Chapter 50: Over This Quickly?
Xiao Shi was standing outside the bathroom when she saw the two elder sisters just staring blankly at the bedsheets. She spoke up quietly, “Sisters, hurry and change the bedsheets. The doctor is coming soon.”
“Change? Ah, yes change…” They still couldn’t quite react properly, and could only yank off the bedsheets to replace them with new ones. They’d just got the new sheets on the bed when Bai Xiangxiu walked inside in a new set of robes, her face still a bit pale. She held her stomach as Xiao Shi supported her over to the side of the bed.
Xiao Shi had finally helped her mistress to bed when the doctor walked in. He took Bai Xiangxiu’s pulse through the bed curtains and asked, “Is it Fourth Madame’s monthly time?”
“Yes, it’s just arrived.” Xiao Shi responded from the side.
Bao Qin and Bao Yu had finally come to their senses from the shock resulting from the prince’s short… endurance, but was then plunged headfirst into the new shock of Madame Xiu’s monthly time and the prince’s face that was dark with anger.
After the doctor took the madame’s pulse, he said that nothing much was the matter, only that her womb was too cold and needed conscientious care. He bowed in farewell to the prince after prescribing some medicine and left in a hurry. Even though he hadn’t lifted his head throughout the entire process, he could still feel the exceedingly cold atmosphere within the room. He almost couldn’t breathe!
When everything was settled, Bai Xiangxiu gnawed on the back of her hand and ultimately decided to apologize. She would only die faster if she didn’t. Therefore, she got off the bed with an aggrieved air and tried to look as weak and gentle as possible as she walked out, supported by Xiao Shi. But when she walked outside and saw the prince glaring at her cactus with an icy expression, she naturally grew weak at the knees. That’s my only hope of returning home! Don’t vent your anger on it…. even if it’s irked you!
“Ah, Madame Xiu… are you alright?” Xiao Shi pulled her back upright. With Bao Yu and Bao Qin coming up from behind, the three of them finally got her upright as they combined their efforts. Every one of them had broken out in a cold sweat.
Long Heng, “…” Could someone come tell him if all girls were this weak during their monthly time? She didn’t even seem to have the strength to stand up straight. What was he supposed to do?
“Let’s sit! You servants should make more effort in serving your masters. Go serve some soup.” What else can she eat? He didn’t know and couldn’t ask. He could only give orders in a noncommittal tone.
Bao Qin swiftly went to the kitchen. Actually, there was likely no one up at this hour to cook nutritious soup, but what choice did she have? Ignore the prince’s orders? And so in this manner, as Bao Qin searched for a cook, half of the complex learned of Bai Xiangxiu’s monthly matter. Bai Xiangxiu was now firmly convinced that she wouldn’t be able to set foot out of her courtyard the next day for fear of meeting anyone’s eyes, but she said nothing and only responded docilely, “Thank you for Your Highness’ care.”
“The nights are cold, sleep early!” He’d come hot and bothered, but now was escaping from fright. He decided right then and there, he would never speak of this to anyone. With a flourish of his sleeves, Long Heng straightened his clothes and left. He wanted to stay the night, but he couldn’t. It wasn’t that he paid any attention to talk of a woman’s monthly bleeding adversely affecting luck. No, it was because he wasn’t familiar enough with Bai Xiangxiu yet. He knew that she’d only feel uncomfortable if he continued to stay. Since that was the case, he might as well return and let her servants focus on taking care of her. Resting well and recovering her health was the most important matter.
Bai Xiangxiu almost knelt on the ground in gratitude. Who wouldn’t thought that Long Heng would have moments of compassion? The most important thing was that Huo’er was fine. It had been frightened into babbling nonsense already. “Mistress, mistress, that man is so scary! His aura is so deadly! He’s going to kill you and then kill Huo’er…” Look, it was even crying with fright. She began to comfort it mentally as Xiao Shi pulled her off to bed.
When Long Heng returned, the pageboys were all frightened. Didn’t he say he was going to spend the night at Winter Garden? What was he doing back here instead of consummating his union in the middle of the night? However, no one dared ask him and Long Heng flopped onto bed without another word. He was thinking, seven more days…
The doctor had said that most girls needed three to seven days before their body was clean. But Long Heng felt that with née Bai’s health, seven days was completely insufficient. At least ten days were necessary! Then ten days it would be. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t afford to wait. He’d gotten something for his troubles today anyhow. Sleep wasn’t forthcoming as thoughts of that pale, tender body continued to torment him.
However, who would’ve thought that the old madame would learn of this matter. When he visited his mother the next day, the old madame seemed to have just finished saying something to the mama’s. She stopped immediately when she saw her son arrived, but the twitching at the corner of her lips revealed her repressed desire to laugh.
Long Heng froze at the door, then spoke, “Your son will leave for now so that I won’t cause mother to suffer from repressed emotion.” Obviously, his mother had found out about last night, and was laughing at him! He felt quite depressed but was still worried about née Bai, so he ordered servants to send over some medicinal herbs.
He’d thought that she would stay at home and rest, but the servant who delivered the herbs came back to say that she’d gone to Sandalwood Courtyard on some business. “What is she doing, not resting?” He hadn’t set foot outside all day because he felt that he had lost face because of the matters of the previous night. Although the servants didn’t say anything, they were likely braying with laughter inside. But she, she’d gone out! Long Heng grew depressed at this news.
The servant responded, “Sandalwood Courtyard bought some bolts of inferior cloth yesterday. They were to be delivered to the Old Madame and other madames to be made into clothes, but the Senior Madame said something was wrong with hers, so Madame Xiu has gone for a look.”
Such matters were within her purview. He had no response other than, “Keep an eye on things. Have her go rest if she’s tired and tell her those are my orders.”
“Understood.” The servants were dismissed.
Long Heng kept paying attention to this matter because he was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to handle it all. The servants dutifully reported back before long that he needn’t have worried at all. Née Bai had sent back the cloth with a few words and ordered new ones. She’d given the senior madame one more bolt of cloth out of gratitude, and had taken it from her own share.
Who would’ve thought that she’s quite good at taking care of affairs? No one will be able to say a thing about what she’s done. He was quite pleased, but also felt that she’d come off worse in the exchange. Everyone had two bolts of cloth, but she only had one.
He started walking around as he thought and headed into the city streets. Long Heng was still speechless by his own actions after he passed by a few stores selling cloth. Why was he doing this himself? And why, after walking for so long, did he feel that none of these ordinary cloth was worthy of her tender skin?
He browsed through a few more stores before finally finding a bolt of lacy satin from the outer regions. It would be wonderful if she wore clothes made out of this. He paid five hundred taels for one bolt and happily sent it to Winter Garden. Long Heng had thought that she would be uncommonly happy, but hadn’t thought that he’d create quite a joke with his actions.
The ladies of Winter Garden circled the bolt of lacy satin, staring at it in a daze. The prince had ordered their mistress to turn it into clothes, but all the women knew that although the lacy satin was luxurious, it wasn’t suitable to be made into clothes because it was too soft. It could only be used in decoration or undergarments. Just what did the prince mean with his order?
The girls were in a dilemma. Bai Xiangxiu frowned, “What do we do?” Of course she would pose this question to everyone, she wasn’t born and bred in ancient China.
Xiao Shi answered, “We can’t make something this soft into outerwear. What about a skirt?”
“It would be too easy to trip on the skirt if the fabric is too soft.” Bao Qin responded.