Chapter 199: Former Acquaintance, A Favor to Ask
Song Jiaoyue and the rest didn’t want to disturb her in the midst of her rampage, so they decided to stay hidden. They’d break cover the second she looked like she was in danger.
“Our boss’ wife is in labor but there’s no women in our village. Everyone is panicking right now. Miss, can you help save our boss’ wife?”
“Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?” Bai Xiangxiu could relate to the pain of childbirth. After all, she’d just given birth too. She rolled her eyes at them and said, “Lead on.”
“Ma… Miss Xiu, let us journey together!” Song Jiaoyue and the other four made their way to her from behind, giving the bandits quite the shock. To their credit, they didn’t run. They desperately needed to bring a woman back to help with the situation!
Just like that, the group followed the bandits all the way back to their lair. Everyone here were men who had chosen to stay behind instead of escaping. Upon closer questioning, the group found out that the men had already sent their families away, but they had chosen to stay to protect their homes. If the enemy nation attacked, they couldn’t allow the enemy to easily destroy their homes and their livelihood. In a way, they ranked amongst heroes for their actions.
Bai Xiangxiu was very impressed by them. But she was caught by surprise when she saw the face of the boss. The boss had the same exact sentiment. He quickly walked up to her and fell to his knees with a loud bang. “Madame Xiu. Why are you here?”
“You’re… Ah Quan?” Even though she’d heard that they had been banished to Shu County, she never expected to run into him here. Especially not under these circumstances.
“Yes, Madame Xiu. I never expected I’d have the chance to show you my gratitude for saving our lives!” Ah Quan was a little agitated. He’d found out a while ago that Bai Xiangxiu was the one who had orchestrated everything to save their lives back then. He never expected that he would meet her again in Shu County.
“Forget about the formalities. Is it Third Madame who’s going into labor?”
“How long has she been in there?”
“A little more than two hours. There’s no other women here so I’m the only one who’s been accompanying her.”
“Lead the way.”
“But… With your status…”
“My status has nothing to do with this. Being a mother myself, I have more knowledge about these things than them. You two come with me as well!” Bai Xiangxiu said while pointing at Xiaohuan and Yu Se.
Ah Quan knew very well that he was in no place to reject her offer. So, he led them to the room where Jiang Su’er was in labor. It was just a small simple hut made of mud. When they entered, Jiang Su’er was taking a walk, holding onto a table for support. Since she was about to give birth, it was only normal that no men could be seen in her room. She had to be strong. Her body was now the vessel for two lives.
Bai Xiangxiu had a lot of respect for her. She could actually survive and prosper in a place like this despite her wealthy background, and remained resilient even when she was in labor. I guess the environment really does change a person.
“Madame Xiu… Is it truly you?”
“Mm. Let me lend you a shoulder.”
“No need. This humble servant will do it.” Xiaohuan quickly walked up to Jiang Su’er to support her. Bai Xiangxiu then went outside with orders that she knew would be necessary, “Boil some water, and submerge a pair of scissors in some alcohol and place it on top of a fire until it burns red. Also, get me something nutritious. Something like ginseng would be best.”
“Ginseng… How could we possibly have such a thing here?” A man next to Ah Quan furrowed his brows.
“I have some. Sir Song, didn’t we bring some ginseng slices as well?”
“Yes. But it’s in the horse carriage. Their men should’ve brought our carriage over by now.”
By ‘brought over’ you mean robbed? Ah Quan coughed apologetically.
“Go grab some.” Bai Xiangxiu didn’t panic even in the face of such a crisis. She was completely at ease ordering around a bunch of grown men. Xiaohuan was captivated by her mistress’ dominating form and now truly admired her mistress from the bottom of her heart.
Another wave of pain struck Jiang Su’er moments after the preparations were complete. Bai Xiangxiu could tell that she was the only one present who knew what to do. There was no saying what could happen if she panicked as well. So, she took a deep breath to calm herself down and taught Jiang Su’er how breathe and how to push using the method she’d learnt from the midwives back during her birth. When the pain had settled down a little, she engaged Jiang Su’er with talk about other things, such as her life after she’d left the manor.
Jiang Su’er no longer felt so much pain since there was some distraction. She was thankful towards Bai Xiangxiu for saving them last time too. Bai Xiangxiu didn’t pay it too much heed. All she hoped for was the safety of the mother and child.
Jiang Su’er remained in agony for almost half a day until the child was finally born.
“Congratulations. It’s a girl.” The baby girl had a large pair of eyes, with gorgeous double-eyelids. She looked very beautiful.
“Is that so? Madame Xiu, can you be her godmother?”
“Of course.” Bai Xiangxiu was delirious with joy. Almost as happy as when she gave birth to her own child. Tears were flowing down her cheeks before she even knew it. After tidying up, Bai Xiangxiu felt even more tired than being on the road for an entire day. However, she felt very good. Ah Quan was so touched that he immediately broke into sobs. Despite his manly appearance, tears dripped down his cheeks uncontrollably.
“Madame Xiu, you are like our second set of parents. Ah Quan will be eternally grateful to you.” He immediately knelt down in front of her.
As a person with modern values, Bai Xiangxiu didn’t like it when others kneeled down to her. Even though she had gotten used to it when she was in the manor, it still felt a little weird to see a grown-up man on his knees like this. She quickly jumped aside and said, “You should speak while standing up. This is inappropriate.”
Ah Quan could only wipe his tears as he stood up. He had heard from Song Jiaoyue that they were trying to reach Tranquil City to look for Long Heng. “I know some good roads to get into Tranquil City. It’s all small back roads that even enemy troops aren’t able to find. Why don’t you let me and my brothers show you the road tomorrow?
“That’s wonderful, but the third madame… no. Your wife still needs someone to look after her. Who will take care of her if you’re gone?
Ah Quan was visibly perturbed. The entire mountain was filled with men, so there really wasn’t a suitable candidate who could take care of his wife. Upon further thought, Bai Xiangxiu added, “Why don’t we let Yu Se and Xiaohuan stay back to take care of her? Xiaohuan is very quick on her feet, while Yu Se has food poisoning so she should stay here and rest.
Ah Quan nodded after he heard her suggestion. But Song Jiaoyue disagreed. “How is that appropriate? You need someone by your side to take care of you too.”
Bai Xiangxiu was from the modern times. She had always been self-sufficient, so she’d never needed the help of maidservants to take care of herself. “No need. I can take care of myself. Moreover, this journey has already been riddled with danger. Bringing more women along would only make things more difficult for everyone.”
“She will be fine. She’s really strong!” Yu Kuang vouched for Bai Xiangxiu. She had been a strong and resilient person in Whitecloud Mountain. It was obvious that she wasn’t just another typical weak and feeble woman from a wealthy household.
Even though Song Jiaoyue was against it, he understood that this was the best plan to move forward with. Everything paled in importance in the face of national danger, including one’s feelings. So Song Jiaoyue decided to suppress everything deep into his heart. When the decision was finalized, Ah Quan put Bai Xiangxiu up in a mud hut with a heated platform. She slept extremely well that night. Her dreams were filled with Long Heng; she was looking forward to meeting him again. She prayed for his safety too. After all, he’d been trapped in the city for about ten days already, so food was likely running out!