Chapter 55: Impressive Assets
Long Heng was impatient enough to want to charge straight home, but somehow he ended up in front of Winter Garden instead of his own quarters.
Only when he was already standing within Winter Garden did he realize he was full of injuries. He hadn’t even changed his bloodstained trousers, so wouldn’t he scare everyone to death if he walked in like this? After some hesitation, he finally turned around, but unexpectedly bumped into Bai Xiangxiu and the rest coming back after they’d taken care of various duties. As she walked, she was giving instructions to her servants, “Our prince’s household has always been simple and unadorned. We don’t ask for luxury, so pick the materials and avoid the expensive ones. Also…. Ah… blood… someone hurry, help!”
Bai Xiangxiu couldn’t be blamed for her shock. Anyone who suddenly saw a blood soaked prince would react the same way. Her reaction could actually be considered fairly good, since two of the servant girls behind her were scared into shrieks and tears.
Long Heng had in gloomy spirits before, but hearing her cry for help for his sake relaxed his heart. He waved a hand and said, “There’s no need to trouble yourselves. It’s just a light wound; summoning a doctor is sufficient.”
Immediately, Bai Xiangxiu ordered, “Grab a doctor, quick.” Was this still a light injury if there was so much blood? It looked like his leg was hurt, but he was still somehow standing without a flicker in his expression.
“You don’t need to be alarmed. This just happened to be the closest place when I came in, so just clean up a room for this prince to rest a bit!” He started to walk inside by himself. How would Bai Xiangxiu and the rest of the women bother to think of any of the undertones? A servant really went to put a room in order while others went to find the doctor.
However, Long Heng only walked two steps before he stopped. He didn’t understand why he hadn’t felt any pain previously, but both his legs had now turned numb and unresponsive after stepping inside Winter Garden. Taking note of this detail, Bai Xiangxiu walked over when she saw that no one else dared to approach. “Do you need this concubine to support you?”
Long Heng’s lips pursed. She’d been rather scary just now when she was shouting orders, but why did she suddenly turn soft and weak now? Still, it was rare thing to see her conscious instead of frightened into a faint, so he relaxed.
But it’d look too weak if a big man like him was supported by a frail woman. So he simply stated, “It’s no problem.”
Perhaps he didn’t feel the need to be strong when she was around, but his feet betrayed him, causing his next step to be a stagger. Fortunately, a tiny pair of hands was already there to hold his arm. A sweet and mellow form, as cherished as jade, suddenly drew close to him and made him stiffen. Strange, he had clearly felt nothing when he saw Lin Qianzi’s half-exposed state earlier, but her hands had only brushed his clothes before he felt out of sorts.
It wasn’t clear whether the sudden surge of blood restored movement to his leg, or whether he’d just turned too numb to know anything. In any case, her support helped him into the house, where he sat lightly on her bed.
He reeked of blood. How will she sleep on it in the future? But besides this bed, there were no others in Winter Garden. The room next door was suitable for living, but was definitely unsuitable for treating injuries. The rest of the rooms were reserved for servants, so a master like him naturally couldn’t go there.
As he fretted, Ye-mama helped make the bed, asking as she worked. “Why is the injury so serious? And why did you end up in Winter Garden?”
Her rapid-fire questions allowed Bai Xiangxiu to realize that Winter Garden should be the courtyard closest to the edge of the complex. How could it be the closest one for him? This courtyard was located furthest from the entrance.
Long Heng didn’t lie on this point. “Naturally, it’s because I jumped in straight from the back yard. An injury like this can’t be reported to the front courtyard in case it alarms Old Madame. Don’t tell her yet, not until I’ve changed my clothes and put on some medicine. It won’t be too late then.”
He secretly peeked at Bai Xiangxiu. Seeing how calm she seemed, he continued. “Sit down. You can all set your minds at rest, it’s not a big deal.”
How could Bai Xiangxiu sit still? Meanwhile, Ye-mama said, “These clothes have to be changed. We’ll have someone go to the prince’s quarters to bring back some clean clothes!”
