Chapter 277: Hiring a Murderer
It would appear today that Long Heng would have the opportunity to observe how Bai Xiangxiu communicated with her cactus. But after watching for a while, he only saw the scene of someone speaking to themselves. The plant seemed to be entirely silent. In addition, he thought the black devil’s snare looked very strange. It was as if he could see blood vessels within its inky depths. Its flowers also bloomed only for a short period of time, then withered very quickly. As the saying went, “Flowers do not blossom and remain red for more than a hundred days.”
But, this black devil’s snare originated from Shu County and had come all the way to the capital. Despite going through so much, the flower still maintained its original form. Actually, no, the petals have definitely grown in size. Underneath the moonlight, it resembled a voraciously carnivorous plant. In some ways, Bai Xiangxiu was quite extraordinary for raising something so odd.
While Long Heng was deep in thought, he suddenly heard Bai Xiangxiu cry out. He rushed to her side. “Oh no! Those two bastards want to bribe someone to murder you. What are we going to do?”
“Take note of your image. How can you use profanity?”
“Oh. I forget about that every time I become emotional. But this isn’t the time to talk about that! The emperor and Su Yun wants you dead. What are we going to do?” Since Bai Xiangxiu was very hysterical, her face was turning red and puffy. Light glinted off her eyes and she looked extremely adorable.
“This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.” Long Heng cupped his hands around her little face as he smiled.
“Hey! This isn’t the time to do that sort of stuff!” Bai Xiangxiu was flustered by Long Heng’s ambiguous actions. In her agitation, she had failed to notice how close their faces were to each other, not to mention that Long Heng was exposing a lot of skin at the moment. He only had a pair of loose red trousers tied around his waist and a robe barely draped over his upper body. It would hardly take a tug to take everything off. There was a dangerous sort of sexiness to the man when he looked like that. It would be a bit concerning, but this ensemble completely revealed his well toned muscles. Although he was sitting very indolently, others would still feel an enormous amount of pressure merely from the sight of him.
Bai Xiangxiu had been fine before she’d taken a good look at this picture, and once she had, she found her husband immensely attractive. Bai Xiangxiu couldn’t help but become lost in her thoughts. However, Long Heng snapped her out of it when he began to pinch her flushed cheeks. “And what are you thinking about? I’m saying that I can’t wait for them to come kill me!”
“I have already arranged everything. No need to worry, my dear. I only need you to focus on resting. But I’ll be tiring you out a little in the next few days because I want you to spend more time with me. I’m worried that you’ll be lonely when I’m not around for a few days.”
“No. Definitely not.”
“No, eh? Then, this prince will let you experience what it feels like to be lonely.”
“How can you be getting naughtier?”
“This prince should be asking you that question. The princess consort has been getting naughtier lately. You’re deliberately bending your waist for me to admire. If this isn’t seduction, then what is?”
“I’m not trying to seduce you, okay? I am having a serious talk right now. Serious talk!”
“This prince is also serious. How wonderful it is to admire your various expressions on a daily basis.”
“I can’t beat you. Ahhh… be gentle. Gentle! You’re practically ripping it!”
“I won’t. This prince already knows where your bottom line lies.” And so, the initially serious night became very light indeed. The inappropriateness lasted through most of the night. Long Heng’s stamina and skills had steadily improved since that first night. As a result, Bai Xiangxiu had no choice but to remain bedridden for three days. But she kept herself busy. She had the cactus moved to her bedside as she wanted instant notifications if anything were to happen.
On her second bedridden day, Bai Xiangxiu overheard Su Yun and found out that they were ready to take action. It would appear that she didn’t trust those who were around her. She would only speak of the matter when the emperor was around. Currently, Long Heng was both her and the emperor’s target. They wanted him dead. But when it came to killing Bai Xiangxiu, the two had diverging opinions.
Since they had already found an incredible team of assassins to kill Long Heng, and had already negotiated the price, Su Yun saw it as a good opportunity to get rid of the princess consort as well, in order to prevent trouble from later on. However, the emperor disagreed. He said a woman was nothing to fear. He wanted to keep her alive to get the gunpowder formula.
Su Yun countered, “Why should we keep her? As long as you provide me with enough time and people, I can eventually figure the formula out on my own. Plus, the wound on my face will heal as long as we find a competent physician. By then, you will have both the beauty and the weapon. Why must you continue to long for that woman? What does she have that could make bewitch Your Majesty so?”
“W-what nonsense are you spewing? I have other uses for her.”
“Your Majesty, deep down we both know the truth. You’ve dreamt of Nèe Bai ever since failing to get her in bed. You even call out her name when asleep. You’re so infatuated to the point that you order your other concubines to purposely act weak and delicate to please you. Don’t think I’m unaware. But being intoxicated by women is the beginning of an emperor’s downfall…”
“What is pa?” Bai Xiangxiu was confused when Huo’er said the word “pa”.
Huo’er thought about it, “That’s the sound that happens when a human touches another human. Two nights ago, this sound kept coming from your room….”
“Ah… no need to explain. I understand now.” Bai Xiangxiu immediately came to the conclusion that the emperor had slapped Su Yun across the face. It would appear that their relationship was quite fragile. Since he’d slapped her, they’d probably left on bad terms. After the emperor left, Su Yun seemed to have gone nuts. She started muttering to herself all alone in her room. “Fine. Fine! If you’re going to be heartless, don’t blame me for being unjust. If you take in Bai Xiangxiu, she’ll definitely not let me live. So why don’t I simply drag you off your throne?”
Noble Consort Su really seemed to have gone completely insane. But this might not be bad for them. Their relationship could be a mess for all Bai Xiangxiu cared. She was fine as long as she could warn Long Heng to be wary of being ambushed. But Long Heng had a tendency to wander off on his own. It was quite difficult to get in touch with him. Fortunately, he always returned at night, which was when Bai Xiangxiu updated him with what she’d overheard. Long Heng remained calm through her explanation. He didn’t seem the least bit affected by the news. All he was interested in doing was torturing Bai Xiangxiu to the point where she couldn’t get up for six days. He kept going until Bai Xiangxiu felt the urge to strangle him in bed. Sadly, while she tried it, Long Heng’s neck was too hard. It was an entirely useless move.
To be honest, Bai Xiangxiu wasn’t too concerned about the situation either. She felt that Long Heng wasn’t the type to play around with his life. He had most likely taken preventative measures.
So she never would’ve thought in a million years that Long Heng would return home in a litter so soon after his departure. His body was covered in blood as he was carried in. He looked like he was barely alive and was severely injured. Bai Xiangxiu felt her entire body turn ice cold. Seeing Long Heng like this, she couldn’t control her tears. Remaining calm and preserving her image all went out the window. She nearly collapsed.
Xiaoshi and Xiaohuan were by her side as they supported her into the room. Long Heng was lying in bed while the doctor bound and bandaged him. The amount of blood irritated her eyes. Bai Xiangxiu felt like the chances of someone surviving after losing so much blood were slim to none. But at the same time, she was hoping for a miracle. However, when the physician turned around, he solemnly stated, “The prince has lost too much blood. I’m afraid that….”