Chapter 215: Sharing The Punishment
The wulin and the imperial court had never been on great terms with each other. Friction between the two was rather frequent, so it meant a great deal that a wulin alliance head would come to their aid. Long Heng was truly very capable. Prince Rong nodded. One hundred military rod beatings was truly nothing when split up amongst these three men.
“No need. This has nothing to do with either of you.” Long Heng didn’t want their help. After all, they were both men who desired his wife.
“I’ve done wrong too. I was the one who brought Madame Xiu to this place. I have sinned.” Ah Quan had snuck in at some point during the proceedings, and now stepped forward to sink to his knees. Many of his brothers also made their presence known as they too sank to their knees where they were. They were brothers tied together by comradery and friendship. Bai Xiangxiu had saved their boss’ wife and even helped defend Shu County so that they would still have homes to return to. Bam! Bam! Bam! These hot-blooded men all rushed to the front knelt collectively.
“…” The hell is wrong with these people? Why are they lining up to receive a beating? Bai Xiangxiu kept smiling despite such thoughts running through her head. She decided to follow suit and knelt beside them. She’d always disliked kneeling and other similar formalities, but today was different. There was an air of nobility and gracefulness in performing the same action together. She even saw a rare smile on Long Heng’s face when she took a glance at him.
Prince Rong smacked the table with his hand and yelled, “Alright! Since everyone is guilty then so am I! We will all share the punishment!
“Many thanks, Your Highness!”
Everyone received less than ten beatings each after the hundred was divided amongst them all. The men were against letting Bai Xiangxiu receive any beatings, but she insisted that she should also share the blame and punishment with everyone. Due to her righteous protestations, they reluctantly allowed her to take five beatings.
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! The sounds of military canes echoed throughout the barracks.
Bai Xiangxiu was being beaten by herself by a few veterans, who purposely went easy on her. However, it was still incredibly painful when the rods landed on her bottom. After all, they were military rods. Bai Xiangxiu gritted her teeth and endured through the pain. She didn’t even let out a whimper while receiving her punishment. The veterans were very impressed. They’d never seen a woman capable of enduring this much pain.
However, Xiangxiu was incredibly depressed when she tried to clamber off the bench. Her legs had gone numb! She couldn’t move!
Long Heng had already strode in while she racked her brain for a plan to try and get up. He didn’t seem fazed even though he’d received more than ten canings. He gently picked Bai Xiangxiu up and carried her out of the room. As he turned to leave, Lin Qianzi caught his eye, and a scornful laugh escaped his lips. “Lin Qianzi. Commander Lu told me that his soldiers had a rather wonderful time with you. I don’t mind escorting you back to his military camp if you wish to return there.”
Commander Lu had said those things to him in an attempt to provoke him. After all, Miss Lin was once his betrothed. Unfortunately, his attempt to provoke Long Heng went wide of the mark, since Long Heng remained indifferent. In fact, Long Heng had used those words to attack Lin Qianzi instead. Long Heng had heard everything from Song Jiaoyue. He understood that they’d saved her out of kindness, but she’d returned kindness with ingratitude and caused them all to be punished. It’d have been alright if she had merely caused the men to bear punishment, but then she’d gone and implicated the weak Bai Xiangxiu as well. Long Heng felt an incredible urge to give her a beating, even though he didn’t want to be involved with a woman like her.
Lin Qianzi’s face turned ghastly white. She tried to compose herself and quickly retorted. “What do you mean by that? This little girl doesn’t understand.”
“It doesn’t matter. It’s fine as long as everyone else understands.” Long Heng snorted disdainfully and left the barracks while carrying Bai Xiangxiu in his arms. The couple helped each other apply medicine on their wounds after they returned to their rooms. Long Heng wanted to give his soldiers an explanation after they were done, an idea that Bai Xiangxiu readily agreed to.
Bai Xiangxiu was incredibly angry at the female lead as she climbed into bed alone. The female lead is simply too irksome. I was nearly raped by the enemy commander because I tried to save her son that she tossed into the air. Now she reveals my identity for revenge? Bai Xiangxiu had reached the limit of her endurance; she was completely fed up with her nonsense. Wouldn’t she be letting her off easy if she were to continue tolerating this for the rest of her life here? Since the female lead has already turned into a black lotus flower, why do I still need to be nice to her? Bai Xiangxiu had decided to retaliate in order to protect herself, and by extension, Long Heng.
She had no choice but to come up with a slightly despicable plan. Long Heng couldn’t directly deal with Lin Qianzi and neither could she. But there seemed to be many people outside that respected her. Some have even kneeled to her out of respect. Why not make use of that?
After an unreasonable amount of effort, Bai Xiangxiu finally got up. She removed her clothes and poured a basin of water over herself. The weather in Tranquil City was much colder than the temperature in the capital. Her body was also in a much weaker state due to her injuries. By pouring water on herself and standing in the breeze, a high fever was almost guaranteed.
Long Heng had moved to another room to sleep in order to avoid causing misunderstandings that he’d brought her here to keep him company. The only people living under the same roof as Bai Xiangxiu were two servants, namely Shu’er and another unknown maid from the city.
The maidservant noticed Bai Xiangxiu’s rosy red cheeks immediately when she came in to deliver water. Quick on the uptake, she instantly understood that the mistress was feverish. “Madame, you’ve gotten a fever. I will have someone summon the general immediately.” Long Heng was more commonly known as the general in Tranquil City.
“No… don’t tell him. And don’t tell anyone else either. I don’t want to give him any more trouble.” Now this was how a white lotus act was supposed to be like. Definitely superb acting. She then coughed a few times and feigned a tired weakness. She was practically a newborn kitten at that point.
Due to Bai Xiangxiu’s outstanding looks and superb acting, the maid’s eyes had reddened even though she wasn’t even that close to Bai Xiangxiu. The madame is a very understanding woman. The rumors outside must be false.
The maid couldn’t possibly allow this enchanting madame, who was also the savior of Tranquil City, to suffer alone. Even though the maidservant didn’t inform Long Heng, she did decide to summon a doctor. What she didn’t know was that her every move was being carefully watched. In fact, many people came to visit upon the arrival of the doctor. Song Jiaoyue was the first to arrive. He was worried about Bai Xiangxiu the most. Deep in his heart, Bai Xiangxiu was still the feeble and delicate goddess of old, even though she might seem fiercer and bolder in recent days. Face full of worry, he quickly interrogated Shu’er. “Why did you call for the doctor? What’s happened?”
“The madame has a high fever. This servant doesn’t know when Madame Xiu first contracted the fever, but Madame Xiu seems to have been feverish for quite some time and didn’t allow us to call for the doctor or tell the general.”
“High fever?” This wasn’t a good sign. It was common knowledge that contracting a fever after an injury was a precursor to a serious illness. He immediately began to panic. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if it wasn’t a high fever, but such was not the case. There was even a possibility that she could lose her life.
Word of her illness quickly spread like wildfire. Long Heng, Yu Kuang, and Shu County citizens soon came to visit her. Even Prince Rong had sent someone over in the middle of the night to ask about her condition. Long Heng didn’t really want them to visit her, but these people just wouldn’t leave. So, he allowed them to stand behind a screen in the living room.
From behind the screen, Bai Xiangxiu’s voice sounded so tremulous, it was almost as if she’d pass away at any moment, “I’m doing fine. I thank everyone for visiting me. Please, go back and rest!” If it wasn’t for their martial arts training, the guests probably wouldn’t have been able to hear her words. As the saviour of Tranquil City, why would she have to suffer through such an ordeal just because she was a woman?!