“I’ll call for someone.” It seemed like Bai Xiangxiu really was anxious. Instead of using her status as mistress to call for someone, she was going herself. Moreover, she’d forgotten to refer to herself as ‘this concubine.’
For some reason, the more anxious she was, the more comforted Long Heng felt in his heart. His injury already felt a lot better even before the doctor had arrived. Still, he’d lost a lot of blood, and his complexion was almost ghostly. When the doctor finally came to give him medicine and write a prescription, he was having trouble holding on to consciousness. Shu’er helped him change his clothes before Long Heng fell into a stupor on the bed.
Ye-mama glanced at Bai Xiangxiu, who was wringing her handkerchief as she sat by the bed. It couldn’t be helped that a young girl like her would be afraid. More likely than not, she’d have long since been scared witless. Still, she had to ask and make sure. “Madame Xiu, we still can’t hide something like this from Old Madame. How about…”
“Don’t go over there yet, wait until the prince wakes. Otherwise, Old Madame will be too frightened when she comes over and sees him like this. How about this, let’s have the kitchens prepare some soup to nourish the prince’s energy and help him recover from blood loss?” Bai Xiangxiu was already alarmed to point of heart palpitations by the face of the man on the bed, to say nothing of Old Madame. Wouldn’t she be frightened breathless by the sight of a frantic old madame? Right now, Old Madame was her thigh of shelter, so she absolutely couldn’t suffer any mishaps.
Ye-mama didn’t expect this mistress to be so thorough in her thoughts, but nodded her head in agreement.
The kitchens had no inkling of what had happened, only receiving the news that Madame Xiu wanted to nourish her body. Because they’d been fortifying her body for a while on the prince’s orders, they weren’t stingy with the materials they tossed into the soup.
Not long later, a covered bowl of soup 1 for nourishing energy and recovering blood was carried over for consumption.
Ye-mama and Bai Xiangxiu took turns feeding Long Heng. Strangely enough, he had no reaction when Ye-mama fed him, but suddenly opened his eyes when it was Bai Xiangxiu’s turn.
Long Heng had spent a long time on the battlefields and held a naturally wary heart. But he never expected to catch a whiff of an elusive fragrance before even opening his eyes. It had obviously come from that woman. When he tasted the soup which was gently fed into his mouth, his heart warmed. His open eyes still held a hint of killer intent, but also a trace of imperceptible gentleness.
It was a pity that Bai Xiangxiu was so startled by his open eyes that she nearly tossed the entire bowl of soup to the side. He was still a man, after all was said and done. Having him wake up while reclining in her arms was still a bit embarrassing, so she quickly handed the bowl to Ye-mama before lying him down flat.
But when she did, she felt something uncomfortable by her chest. When she looked down, she realized that the tip of his nose was poking into her bosom. Finally, she couldn’t hold onto this position anymore and hastily withdrew her hands to back away. Unfortunately, this caused the unprepared Prince Li to crash into the pillows. Fortunately, his head wasn’t injured. Moreover, her position just then had been rather seductive, so he didn’t mind her disrespect.
Though the impact was somewhat painful, he was still lost in thinking of what to do. Perhaps the soup was to blame; perhaps Long Heng’s youthful male blood had started boiling in excitement. In any case, his obviously red face was far less pale than before.
Seeing his improved complexion, Bai Xiangxiu tried to avoid an awkward situation by saying, “Go tell Old Madame. Just say it was a light injury without mentioning anything else.”
Long Heng set his worries at rest upon witnessing her considerate thinking. After he compared her actions with Lin Qianzi’s, he deeply felt that despite the Old Madame’s illustrious name, her eyes had been covered when arranging that wife for him. Why had she taken a fancy to that girl? A so-called wealthy young miss wasn’t even as docile or sensible as a girl from a poor, humble family. Moreover, he mused as he unconsciously rubbed his nose, just then he’d realized that this woman had some impressive assets to her.
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