“What do you mean we won’t? Once your health fully recovers, we can still have a child then.”
He held her even tighter in his arms and she could hear the sliver of anger underlining his words. She couldn’t help but laugh, exactly who was he angry with?
Her sudden laugh caught Long Fei Li off guard momentarily and he murmured, “Xiao Qi.”
Frowning, Xuan Ji said, “Your Majesty, this form of address is not proper for us. In the past, it was this concubine’s fault for not understanding the situation.”
Before, she would often call him by his given name. Now, to suddenly hear her toneless voice address him as ‘Your Majesty’, he knitted his brows as he tried to suppress the impatience swelling in his heart and asked, “Didn’t you want to have a child?”
“Didn’t you not want to have a child?” Xuan Ji retorted.
“If it’s your child then I do.” His hand moved over her belly as he held her tightly in his embrace.
A submissive daughter-in-law will too one day become a domineering mother-in-law1 and it seems her time has come. Xuan Ji smiled bitterly. Should she be crying tears of joy upon hearing his words? But the only thing she felt was a dull ache in her heart deepening and she flatly replied, “Before, this concubine did not want to have a child, now my mind still hasn’t changed.”
(t/n 1. This is a chinese idiom that means the oppressed has become the oppressor; or what comes around, goes around)
“Don’t be angry with me. I will grant you a child along with status.”
Hearing his voice tight with a surging anger, Xuan Ji’s temper also flared and she coldly sneered, “Status? Does Your Majesty intend to confer the title of Crown Prince upon this concubine’s son?”
“Is that what you want?” He asked, his voice low and heavy.
With a frosty chuckle, Xuan Ji replied, “Your Majesty can rest assured. How can this concubine not understand your heart’s intentions. This concubine will not compete with Ru Yi gugu for anything. In the past, I never had such thoughts even when I didn’t understand the situation. Now that I do, I will absolutely never have such thoughts.”
With her emotions stirred, her wound suddenly throbbed painfully but she bit her lip and refused to let the cries escape.
His heart gave a sudden lurch and in a heavy voice, he said, “Don’t talk anymore. Get some sleep, I’ll stay here by your side.”
Xuan Ji did not press forward with the topic. She could tell he didn’t want to hear it and she didn’t want to repeat herself either. As she laid there, a sudden thought suddenly crossed her mind and she anxiously asked, “Where’s my servant? You didn’t kill her and toss her to the bottom of the dry well did you?”
“Since I’ve already promised you, I won’t do anything to her. She’s back at Fengjiu Palace.”
“Hmm.” Xuan Ji finally breathed a sigh of relief.
She thought for a moment and then turned around to face him.
Long Fei Li was slightly taken aback as she did so without warning. She had yet to fully recover and from this close distance, he could clearly see her small face was quite pale, she seemed to have gotten quite thin and pallid, even her brows were slightly furrowed.
His heart throbbed painfully for her and he pulled her head close towards his chest, gently planting a kiss on top of her head.
Xuan Ji felt discomfited by his intimate touch and braced her hand against his chest to push him away. But recalling what she wanted to discuss with him, she gritted her teeth and decided not to. She whispered, “Long Fei Li.”
Long Fei Li was fully aware she was pulling away from him, how could he not? He was both angered and frightened but her wounds have yet to heal and her body was still weak and frail thus he didn’t want to get heavy handed. But the moment he heard her shallow voice call out his name, his heart seized with joy and there was only one thought on his mind, that no matter what she was to ask for, he would surely agree.
“I want to tell you something, whether you believe it or not is up to you.” Xuan Ji let out a soft exhalation.
“Cui Ya happened across Bixia Palace by chance and overheard your conversation by accident. She later told me about it and I’ve already made it clear with her that whatever she heard that night must remain a secret, that she’s not to breathe a word of it to anyone. As for that night…. It’s actually my fault, I was the one who wanted to go there. I merely wanted to find out who it was that you held so dear to your heart and soul. That’s all. There was no other motive. Nothing else.”
Listening to her say heart and soul with a bitter smile on her lips, Long Fei Li’s heart constricted and he hated that no matter how tightly he held onto her, he couldn’t fuse her body in with his.
“Long Fei Li. In fact, what happened back at the cold palace is very simple. If you just believe me, you wouldn’t want to kill me.” There was a gloomy, far-away look in her eyes as she murmured, “After all that’s said, you just won’t believe me, that I’ll never betray you.”
Since the moment she awoken, he had been keeping his emotions in reign. But hearing her desolate voice as she said ‘you just won’t believe me’, he finally couldn’t do it anymore. He pulled her out of his arms and pressed his lips against hers, demandingly, roughly, as if in hopes of consuming her everything. She struggled and it wasn’t until she forcefully jabbed at him with her fists did he finally relent and pulled her back into his arms. He bowed his head and in a low voice, emphasizing each word, he said, “I believe.”
Xuan Ji derisively chuckled and said, “I’ve told you this not because I want you to believe me. Now, it doesn’t matter to me whether or not you believe. I just want to discuss something with you.”
“What? I’ll grant you anything.”
She understood what an emperor’s promise meant, but anything? Xuan Ji wondered what he would say if she were to bring up the prior topic and mention the crown prince title. The words were at the tip of her tongue, but in the end she swallowed it back down.
She didn’t really want it and he wouldn’t give it to her anyways. So it was meaningless to mention it again….
She merely asked, “Do you remember what I said to you?”
“Xiao Qi?” Long Fei Li pensively murmured.
“Bai Zhan Feng.”
A glint of surprise surfaced in his eyes as he suddenly recalled what she had said back at the cold palace before she fell unconscious.
“How do you know where the descendant of the Bai family is?” He stroked the wayward strands of hair at her forehead and asked lightly.
“As Buddha says, I cannot say.” Xuan Ji smilingly answered. “Long Fei Li, I’ll let you know where he is on one condition.”
“Even without him, I will still promise you anything,” Long Fei Li said, his voice slightly heavy.
“No, only in this way will we not owe one another. I should use something in exchange if I want something from you,” Xuan Ji said with a smile.
Long Fei Li’s eyes grew dim and he tightly grasped her shoulder as he hugged her. Displeased, he stated, “You’re my woman, I don’t need you to exchange anything.”
Xuan Ji pondered for a moment, then suddenly asked, “Long Fei Li, do you care for me?”
The young emperor was taken aback by her sudden question.
Xuan Ji glanced at him from the corner of her eye and noticed that his handsome face was actually slightly red and she nearly laughed out loud.
“Hmm, alright, if you won’t say, I’ll take it as a yes.”
There was only silence but his hands around her waist tightened a fraction.
Xuan Ji nodded with satisfaction and said, “I’ve told you that my chest hurts and I want to sleep.”
As soon as the words left her lips, Long Fei Li’s expression immediately changed and he anxiously said, “I’ll summon Physician Lady Cui.”
“No, I just want to sleep, but you won’t let me say what I have to say so I won’t be able to fall asleep.”
Merry Christmas!! Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful holiday!