Chapter 51: Restless, Nosebleed
What should they do?
“How about we make a set of undergarments? That’ll definitely turn out great.”
Bai Xiangxiu felt the fabric and couldn’t help but notice its elasticity. It’d do well as a pair of tighter shorts and lingerie. Still, this roll of cloth was meant for making clothes, so she decided to use the leftovers for her idea.
Were undergarments still considered proper clothes? Still, these servant girls seemed to understand a bit more than her. Bao Qin clapped her hands and said, “Then we’ll make inner robes. It’ll be comfortable to wear at night and cooling during the summer.”
Xiao Shi was still muddleheaded. “Then what do we tell the prince?”
Bao Qin grinned. “It’s not like the prince won’t see. This servant will have Ye-mama drop the prince a word so he won’t blame Madame Xiu.”
She was a clever girl. When she went out to tell Ye-mama, the latter muffled her laughter. “I know what to say. You all just make the clothes. Try to finish it by tonight so she can put it on.”
“Yes. Thank you to Ye-mama for going to the trouble.”
Bao Qin returned to discuss the pattern and make with the rest of them. They were originally quite conflicted. What kind of inner clothes could they make with this fabric? But it was obvious that Madame Xiu had long since made up her mind. When she voiced her ideas, they were both unique and unconventional.
Bao Qin and the rest assumed it was her way of attracting the prince, so they didn’t point out the obvious. Instead, they took out scissors and got to work. Bai Xiangxiu’s needlework was truly subpar, but after watching them work, she had some insights of her own as well. She too, began to sew her own version of modern shorts. However, she was oblivious to the fact that Ye-mama had spoken exceptionally ambiguous words to the prince so he wouldn’t blame Bai Xiangxiu.
Long Heng didn’t know what that lacy satin was used for, so his ears burned as soon as he heard Ye-mama’s words. With a light cough, he said, “You all can do as you like. There’s no need to explain to this prince.”
He’d originally intended to give her something that could be made into resplendent robes, but never imagined he’d given her something for undergarments instead. No wonder the fabric was so comfortable. It shouldn’t be bad if she wore it next to her skin. Her skin was akin to that of a freshly peeled egg. The more he thought about it, the hotter he felt inside…
Ye-mama insisted on teasing him further as she laughed. “But Madame Xiu’s already said that she’ll have the prince be the first one to see her in these clothes. Those servants of hers have set their hearts on choosing out a make and pattern!”
When Long Heng thought of her alluring body, then of her dressed in clothing made from lacy satin, he suddenly felt his nostrils heat up. Sensing something amiss, he hurriedly waved his hand. “This prince knows now, you can leave!”
Ye-mama could tell that the prince would no longer blame the mistress and left with delight. How would she know that the moment she left, Long Heng would get caught in a predicament? When he removed his hand from his nose, he discovered his palm was covered in fresh blood…
“Ah, Your Highness, why is your nose bleeding?” Shu’er jumped in fright, but only heard the prince coldly rebuff him.
“Quiet, bring over some cold water. Don’t tell anyone else.” Other people got nosebleeds because they were ill. He deeply understand that his current state wasn’t due to sickness, but that woman.
Perhaps other men wouldn’t endure to this extent, but he’d been self-disciplined since youth and rarely boasted of his exploits. After undergoing training in the army, he was even less inclined to act brazenly. Even as a man, he wouldn’t be affected by outside restrictions regarding these matters. Moreover, he’d harbored a hundred percent vigilance towards others even since returning from the battlefield, especially towards women.
It was perfectly normal to die on the battlefield, but seeing his fellow brothers assassinated in his own corps was a heart-chilling, depressing feeling that hadn’t faded away completely with time. As a result, he found it very difficult to trust people, especially females. Strictly speaking, he could find other woman in his estate since she wasn’t his only one. But getting close to them only made him irritated, much less doing the deed with them.
Shu’er couldn’t bear to look anymore, but realized what was going on once his master had washed away the blood. He coughed lightly and said, “Your Highness, Third Madame sent soup over again today. Should I have someone warm it up and bring it here?”
