Chapter 178: The New Guard
Yu Kuang was a bit inexperienced when it came to relationships, but that didn’t mean he was a complete idiot. He could see with his own eyes that pushing any further would make the situation unfavorable for her. Hence, he drew back, stopping the fight, and declared, “Then I shall take my leave for now. I’ll come back when you wed again and take her away then.”
No hurry. In any case, Prince Li will wed his consort in the coming year. When that happened, Yu Kuang could take her away, just like Song Jiaoyue was thinking.
Long Heng felt exceptionally depressed after he heard those words. Why was his impending marriage still fraught with danger? The newly bride had yet to pass the threshold of his manor, but everyone was preoccupying themselves with how to steal the old.
Song Jiaoyue had just made a solemn vow to Long Heng, and now this Alliance Head Yu had come around. Moreover, they were surprisingly both using the position of official wife to tempt his woman. Was this mocking him that he couldn’t do the same? Fine, fine! You all can just look at my woman; none of you will be able to do anything! He turned his head fiercely to look at Bai Xiangxiu, who threw out a sentence while pulling on her collar, “I can explain everything.”
“Oh?” He advanced on her until he loomed over her. Bai Xiangxiu became extremely nervous as she continuously retreated backwards. “Your Highness, let’s have a proper discussion.”
“Sure, I will hear your explanations in bed.”
“We can sit down and discuss it. No need to go to bed. There really is absolutely no need to do so.” Right now, Bai Xiangxiu had only one wish, one heartfelt plea to the author to stop writing scenes that implied that she’d be confined to her bed for the next three days. That’s just too overbearing, alright?
For someone in good health to be bedridden for three days after that, the process was simply torture! Faced with that kind of “cruel and unusual punishment”, she would readily answer truthfully to any questions, even the question about who her first crush was!
Long Heng had finally discovered the moment when a woman was the most honest… Eh! When Bai Xiangxiu was the most honest. He only need to wear her down a few times and she would answer any of his questions.
“Don’t tell… anyone. Don’t tell anyone that he’s like that.” Alliance Head Yu, I’m so very sorry. She was absolutely defenseless against that method to extort confessions and had easily given in.
“I promise you. Now, don’t get distracted and don’t think about other men…”
“You were the one… who asked…” As they continued to battle in bed, Bai Xiangxiu couldn’t help but clutch at Long Heng’s shoulders as she experienced deeply how frightening this man was. He didn’t even allow her a moment of rest even during a battle like this. She would give anything for even a minute to recuperate, but he didn’t stop long enough for that.
Time passed by swiftly. Finally, there was only a few days left before the new year and Bai Xiangxiu could regain her freedom. At present, the festive atmosphere of the new year could be felt everywhere. But for Bai Xiangxiu, she felt like the national animal mascot as dark circles ringed her eyes. She didn’t even need to apply eyeshadow to get that effect anymore. Her gait was lacking in strength and she couldn’t take a single step without the sturdy hand of another as support.
It’d been quite a while since Xiaoshi last saw her mistress. The sudden sight of her mistress like thus made Xiaoshi frown. “Didn’t the prince take you to nurture your pregnant body? How come your condition is even worse now?”
“Hahaha! What nurturing!” He was obviously doing his best to make that fake pregnancy into a real one!
The people outside were extremely busy, but since Xiaoshi and a group of mamas knew that their mistress was pregnant, they deliberately avoided places where people congregated. Nevertheless, Bai Xiangxiu noticed a familiar figure amongst the servants hanging the lanterns. She halted to take a better look. The other person also turned and gave her a faint smile. Then… Then, he continued to hang the lanterns.
The urge of wanting to throw up gripped her heart. Why is the esteemed wulin alliance head hanging lanterns and acting like a guard in the Prince Li Manor? Not only that, why did he look like he absolutely had to have her and no one else?
Something was afoot here… something very big! But she had no energy to do anything about it, so she could only stare at him helplessly as he continued to hang the lanterns. That is, until Xiaoshi pulled at her and they continued on their way.
Ahh! What should she do? If Long Heng got wind of his presence here, the prince would certainly explode in anger. Unfortunately, she had no plans and could only watch as the manor’s ranks was supplemented by a particularly strong guard. This guard was very strong indeed, he was the wulin alliance head!
“How does our manor select the guards?” How was he able to infiltrate the manor?
The mama beside her explained, “Our Prince Li Manor selects guards based on recommendations. They are hired only after they passed the selection test.”
“They don’t need to have a clean family background?” How would he be able to make it in if a clean family background was required?
“We… we do not have a clear understanding on those affairs of the front of the house.”
The Prince Li Manor was a very strict place. The front house and rear court almost never interfered with each other. Therefore, it was understandable that the servants of the rear court had no knowledge about this process.
Bai Xiangxiu went to see the old madame first, since she’d heard that her health had taken a better turn. When the old madame saw her, she hurriedly inquired about the condition of Bai Xiangxiu’s body. She had summoned the doctor to examine her again and mentioned that she wanted the imperial physician to take a look sometime in the future.
This scared the wits out of Bai Xiangxiu. It was not a problem to summon the doctor in the manor since he was in on their subterfuge, but it would quickly turn tragic if she was to encounter a doctor from outside the estate. Wasn’t that asking them to spill the beans about her lie?
That won’t do! She must think of a way to let Long Heng “lose” that child. Otherwise, everything would be exposed if it continued. This year hadn’t been a good year for Bai Xiangxiu. She’d yet to settle the situation about the new guard, and now there was a false pregnancy coming back from the past to handle. What should she do? And thus, when Long Heng returned, Bai Xiangxiu grabbed him, secretly pulling him away while whispering, “Your Highness, I feel it’s about time this child should go.”
Long Heng almost cracked a smile looking at her deadpan look, but he still kept a serious expression on his face. “Mother’s health is still not good. Wait a bit more.”
“It will be exposed if we wait any longer.” In contrast to her belly, her appearance was exceptionally lively.
Long Heng caressed her face, then his hand subconsciously dropped lower to caress her abdomen as well and spoke with a smile. “It won’t be bad if we pretend a few more days. Perhaps, this area will quickly…” have something in it.
“Absolutely not! That absolutely won’t happen.” She didn’t want anything to be there! If that happened, she wouldn’t be able to go home and she would be a concubine her entire life. She didn’t want to be someone else’s mistress forever!
That was absolutely a threatening tone aimed towards her! Her mouth twitched as she responded, “Um, you better be very quick then.”
“That’s more like it.”
Long Heng supported her, indulging her in front of everyone’s eyes. On the new year, he wanted to accompany the old madame in welcoming in the new year, leaving Bai Xiangxiu alone in the room with Huo’er. In that moment, she felt the room was quite peaceful.
Then, a bout of homesickness hit her. Every year at this time, she would return home to her parents who would ask this and that, and to her relatives who would inquire if she had a boyfriend or not. She would eat dumplings and meat; deliciously fatty and greasy everyday food until she was fed up with it all.
But at this moment, she felt that those habitual events were a type of happiness. It was unfortunate that she had no way to attend the celebrations at home this year. For this new year, besides eating lunch with the other two concubines, she didn’t have any other activities. A concubine was just a concubine. She didn’t have the privilege to keep the old madame company in a meal.
Just as a faint melancholy rose within her, a silhouette projected itself on her window. Like an immortal elf in the night, it was slender, yet graceful. His clothes fluttered, causing one to be unable to look straight at his figure.