Chapter 194: War Is Imminent
Bai Xiangxiu was thoroughly exhausted. She didn’t even know if she had stopped breathing or not. She could only hold on to a single thought. “My child. I want to see it. Is it a boy or a girl?”
“It’s a boy.” Long Heng waved impatiently to summon the midwife over. Bai Xiangxiu only needed a glance to notice something important. The child’s face was simply too fair and pure looking! He shared so many features with his mother! It was almost to the point where it looked like he was a copy of his mother.
Since she was already so attractive with her face, if a man were to have the same face as her… Bai Xiangxiu could only quietly mourn for the future young ladies of the capital.
“We look so alike…” She fell back asleep after uttering just the one sentence.
“Xiu’er. Xiu’er!” Long Heng was horrified. He thought that she was in danger again. He immediately had the doctor take her pulse.
The doctor examined her pulse carefully. “Madame Xiu is only exhausted and has fallen asleep. She will be fine.”
“Then quickly prescribe some medicine to nourish her body.”
“Your Highness, perhaps you might want to leave the room? We still have some cleaning up to do.”
“This… Fine!” He left the room hesitantly because it seemed that they really couldn’t finish the cleaning process with his presence.
It took Bai Xiangxiu about three days to fully awaken. Her food was all specially prepared for her. Long Heng would also accompany her whenever he had some free time. Even though he didn’t say much, Bai Xiangxiu could tell that he was worried about something.
“Are you… leaving for battle?” Despite not having even taken one step out of her room, she knew that the enemy nation was making their move. It seemed that their armies had begun their march. She could tell this much just by looking at the old madame’s expressions. She then looked at Huo’er. The designated day was almost here.
Was she going to leave before even attending her son’s full moon celebration.
What was she supposed to do?
Long Heng and the old madame didn’t tell her much because they didn’t want her to worry. It wouldn’t be right for her to flout their good intentions, so she didn’t sob or wail either. She didn’t want them to worry. Her courage to stay strong didn’t go unnoticed. Long Heng caressed her head and said, “You don’t have to worry. I will be alright.”
“Mm.” Why would you have problems when you’re the male lead? No, she was worried about the father and son’s future without her.
“I’ve already chased the other two concubines out of the manor. From now onwards, you will not have any other things to worry about. Just be good and wait for me to come home. I’ll be back within a few months at the very least. At the very most, a year.”
Honey, do you think you’re the god of war? This is a war, not a game of football. How could a war possibly end so quickly? Wouldn’t it take two to three years at the very least?
“If my wife will miss me greatly, I will put in even more effort as your husband.”
“No need. It’s quick enough for me.”
Even the great and mighty Long Heng was now someone with a great deal of attachments. He was beginning to feel a little unwilling to leave his son and his wife behind. So this is what it feels like to be a hero. No wonder the subordinates with wives and children would always have an idiotic smile on their faces when they stared at their belongings on the battlefield. It must be things that reminded them of the beautiful memories they shared with their families.
Long Heng was incredibly busy in the next couple of days, but the sadness in his heart just wouldn’t subside. Bai Xiangxiu wanted to bid her farewells to him, but they simply didn’t have enough time. Their conversations seemed to be without end whenever they met, causing Bai Xiangxiu to forget for a moment that she was soon about to leave.
Long Heng departed ten days before her son’s full moon celebration.
The firecrackers exploded in concordant symphony outside, but Bai Xiangxiu could only bear to silently sob in her room while holding her son Long Lin in her arms. She couldn’t even bear to send Long Heng off. The bitterness in her heart was unbearable; it felt like someone was trying to dig out her intestines.
It was finally the day of her son’s full moon celebration. Guests were quickly crowding the manor. Even though she was the mother, her status was still that of a concubine. Thus, it was deemed inappropriate for her to welcome the guests. She stayed in her room, staring at Huo’er. She reached her hands out towards Huo’er but didn’t dare to touch it.
There’s only a few days left. Should I go or should I stay?
Suddenly, Xiaoshi barged into the room with happiness written all over her face.
“Madame Xiu! Great news, wonderful news!! The emperor has issued a decree to appoint our young master as the heir apparent to His Highness! It’s said that His Highness had personally requested this from His Majesty before he left. He must really love the young prince very much!”
A concubine’s son was appointed as the heir apparent? Wouldn’t he then become the prince in the future? Wasn’t this proof that Lin’er would be raised as if he were the son of the official wife? Even though she should feel at ease, she was even more unwilling to leave now.
“Madame Xiu, aren’t you happy?”
“Of course I am!” But the happiness was precisely the reason why she was feeling so distressed. Xiaoshi found it a little strange. Why the long face if she was actually happy? She couldn’t understand her mistress’ problems, but she genuinely believed that the young master was blessed. Even though he was concubine-born, he was now of a status that even an official wife couldn’t belittle.
The fourteenth of July was almost here. Bai Xiangxiu seemed to be spending most of her days in an absentminded fashion. The old madame and the servants believed that she was simply missing the prince. After all, he hadn’t sent any word back home since the day he’d left for war.
But there was nothing they could do about it. There was no instant messaging technology here like in the modern times. Bai Xiangxiu didn’t blame him either. She was just extremely conflicted on whether she should leave or stay.
Time continued to tick forwards despite her discordant feelings. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, the ghost festival arrived. She brought Huo’er with her to say goodbye to her son, dressed herself in a beautiful dress and made her way to Winter Garden. This was the place where she’d arrived and was also the place where she’d leave.
How could Bai Xiangxiu possibly be in a good mood when faced with the realization that she’d never see Long Heng and Lin’er again if she went back home? And yet, she greatly missed her family in the modern world.
After placing Huo’er onto the table, she leaned on the table and stared at it. “Is it possible for us to look into the future, for you to let me see what would happen here after I return to the modern world?
Huo’er replied, “Mistress, I can give it a try.” Huo’er had already grown into a relatively large cactus. There were four leaf buds on top, making Huo’er look surprisingly cute.
Bai Xiangxiu then closed her eyes to quietly fall asleep. She was hoping that she and Huo’er really had an ability to let her catch a glimpse of the future.
Surprisingly, she really began to dream about it. She dreamt how her body was eventually found by Xiaoshi, and saw how the entire manor was thrown into chaos. Xiao Lin was crying the hardest. Nobody knew whether it was because he knew that his mother was gone or if it was because of the unsettling atmosphere, but his weeping never seemed to stop.
The old madame hired countless doctors to take a look, but none of them could cure her. The saying that mother and child are connected by the heart was true after all.
Despite the chaos in the manor, the old madame decided to keep it a secret from Long Heng. However, Long Heng began to suspect something when Bai Xiangxiu didn’t write him a letter in a long time. He sent word to the old madame and asked her to have Bai Xiangxiu write him a letter. He didn’t receive anything then either. So, he dispatched one of his men back to the capital to investigate, who brought back news of Bai Xiangxiu’s death. Her death affected him significantly. He lost focus during a battle with the enemy and was stabbed through the chest with a sword. He continued to mutter Bai Xiangxiu’s name as he fell to his knees. With eyes filled with unimaginable grief and without the desire to live, he was ultimately slain by his enemy without even putting up a fight.
“No! Why is this happening? I don’t want this…” Bai Xiangxiu could no longer bear to watch. The dream felt so realistic to her. The consequences of her death seemed to be even more dire than she had originally thought. Just as her dream had suggested, the father and son duo would likely be harmed greatly!