“You think this prince needs to nourish his body? Dump it.” If he.. if he nourished himself any further, there’d be big problems. In order to get rid of the excess impulse, Long Heng decided to travel to the outskirts of the town and drill his soldiers.
The emperor had showed compassion for his many years of fighting and hadn’t given him many tasks upon his return to the capital. As a result, he was always very idle. Drilling soldiers was probably the only big task he could undertake, so he rode to the military barracks.
Once he arrived, the barracks were doomed. At first, they were touched to see the prince practicing swordsmanship, and jogging by their sides until he was pouring with sweat. But all of them were new recruits. How could they bear his superhuman exercises that pushed one to the limits?!
Only a few days had passed before many of them passed out from exhaustion.
As a result, the person in charge of the military barracks quietly found Long Heng and smiled. “Your Highness, these few days the soldiers have united their hearts to practice diligently. But many of them are from peasant families and have weak bodies. Right now they need to recover before they can continue to practice. Why don’t you return to the estate and rest a bit?”
Is he here to take these new recruits’ lives? Since they were already training while living at the barracks, and they didn’t need to deploy troops at the moment, why was the prince going this far?
Long Heng was preparing to return, but his voice turned cold hearing these words. “Their physical strength is too low, just give them a day’s worth of break. Continue as usual the day after.”
“Yes…” the person in charge narrowly avoided vomiting blood. He’d joined everyone else in running around these past few days, and his legs had nearly given up on him.
Only then did a satisfied Long Heng leave the barracks. Unexpectedly, the first thing he saw was someone sent by the Lin family. Apparently, Minister Lin had invited him over! He gave a cold smile. Did this mean the man finally couldn’t wait any longer?
Long Heng didn’t say much, but rode to the agreed meeting place at the capital’s Huayang Tavern, a gathering place for elegant guests and the literate. He took broad strides upstairs, his suit of armor turning the owner’s face pale white.
The owner personally led him to Minister Lin’s spot before immediately calling for someone to prepare the dishes. Even though this young man was handsome and attractive, he was too imposing. It was obvious he wasn’t someone to be trifled with!
Minister Lin stood up at his arrival, his scholarly, refined air revealing his cultured upbringing and social standing. He extended a hand and said, “Worthy son-in-law hasn’t been attending court these few days; have things been very busy at the barracks?”
“There were just some unimportant matters at most. I wonder what reason Minister Lin has invited me here for?” Long Heng wasn’t impolite, but asked outright as soon as he sat down.
Minister Lin’s face turned stiff at the unfamiliar address. Anyone could tell the difference in intimacy between worthy son-in-law’ versus ‘Minister Lin.’
But in truth, their Lin family did harbor a guilty conscience with regards to Prince Li. Thus, Minister Lin smiled and said, “There’s no need to be anxious, worthy son-in-law. There are some household affairs I’d like to discuss with you, I don’t know whether you could dismiss your men?” He glanced at Shu’er standing behind Long Heng, indicating that he’d only talk with the servant gone.
Long Heng waved a hand and Shu’er retreated as per established custom. “Please speak, Minister Lin.” Long Heng poured himself a cup of tea. Because his official position was higher than that of Minister Lin, he had no need to leave the other man any face.
Minister Lin could be called an old fox who had drifted along for years in court. Thus, he said, “Worthy son-in-law, Qianzi has been spoiled rotten by my wife and I since childhood. A few days ago, she went to the temple to pray for blessings for her mother, but on the way back, she listened to her servant’s ideas and went on the wrong path. Now she’s lost all contact with the estate.” He paused to check Long Heng’s expression, his heart turning cold when he saw that it remained unchanged. So he already knows.
“Though we’ve sent servants out to search, there hasn’t been a hint of a clue. But worthy son-in-law has the military tally to prove his authority and can transfer troops as needed. May I ask you to step forward to find and bring her back?” Minister Lin was already being exceedingly polite. That daughter of his had snuck away for too long. If she didn’t come back, who knows what sort of rumors would fly about her in the capital city. By then, her namesake and reputation would be completely ruined.