how the troubles will be resolved. It’s frightening to simply think of the scene!
“The miss isn’t an official at court, her titles are all for show. Because he couldn’t take her as a wife, the emperor ordered her to be a nun in a fit of anger. This gave the people a good reason to make life difficult for the miss.
“If she’d said a single word wrongly that day, she would’ve faced the spit and violence of ten thousand people. She came up with an idea for the emperor in the end, but the empress decided to make life difficult for her instead. And the thing is, it’s not like this was an exception. The miss would feel soul weary even if she’s a female Zhuge Liang.”
Bingtang rolled an eye at Pang Xiao at this point and made sure his wounds were carefully wrapped up tight. “Our miss wasn’t born into an easy life, and you aren’t making things any better.”
Since the maid was on her mistress’ side, she laid it on a bit thick, but her words weren’t too far from the truth.
Pang Xiao naturally knew how difficult things were for his beloved. He listened to everything with a tight frown furrowing his brow.
Bingtang put her medicine kit back in order and handed over a prescription. She dropped, “I will go brew the medicine now,” and dismissed herself.
After this heavy blow to the heart, she hoped that Pang Xiao would think more on Qin Yining’s behalf whenever he did anything in the future.
The Qin fourth miss returned at this point with Jiyun, bearing a freshly stewed brown sugar congee, steamed dumplings, and a few side dishes. Jiyun hauled some small tables next to the bed to hold all the dishes and left with a curtsey. After pulling the two layers of veil and curtains together, she stood guard outside.
Qin Yining handed over a pair of chopsticks and sat next to Pang Xiao with a velvet hand. She flung one of her pale-green, padded jackets around his shoulders and waved the fan gently, watching him wolf down the food.
“I already asked Bingtang, make sure you rest well after going back. Don’t fight unless you have to. It’s the troubles of a lifetime if there’s any lasting effects on your health. Who will you cry to in your old age, hmm?”
“Naturally you, of course.” The prince gulped down steamed dumplings one after another, his movements quick and elegant.
Qin Yining shook her head with an involuntary smile. “I can listen to your complaints, but I can’t suffer for you, so you must take care of yourself.”
“Are you promising the rest of your life to me?” Pang Xiao stopped eating and looked at her with burning eyes.
The girl thought back on their conversation and ran through things before she realized what she’d said. Blushing, she smacked him with the velvet fan. “Hurry up and eat, then take your medicine. Thankfully I haven’t recovered yet and need to take medicines all day, so no one will think it’s weird if we’re brewing medicines now. Rest here after you take your medicine.”
Pang Xiao smiled and protested insincerely, “I can leave after seeing you.”
“It’s so dangerous outside and you’re injured. How could I possibly let you leave?” Qin Yining rolled her eyes at him. “Taking a mile after I give an inch, hmm? You just wanted to hear me say that! It’s not like you would’ve turned down staying the night.”
“Of course not.” Pang Xiao grinned. “I just wanted to hear you talk more.”
“How cunning.” Qin Yining dimpled as well. Once the prince was full, she fetched a pot of strong tea to rinse his mouth and a wet handkerchief to wipe his face.
Pang Xiao remained seated on the bed, watching her busy ministrations as if she was his wife. Longing and contentment flooded his heart.
“Take a break, my darling. Let’s chat.” Pang Xiao took her hand and had her sit in his lap.
Qin Yining squirmed uncomfortably, but his arms had firmly secured her waist and she couldn’t struggle free. She gave up in the end and complained, “What’s this for? The bed is so big, there’s plenty of space for me. Let go of me.”
“Don’t move.” Pang Xiao kept himself tightly tensed, tamping down his agitated emotions despite the beauty in his arms. “I just missed you. Even if I stay the night, I need to find an opportunity to leave the city tomorrow. We spend more time apart than together, so don’t hide from me.”
Reluctance sprang forth when she heard that he needed to leave on the morrow. Qin Yining stopped protesting and laid her head quietly on his shoulder.
Pang Xiao encircled her with one arm and rested his head on her inky locks. He raised the other to softly carrels her cheek.
“Don’t worry, I’ll end this war as soon as possible. The faster it’s over, the less suffering we both endure, and the faster the people can lead lives of peace.”
Since she lived in the capital, Qin Yining didn’t want for food or clothing. She didn’t know what the outside world had turned into, and Pang Xiao couldn’t bear to tell her. But when war erupted, accidents and mistakes involving civilians always happened, regardless of how strictly trained the army was.
The girl knew that she couldn’t ask him about the military. They were on opposite sides, after all. If he said too much and something happened in relation to it, it would give rise to unnecessary misunderstanding and conflict between the two of them. “Just leave everything up to heaven. Do whatever you want to do as long as you’re safe.”
Moved, Pang Xiao kissed the top of her head. “I know.”
“Miss, the medicine is ready.” Jiyun’s voice traveled in from outside the bed, prompting a blush to Qin Yining’s face. She hastily threw off his arm and rose to take the medicine.
But at this time, née Sun sounded from the outer room. “Bingtang brewed medicine? How is daughter Yi doing?”
Qin Yining started with fright and almost dropped the bowl. She turned and hissed, “Hide!”
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