Chapter 269: Long Heng’s Rebellion
Bai Xiangxiu no longer held back now that she was with her man. When she noticed that there was no one else in the vicinity, she immediately tugged on Long Heng’s clothes and slipped her hands inside.
“…You…!” Long Heng nearly took a dive to the floor when she did that. He quickly carried her to the bed and waved his hands, getting someone to promptly drag Xiaoshi back out of the room, even though she’d just entered. She was depressed. Why did they drag her away when she had to tend to the princess consort’s wounds?
Long Heng could easily tell that something was wrong with Bai Xiangxiu. He was all too familiar with the enemy nation’s parasite poisons. Why wouldn’t he? His enemy’s speciality was in all sorts of weird poisons after all. In a fit of rage, he raised his hands and smashed a nearby table into smithereens. Unfortunately, Bai Xiangxiu just wouldn’t calm down despite her wounds. “Long Heng… Long Heng… Come to me…” She kept whispering.
Long Heng had no choice but to take out a set of clean clothes from a nearby wardrobe. He couldn’t touch her when she was wounded like that. He had no choice but to wait for the effects of the drug to pass. Unfortunately, he’d underestimated Bai Xiangxiu’s charms. It only took a few more passes before Long Heng lost his resolve and willingly climbed into bed to act as her antidote.
After they were done, Bai Xiangxiu drowsily told him about what’d happened and what she’d discovered. Long Heng immediately shot up when he heard what the emperor had nearly done to her. He paced angrily around the room like a caged beast. Bai Xiangxiu quickly climbed out of bed to calm him down. “Long Heng, what’s wrong? Didn’t I come back safe and sound?”
“You did this time, but there’s no guarantee that it won’t happen again. If I hadn’t sent Ah Song to follow you, things would’ve…”
“Don’t worry. I’m not an idiot that would allow them to do as they please.”
“Haha! I’ve had it with him. I’d only wanted to request a small piece of land to live out a serene life. I didn’t want to live a life filled with wealth and riches, all I wanted was for my family to be safe! But he doesn’t allow it! Now he dares to covet my wife and even tried to lay his hands on you? This is what I receive after risking my life to fight for him?!”
“Shh, not so loud!”
“I don’t care! What sort of man am I if I can’t even protect my family? I’d be ashamed if anyone were to hear about this!”
“Uhh… Don’t be so agitated.”
“No matter what he was trying to do, I will definitely make him regret this!”
“Sure. Let’s make him regret it.”
Bai Xiangxiu was worried that he would pick up his sword and charge into the palace in a fit of wrath. She quickly pulled the rage-fueled man into bed and calmed him while hugging him. “I’m fine, you don’t have to be so angry. We can slowly come up with a plan to punish them. We’ll take our time when we deal out the punishment, right?”
Long Heng was quite enraged, but quickly realized that Bai Xiangxiu had something up her sleeve. He pinched her cheeks and smiled. “What kind of shenanigans have you come up with?”
“I have tricks aplenty, but we have to plan ahead.”
“Ah, you always have a way to calm me down. But…” Long Heng gave Bai Xiangxiu a hug. As a grown man, he would never admit that he was actually more afraid than angry just now. Yes, he was afraid, afraid of losing the woman in front of him. She was always so lively and cheerful. It’d be worse than death if he were ever to lose her.
Bai Xiangxiu knew Long Heng quite well. She had him rest his head on her thighs and held him close. While comforting him, she slowly talked about how she was planning to give Noble Consort Su one of the cactus’ shoots. Unfortunately, getting her to accept it was the hard part. They both went to bed after discussing that topic a little.
Unexpectedly, Noble Consort Su actually ended up stumbling her way into the mouth of a tiger. Her arrival the next day even helped Bai Xiangxiu by giving her an excuse to avoid one of her problems. Née Xiao was visiting her again to beg her to arrange a better marriage for Bai Rong’er. “She should be the sole wife and not share a man with another woman!” Née Xiao was adamant.
Nobly Consort Su arrived while Bai Xiangxiu was brainstorming a way to deal with the annoyance. Bai Xiangxiu immediately waved her hands to chase Née Xiao away. Née Xiao had no choice but to leave filled with resentment. Even she wasn’t daring enough to disturb her daughter when a noble consort from the palace was visiting.
Bai Xiangxiu quickly welcomed Noble Consort Su and even invited her to Apricot Garden. She was now even more convinced that this lady had something to do with Su Yun. How else would a noble consort be daring enough to step beyond the walls of the palace harem? To put her theory to the test, she even had someone to place Huo’er on a nearby table. They chatted as they sipped tea.
“His Majesty has ordered me to come take a look at younger sister’s wounds. Are they better?”
“They have, but it still hurts when I lift anything heavy. What about His Majesty’s… wounds?” She dipped her head down as she spoke, to make Noble Consort Su think that she was doing this out of remorse. Even though she hadn’t done anything wrong on purpose, women from the olden days normally placed the blame on themselves even though it was the men whose hearts were wavering.
Noble Consort Su also understood what she was hinting at, and laughed derisively on the inside.
“Noble Consort Su, do be careful. This thing can prick your fingers.” Bai Xiangxiu warned her. She turned to ask Xiaoshi to move the plant away. Xiaoshi was confused. Why did she ask for the plant to be moved here, and then immediately ask for it to be taken away?
However, Noble Consort Su waved her hand and airily said, “No need. The cactus looks fine when it’s placed on the table. There’s no need to take it away.”
Seeming a little shocked, Bai Xiangxiu asked, “This thing is called a cactus?”
Noble Consort Su realized that people from this period may not have seen such a plant. “Yes. The cactus is a very good plant to place inside your homes. It can even be used to treat burn wounds and poisonous cysts.”
She showed off her future knowledge to this woman and expected, received amazement and surprise in return.
“I can’t believe an ugly plant like this would have so many uses. I only planted this because it looks really unique, and it somehow managed to survive! Cactus… what a unique name too!”
“Mistress, Huo’er is not ugly.” Huo’er felt wronged, which was why it suddenly interjected in her head. Bai Xiangxiu glared at Huo’er to make it shut up.
Noble Consort Su then said, “This is definitely a plant that you would find in almost every household in the future due to how easy it is to keep. It only needs a few drops of water to survive and has plenty of uses.”
“Is that so? Then it must be a treasure!” Why don’t you take a shoot back? I’ve not prepared anything for your arrival today.”
Since you made it sound like some kind of miracle, I’ll definitely give it to you!
“Then I will be more than happy to accept your generosity.” No harm having a cactus anyways, it can help clean up the air in my room.
Noble Consort Su accepted this gift without an ounce of suspicion. After that, she even asked to pay Long Lin and the old madame a visit. Bai Xiangxiu didn’t refuse her and brought her along to visit them. On the way there, she talked about how Long Lin had grown older and that the old madame was going to take him to their old home to honor their ancestors. After all, a child had to be recorded in the family tree when they were of age.
This was just small talk of course, but it was also to give Long Lin and the old madame an excuse to leave. Long Heng hadn’t seemed to have made his move yet, so Noble Consort Su didn’t seem to suspect anything. It was a good reason to travel. People in the olden days took having a descendant very seriously. However, Bai Xiangxiu’s heart was pounding right now. She no longer had any doubt that Noble Consort Su was in fact Su Yun. However, she just couldn’t figure out how she’d changed her face. It was most definitely not a mask. Could plastic surgery from the olden days possibly be so impressive? Was it really possible to turn a woman into such a beauty using the medical techniques of these times?