Chapter 236: The Complicated Imperial Harem
Deep inside the imperial harem, the old madame had finally understood why she and her grandchild were being held captive within the palace. The emperor was targeting her son because his reputation within the capital had risen to the point where his fame eclipsed the emperor’s. The old madame had planned on having Long Heng retire and return command of the army to the emperor upon his return, but the emperor had been one step ahead of her.
A mama that the old madame sent out to gather news returned while the old madame walked around the room with her grandson in her arms. The mama whispered. “Old Madame, Miss Lin… I mean Noble Lady Lin seems to be facing some issues. A few imperial doctors have been summoned, but the problem seems to remain undiagnosed.”
“Have you delivered the fragrance pouch?”
“I have. I’ve gotten a maid to put it under Noble Lady Lin’s bed. However, what does Concubine Xiu gain by doing this?”
“Just call her madame. 1 That child has done so much for my son already. I owe her that much at least.”
“Understood. What does Madame Xiu stand to gain by doing this?”
“I’m not too sure either, but hopefully we can locate Heng’er by following her plans and arrangements.”
“Wa… waaa…” Long Lin reached for the fragrance pouch in the old madame’s hand. Bai Xiangxiu had made two, one of which would stay with the old madame.
“What is it? Do you miss your mommy?” The old madame stared at her grandson. After two months, hints of majesty were beginning to form between the child’s brows, reminding her of Long Heng. Long Lin had looked so similar to Bai Xiangxiu when he was first born that the old madame already felt pity for young women in the future. But regardless, even if the old madame couldn’t quite describe the similarities, she was sure that everyone would definitely be able to recognize Long Lin as a descendent of the Long family at first glance. This was the power of a bloodline! Otherwise, why would her heart melt whenever she took a look at him? She was going to protect Long Lin even at the cost of her own life. If she died… no matter, she’d finally get to see that darned husband of hers again anyway.
Bai Xiangxiu had her fair share of worries too. She’d been borrowing Huo’er’s powers to listen in on everyone the whole night and finally grasped a rough idea of what was truly going on. She was incredibly worried after she realized what was happening. This world was really far too chaotic, and the female lead was simultaneously worthy of her pity and a source of pure irritation. The reason? Lin Qianzi was pregnant again. But the kicker was that she was two months pregnant, yet it had only been one month since she’d entered the palace. The emperor was furious when he found out and had personally fed her medicine for miscarriage to get rid of the child.
Bai Xiangxiu had found out about this because of the cactus spines in the fragrance pouch that had been snuck into Lin Qianzi’s room. The emperor himself had visited her room that night. Back with Bai Xiangxiu, Huo’er mimicked the emperor’s tone of voice. “Lin Qianzi, five imperial doctors have already discerned the truth. Why are you still trying to hide? Are you planning on giving birth to the enemy’s child and let him take over Our country?”
“No! How could this concubine possibly dare to do such a thing? I just want to keep my child!” Moreover, there’s a possibility that this isn’t Commander Lu’s child. He only used me a few times and threw me to his subordinates. But these were not words meant for the emperor’s ears. No man could possibly want a woman who had been sullied by so many men. The truth would have to remain a secret forever.
“Let me be clear, I do not intend to raise another man’s child. If you wish to keep it, you will be banished to Cold Palace for as long as you draw breath. However, if you choose to give up the child, you can remain as my beloved concubine. So tell me. What is your choice?”
“No! Please, Your Majesty! Please have mercy on the child!”
“Servants, give me the medicine.”
“Your Majesty, why don’t you try letting this servant persuade the noble lady?”
Bai Xiangxiu was listening in on the conversation. “Who’s that person?”
“It’s a woman. She’s wearing a veil over her face,” Huo’er explained.
Wearing a veil? Could it be Su Yun?
“Go ahead,” the emperor responded. The ruler of the nation is listening to the advice of a palace maid? Something is definitely amiss here. While Bai Xiangxiu was caught up in her thoughts, Huo’er began to convey the two women’s conversation.
“Noble Lady. Why are you so afraid of lacking children when His Majesty dotes on you so? You should view things from his point of view as well. This is an enemy’s bastard after all.”
“There’ll always be wood to burn as long as the hills remain green. There will always be new opportunities. Have you perhaps forgotten how you’ve suffered in the past?”
“I remember. Fine! I’ll take the medicine.”
“Very good, then I will personally feed it to you.”
The last sentence was spoken by the emperor. Bai Xiangxiu had to analyze and guess who was the one speaking as Huo’er was the one talking to her. Fortunately, the voices all had different tonalities, which made differentiating them much easier. Chaos soon followed. Complaints about stomach aches, about the doctors, and then something about killing every single one of the doctors. In the end however, there was only one clear sentence, filled with resentment and despair. “Long Heng, I will never forgive the two of you. It hurts… my child…”
Go to hell! Why are you blaming us when they were the ones who forced you to miscarry your child? Anyway, I don’t think there’s much more to learn tonight, but I’ll try to scout a little in my sleep. Long Heng is definitely being held in a place without cacti. It’ll be near impossible to scout out where he’s being held captive. Nothing I can do about it I guess. This world simply has too few cacti!
It didn’t take long for her to fall asleep since she and Huo’er were both exhausted. The next day, Bai Xiangxiu tried to listen in on Lin Qianzi to glean clues on Long Heng’s whereabouts. However, Lin Qianzi was currently recuperating and wallowing in grief. She didn’t really talk to anyone except her maid and the woman who was quite possibly Su Yun. She didn’t have many topics to talk about either, other than how much she hated Long Heng and Bai Xiangxiu.
However, Bai Xiangxiu could tell that Su Yun was almost constantly instigating Lin Qianzi’s hate towards Long Heng. She fanned the flames of hate until Lin Qianzi hated him to her very bones. What an awful woman. Song Jiaoyue also found out from the Lin family that Lin Qianzi had been sent by Minister Lin to a temple for meditation. After a while, she came back with a woman who masked her face with a veil. Apparently, that veiled woman had been rescued from around the area. Her body was riddled with wounds and her face had been disfigured.
“It’s Su Yun after all! It really is the will of the heavens for these two to meet!” Bai Xiangxiu knew that out of the two of them, one would never forgive Long Heng, while the other would never forgive herself. The amount of hatred harbored by these two women had driven them crazy, which was why they were using every conceivable method to seduce the emperor, the ultimate boss of this world. After that, they would come up with a plan to deal with Long Heng!
I can’t believe that the emperor actually listens to them. Is he really in love with Lin Qianzi? If this was true love, why did he force her to miscarry the child? Is he the type that shows his love with abuse? Bai Xiangxiu was depressed. There was always one rule that she’d adhered to when choosing novels. She’d rather have her teeth fall off from reading a super sweet plot than read something with plenty of drama and abuse, especially those with stories that abused both the heart and the body. The kind of story that she hated the most was currently being aired in the palace. She couldn’t help but pity Lin Qianzi, even though the cause for all her suffering was no one but herself. Instead of falling of every lie told to her, she could’ve been enjoying her status as a noble young lady of the capital.
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- This usage is important because it indicates that the old madame has accepted Bai Xiangxiu as the main wife of the household. ↩